Castles, Crags, Summits, Snows and Bog
The Kielder Grey’s Summit race last Sunday lived up to it’s expectation, perhaps with a little less snow that forecast. It was a cold and slightly foggy lunch time start from Kielder Castle, sent on our way by Will and his dog. A substantial turnout, given the weather and remoteness of the location, of some 55 runners all eager and variously willing and able to take on the task of 7 and a bit miles, 1400ft of climbing across icy and snow bound bog and fellside in this remote part of Northumberland.
The race was tough, with the long steady gradient along the toll road at the start of the race taking it’s toll good and proper on my legs. Then across a couple of burns before climbing very steeply up to the summit ridge, the final part in snow. The route then proceeds across the ridge and a mixture of snow banks, inch thick ice and frozen bog and heather, cold underfoot even though you’re running. Feet becoming numb and slippery conditions don’t make for confidence down hill either.
Finally back to the forest and the path, track and the route brings you out at the back of the Castle, final sting in the tail some steep steps up to the finish line. I’m done! (for). Strange feeling of satisfaction even though I’m next to last and a time that’s not at all impressive. It’s a great route, just the Christmas excess and the lack of training in recent months making it’s presence felt.
Photos © Of Respective authors. See results on NFR web site.