Tim Watkins Blodslitet 7/2/10

Blodslitet translates roughly to ” blood letter” but I hadn’t intended to spill blood when I started the race !

This is a classic “long” race with planned winning times well over the hour, about 2 hours for the A class. John T has taken part a few times but this was the first time for Jim and I.  A small band consisting of John and Sarah, Ian and Kirstin, Jim & I assembled at Farleton Knott near Kendal for the mass starts for each individual course – with courses from A to G.  We were given A3-sized maps, printed on both sides for most courses.  Luckily it wasn’t windy.

The area is basically limestone pavement with a mixture of open, semi-open or forest on top.  Some of the limestone was shiney and slippy, other bits rougher, all of it difficult to run on so finding a path or grassy bit was a luxury.  The first 7 controls on my D course were “do in any order” and in semi-open woodland so needed a bit of care.  I could see Kirstin haring off into the distance but hadn’t  a hope of keeping in touch.  John and Ian went further into the semi-open than us and I don’t think Ian was too impressed.  We then looped round onto open hillside where we could see the extent of the limestone.  Navigation was easier here but the rocks were slippier and in the blink of an eye I was flat on the my face.  Blood was oozing from 2 fingers and left thigh, and both knees were stinging.  I ran on to finish in 13th, and noticed that someone else had obviously come a cropper because there was blood on an SI unit near the end.

John at the Start

John at the Start

Highlights/Lowlights of the day ?
Kirstin won Course D despite a mistake which left her in 2nd place after the final control, John was 2nd on Course C despite dropping his hired dibber and losing time to find it.  Sarah came back bloodied too, having come off worst in some brambles.  Ian was 9th on C, Sarah 10th on E and Jim 10th on F.   James Tullie was 6th on the A course (17.9km !).   Rob’s friend Iain Bell, who normally helps at RR’s day at the 6-Days, was there too and finished 35th on C. There was quite a high drop-out rate including World Champion Graham Gristwood and Douglas Tullie on the A course.  Wilfs were in attendance so we got our half-price mugs of tea, and pasta, but we were too late for the chocolate brownie, drat.

I quite enjoyed the format of the race, but I found the limestone parts frustrating when I knew where I wanted to go but had to pick my way there.

Results are here