Jake (and Dean) 4th in Saunders Mountain Marathon

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    John Butler

      Dean Field and his 14 year old son Jake took part in the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon (SLMM) on 2/3 July.

      They were leading the Wansfell class at the end of the first day in 3hrs 11 mins, 2 minutes ahead of 2nd, 11 minutes ahead of 3rd and 13 minutes ahead of 4th.  They had great expectations for day 2 including the usual shorter day 2 courses.  Unfortunately the planner had other ideas and achieved a winnng of time of just under 4hrs for their course.  They were not expecting this, having planned for a 2.5hr winning time, so had insufficient food and had a very weak finish coming in 4th overall in 4hrs 30minutes. 

      Still a very creditable performance for a 14 year old.  Total time 7hrs 41 minutes for approximately 30Km (straight line) and 1800m climb.

      The SLMM is a two-day mountain navigation event open to teams of two. Teams navigate between checkpoints, visiting them in the order given (with the exception of solo Klets competitors). The first day finishes at a mid-way campsite. Competitors must carry the lightweight camping and safety equipment listed in the rules. Competitors need to be competent in the use of map and compass in the mountains. Many checkpoints require accurate navigation, especially in misty conditions.

      The 33rd SLMM started from Chapel Stile in Great Langdale. Dawn came on the Saturday with a cloudless sky. After a midge infestation that affected the early teams, the day turned rather warm. Luckily, there was a small breeze around the summits. Even so, many teams found the temperature rather warm. The shorter courses headed in a generally north west to north east direction, whilst the longer ones headed for Bowfell and Scafell. They then turned eastwards to finish at Steel End Farm at the south end of Thirlmere reservoir

      The Sunday dawn cool and cloudless as the runners headed by various routes round the west end of Great Langdale, so that they came in to the finish over Lingmoor Fell.

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