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Struggling on Scafell Pike

Rob Howard / 09.06.2014See All Event Posts Follow Event
The Denebola team had back to Whitehaven
The Denebola team had back to Whitehaven / © Rob Howard

Despite the slow start to the race, it has moved quickly and by Monday night all the boats except DSTL will have left Whitehaven. (At the time of writing Intrepid Misfits are on their way back on their bikes.)

DSTL are having their own race at a slower pace and are still in the Irish Sea on their way towards Whitehaven, but the winds have dropped and the earliest we think they might arrive is the small hours of Tuesday morning.  Even so, that is not an unusually late arrival time for Whitehaven, boats have arrived on Wednesday before now.

As always the run and cycle through Ennderdale to Scafell Pike has proved to the hardest mountain stage of the race and taken a toll on some of the teams. All the runners tell the marshals the time they expect to take when they set off, and all of them took much longer than they expected. The first to leave, Alex Pilkington and Stuart Walker took 7 hours 16 minutes and after their yacht, Wight Rose, had waited for the tide to rise, they were the first to leave for Fort William.

Theirs was the quickest time, but not far behind them were the runners from Mistral, Hugh Aggleton and Chris Jones, who were faster on Snowdon so these two teams will race for the King of the Mountains Title on Ben Nevis. Last year’s winners Chris and Adam Perry struggled on the Scafell run, taking over 8 hours as Chris was suffering from an injury. He said it’s a recurrence of an old injury and may have been brought on after pushing hard on the Snowdon run.

Another team setting a quick time were Mach5 of Switzerland who moved up a lot of places overnight as a result. The marshals at Wasdale said they were in high spirits and stopped to show them some of their photos from the summit of Scafell.  Even so they set a time of 7 hours 37 minutes, and overtook the other international entry, Denebola of Belgium.

They had the best of the weather as the teams who were out later in the day were caught in heavy rain through the afternoon. Among those struggling to get round were Christian Monos and Johan Kindt of Denebola, who set off in 3rd place but were passed by a lot of teams as they took over 13 hours to get back to Whitehaven. Intrepid Misfits may be even slower as Jamie Sanches suffered the whole way with vertigo and was unsteady on his feet much of the time. (One of the runners from Baloo was affected in this way too.)

The leaders of the race have made slow progress today as they make their way around The Mull of Galloway and then head north towards Fort William.

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