The Fellsman

The Fellsman

27th April 2013

61 miles

11,000 FT Climb

All in 24Hrs

The Fellsman WOW, where do I start, what a race,

Seven months ago a decided to get fit and run the Lakeland 100 for charity so I had to decide on a training plan and the events that would help me achieve this dream. I sat down with a calendar and my laptop searching different ultra-races, trying to decide which events fitted in with my training plan. The Fellsman fitted in perfectly 4months from the start of my training and 3 months before the main event. Not really knowing much about the event I just sent my money to secure a place in the event. Little did I know what I had let myself in for? The more research I did the worst in seamed, I had signed up for one of the hardest fell races there is in England and a lot would say it’s the hardest and I was calling this a training day, had I lost my marbles.

I decided to totally forget about the event and just fully commit to my training and diet and hope they would come together, 2 weeks before the race I started to turn my focus to the race day. As the miles came down it gave me more time to think about my kit, food and water and my route. I wasn’t sure what time I would be happy with. There was a lot riding on this event, the nerves and self-doubt started to creep in was I expecting too much in just a short space of time. If I didn’t complete this it would be a real blow to me mentally and put all my training and diet in to doubt.  

The night before I layed all my kit out and went through the kit list and the list I had made of all the extras I was taking, the kit list was a very soon came clear it wasn’t going to fit into my normal ruck sac. I had to put all my food and the things a thought would be needed the most into a little 6ltr bum bag so I wouldn’t lose time emptying my ruck sac each time.
On the morning of the race there were a lot of emotions running through my head luckily I was there in plenty of time to calm down sort my kit out, decided on my kit to wear I took my time to tape my feet as there were 7 out of the 10 toe nails missing a few old blister to see to and all this was before I set off on a 61 mile run but this gave me the chance to clear my mind and focus on the task ahead. I had done all the hard work. Feeling strong with no niggles my tapering had worked I was starting to focus on the positives I’v  had some really good results in the last couple of races my prep was good I didn’t need to worry as I went through my list of check points and the times I wanted to achieve there was a plan A and plan B on the list I had talked myself into plan B but as I sat there and started to feel more confident about plan A it was starting to seem more achievable and that was it. I fully committed to plan A so it would be pushing hard from the start hoping to go through  the 1st marathon in 5hr 12min.
The weather at the start was perfect, cool, still and sunny at 9:05am we set off straight up Ingleborough with the 403 other runners who'd made it to the start line. For the first  5miles I found myself in 5th place a position I didn’t expect, was I going to fast it didn’t seem that way as a was doing perfect splits of 12 min miles and feeling really good at this pace chatting away to the guy at the side of me. We seemed to be evenly matched so I spent the 1st 15 or so miles running alongside him, 2 guys had caught up with us by this time and we spent a few mile chatting to them, both of them had done it before and were looking really strong I over herd one of them say they knew a really good line over fleet moss so I was hoping to stay with them if possible. We reached the check point on Blea Moor. There pace picked up and a gap started opening up on us on the decent. It was decision time do I commit and hope I can stick with them for the easy line over Fleet Moss and risk the possibility of over committing and at 40 miles being tired with the hardest navigation section on the route to do alone.
The decision was made to pic up the pace and get on to the back of them little did I know this would be the best decision I would make as it turned out Kev and Alan where great chaps a pleasure to run with and the main reason I got a time I could have only dreamt of. I spent most of the day just running behind them as they were both a little too strong for me but we had a good laugh when I was up with them. They kept  my mind focused and made sure I was getting food and water and the check points.
We was expecting to get grouped for the last leg as time was against us but as we neared the check point we all seemed to sense it was possible to make it just in time not to be grouped. They found another gear to make sure, I gave them everything I had it was the least I could do for them. making it with 3 minutes to spare we quickly grabbed the supplies we needed, leaving the check point at 7.29pm
This was a big lift not getting grouped as it’s kind of 'god like status' at the Fellsman they told me.
I was lucky to get to the last check point without needing my head torch, all there was left to do was follow the road into the village turn right to the finish line. I told them not to worry about me it’s easy from here just keep going and I would see them on the finish line.
Easy how wrong was I, on getting to the junction for whatever reason I turned left and ran out of the village into the darkness but luckily something trigged in my head that I was going wrong but by the time I turned around and got back to the finish straight the group behind had passed me. I lost about 10 minutes and 5 places.
Still I was amazed to cross the finish line in 16th place with a finishing time of 12hrs 36min.


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  1. Very impressed as you well know.
    Your becoming quite an intimidating fella now Dan...

  2. Really really awesome. A massive well done from someone who struggles to do 14 miles in a day. :-)

  3. OMG I lost touch with this but ust came across it what a fantastic acheivement!!!!!!! Whatever will you do next???

    LakesNut Dave

  4. Fair play. I also used the Fellsmen this year as a training run in prep for the Lakelands 100. I took a much gentler pace during the Fellsmen as its going to be all about time on your Feet for the Lakes. Well done though on the pace and time, I'd have died half way through if I'd gone at that pace.

    all the best