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Anniversary Waltz Fell Race

18/04/2016

On Saturday 16th April DRC members Simon Mortlock and Vicky Hart travelled to the Lake District to take part in the 20th edition of the Anniversary Waltz Fell Race

The event is one of the classics on the fell-running calendar and is held each year to commemorate the wedding of Wynn and Steve, a couple who were married in Newlands Church which is near to the start/finish of the race. Beginning near the village of Stair the route winds along the Newlands Valley before a steep and rocky climb of over 2000feet up to the first checkpoint on the summit of Robinson.  Following this climb you race round the ridgeline and up to the summit of Hindscarth, followed by a second ridge run round and up to the summit of Dale Head for the next two checkpoints. A very steep and rocky descent off Dale Head is followed by a less severe climb up the final two summits and checkpoints on High Spy and Catbells. A quick rocky scramble followed by fast grassy descent brings the runners back to a short section of road to the finish. The route is just over 11.5 miles and has over 4000 feet of climb and descent, so it is not designed for the novice fell runner.
Simon has run the race a number of times and it is one of his favourites.  Whilst he was looking forward to the race he was unsure of how he would perform due to a lack of long runs.  This was Vicky's first fell race in the Lake District and she was using as part of her training for the Lakeland 100 later in the year.  Both were pleasantly surprised to be running the race in clear and  dry conditions. This made for easy navigation of the route, and gave the runners some fantastic panoramic views as they raced.
Simon had a solid run to finish in 2 hours 19 minutes whilst Vicky, who struggled a little with the climbing, succeeded in beating her 3 hour target by 35 seconds. A warm welcome and some fantastic cakes are laid on for the runners in the village hall when they finish.  Both Simon and Vicky have already said they will be returning to this fantastic race next year.

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