Patrons: Bill Beaumont, Mark Lawrenson & Tisha Merry Reg Charity No: 512186

Diary of a fell runner: October 2018

Avid runner Chris Pilkington, from Penworham, is taking to the fells in his quest to raise vital funds and awareness for St Catherine’s Hospice. He has just completed three races in seven days in testing weather conditions – on Saturday 13th October he did the Hellvelyn 15k and on Sunday 14th October he tackled the Ullswater 14k challenge! What’s more, on Saturday 20th October Chris ran a half marathon in Langdale. Here’s how he got on…

At the end of 2017 after having a bad year, I didn’t run, and my training was based on if I could be bothered due to studying and other commitments. I then decided to book all the Lakeland Trail series 2018 so I had something to focus on both mentally and physically.

This year I have surprised myself up the hills and off the hills! There is no stress in the hills, and whatever you have on your mind gets left behind.

Recently a work colleague was cared for by St Catherine’s. The Helping Hand Charity at Leyland Trucks took part in the Manchester half marathon and dedicated this to him, raising funds for the charity. I couldn’t make this run as I had already made plans to run in the Lake District. Therefore, I have dedicated my final Lakeland Trail runs to Chris who I worked with for nine years. It’s the least I can do. This one’s for you lad.

Helvellyn 15k

Day 1. To finish off the series they decide to make is a ‘dirty double weekender’; Helvellyn and Ullswater. I haven’t seen weather like it for a long time! Me and my dad prepared ourselves to be kipping in the car in case we got stuck, and this was only on the way there!

As we got to the event we parked up and went to register and had a brief walk about before going back to the car to dry off, eat Haribo and prepare myself for the run. When my race started it was wet, during the race it was wet, and after the race it was horrendous! Proper wet, but warm, and most probably one of my favourite runs of the series – I loved every minute.

After the race me and my dad made it back to the car and made a shelter, so we could both dry off and get changed without getting wet again. Proper mission getting from the back seats to the front; well my dad thought so anyway, or he may have just made it look hard work! Highlight of the day.

Ullswater 14k

Day 2. Today my mum and sister come to support me, which is their first time at one of my trail races. I woke up feeling ready; my legs felt good and ready to run. Had beans on toast and my bag of Haribo on the way, sun was shining, you couldn’t have planned it.

The feeling when you get across the finish line is the best feeling ever. No matter how low you are, no matter how tired you are, you will still smile. This was a perfect end to a brilliant year with all my family and friends supporting me on the hills and off the hills. This all makes it for me and makes my runs more enjoyable.

To conclude my Lakeland Trails this year, I have covered Cartmel, Hawkshead, Staverley, Coniston, Ambleside, Keswick, Helvellyn and Ullswater which total 95.5 miles, ascending 13,812 feet. To complete 100% of the races is a massive achievement after committing myself to doing all nine, and managing to stay injury-free.

My friends and family have witnessed me enjoy my running this year and due to this they are booking on runs next year and pushing themselves to get fit and focus on doing a few events in 2019. To get people close me involved in my journey makes me look forward to 2019 even more.

Langdale Half Marathon

I had transferred this event across from last year after it was cancelled due to horrible weather conditions. This is my last race in 2019 in the Lake District. After running Helvellyn and Ullwater five days before I realised I hadn’t really planned it well, but I turned up and gave it everything. It’s all about ‘mind over matter’ and this ended up being my best race of the year; I felt good all the way around. There was 1,700 feet of ascent over 13 miles for this road race, and I did it in 1hr 49min.

After three races in seven days, covering 30 miles and 4,170 feet ascent in 4hrs 37 min, there’s no more running for me now until the Trough of Bowland half marathon on December 15th with a few mates to finish the year off.

So, I am proud to end the year for St Catherine’s and to go into 2019 with a good following and bigger challenges ahead. My next and final blog of the year will consist of my new year’s resolutions and goals for 2019 which everyone can follow and incorporate into their lives. Fitness, health and hills!

To keep up-to-date with my progress and to donate to St Catherine’s Hospice for my efforts, please click here.