Derwent 10 5th November 2017

We love the Lake District and visit 2 or 3 times a year. I have done the Coniston 14 several times but never the Derwent 10 which is a hilly 10 miles race around Derwent Water starting in Keswick.

A short break in the Lakes in November was probably not going to yield good weather. There was really heavy rain all the way there but Sunday, race day, was blue sky, about 8 degrees and a light wind. The race logistics were a bit complicated. HQ was in a school about a mile outside Keswick, the start was in the Town Centre and the finish was in Portinscale about ½ mile from the HQ. A 12 noon start meant there was plenty of time to walk to the HQ, pick up your race number and drop off a bag with dry clothes.

There were about 500 in the race and quite a few in the my age group (70-74), all looking as if they ran up Skiddaw every day for a bit of fun.

The start was very fast and straight away we were into hills, the locals probably wouldn’t class them as hills at all. Having looked at the course profile I was saving a bit for the big climb up the side of Catbells from mile 5 to mile 6.

It was hard going for the whole race, the road either going up or down, never flat. I found it hard to come down fast because it was quite steep, the knees took a pounding.

When I could see the finish in Portinscale was about ½ mile I looked at my watch and thought the time would be around 83 minutes. Last year’s MV70 winner was 87 minutes, the year before that 85 minutes so I thought I was in with a chance to win my age group. I finished in 82:40 and won the MV70 prize, the second MV70 was 9 seconds behind so it’s a good job I kept going.

The prize was £10, a bottle of wine and an entry to the Derwent 10 for 2018.

I can recommend this race for the scenery, challenging hills and friendly organization. Just beware it’s not flat

Jim Fell