Epic 400km race across Cumbria in words and pictures.
The first adidas TERREX Adventure Race took place last weekend in the Lake District last weekend and looks to have been a major success with over 30 teams of elite racers taking part in what the organisers call 'an incredible journey through night and day, non-stop across Cumbria'.
The 400km race kicked off with the free-to-enter prologue through the street of Keswick on the Thursday night, but the serious business started, unexpectedly, with a bus ride to Morecambe Bay and a 24km run across the tidal sands following a carefully marked course negotiating a number of deep water channels.
After that it was onto mountain bikes for 110km of riding towards Ravenglass with special stages including a ghyll scramble at Church Beck and orienteering in Grizedale.
Next on the menu – Day Two - was a paddle the length of Coniston Water followed by a trek across the fells to Windermere and a further paddle. Then it was back on the bikes to Langdale where the scheduled scramble up Jack's Rake was replaced by an ascent of Easy Gully thanks to rain.
High winds made a tough mountain bike ride along High Street even harder, followed by more paddling on Ullswater Lake, running over Helvellyn, up to Blencathra and more.
It all culminated in a final Canadian canoe orienteering course around Derwentwater followed by foot orienteering and a return to Keswick town centre for the finish. And – no fix here, honest – the winners were none other than Team adidas TERREX who completed the event in 71:31:32 after four days of solid racing.
Sounds tough? This is what local racer Emily Brooks of Keswick, a member of Team Planet Fear B had to say:
'The adidas TERREX adventure race has been the most difficult and the most rewarding race I have done and I'll definitely be doing it again! The course was very challenging and I'm proud of the way our team worked so well together; pushing through injuries, blisters, zombie-like tiredness and associated grumpiness. The hardest part was moving through each night and it's at times like this that we push the boundaries of what we do, teetering on the edge of exhaustion, confusion and hypothermia.
'We kept eating, kept moving and kept safe by looking after each other and our previous mountain experience proved essential. Each morning after a couple of hours of cold sleep, we felt refreshed in the new daylight and ready for another day doing the things we love. adidas Terrex and Open Adventure have provided a race of the highest caliber and it was everything I hoped it would be.'
Lots more about the race at the event web site: www.adidas-ar.com. You'll also be able to watch a film of the event on Channel 4 on 7 November at 07.30. You can preview some of the footage on the race site.
All images by James Kirby