Going first class: The Wasdale fell race

I remember running up Lingmell many years ago - I was probably 13 at the time - finding it steep and hard. It is no less steep now and even in descent, at the end of the Wasdale race, is still hard on the legs.
I'd run a better race than the previous year and passing one last competitor just before the summit of Scafell Pike, set off down the rough path, intent on finishing in less than five hours. I never wear a watch when racing, never mind one with GPS etc. I wore one today, simply because I'd set my sights on that five hour barrier, but forgot I was wearing it for most of the race. I sneaked a look at Esk Hause and seemed to be just on track. A last look approaching Lingmell sent me careering down the steep drop with not a minute to waste. 
In the end I took 17 minutes off my previous year's result, finishing in a 'first class' time of 4hrs, 59mins and 14seconds and 26th place.

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