Race report: Kipling Kaper (31 miles, LDWA event), 27 March 2010

Ian Hodge reports (rather impressively, the same day after 31 miles…!)

Event:  Kipling Kaper
Type:   LDWA
Distance        :31 miles
Date:   27/03/2010
Time:   6:12

A change in the start location about a month before the event
necessitated a change of route adding on few miles and an extra hill.
From the start it was a steady climb up to the trig point of Gun, not a
place I’ve been to before. Continuing south we descended to pick up the
original route, and having done the event a couple of times before I was
able to relax and enjoy the day. The early morning mist had cleared and
it looked fair for the rest of the day. Turning north on an old railway
line (a slight variation, to keep the total distance down?) we seemed to
cause some confusion with a MacMillan sponsored walk also using the same
track. The route again resumed its original track from checkpoint 1,
from Rushton Spencer towards Danebridge and Wilboarclough. Before
checkpoint 2 there is the option of a two mile out-and-back up
Shutlingsloe. It’s a bit of a slog, a fair bit of walking, but there’s a
nice boggy return section on the loop back.

At the second checkpoint there was food a-plenty, at around half way it
would be reach around lunchtime by the majority of the field. Shame the
oatcakes contained milk. Oh well..

The route then headed north east to take in Cumberland Cottage and Dane
Bower. From there it was south the Three Shires Head. A slight
navigational error resulted in being the wrong side of a river, but
thanks to the maps I had I was able to work out an alternative route,
that wasn’t any shorter or less hilly. I rejoined the proper route just
before the final checkpoint where I was asked if I planed to go over The
Roaches. Why? I asked, isn’t that the route? Due to the change in start
there was a fairly obvious short cut to get back. But it’s not a race,
so what’s the point? So of course I was, so after a few cups of juice I
was off.

Previously I’d tried, and failed, to find a good route up through the
woods that didn’t involve the ups and downs of the clear path. This year
I stuck to the path and am sure it was better than I remember it. Before
long I was up onto The Roaches, picking my way round the boulders.
Instead of the hail and gales of last year this time we had a brisk
spring day with grand views over the surrounds.

A poor choice of route off the hill added on about a mile, and probably
more than 20 minutes, but what the heck. The last few miles were across
the habitually boggy farmland north of Meerbrook, returning to the
community centre.

Something to commend this event for is the post race food, excellent
choice of wonderful salads and pasta/rice dishes. A delightful end to a
delightful day. Back next year? Probably.