West to East Record Attempt
27th June 2009
Cycle from Seascale to Watwater
The record attempt started at Seascale on the Cumbrian coast. We arrived there early (2am) with the idea of setting off in the dark and trying to get to the foot of Scafell as dawn was breaking.
As we set our bikes up and got all our gear organised for the transitions we couldn't belive the temerature - 16 degrees.
After taking on board some food we dipped our tyres into the Irish sea and headed towards Wastwater at 2.45am. The ride to Wastwater was quick with Keith setting the pace at the front and Peter hanging on to his wheel. We arrived at the western end of Wastwater just before 3.30am.
After quickly changing into our kayak gear and scrambling down a steep bank we set off on the paddle. A slight chop and breezy conditions soon gave way to calm water and ideal paddling weather. Although still in darkness these conditions allowed us to get into a good paddling rhythm and were soon exiting the lake at 3.55am just as dawn was breaking. We now began to see the fantastic setting with Scafell and the surrounding mountains in the distance.
Run up and down Scafell (Wastwater to Langdale)
We quickly changed into our running gear and set off for the top on Scafell. We were amazed to see so many people climbing the mountain at 4am in the morning. Later we found out it was the Three Peaks Challenge.
After passing thirty to forty people on the way up as we reached the summit mist started to descend - we thought nothing of it initially. It had taken us 1 hour and 15 minutes and after briefly stopping to telephone our back up team we started the decent.
Unfortunately the mist had now got worse and visibility was down to a couple of yards. This slowed us down and but for Keiths map reading abilities it could of cost us dear. Once out of the mist we were able to make good progress and descend quickly although our knees were beginning to feel the pounding on the final stretch into the valley from Rossett.
Once we hit the valley floor we were able to make some of the lost time up and we arrived at the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub at the top of Langdale valley at 6.54am. The run had taken just under three hours despite the mist.
Cycle to Wray by the side of Windermere
Another change into our biking gear and we were off down the Langdale valley to Wray camp site by the side of Windermere.
The cycle down the valley proved tricky as numerous rabbits decided to cross the road just as we were passing. The Drunken Duck Pub came into view after passing through Skelwith Bridge and before we had time to settle into a rhythm we had arrived at Wray camp site our entry point into the lake.
Straight into our wetsuits and off on the short swin across Windermere. Conditions were ideal. After reaching the opposite shore in just under 14 minutes we had a short run in our wetsuits to Waterhead for the next transition.
Cycle from Ambleside to Scarborough
Here we took on board food and drink and changed for the last time into our cycling gear. We left Ambleside on the cycle to Scarborough at 9.35am in ideal weather conditions.
The cycle through Windermere to Kendal was quick but we knew the section from Kendal to Sedbergh would be more difficult. This proved to be the case but we soon got back to making good time once through Sedbergh and onto Hawes, Leyburn and Thrisk.
The weather had been kind to Thirsk but as we approached the dreaded Sutton Bank hill the drizzle started. It had been some fifteen years since either of us had been over the hill (in a car) and yes it was much harder on the bike . The sign at the bottom gives you a clue - no caravans allowed.
After climbing the hill we had only 40 miles to go. It took us about five minutes once over the hill to get back up to pace and the bumpy A170 wasn't helping.
As we approached Scarborough the rain became heavier and a westery breeze began to hit us in the face but we could now see the finish line.
We entered Scarborough at 5.45pm The Challenge had taken 13hrs and 58 minutes and the 126 miles from Ambleside 7hours 10minutes at an average speed of approximately 18mph.
1 Cycle from Seascale to Watwater
2 Paddle Wastwater
3 Run up and down Scafell (Wastwater to Langdale)
4 Cycle to Wray by the side of Windermere
5 Swim Windermere
6 Cycle from Ambleside to Scarborough