BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk

Thursday 2nd July 2009

Imagine you are taking part in the Tebay Fell Race. John Lennon might have thought that itís easy if you try;  Iím not so sure but, go on, imagine.

Imagine now that you have finished in the top four and your points count for the international championship.  Iíll bet you are feeling pleased.

Wait a minute.  Someone is alleging that you failed to visit the second check point.  Is that correct?  You ought to be disqualified, shouldnít you?

What was that?  You visited the check point but there was no one there?  How come the remaining 300 plus competitors were registered there then?

Youíre sure?  There was no one there?  Let me check with the marshals.  Iíll get back to you.

Right, Iíve spoken to the marshals and they confirm that they stood where the have stood for the past five years, at the southerly cairn on Ulldale Head.  

Oh, so thatís not what it says on the route map- they should have been 100 yards further north-west?  The marshals were in the wrong place?  Is that what you are saying? Yes I see. What are we going to do about it?  Good question.

Imagine that had happened to you; you might not be best pleased!  Or you might accept that it is your duty to make sure you visit every checkpoint, even if mislocated, and in this respect you failed.  Where do you stand on the debate?

Fortunately Stan had been the marshal at check point 4 which was in the right place and he was not party to the controversy.

Bryan thought it would be a good idea if we were to walk the route of the event, held a couple of weeks ago.  The winner went round the alleged 8 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing in an unbelievable 1 hour 9 minutes.   The slowest runner took 2 hours 50 minutes.  Anything approaching that time would be a miracle (although both Stan and Bryan, in their pomp, have done it well inside two hours).

What made it seem such a good idea was that it was relatively short and there was the possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon so an early finish would be welcome.

We, i.e. Bryan, Pete, Stan and me, set off at a good pace from Tebay, into the rather untidy Lowther Estate with its ambiguous warning about "No Dumping Permitted" and that "Persons found dumping will be prosecuted".  Americans please take note.  

You have been warned!

Fell Ponies

We passed some wild ponies and a farm reminiscent of the Grundies with several out of tax cars strewn around, then progressed onto the fellside of Weather Hill.  The passage of so many fell runners had left a clear trail on the ground in a terrain where otherwise there are few footpaths.

The trail across Weather Hill

We dropped down to Eller Gill and then climbed up to the first check point at Rispa Pike. So far so good.  It was warm and quite sunny but there was a pleasant breeze blowing. A good spot for a team picture at the shelter.


The route to controversy

From here it was a fairly easy climb up to Uldale Head, the site of the above controversy.

Uldale Head panorama

The Kent Estuary from  Uldale Head

Fell Ponies and the Langdales on the descent

Now a new controversy blew up.  How to cross the valley of Carling Gill to climb to the third check point on Knowles?  Bryan was sure that when he did it, the race route was the direct descent to the valley and the equally brutal climb up on the other side.  It was only as we reached the top that he noticed the marks on the ground of several hundred runners who had taken a longer but more traversing route around Ulgill Rigg.  

The race route traversed round to the right.  We came direttissimo!

The steepness of our ascent in the now unrelenting midday sun had taken its toll and we lingered over lunch.  It was very pleasant apart from the cleggs.  I have never seen so many and have two large swellings to prove that they bite!  One couple were having a moment of ecstasy together so I granted their wish that it could last for ever.

From Back Balk there was a steep descent back to Carling Gill during which we saw the Red Arrows flying in formation up the Lune Gorge.  The climb to Blease Fell was looking intimidating. This time the race had taken the direct route.  Halfway up, Pete, who was suffering from the intense heat and not having one of his better days, opted to contour round the hill and miss out on the joy of witnessing exactly where Stan had logged the runners.  He and Bryan agreed to meet up with us at Knott.

Blease Fell from Knowles

Stan mans checkpoint 4

Stan and I made it to check point 4 although it was hard work.  There was then a minor barney as to which way to go to find Knott but once I convinced him that this was different to Powson Knott we assumed the correct direction.  We were there well before our colleagues whom Stan spotted in the distance.

We regrouped and bore off left alongside Tebay Gill and back to the village.  Here we met a man with his dog.  The first person we had seen all day.  As we drove home, there was a splendid view of the last three check points and the challenges we had faced.


Blease Fell, Uldale Head and Knowles from the road home

Our time?  Not relevant, this was a walk, not a race.  But we did visit all the checkpoints! And I am totally in awe of anyone who actually ran the course in under three hours, never mind 1 hour 9 minutes!

Don 2nd July 2009

If you want to comment on this report, click on .




Thursday 2nd July 2009


10.2 miles: Stan & Don
  9.6 miles: Pete & Bryan

Height climbed:

3,244 feet: Stan & Don
2,939 feet: Pete & Bryan



Other Key Features:

Tebay Fell Race


Bryan, Don, Pete, Stan




If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0921.

Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted using the freeware utility GPS Babel."

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
but is in memory of
Big Josie,
the erstwhile landlady
of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale,
who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973
and other odd evenings many years ago!

If you want to contact us, click on



If you want to join
he BOOTboys Inter-continental
Fan Club
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports.


Home Page









2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys click on Wainwrights

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!



 BOOT boys