It’s safe to say the training weekend was a massive success. We managed run a total of 42 miles with over 10,000 feet in just two days. We were training and testing trainers in the Lake District and we definitely put the Scott RC trainers through their paces. This was the first organised training weekend for Team Mountain Fuel and it was a great opportunity to spend a couple of days training with some of the top ultra runners around. It’s not every day you get the chance to talk about training and run with people at the top of the sport you love, who regularly represent their country in addition to testing out the new Scott RC trainers. It was a fantastic experience to be a part of and one I have learned a lot from.
The Team Mountain Fuel and Scott Trail Running weekend started with a 20 mile, 5698 feet of ascent a recce of the Bob Graham Leg 1 (Skiddaw, Great Calva and Blencathra) then back in to Keswick across the fields in rather wet, particularly windy and very, very boggy conditions. (The Bob Graham was first done way back in 1932 by Bob Graham, hotelier of Keswick, at the age of 42, the 42 Peak Round has become a testing ground for the supremely fit. Each summer around 100 of the most highly tuned ultra-distance fell runners will attempt the 27,000 ft of ascent within the allotted 24 hours.) Admittedly I don’t know that much about the BG route but talking to a few people who have successfully completed the Bob Graham was just inspiring. You could see and sense how proud and passionate they were about not only completing their own round but that they were also just as passionate about helping others to achieve their dreams by acting as support crew. One had just completed the SPINE which is a non stop race along the entire Pennine Way which starts in Edale (Peak District) and finishes in Scotland. It is just mind blowing how far you can push the human body.
We started our run from Mountain Fuel HQ (AKA Rupert’s house) and had to run through the busy market place in Keswick. This gave me a little glimpse of what it must feel like to be setting off on this epic challenge and planted a little seed, that one day I might take on the epic BG challenge. The first part of the route out of the village was on well trodden paths, the Scott RC trainers handled the transition from roads on to the trails really well. This is something I look for in a trail trainers as I have to run a few miles on the road in order to reach my local trails, paths and woods. I had been looking forward to putting my training to the test as the Peak District isn’t on the same scale as the mountains in the Lake District. I was really pleased with the way I was climbing. I felt strong and the Scott RC were coping really well on the well trodden paths. This gave me the confidence I needed that I was not about to slip as we reached the more technical terrain towards the top of the mountain.
My first impressions of the trainers, were that they felt really comfortable and offered the support I needed. Which allowed us to descend from the mountains quickly along the fast flowing trails without fear of falling. Later in the run the weather became worse. The paths turned into extremely wet, boggy open moors as we headed off of the beaten track in search of the quickest and most direct lines. The Scott RC trainers started to struggle as the grip just wasn’t aggressive enough for this terrain and the shallow grip quickly got clogged up with mud which made it difficult to stay on my feet. However once we reached better paths and more rocky ground again they came into their own again and performed well. I’m sure that there is some kind of trade off with most trainers as one shoe can’t suit all conditions.
That evening the whole team met up for some food which was great to get the chance to chat and find more out about everyone’s goals and the kind of training people do. I also managed to meet up with a running friend who lives in Keswick. I hadn’t seen him for a while so a head torch run up and down Lattrig was a great way to catch up and get a good amount of climbing into a six mile route. We headed out along the road from Keswick to meet the steep path that made it’s way to the summit and had a gentle flowing decent. The trainers performed pretty much the same as they did on the morning run. I was impressed by the cushioning and support they had to offer, there wasn’t any hot spots or signs of blisters which is a big thumbs up when your training for longer distance races. This was a great way to finish the first day of the Mountain Fuel and Scott Running training weekend.
The route for the second day in my opinion was the type of route the Scott RC trainers are perfect for. I did a 16 mile run with 3,000 feet of ascent that started in Keswick and headed out along the trails to the foot of Cat Bells. The trainers were at home on the trails and roads that led me to the foot of the mountain. With the tops still covered in think fog there wasn’t going to be much chance of a view from the summit. The climb to the summit of Cat Bells is well trodden and rocky in places which wasn’t a problem as once again the trainers performed really well. I was becoming more and more impressed with how the trainers were performing as I ran along the ridge that led me to High Spy before descending into a village called Grange. I headed back to Keswick along the edge of Derwent Water these trails are very similar to those near to where I live and spend most of my time training and I had no problem when I tried to pick up the pace. The light weight feel of the trainer adapted to the change in pace really well and felt extremely responsive.
The Scott RC will never be a classic winter fell running shoe as the grip they offer just isn’t aggressive enough however they would be a good racing shoe for the summer trail and fell races. They would also make a perfect all round trail running trainer and will be my choice for the Lakeland 50. They are lighter than other Scott models I have worn and have a racing look and feel to them with out sacrificing the support and cushioning needed for the longer races.
Admittedly the trainers I used were a test pair and they may well have been worn previously by other people, meaning they would have been broken in which may have made a difference in terms of comfort but I was able to log 42 miles and climb over 10,000 feet in two days with out any problems or signs of blisters.