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Finlay Wild's Second-Fastest
Bob Graham

Note: See here for a splits comparison between Finlay's and Kilian's rounds

It was a stupendous round from Finlay Wild on Saturday.

Here is a brief comparison of his and Kilian’s splits, although it feels almost mean-spirited to try to tell the story in bare numbers.

Finlay was just over 2mins 30s down at Threlkeld, most of which was lost from Great Calva to Blencathra (probably the ascent?). Both Finlay and Kilian were already a good 5mins ahead of Billy Bland’s 1982 time over the leg.

Finlay ended Leg 2 another 4m down – the time being lost in a large number of small batches over the Helvellyn ridge rather than anything particularly significant. He traded another 3mins to Kilian over the course of Leg 3, mostly on the transitions to Calf Crag, Bowfell, Esk Pike and Scafell. But he clawed back nearly 3mins on the Scafell descent – his first substantive gain, but not the last. By way of comparison, both Kilian's and Finlay's Scafell descents were slower than BB’s split by a good few minutes.

At Wasdale, Finlay was 13mins down in aggregate. Onto Leg 4 and this widened further, notably with a 4min slower ascent of Red Pike. Further losses accumulated and he was 22mins 44s off the record at Grey Knotts.

It turned out to be a pivotal point – the gap would grow no wider. Unlike Kilian and Billy (both of whom suffered a 'moment' in nearly the same place on the way down to the quarry), Finlay had a strong descent and went on to head straight through Honister. He gained a massive 8mins 32s on the downhill, in addition to the 3mins Kilian took to pause at Honister.

This 3mins was immediately traded back on the Dale Head ascent, but FW went on to gorge a further chunk of 7mins 25s on the final transition from Robinson to Keswick (covering just over 7 miles in 53mins after 60 miles of running – as you do).

Overall, Finlay gained nearly 16mins from Grey Knotts summit to the Moot Hall. The closing balance was just short of 7mins off the record. An incredible turnaround, which perhaps shows how Kilian was tiring in 2018 (relatively!).

In terms of the route, Finlay climbed Fairfield via the Cofa trod rather than the dogleg from the hause (which Kilian took). On the next leg, Finlay opted for the usual Sergeant Man first, whereas Kilian went for High Raise. As ever, route variations made little difference to times.

What a day.

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