Race: Lakeland 50
Last summer the talk of running the Montane Lakeland 100/50 seemed like a fun, doable race with pretty countryside. Since 2008 this event has grown in numbers & prestige. It truly has an electrifying atmosphere with great camaraderie. With only 1000 entries available. 300 running the 100 miles starting on the Friday evening 6pm, 700 running the 50 miles starting 11.30am on Saturday, the race sold out in 20 minutes! £70 entry (50m) including 2 nights camping (OK if that’s your bag & can sleep through noise), medal, tech T-shirt, bus trip to the start, finishing meal & all you can eat on course. This isn’t ‘just’ 50 miles though. There’s nearly 10,000ft of ascent… that’s tough. There’s over 10, 000ft of descent…that hurts…and if you’re happy on trails & rocky paths & not scared of the dark you’ll absolutely LOVE this race.
After listening to an opera singer belting out ‘Nessun Dorma’ to the 100 milers, we waved off John Kirwin into the evening while we headed for some pub grub & an early night. I ran as a team with Ian Mulry. Also Neil Warby & Mark Beesley as solo runners. We’d been up to reccie sections of the course. Firstly in January to walk the last 16miles from Ambleside to Coniston, getting used to the written map descriptions…that was an eye opener. Then in April to run the last section 3.5 miles into Coniston in the dark, 928ft climb, then 25 miles the following day from Howtown to Ambleside…sole crushing. But lessons were learnt. Hill training & fuelling become paramount. The kit requirements became obsessive & the Facebook chatter relentless with kit weight, injuries & tactics.
After a 1.20hrs coach ride to the start at Dalemain Estate. The route heads south along the right side of Ullswater, across to Haweswater, down to Ambleside then to Coniston. The checkpoints are manned by running clubs, sponsors & volunteers. It was great to see Karen Kirwan at the ‘Stairway to heaven’. Some checkpoints have themes, some specialise on food (smoothie’s & soups), while some are oasis’s in the night where the pull of a sofa and fire pit can be all too tempting.
On the whole… the event is well organised. In this treacherous region they can’t take chances. The contact throughout the year is exceptional. Reccie runs with speakers, nutritional blogs & tutorials on different kit. There’s strict requirements, if you haven’t got full kit you’re not running! Just ask Karen, she’s usually on kit check duty.
Would I recommend this event?? 100% yes. Will I be back for more? Hell yeah.
Tip: Entries open on the 1st September 9am. Have your SI Entry already done. You won’t have time & the race will be full by 9.15am
Race date: 25/07/2015
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