Tag Archives: Lakeland 100

Lakeland 100, Friday, July 27, 2018

Juliet Percival

Sitting poised at my computer on September 1st last year waiting for online entries to open for the L100 2018, I browsed the website with a few minutes to go …

The Lakeland 100 ‘Ultra Tour of the Lake District’ is a circular route that encompasses the whole of the Lakeland fells and includes in the region of 6856m/22,493ft of ascent. The event is continuous in nature, the overall time available for the route is 40 hours but time is not on your side. The climb, descent, rugged terrain, darkness and tricky navigation generally ensure a 40-50% failure rate over the 100 mile course. Seasoned ultra runners have tried and many have failed, a finisher’s medal in the Lakeland 100 is possibly one of the most treasured possessions you will ever receive.

At 9am on the dot I rushed to enter online. In just three and a half minutes, all the places had gone, and to my amazement I had bagged one of them. A few months off due to injury meant I had recently missed out on some special events, so I was chuffed to have a new training focus and the prospect of lots of Lakes adventures in 2018.

I put a shout out to some folk for help, and started planning Lakes trips towards the end of last year. The race organisers put on a series of organised recces ahead of the event, splitting the route into x4 chunks (you are left to your own devices, using the map and written description to navigate around the course, with cut off times in place). The buses that run you from the finish to the start make travel logistics MUCH easier, and these recces gave me the chance to see if I could run the route quickly enough. My first reality check came mid November when Elaine Bisson kindly accompanied me on the first recce (Coniston to Buttermere) as part of her Bob Graham preparation. Allocated 9.5 hrs, we completed it with only 30 minutes to spare…and I struggled. Blaming my relatively unfit state on my recent injury, I just hoped that by next year I would be fitter, and it would feel easier … if I felt that tired after just 26 miles, how would I cope with 100?

I drew up a training plan, and over the next months gradually built up my mileage … incorporating multiples of a 15m off road local loop and shorter tempo runs into my week (thanks Geoff Davis) … a painful contrast to the hours spent plodding.

With the help of Joan and Mandy from the club, I ran routes on the N York Moors, visited the Lakes over New Year, and in February ran the Yomp and Howgills marathon routes on consecutive days. The idea was to run long miles on tired legs, and as Spring approached, the back to back weekends became more frequent and included memorable adventures … an autumn pie pit-stop in the bracken above The Rigg at Haweswater, ploughing through thigh-high snow in Durham and Ostmotherly, sitting by Lake Windermere in the evening warm sun, eating mid marathon giant hotdogs in Wensleydale, or re-fuelling on mid run chips at the Wasdale Inn, to name just a few.

I signed up for more official recces in late March and May, and upon each of these and other visits to the Lakes and events elsewhere, did two back to back days running 25-30 miles each day. The LDWA Yorkshire 50 on July 7th was my longest single training run, and during the 3 week taper I did a couple of shorter days in the Lakes to check the navigation on a couple of the route sections.

As event weekend approached I had mixed feelings … at times it seemed ridiculous to have signed up for a race in the Lakes that relied on others providing transport for the training and event itself. I knew that no amount of plodding around Durham and doing reps up and down Redhills like a loonie would alone be suitable preparation for Lakes terrain, but hoped that combined with the training trips I’d had, would be just enough. By mid July I felt as fit as I had ever been, I had trained to the best of my ability, so I knew that it was now or never.

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UTLD 100, The Lake District, Friday, July 27, 2012

105 miles

Thomas Reeves

I have previously run the 50 mile event twice so after completing the UTMB last year I decided to give the 100 a try. It’s actually 105 miles to be precise. I contacted Paul Hainsworth from NFR and suggested we run the first night together for a bit of company.

Paul and TomThe race started on the Friday at 5.30pm from the school at Coniston – personally I much prefer morning starts for races but hey ho! So off we went at 5.30 on a very pleasant sunny evening with a light breeze, perfect for running.

I had planned to try and get round in about 30 hours but unusually for me got a bit caught up in the race and completed the first two legs to Boot (14 miles) an hour quicker than I’d intended. This was my first mistake which would cost me some time later. The next leg was a leg I felt a bit nervous about as it goes across a fairly featureless moor on the way to Wasdale Head so was worried I could easily get lost if the light was poor. As it turned out we moved quickly and got to Wasdale (19 miles) in fading light.

This section from Wasdale to Buttermere goes over two serious passes Black Sail Pass and Scarth Gap and it was on these climbs that I started to feel nauseous finding it difficult to drink or eat (not great on this kind of distance running). We got into Buttermere (26 miles) and I was able to drink some tea and eat a few biscuits. I was very pleased with my navigation on the next leg over into Braithwaite we were spot on and I had a few other runners tagging along on a very dark evening. We got into Braithwaite at stupid o’clock in the morning just as the heavens opened and gave us a good soaking. We were fed spicy pasta which was a bit odd for a running event it certainly did not help my already queezy stomach. I had to start walking sections of the next leg which I would normally have ran so I was getting pretty frustrated, suggested to Paul that he could do his own thing if he wanted but he said he was just fine doing the pace we were plodding along at. Dawn broke as we headed back down the valley to checkpoint 6 at the Blencathra Centre and 41 miles in. I had a couple of jelly babies and started to feel my appetite return.

Just as I was starting to feel positive the pain in my feet began. The pain gradually increased over the next stages to Dalemain and the 59 mile mark. I managed to get some dry socks and shoes as well as tape up my badly blistered feet. I also managed to get a serious amount of food and drink inside me which was a relief. This is now when the race really begins, unfortunately my feet weren’t playing ball so I couldn’t really get into a good pace but I kept going and Howtown and Mardale head came and went.

I met up with David Gibson at Kentmere who was running the 50 mile event. We had a really good feed of pasta followed by rice pudding with a dollop of jam in it. That powered me up the Garburn Pass. On the way into Ambleside I hit a bad patch when I felt a blister on my heel tear causing me quite severe pain with every step. I must say I was all set to drop out but as I hobbled into Ambleside the pain eased and I decided I would keep going. It was only 16 miles to go!

The second night hit as we ran down Langdale and it got pretty cold so the hats and gloves came out of the pack. This was all a bit of a tired blur but 33 hours and a 105 miles after setting off, Paul and I walked into the school hall at Coniston to a round of applause a cup of tea and a bowl of veggie chilli. That was a tough event.

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