Saturday, July 1, 2017

Big Weekend

 The Lakeland Ultimate trail race was a beautiful route with a great mix of scenery and terrain. Because of the time of day, duration of the run and the variation in height running conditions were also quite varied. Comradery on the route was really good with people working as a team to encourage one another along the route.
After months of training the big day arrived and I was ready to run the Lake District 110km Ultimate Trail Challenge. This weekend was very special for our family many events were taking place. Before we could head up to the Lake district on the Friday afternoon Amanda had to goto work to receive a prestigious Daisy Foundation award. This award was received for extraordinary compassionate and skillfull care. When Amanda returned from work a reading of the commendation brought tears to your eyes. Unless you work in that area for many years it is difficult to comprehend the effort and drive to deliver that level of care. For me this was an excellent start to be inspired by a true hero. There will be more news about this in a later post. The route of the 110km trail challenge is shown on the map below.

After a magical ascent of the Gairburn pass and the Nan-Bield pass we dropped down to Mardale head. It was wonderful to see the trail of headtorches up and down the fell. The people looking after the checkpoints were amazing  the early morning checkpoint at Mardale head was very quick we were moved swiftly on by the midges. The people at that checkpoint were true heroes coping with those conditions and looking after us runners. People went out of their way to be so helpful.

I didn't try and run any hills because I new it would take a lot out of me later in the afternoon. I ran most of the time (even on the easier hills). I had breakfast of noodles at 0515 breakfast at Bampton hall. It was nice to visit Howtown bobbin mill and to run over Boredale Hause. There was a little confusion on this leg and team effort was used to work out where we should run. We arrived into Glenridding at 0830, halfway now hooray. It was great to meet Amanda, Keisha and Louis, they fed me fruit salad and I had some protein milk.

The weather brightened up now it was quite hot as we made our way upto Lantys Tarn it was a glorious summer day. Continuing steadily up Grisedale to Grisedale tarn it was very cool. I've spent a fair amount of time in the mountains so I'm not surprised by these temperature changes, even so it still quite an amazing experience.  I had a good chat with a Polish gentleman at this point an experienced Ultra Runner from Derby. As we dropped down to higher temperatures and sunshine on Dunmail Raise the flying Turk came past, he had a great downhill technique.

The weather was a really interesting mixture and the temperature variation between the valley and the tops was a repeating cycle making you realise just how much you climb and descend. At 40 miles my calves and feet started cramping so I had to take it really easy felt like I was going to strain something not good. Also the drop in temperature didn't help. At the next CPs I took on loads of additional isotonic drinks that really helped. Obviously I was trying to drink plenty but I'm still not surprised at the dehydration. I'd been using and enrgy drink called tailwind, this provided most of my needs for the day, of course for variation I sample fruit, noodles and other goodies that the well packed checkpoints had to offer. Once I fixed the dehydration issue I was OK also had a fresh pair of shoes (my family sorted me out they were a great help). Amanda slapped sun tan cream on me this seemed to give my legs a boost, I was ready to go... again!
I saw a familiar face  who was 10 minutes ahead of me. Running through Borrowdale, along Langstrath, up over the Stake pass and down into Langdale felt great. I caught up with one of my new found running buddies, we encouraged one another and even had a sprint finish at the end (probably looked more like a stagger, I was probably hallucinating about how great it was lol). I'd been wearing the sensor that registers you through the checkpoints around my wrist I had to sweep it on the mat as we crossed the finish line. The commentator sounded quite excitable when I appeared to fall to the ground in worhshipful homage to the finishline.

I finished just before the rain started and completed the route in a time of 16:54:25 I came 47th and I was 4th in the male over 50 category.  The measured distance turned out to be around 65 miles and 14000 feet of ascent.

We raised £405 for the University of Sheffield Big Walk appeal for the PET-MRI scanner. I think this is amazing and I'm so grateful for the donations and the  motivating comments I received from sponsors it gives you an incredible boost. I can't wait for the next ultra!




Start-Rothay Park, AmblesideSat 00:04:41
CP1-Kentmere Village Institute (NY456041)Sat 01:50:031:45:22
CP2-Mardale Head (NY469107)Sat 03:39:391:49:36
CP3-Bampton Memorial Hall (NY517182) Sat 05:15:051:35:26
CP4-Howtown Bobbin Mill (NY444196)Sat 06:55:411:40:36
CP5-Glenridding Parish Hall, Glenridding (NY385169) Sat 08:31:051:35:24
CP6-Steel End Car Park (NY320130)Sat 10:49:292:18:24
CP7-Borrowdale Institute, Rosthwaite (NY258148)Sat 12:47:121:57:43
CP8-Stake Pass (NY265088)Sat 14:22:071:34:55
CP9-Langdale Primary School (NY321053)Sat 15:49:381:27:31
Finish-Rothay Park, AmblesideSat 16:59:061:09:28

To prepare for this ultra I used Hal Koerners 100 mile training plan. This seemed to work but I found it quite tough. I've also being doing a lot of rolling for the different muscle groups. I've also taken advantage of sports massage from Chell at Triwell massage therapy she practices at  the Brampton therapy centre on Chatsworth road in Chesterfield.

I finished this ultra just in time! We had to return to Chesterfield so that Keisha could attend the National Cheerleading Competition at the Genting arena in Birmingham on Sunday. Louis was going to run North Derbyshire running clubs spire ultra fun run. Our weekend was far from over!

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