||Monday 3rd June 2013
|Start Location||Watendlath NT Car Park|
|Weather||Clear Skies and Sunny|
||(Min./Max.: 13.1 °C/17.3 °C; Pressure: 1032.5 mbar; Humidity: 66.8%; Dew point: 10.3 °C; Wind Speed: 3.6 km/h; Precipitation: 0.0mm)
|Time Taken||6.5 Hours|
|Accompanied by||Emma and Milo
When it comes to off road running you will struggle to find a better place in the British Isles than the Lake District. With some fantastic peaks, awesome mountain passes and a good network of roads making for easy access it is an ideal fit for endurance events. In fact, it is fair to say that the Montane Lakeland 100 is the premier one hundred mile ultra in the UK. My first venture into ultra-running was in 2011 when Scott and I entered the fifty mile little sister of the Montane Lakeland 100. A year later I ran the Highland Fling, a fifty five mile race along the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Tyndrum.
My goal is a hundred miler so when the Lakeland Trails team announced a new ultra marathon for 2013, I was interested. Having ran the inaugural Coniston Trail Marathon a couple of years back I knew these guys could host an event. The ultra would be held in September and there is a choice of two distances, 50km and 100km. A 100km ultra is just the step up from the Fling and as an added bonus Emma fancied the 50km race as her first foray into the world of ultra-running.
One lesson I did learn from my first ultra was that running fifty plus miles is tough enough without the stress of navigating, especially late on the race when the chances are it will be dark. So this time I decided to get down to the Lake District and recee the full course. That way, not only would it help with navigating on race day but I would also have an idea of how tough the climbs were and also get some good training under my belt. The plan was to break the route up into three 20ish mile sections and run them over three days.
We decided to run the last section first. The logic being that we could leave one car at Brockhole, drive over to Watendlath and run back to the car at Brockhole. The next day we would drive over to somewhere near Bampton, run to the car at Watendlath and drive back. On the third day we would dump a car at Bampton, drive back to Brockhole, run to Bampton and then drive back to pick the car up at Brockhole. Phew!
Em and Milo head up from Watendlath Tarn
We had a really lazy morning (in fact to lazy) and by the time we had sorted food, loaded the car and headed up to the Lake District from my parents in Manchester, it was already mid-afternoon. When we enquired at the visitor centre about parking the car, they told us the gate shuts at 8pm. Hmmm, a little tight. We did not fancy rushing towards a deadline and wanted to just run and take our time. Instead we drove up to Town End and left the car in a layby there. This would mean we would miss a couple of kilometres of the course but this did not seem too big a deal.
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