Just the 50
Our sports massage therapist Helen Price completes the Lakeland 50 in a brilliant time
Following my Bob Graham Round in May I had another serious challenge to tackle - The Lakeland 50 Ultra Marathon. I've done this race twice previously, improving my time on each occasion, but just wasn't sure if all the BGR training was going to translate into a good performance at this year’s L50.
The Lakeland 50 is 'half of the course' of the Lakeland 100 which starts the evening before, it's almost double the distance of a marathon, it's on rough terrain and there's approximately 3100m of ascent to deal with. Whether you choose “just the 50” or the 100 mile course.. there is no 'easy option' available. But if you get to the start line, you're one of the race's "Legends".
The unmarked route starts from the Northern end of Ullswater within the grand Dalemain Estate before following the Eastern shore line as far as Howtown. A quick climb up Fusedale (highest point on both races) and descent followed by a trek along the banks of Haweswater sees you at Mardale Head. The route from here visits Kentmere, Ambleside, Langdale and Tilberthwaite before the final climb and descent to the finish at Coniston.
As in previous years it was again a warm sunny day, but thankfully not the heat wave of last year! I had a great race feeling good all the way round, I took it steady to begin with, eating and drinking well throughout and am pleased to say my race plan worked as I gradually advanced up the field to finish strongly. At the last checkpoint, Tilberthwaite I calculated my times and realised that if I put a wriggle on I could finish in sub 10 hours. However, even with a sprint finish down into Coniston I just missed it by 47 seconds! L Nevertheless I was still very pleased with the result – I improved my 2014 time by a whole 45 minute! This made me 5th lady overall behind some very fast runners and it’s given me a lot of confidence to take forward to my next race, the UTMB CCC (Courmayeur - Champex - Chamonix). I am looking forward to it!