Lakeland50 report

Went back up to the Lake District last weekend to have a crack at the Lakeland 50 miler, the little sister to the Lakeland 100, these beinng collectively known as the "Ultra Tour de Lake District". Tried this last year but had back problems – walked the 2nd leg and only got going again after massage and lashings of pain killers and finished in a disappointing 13h08. This event went from 60 people 2 years ago to 300+ last year and 800+ this year. Very well organized. The race meeting featured fell running legend Joss Naylor, a local sheep farmer who is 80% legs with a pair of lungs on top. Hard to tell what he was saying owing to the Cumbrian accent, but it was inspirational. 100 milers set off from race HQ in Coniston 5:30pm Friday and they bussed us to the half way point the next morning for noon start. By this time it was very hot, but I found it very runnable. The course is not marked, so this is an exercise in orienteering; especially since the GPS was on the fritz! Managed to get nearly all the way around before it got dark, which was a great improvement on last year. Other challenge was electrolytes; I only had 3 capsules, and Brits don't usually sweat as it's so cold so I had to was salt down with water, pretty gross, and ended up cramping on last but one leg. I was very pleased to finish 17th overall in 10h36 and then went to spend a pleasant few days staying with a local bloke who had offered to pace me on the Bob Graham round, and we reccied lots of that. Excellent fun all round – but am realizing I have a long way to go in mastering the near vertical downhills on wet grass at is the local speciality.
Nick K.