As reported last week, this weekend, the Lake District played host to almost 400 super fit fell runners as they competed in the 2nd Annual Lakeland 100 Ultra Marathon, sponsered by Montane.
Although not all of them opted for the full 100 miles, they all had to battle against continuously steep terrain and tricky conditions as the rain lashed down for much of Friday night and Saturday morning. With trickles of water bursting into life as full blown streams, the already tricky trails and tracks were swamped in surface run off to make for some difficult running conditions.
Those who did battle through we offered some respite as the sun emerged at Saturday lunch time to dry some of the trails out. But rain or shine, they still had to make it round the 100 (or 50) mile circuit of the Lakes and many fell by the wayside, beaten this time by the steep terrain.
But finally, after 22 hours 46 minutes and 29 seconds, Andy Rankin came through the last checkpoint in first place, over an hour and a quarter in front of his nearest rival Steve Birkinshaw. The womens event was won by Rachael Lawrence in 31 hours 47 minutes and 3 seconds but was actually the only women to even finish the race. Far from that making it an easy victory however, she actually came in 15th overall, beating the majority of the male competitors.
The Lakeland 50, which started on Saturday and also finished up in Coniston with the Lakeland 100 was won by Mark Palmer in 8 hrs 29 mins & 7 secs with the first female, Lucy Colquhoun, coming in in 9 hrs 51 min & 19 secs.
Full race results can be found on the Lakeland 100 Site.
On a similar note (only slightly less distance!) Ambleside Sports Day took place last Thursday (30th July) and, as always, featured a fell race around our iconic landscape of Fairfield Horseshoe. The Rydal Round starts at Rydal Park and follows the 9(+) miles up to Fairfield and back down High Pike and Low Pike to end up back in Ambleside. With 3000 feet of ascent followed by the same on the way down, it can be a real thigh burner.
The winning time, and course record, was claimed by Kendal runner Alastair Dunn in a time of 1 hour and 21 minutes, shaving over a minute off the previous record.
More to the point though, our very own Bryan came in 7th with a respectable time of 1 hr & 34 mins. Not put off, he's heading out tomorrow to compete in the Steel Edge run, a 'straight up - straight down' sprint of 553 metre summit (rather him than me!)