Lake District National Park, the second National Park established in the United Kingdom, located in one of the country’s most mountainous areas, hosted the Lakeland 100 from Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28, 2013. The event, which was divided into two ultra trail races, a 105 mile race (160 km) and a 50 mile race (80 km), attracted over 1000 ultra-marathon enthusiasts to run over the hills, through the woods, and of course by the lakes, in an area world-renowned for its incredible beauty.  

 

An Ultra Tour for the Lake District!

The Lakeland 100 was born in 2008 after two British mountain runners, Marc Laithwaite and Terry Gilpin, were inspired by the UTMB® to organize a UK version. The Lake District offered the best terrain and the ideal loop to emulate the “original” version in the Alps. For the first edition, 31 competitors stood at the starting line and only 11 finished.

Five years later, 297 ultra marathon runners participated in the long version, and 750 participated in the 50-mile race.
The race starts and ends in Coniston (Cumbria). To cover the more than 6300m vertical gain (3100m for the 50 miler), the course took competitors over and past many well-known landmarks such as Wastwater the deepest Lake in England, Black Sail Pass, Ullswater, Gatesgarth Pass, as well as High Top the 670 meter course high point.

  
Photos: Martin Bergerud

Left: Sunny skies over High Top.
Middle: Runners arrive at Checkpoint 2.
Right: Race headquarters the night before.

 

 Petzl providing assistance!

The atmosphere on the course was constantly changing, from electric at the start to extremely supportive as the finish line approached. The strong sense of camaraderie between runners and marshals lasted throughout the entire race.

The aid stations represented one of the event highlights for the runners, providing food, assistance, and an often much needed moral boost.

Any trail race of this distance requires running at night no matter how fast you are. As the official lighting partner, Petzl provided competitors with essential headlamp support: at the Petzl booth during registration the night prior, and at checkpoint 2,  strategically positioned where the course's night running portion starts. Although this group of runners was extremely well-organized, batteries were swapped and advice was given from sundown to sunrise. Even organizers and volunteers benefitted, often equipped with NAO headlamps to make their job much easier.
Photo: Martin Bergerud

 

Overview of the results

Fifty year old Stuart Mills finished first in the in the men’s category this year, followed by the much younger second and third place finishers Charlie Sharp and Ed Batty respectively. After a record breaking time last year, Petzl athlete Terry Conway ran to win again, but unfortunately had to stop mid-race due to illness. The three top women all ran faster than last year's course record: twenty-eight year old Lizzie Wrath finished in the the top spot on the podium, with Petzl athlete Debbie Martin-Consani as runner-up, and Julie Gardner finishing third.

Men’s category:
1. Stuart Mills, 22:17:50
2. Charlie Sharpe, 23:02:45
3. Ed Batty, 23:07:40

Women’s category:
1. Lizzie Wraith, 24:15:06
2. Debbie Martin-Consani, 26:02:00
3. Julie Gardner, 28:16:47

 

 

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