The Lakeland 50, by Hester Cox

Summary Race Report:

On 27th July at 11.30am, 587 runners lined up at Dalemain to start the ultra race that is the Lakeland 50. The fifty mile route starts from the Northern end of Ullswater within the Dalemain Estate before following the Eastern shore line as far as Howtown. Then there is a quick climb and descent before a trek along the banks of Haweswater to Mardale Head. The route from here visits Long Sleddale, Kentmere, Ambleside, Langdale and Tilberthwaite before the final climb and descent to the finish at Coniston. This is the second day of competition as the previous evening 273 runners set off on the Lakeland 100 (actually 105miles) and the LL50 runners race the last half of that route often overtaking some of the LL100 runners and offering words of encouragement as they go. There are 7 manned checkpoints on the 50 route and they all offer food, drink and loads of encouragement. The weather was very hot and sunny until about 19.00 on Saturday evening when there was a torrential downpour. This was then followed by intermittent rain and then a prolonged deluge that didn’t let up until the following morning! I was very fortunate to finish before midnight and avoided the worst of the rain. It was a fantastic adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the route, the landscape, the running, the camaraderie and the incredible support from the organisers, marshals and the local communities.
I finished in 11:42:00. 76th out of the 482 finishers and 9th woman overall. It was a totally unexpected result and I’m thrilled to bits that I finished in under twelve hours. There are no prizes for age categories but it was pretty good to see that all the women in front of me were under 40 too! The winner was the amazing fellrunner Ben Abdelnoor who finished in 7:39:26 and the first lady was Katherine Brougham in 9:44:10.

Hester at the Lakeland 50 

 

 

Click here for the full race report.