As the famous Lakeland course baked under a worryingly scorching Cumbrian sky, competitors were warned of the dangers of over-exertion in the heat and advised against pushing too hard. It has been a long time since the iconic race had seen feet on its trails, and the air was thick with excitement and anticipation.
This years’ race was a medley of moments: At the front of the pack Mark Darbyshire’s blistering pace broke the 100 course record by 40 minutes and Montane Athlete Debbie Martin-Consani won her division. There was an age range of 60 years between the youngest and oldest to complete the 2 races – the oldest of whom was still on the course for the prizegiving (still, a decent showing for 78). The conditions proved to be a mixed bag of experiences; on one hand the ground underfoot was solid and allowed for fast (or easy) running. The heat and lack of shade similarly proved challenging for some, especially during the formidable climb up Fusedale.
Here at Montane we wanted to create a moment on the race for all competitors. We decked out our checkpoint at Kentmere with a chill-out area, brought back the hallowed and much anticipated smoothies, and placed inspirational signs on the run into – and out of – Kentmere. We hope you enjoyed it all as much as we did!
“the course doesn’t change, but the experience - the characters and the experiences encountered and made along the way - are different every year. Each moment builds into events’ personality. It is more than a race.” – Marc Laithwaite, race director.
This is what it boils down to for us. Ultra-endurance is in essence a series of moments, and how you transition between them dictates your experience and performance. In this way it is very much a metaphor for life. Having the ultra community galvanising around a single experience after so long made an already special race particularly so. Thank you to all who participated.