Last weekend saw The Montane Lakeland 50 and 100 event, the biggest ultra running event in the UK take place from John Ruskin School in Coniston. Runners from around the world took part in the weekend of races which start on Friday afternoon with the 105 mile event looping around the Lake District fells via checkpoints at Seathwaite, Boot, Wasdale, Buttermere, Threlkeld, Dockray, Dalemain, Howtown, Mardale, Kentmere, Ambleside, Chapel Stile and Tilburthwaite, climbing over 26,000 feet in the process. Weather conditions were a big feature this year with many runners suffering the effects of heatstroke on Friday after an extremely hot and humid first 30 miles which resulted in overnight thunderstorms. The weather changed dramatically on Saturday with driving rain, hail and gale force winds over the higher sections causing many runners to abandon the race feeling the effects of exposure. Not many races are long enough to see runners suffer the effects of both hyperthermia and hypothermia in the course of one event. Recent completion rate for this tough event have been 67% but this year success rates dropped to around 50% of the 413 starters. Andrew Slattery was the sole Keswick AC finisher coming in 104th in 33hrs which was slower than his previous two 26hr finishes due to suffering the effects of heat in the early stages.
The 50 mile event started at Dalemain on Saturday and followed the same route to Coniston. This year saw 826 runners start in bright sunshine but soon head over the fells from Howtown to Mardale Head in atrocious conditions after months of summer weather. The first Keswick AC runner back was Adam Lloyd in 3rd place and an excellent 8hrs and 3mins. Keswick’s Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn was defending the women’s title from 2017 and also had a fantastic run to finish 5th overall and 1st lady in 8hrs 12 mins. Neil Elsender finished 412th in 14hrs 52mins and Dan Lewis Finished 503rd in 15hrs 48 mins.