Lakes In A Day 2017 Preview

The 2017 Lakes In A Day is upon us.

50 miles, 4000m of vertical gain, a journey on foot from the very top of the Lake District at Caldbeck to the very bottom, at Cartmel, via the stunning Helvellyn Ridge and the western shoreline of Lake Windermere.

Endurance, technical skill and the ability to navigate are all required to complete this event. Maps for the race are provided with a very clearly defined route which must be adhered to,  unlike many ‘true’ navigation events, the use of a GPS is allowed and a GPX route is provided for runners in advance so that they can download it.

The summit of Blencathara comes early in the race with wonderful exposed ridge of Hall’s Fell leading runners to lower ground before the tough and challenging climb to Helvellyn.

Grizedale Tarn follows before heading up Fairfield and dropping down to Ambleside.

From Ambleside, the course profile and route changes considerably taking in the lower fells as the route weaves around Lake Windemere. Newby Bridge is the gateway to the final section and the finish in Cartmel.

Race director, James Thurlow of Open Adventure is nut shy of putting some pounds up for a course record… In 2015 he gave £500 to the respective male and female winners. In 2016 the records stood and no money was claimed. For 2017, the purse rolls over to £1000 for a ladies and/ or male course record.

  • Men will need to to beat the speedy Kim Collison who set 9 hours and 12 minutes.
  • Ladies will need to beat Helen Leigh and her time of 11 hours 0 minutes.

Who stands a chance?

Well, Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn is coming from a stunning Lakeland 50 win and course  record and a solid outing at the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline. Katie has been out on the course checking the route and looks prepared to give it a go!

The nature of the event, the distance and the elevation gain means that pretty much every runner will go onto the night. Remember it’s the UK in October, with luck, the weather gods will be kind!

Notably, Richard Leafe (Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park, England’s largest National Park) has chosen The Lakes In A Day as his first ultra.

Live tracking will be available and the site is online now for you to share to family and friends: HERE

The trackers will be updating runner location every minute!  Post event you will be able to download GPX files for the strava addicts and review the event as a replay online.

Full race information is HERE

Full entry list is available HERE

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The Long Run – How long should it be?

The Long Run

Recently I have produced several articles (links below) on planning your training, walking for ultra running, base training, speed work and now I ask the question, how long should the long run be?

Short distance runners often run over distance in training. Think about it, a 10km runner may run a long slow half marathon to build endurance. A half marathon runner may run a long and slow steady 16-miles in preparation for a fast race.

This all falls apart when we go to the marathon and beyond. How often have you heard in marathon training that the long run should be 21/22 miles or 3 hours and 30 minutes in preparation for a race.

Long runs and adapting for an endurance run such as an ultra comes from not one run but a combination of all runs. It’s about your accumulative run history. They all add up to make you an endurance machine.

First and foremost, consistency is key and long runs should be progressive and based on ability and experience. A long run should test you but not break you.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON RUNULTRA HERE

Make sure you catch up on other resources that will help you plan your 2016 season:

Planning a Running and Racing Year HERE

To Base Train or not To Base Train? HERE

Base Training HERE

We also have a series of articles on walking and climbing:

Training to Walk for Ultra, Trail and mountain Races HERE

Walking, Running and Climbing with Trekking Poles HERE

Running and Walking Efficiency when Climbing HERE

Lakes in a Day 2015 – Race Summary and Images

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LAKES IN A DAY 2015

What an epic day in the English Lakes. We all know what an amazing part of the world it is, however, far too often, the jewel of the UK is often shrouded in a layer of mist, clag and yes; rain!

Not for the 2015 ‘Lakes in a Day.’

The big fella up in the sky played ball and gave everyone a truly spectacular day travelling from the north to the south by some of the Lakelands toughest trails.

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Departing Caldbeck at 0800 it became no surprise that with less than a mile covered, Kim Collison (pre race favourite) had taken the front of the race and though his gap may have only been seconds, the writing was on the wall. The £500 ‘bonus’ prize for any male or female breaking the old course records surely providing a wonderful carrot.

In the ladies, the three main contenders for the podium, Helen Leigh, Sabrina Verjee and Lucy Spain all ran together in the early stages. Slowly but surely the elastic started to stretch and Helen took a stronghold of the front of the race.

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50-miles and 4000m+ of tough terrain is a challenge especially when one needs to be on top of navigation. Maps for the race are provided with a very clearly defined route which must be adhered to, the only exception being in the early stages when the runners leave Nether Row and head to the summit of Blencathara.

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This is tough open terrain! From the summit, the drop down the challenging rocky, scrambling terrain to Threlkeld found many reaching and needing 3-points of contact.

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Here, Kim Collison and Helen Leigh looked in their element moving fast over the terrain, the dry conditions making the traverse so much more simple.

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Threlkeld providing the first aid station and although Kim and Helen made this checkpoint well under 2-hours 30-minutes, for many it took considerably longer and for some, it was far enough!

Climbing out of Threlkeld, the tough climb to White Pike started the run along the high fells to Helvellyn via Great Dodd, Watsons Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd, Helvellyn and then Nethermost Pike provided the route to the drop down to Grizedale Tarn before then climbing back up to Fairfield and the long run into Ambleside.

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Behind Kim, the male positions were up for grabs with Michael Barron, Jacob Snochowski, Stuart Dickson and Mārcis Gubāts fighting for the podium places. For the ladies it was no change, Helen continued to extend her lead over Sabrina and Lucy trailed looking to have a solid 3rd place but unlikely to make an impact on 2nd.

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From Ambleside it was all change. The tough and challenging terrain of the high fells transitioned into the lowland fells and just when you can run more, the body is crying out for a walk and some easier running. Kim was now well inside course record pace as were the 2 lead ladies. It was looking like a costly day for James Thurlow, race director.

Hugging the western shores of lake Windermere, the runners weaved in and out of forested terrain to the final checkpoint of Finsthwaite. From here on in the finish at Cartmel awaited very tired bodies.

Kim Collison arrived obliterating the old course record in a time of 9:12:07. Post race he said, ‘It was one of those days. I felt really good and the conditions were perfect. I just made the most of it!’

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Mārcis Gubāts came 2nd almost 75-minutes later in a time of 10:27:48 and Stuart Dickson completed the podium in 10:49:05.

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Helen Leigh and Sabrina Verjee both broke the old ladies record and thankfully for James, he only had to provide the £500 bonus for the 1st lady. Helen’s time of 11:00:10 in comparison to 11:29:59 of Sabrina was a great time on such a tough course. Lucy Spain came 3rd in 11:58:48.

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With darkness the temperatures dropped and a clear night guided the runners back to Cartmel. A 24-hour cut off allowed many to complete an incredible journey from the north to south of the lakes and at the end they could say, I completed the ‘Lakes in a Day.’ The final finishers arrived just shy of 23-hours.

James Thurlow and the team at Open Adventure really have created quite a beautiful event. It’s not easy! But then again, would you want it any other way?

Race website HERE

Full results HERE

Race images to purchase HERE

Feel free to share or use the branded images from the gallery below on blogs or social media. They are protected under copyright ©iancorless.com – Do not crop, adjust or use commercially. If you don’t wish to purchase images but like the work that I do, you can consider a donation to use branded images here.

 

 

Superior 100 2014 – Minnesota Nice!

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John Storkamp, race director for the Superior 100 told all competitors at the pre race briefing, ‘Look around, because you may well not see everyone back at the finish. The Superior 100 is rough, rugged and relentless.’

Race images available HERE

John Storkamp - race director

John Storkamp – race director

A point-to-point race, the route traverses the ‘Sawtooth Mountain Range’ in northern Minnesota. Taking part on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT), starting at Gooseberry Falls State Park and concluding in Lutsen, 100-miles later.

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It’s a trail of immense diversity and one that is constantly shadowed at all times by the impressive and dominant Lake Superior. Terrain, as the Storkamp suggests, is relentless. With a low point of 183m and a high point of 558m, the race doesn’t get high, however, the repeated nature of the course (Sawtooth profile) offers no opportunity for recovery or rest. Add to the mix, brooks, mud, rocks, tree roots and a rollercoaster of small climbs; the Superior 100 is considered one of the toughest races in the USA. It’s reflected in the current course record of 21:02. Crossing the line in Lutsen is no easy task… Ask each and every finisher, in fact, you don’t need to ask, the gaunt and hollow expression on each and every face shows each mile and each minute and hour that has been undertaken to achieve the buckle!

©iancorless.com-1025Superior100Run in almost perfect weather conditions, Superior 100 2014 was an experience to embrace. Have you heard the term, ‘Minnesota Nice?’ (A stereotypical behaviour of Minnesota residents to be courteous, reserved, welcoming and mild-mannered) Well believe me, this Brit was submerged in it from registration, during the race and beyond.

‘It’s so awesome that you are here, thanks for coming!’ I can’t tell you how many times I heard this phrase during my incredible weekend. No matter at what point in the race, no matter how sleep deprived they were, each an every runner would go out of their way to express warmth. It’s humbling. Of course, it’s in the nature of the people but my host for the weekend, Kurt Decker assured me, ‘These folks are genuinely the salt of the earth, they mean every word but this weekend they have taken it up a notch.’

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Imagine being on the trail in the middle of the night, a runner appears and we shout, ‘Looking good, keep it going, you are doing great!’ the runner stops, looks us in the eyes, grabs our respective hands and shakes them, ‘Thank you guys for being here and supporting, it’s really appreciated.’

Minnesota nice!

No matter how nice these folks are, racing did go down at the weekend and at the front end Kyle Pietari and Michael Borst dictated the early pace followed by Nathan Leehman, Adam Schwartz-Lowe, John Cameron and John Horns, the 2013 race winner.

©iancorless.com-0916Superior100Ultra running legend in these parts, Eric Clifton made his presence felt in the early stages but faded and eventually dropped.

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Eric Clifton running early on in possibly the worst run tights… ever!

In the ladies, 2013 1st place winner and 2nd overall, April Cole looked set be a dominant force pushing consistently hard throughout, however, at the summit of Carlton Peak with just under 90-miles covered she complained of being cooked. To my surprise April dropped at Sawbill with just over 90-miles covered.

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April at Bean and Bear

Adam Schwartz-Lowe had been the bridesmaid on 2-occasions at Superior, 2012 when Steve Moore set the 21:02:41 CR and 2011. After a sub-20 run at Western States earlier this year, Schwartz-Lowe wanted this win, however, Pietari and Borst had different ideas. At halfway, Wisconson runner Borst had pulled away and from Pietari who was paying for the early pace, so much so he would eventually drop. Running without a pacer, Schwarz-Lowe went in pursuit from the Finland aid (51.2) and as he ran past he aptly said, ‘I smell rabbit in front of me.’

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The rabbit took some catching though! Running only his 2nd 100, Borst looked to have the race dialled after dnf’ing his 1st 100 at Zumbro earlier this year. Experience paid off though, at Sonju Lake Road the gap was 8-minutes, at Sugarloaf (72.3-miles) it was 5-minutes and then at Cramer Road (77.9-miles) it was 2-minutes. From here on in, the guys ran together for an hour until eventually Schwartz-Lowe pulled away gaining a 1-minute advantage at Temperance (85-miles) and 24-minutes at Sawbill (90.7-miles). The hay in the barn could be smelt and as the race progressed the gap tweaked open. At the final aid, Schwartz-Lowe didn’t hang around, a quick re-supply, a few questions on the location of the 2nd place runner and then he scooted off up the trail.

Adam at Oberg just over 7-miles to go

Adam at Oberg just over 7-miles to go

From here on in, Borst consolidated his 2nd place looking relaxed and happy, his pacer doing a great job to keep the motivation high. Leehman took a seat at Oberg and although the temptation to hang out and chill was tempting, he rejuvenated himself and pushed on for the final podium place after a welcome ‘Monster’ drink from 4th place runner, Cameron’s crew.

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With April Cole out of the race, the ladies race became a war of attrition and I saw each lady as they climbed up and over Sawbill with 90.7 miles covered. Embracing the relentless nature of the race they pushed on through never failing to offer a smile and a thank you. Ultimately at the line, the gaps were quite wide with Mallory Richard taking the victory ahead of Frayah Bartuska and Johanna Ylanen.

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Ladies winner, Mallory Richard

 

 

100-mile races are tough, no matter what the terrain is like. Here in Minnesota on the Superior Hiking Trail, John Storkamp and the Rock Steady Running crew have a gem. A gem of epic proportions… if you like your trail tough and gnarly and your people warm and welcoming, then Minnesota is for you!

Believe me, it’s Minnesota Nice!

Race website – HERE

RACE RESULTS

100-mile

  1. Adam Schwarts-Lowe 21:58:32
  2. Michael Borst 22:52:28
  3. Nathan Leehman 23:26:47
  1. Mallory Richard 27:32:27
  2. Frayah Bartuska 29:56:58
  3. Johanna Ylanen 31:08:10

 

50m-mile

  1. Chris Rubesch 8:56:33
  2. Forrest Tracy 9:23:47
  3. Alex Kurt 9:35:24
  1. Kristin Rognerud
  2. Annie Behrend 13:03:34
  3. Shelly Groenke 13:41:38

 

Marathon

  1. Ben Kampf 3:32:27
  2. James Sorenson 3:49:30
  3. Ryan Braun 04:00:11
  1. Jayna Tilstra 4:53:31
  2. Kelly Johnson 4:56:10
  3. Heather Weckwerth 5:20:01

Race images available HERE