LAKES in a DAY Preview 2015


The ‘Lakes in a Day’ is a point-to-point race that starts in the northern town of Caldbeck and heads directly south way on down to Cartmel passing through three major points; the first feed station is Threlkeld, 2nd Ambleside 3rd Finisthwaite (a small hamlet).  It then does pass through Newby Bridge which is at the bottom of Lake Windermere.


The journey is a tough challenge even for the hardiest competitor and the 50-mile journey includes 4000m of ascent that includes the stunning Helvellyn Ridge and the western shoreline of Lake Windermere.



Race director James Thurlow warns competitors:

“This is a long run in wild terrain. If you are at the start line wearing a t-shirt and shorts carrying nothing but a bum bag, expect us to be asking a few questions. If the weather is bad, then pack extra kit. This event is not like many other ultras in the UK calendar – it goes up on to the high fells and STAYS up there so don’t take any chances.”


Mountain, map skills and navigation skills are a prerequisite for the race as the route is not way-marked. Unlike many ‘true’ navigation events, the use of a GPS is allowed and GPX route is provided for runners in advance so that they can download it. Importantly, Thurlow warns, “GPS must not be your sole means of navigation for this event.” They are wise words, batteries fail!

The 2014 edition of the race had 180 runners start the race and at the time of writing, 357 are registered for 2015. Kim Collison and Holly Rush are two stand out names amongst what looks like a high quality field.

Current course records are 10:37 and 13:31 for Tim Higginbottom and Cat Sutherland. If conditions are good on race day, both records stand a good chance of being broken. To entice a fast pace, £500 is on offer for the first person to break either record.

The race starts at 0800 on Saturday October 10th and race updates will be available here:

Race website HERE

Mandatory kit HERE

A GPX file for the route is now available here.


A selection of images from 2014 HERE

Episode 37 – Rob Krar, Holly Rush, Ellie Greenwood, Nick Clark


Episode 37 of Talk Ultra: Rob Krar talks to us about his running history, hiw incredible Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run and what his expectations are for Western States. Holly Rush talks marathon running and Comrades. Ellie Greenwood makes a guest appearance for Talk Training and provides an insight into running injuries. Nick Clark joins us for a reguar slot as he attempts the ‘Grand Slam’ of ultra running. We have the news, a year in the life of, and we find out: You know you are an ultra runner when… ?

00:00:45 Start
00:17:40 A year in the life of with Amanda Hyatt. Amanda has been injured but she is back on the road to recovery and some consistent running.
00:31:20 News from the ultra running world
00:52:20 Holly Rush is an incredible marathon runner, however, she has recently ventured into ultra running. At her first attempt at the iconic Comrades Ultra Marathon she placed 2nd Brit and 7th overall. She tells us about her story.
Profile from : HERE

I started running as a fun runner when I was at University but didn’t start formally training until 2005 when I met my coach and now husband martin rush. I had a break through run at London Marathon improving my time by 10 minutes.  Since then I have run over 20 marathons all over the world and been lucky enough to represent Great Britain and England 6 times, something that I never dreamt I would do as a non-exercising beer swilling student.  I wouldn’t say i am the most talented or natural runner but I think I have plenty of endurance and just love the feeling that running and training gives me.  In between training I work full time doing sports massage and working in my local deli.  I have been struggling with a painful hamstring for over 2 years now and after 2 failed injections I am now backing off my training to receive intensive treatment for 2 months so that I might be able to run pain free again.  Fingers crossed!.As well as talking about all things running I will most probably ramble on about my two other passions – food and my training partner Mr Mole (the dog).

01:31:18 Back to News
01:34:06 Blogs – No blog this week… we have some great answers to our FB post: ‘You know you are an ultra runner when… ?” Link to post HERE
01:36:40 Talk Training with Ellie Greenwood. Ellie is currently injured and has missed Comrades and will now miss Western States. She provides a great insight and provides some lessons that we can all learn from in regard to injury rehabilitation and assessment.
Ellie Greenwood’s blog: HERE
02:10:10 Interview with Rob Krar. Rob has spent some considerable time away from the sport but has returned in style. His recent Rin-to-Rim-to-Rim run has turned heads… in a few weeks he will line up at Western States. Post on iRunFar here
02:46:12 Meltzer Moment with Speedgaot – Good, Bad & Ugly of ultra running
02:54:40 Clarky’s Corner – US based Brit Nick Clark provides a regular slot as he builds up th the Grand Slam of ultra running. In this weeks show we talk Western States.
Nick Clark’s blog HERE
03:07:55 Races – Up and coming races for the next two weeks.
03:10:50 Close

Comrades 2013 Review


It was a hot and windy day…

Yes, it was a hot and windy day. Apparently, many have said it was the hardest Comrades ‘ever’ with huge head winds, dust and the highest drop out race in the races history.

We must remember though that Comrades now has considerably more entrants than in previous years, over 18,000 this year. Unlike many other ultra’s, the level of inexperienced or first timers is very high, so, as soon as you had some extreme heat and tough conditions, the drop out rate will increase.

Having said that, the difficulty of the day was reflected in both the ladies and women’s times. Although both races were above course record early on, as soon as the heat of the day came and the wind increased pace dropped.

Comrades Marathon is the world’s largest ultra. Taking place in South Africa, the 2013 edition was the 88th running of this iconic race. It is a hilly road course from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, however, the direction alternates each year and this year was the ‘up’ run.

Starting on the coast in Durban, the course stretches 86.96km to Pietermaritzburg at 670m above sea level. Over 18,000 runners tested themselves over the ‘Big Five’; Cowies Hill, Fields Hill, Botha’s Hill, Inchanga and Polly Shorts. From the base of the first hill, Cowies, to the top of Botha’s Hill you climb 502 meters in the space of only 22 kilometers. Any seasoned ‘Comrade’ will tell you this translates into a lot of climbing. The first half of the ‘up’ is challenging, it needs to be respected and paced, any early exuberance will be paid for dearly later on in the day.

It was a day of no real surprises (read my preview HERE). However, without doubt the performance of the day came from my pre race ‘dark horse’ prediction, Jonas Buud. He moved up the field in the latter stages of the race from 36th to 2nd. Quite incredible! He was never in with a chance of catching Moshiywa but if ever a lesson in pacing was needed, Buud provided it.

Claude Moshiywa ran an extremely gutsy run. He obtained a gold medal in 2012 for the ‘down’ run and in 2011 he was 3rd overall for the ‘up’ run. Breaking away and running solo for the final 12+ miles he looked impressive for the duration of the whole race. The only blip coming on Polly Shorts (the final tough climb) when I looked in pain. However, on reflection when we had the opportunity to see all the other runners tackle this final climb, they looked no better. I am sure it was just a combination of the distance covered, the heat, the wind and the gradient. Moshiywa is a real family man and on the finish line he explained how he starts training at 0300 every morning so that he can then go to work and be available for his family in the evening.

Men’s Results

  1. Claude Moshiywa – 5:32:09
  2. Jonas Buud – 5:41:21
  3. Mpesela Ntlosoeu – 5:43:38
  4. Ludwick Mamabolo – 5:45:49
  5. Johannes Kekana – 5:46:27
  6. Henry Moyo – 5:46:52
  7. Joseph Mphuthi – 5:48:00
  8. Mike Fokoroni – 5:50:11
  9. Rufus Photo – 5:51:52
  10. Stephen Muzinghi – 5:52:38

The ladies race without Ellie Greenwood went to the same format of the past eleven years (The only break in this tradition came in 2005 when Tatyana Zhirkova won the race) with sisters, Elena and Oleysa Nurgalieva dominating the race. In the closing stages, Elena who had won the race seven times (now eight) pulled away from her sister to cross the line just less than one minute ahead of her. Without doubt ‘The Twins’ are the queens of Comrades. To perform at such a consistent level for over a decade is without doubt a remarkable achievement.

South African hopes lay with Charne Bosman. Bosman, new to ultra running looked very good early on but in the latter stages the distance and heat took it’s toll and she faded allowing Russian Irina Antropova to take third place almost fifteen minutes behind the twins.

Bosman looked safe for fourth but then my pre race prediction, Joasia (Jo) Zakrzewski produced a remarkable comeback and sprinted around the track to snatch fourth place (a repeat of her 2012 placing) just seven seconds ahead of Bosman.

After the race, Zakrzewski said, “I didn’t know I could sprint but needs must when you’re 150m down with 400m to go!”.

Women’s Results

  1. Elena Nurgalieva – 6:27:09
  2. Olesya Nurgalieva – 6:28:07
  3. Irina Antropova – 6:44:36
  4. Joasia Zakrzewski – 6:53:29
  5. Charne Bosman – 6:53:35
  6. Marina Zhalybina – 6:56:55
  7. Holly Rush – 7:04:21
  8. Melanie Van Rooyen – 7:08:09
  9. Kerry Koen – 7:15:07
  10. Julanie Basson – 7:21:02

Course records:

  • Men: Leonid Shvetsov (Rus) – 5:24:49 set in 2008
  • Women: Elena Nurgalieva (Rus) – 6:09:23 set in 2006