Lakes In A Day 2016 Race Images and Summary

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The stunning English Lakes provided an inspirational and magnificent backdrop for the 2016 Lakes In A Day – 50-mile point-to-point journey from north to south organised by James Thurlow and the Open Adventure team.

Renowned for putting the adventure into racing, James and Open Adventure really have created a spectacular event that provides the participants a truly amazing journey that encompasses a whistle stop tour of some of Lakeland’s highlights. For the fleet of foot the  journey may take 10 or so hours (if lucky), for the rest it can literally take 24-hours, hence, Lakes In A day!

Last year, Kim Collison and Helen Leigh blasted around the course to set two new course records and in the process they each netted £500 for their efforts. Once again in 2016, £500 was on offer for a new course record. Would the records fall? Would James be heading off to the bank again?

Lakes In A Day is a race that requires endurance, technical skill and the ability to navigate via map with a pre-marked route specified, which must be adhered too! The only exception being in the early stages when the runners leave Nether Row and head to the summit of Blencathra. From Blencathra summit, the most technical section of the route waits – Hall’s fell. A technical ridge this early in the race intimidates, for those who do not know the area or have recced the route may well think a seriously tough 50-miles awaits… not so. It’s tough for sure but less technical. Helvellyn follows, a long and hard climb up Fairfield and then a drop down to Ambleside.

Runners often think that from Ambleside it’s an easy run in to the finish through lowland fells. Think again! This terrain rolls along like a series of small rollercoasters and the final section of the route provides a surprising 1000m of vertical gain. Travelling to the west of Windermere, the route heads down in a snake like line that weaves left and right,  eventually it passes through Newby Bridge and on to the finish in Cartmel.

Weather conditions are always a critical element in any race, in the Lakes, good weather can make the difference between an incredible day and cold, wet, miserable and claggy day of survival. I am pleased to say, that for 2016, the weather was incredible. Early cloud lifted to reveal blue skies and although darkness seemed to arrive a little early, the weather remained good into the night with mild temperatures.

The men’s race was lead in the early stages by James Osborn who later went on to finish 7th. The day was won by Paul Nelson in 10:16:28 after a well run and controlled day, his time though some way off the record set by Kim in 2015. Chris Buck finished 2nd less than 10-minutes later and Nick Green placed 3rd, their times 10:25:11 and 10:32:42.

For the ladies, James managed to save another £500 with Elizaveta Ershova taking victory over a closing Kristina Jackson, their times 11:56:28 and 12:06:16 respectively. Sarah Bailey placed 3rd lady in 12:14:00 making a very close race for the top 3!

Live tracking results can be viewed here

As the names suggests, many runners ran through the night to really experience the Lakes In A Day – Helen Richards and Hugh Wright achieved notable finishes squeezing in the 50-mile journey under the allowed 24-hours, their times 23:23:48 and 23:21:25 respectively.

I often get asked, ‘what is he best way to see the English Lakes?’ Well, the Lakes in A Day certainly is a stunning way to see the best of what the Lakes has to offer – it may not be the easiest way though… Take note though, with records unbroken in 2016, the prize purse for 2017 will double, £1000 for a male and/or female record.

All images ©iancorless.com – Images are available to purchase HERE

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Jasmin Paris smashes the #BGR Bob Graham Round

Jasmin Paris - The Berghaus Dragons Back Race

Jasmin Paris – The Berghaus Dragons Back Race

The names Billy Bland and Nicky Spinks are well and truly cemented in Bob Graham Round cement. Imagine it, covering 66-miles (approx) 27,000ft of climbing and crossing the 42 highest peaks in the English Lakes in under 24-hours.

First completed in 1932 by Bob Graham at the age of 42, the 42 peak round has become the holy grail of the fell running world. Just to complete it in under 24-hours is considered by many to be enough, but to set a FKT (Fastest Known Time) is something else.

How does one break the record?

In 1932 Bob Graham took pacers and company to help him in completing his round. It is an ethical and practical approach that the club encourages, and is committed to continue to require as a criterion for membership.

In light of the above, the criteria for Club membership were set down back in 1972. The criterion regarding having one’s arrival at each summit witnessed remains as valid today as ever.

From the Club’s perspective, solo attempts will, for safety reasons, not be recognised or considered for club membership (this includes partly solo rounds, i.e. a round that is only partly witnessed). One of the Club’s purposes is to encourage attempts. The potential risks to a contender are significantly increased should a contender chose to travel solo for around 24 hours in the Lake District mountains. Having company in the mountains enhances the safety factor.

The risk of losing a contender in the mountains may seem far-fetched but there have been deaths of fell runners during much shorter fell races. It is understandable that there is no desire to repeat that experience in a Bob Graham Club context. Were the Club to recognise solo completions for membership, it’s no great step in the minds of loved ones left behind to see that as an endorsement, nay an encouragement, of solo attempts; and families may feel that the Club (which is an unincorporated body) and therefore its Officers should bear some responsibility for a dreadful turn of events.

One claim made for modern GPS devices is that they can provide both veracity and a form of safety, however there have been fraudulent attempts to secure membership over the years; the advent of modern technology to validate a round neither mitigates the safety issue nor removes the ability to defraud.

Allied to solo attempts are attempts where a form of reciprocal witnessing takes place: contender A witnesses contender B and vice versa. This is acceptable, and there have been several such rounds over the years, but not recommended.

There are many accounts of multi-contender attempts having to split up. The most common reason is simply that most people go through a significant bad patch, often for several hours, and hoping that these coincide is hoping for too much. If contenders do have to separate, safety margins are hugely reduced. Pacts not to separate are all well and good at the Moot Hall before setting off but can unravel under the physical and mental pressures of the day. Again if the party has to separate, then the attempt will effectively be over in terms of obtaining membership of the Club.

In summary, the witnessing rule has always been in the Club’s Guidance Notes, and always will be. It is grounded in safety. Clearly in limiting the only help on the fells to a co-contender (who may be in a pretty poor physical state should problems arise), there is a significant reduction in the safety margins for the individuals. Usually a support team of two persons per leg should be adequate, but the decision on the number of supporters and pacers is of course up to the individual.

– Bob Graham Club

Billy Bland’s time of 13 hours and 53 minutes is a milestone and many have questioned, can that time be bettered?. Despite years of trying nobody has really come close; time has stood still. The ladies record set by Nicky Spinks of 18 hours and 12 minutes was set in 2012. Nicky has long been a pioneer of the Bob Graham Round.

That however all changed just yesterday, Saturday April 23rd.

Jasmin Paris, a respected fell and mountain runner, set a new ladies benchmark of 15 hours and 23 minutes. This time is OFF THE SCALE!

Not only does it obliterate the 2012 time of Nicky Spinks but it comes remarkably close to Billy Bland’s time of 13 hours and 53 minutes.

This is just fell running, a low key sport that takes place in the heart of England. Believe me though, in terms of running, this record is one that should be shouted from the rooftops.

Jasmin is a low-key athlete, who hides away from the spotlight despite incredible performances. She races regularly, almost too much some may say. Her response has always been, I have a job and I run for fun and pleasure.

I’ve been saying it for some time, JASMIN PARIS is one to watch and this year, Jasmin will run on the world stage taking part in many Skyrunning events and UTMB.

The dark horse is no longer, the dark horse…

Many congrats Jasmin

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Information on the Bob Graham Round HERE

Morgan Williams, Bob Graham Round secretary discusses the BGR in-depth HERE

Listen to Nicky Spinks on Talk Ultra HERE

Listen to Rickey Gates talk Bob Graham Round HERE

Rab Mountain Marathon 2014

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Over 500 runners assembled in the English Lakes for 2-days of Mountain Marathon action in what turned out to be two great days.

Although the sun only penetrated the thick cloud a couple of times, the weather was dry and as per usual, the Lakes provided a perfect backdrop to two tough days.

RACE IMAGES available HERE

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A score event (long and short), participants competed in solo or teams of two and as one would expect, the mix of ability was wide. One of the appeals of the RMM.

A rolling start on both days, 8:30 to 10:30 on Saturday and 07:00 to 09:00 on Sunday avoided snakes of runners and thus ensured everyone had to hone their ‘nav’ skills in finding the appropriate controls.

One thing that was great to see on both days, was huge smiles and a real enjoyment of the event irrespective of ability or speed.

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Day 1 provided a couple of very obvious controls relatively close to camp 1 to start and then there field of 500 spread over a wide area. The faster runners covering quite some ground to gain maximum points and by contrast, the walkers took a more direct line and less controls to camp 2.

Starting just west of the A6, day 1 went as far north as Mardale Head and Blea Water and west of Stony Cove Pike. In the south, the faster runners could venture below the River Kent.

Stewart Bellamy (300 points) was the stand out solo competitor and Andrew Stirk/ Adam Higgins (290 points) were the leading team of two after day 1 in the long course. Jackie Scarf and Phil Scarf had a 20 point lead in the short score (235 points) and Luke Gordon (210 points) was the leading solo.

©iancorless.com_RabMM14_-2915A strong wind blowing from the south potentially was going to make overnight camp interesting. However, with all runners back the wind suddenly dropped making the evening a calm, still and very warm night.

An early start had participants departing in two start windows, 0700-0800 and 0800-0900. With the exception of just a few, nearly all participants headed south before then heading east and making the way back to day 1 start camp.

A corridor of controls made this section of the course busy with runners coming from all directions as they tried to take accumulate as many points as possible.

Tough terrain and warm temperatures made day 2 all about covering ground fast as controls were much closer together and therefore points were really up for grabs. Steve Bellamy once again lead the way with 240 points with Daniel Gooch and Jon Moulding both raised their individual games with 245 and 240 points respectively. Two man team Andrew Stirk/ Andrew Higgins looked to be moving fast all day but finished 4th with 235 points. However, Stirk/Higgins still held on to 2nd overall behind Steve Bellamy and Daniel Gooch placed 3rd.

Short score competitors had a shake around on day 2 with day 1 leaders, Jackie & Phil Scarf placing 2nd behind Steve Wilson and Peter Stobbs. Patrick Butlin finished 3rd ahead of day 1 2nd place, Luke Gordon. However, the overall results remained unchanged with Team Scarf 1st (425 points), Luke Gordon 2nd (390) and Tim Martland (360) 3rd.

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Shane Ohly as race director and the Ourea Events Team bring slick organisation to difficult terrain and along with the course planning skills of Charlie Sproson, these events are a must do on the calendar. It’s been a busy year for the team, it all started in January with Marmot Dark Mountains. The Rab Mountain Marathon concludes 2014 but already plans are in motion for 2015 and remember, it’s a Dragons Back year! Arguably one of the toughest challenges in the UK

Results are HERE

Ourea events HERE

RACE IMAGES available HERE

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