Great Lakeland 3Day™ Preview

GL3D logo

Relaxed, friendly and an amazing mountain experience, the GL3D™ has built quite a reputation! With an emphasis on long mountain journeys and spectacular scenery, participants can expect a really excellent 3-days without complex navigation.

Image ©andrewburton

Image ©andrewburton

Trails, footpaths, ridges and valleys make up this idyllic journey through arguably one of the greatest playgrounds in the world; the English Lakes. Event HQ is at the North Eastern tip of Ullswater at the quintessential village of Pooley Bridge.

Taking place on the 3rd, 4th and 5th May 2014, the GL3D™ is a small but adventurous mountain marathon. Attracting runners and long-distance walkers, the race is renowned for its atmosphere. So much so, it has gained a reputation as one of ‘the’ events to do!

Image ©simoncaldwell

Image ©simoncaldwell

Three long and consecutive days in the mountains have built a dedicated following from competitors who are able to choose an Elite, A, B or C course. However, a unique element is the ability to choose whichever course they prefer on each day. This mix-n-match approach certainly does offer a unique format, however, should you choose all Elite or all A, B or C that is no problem, the choice is yours.

Sharing an overnight camp, the inclusion of a ‘beer tent’ certainly seems extremely popular. As you can gather, this is all about fun days on the trails. The inclusion in 2014 of the C class confirms this. Specifically aimed at walkers and slower runners.

Image ©andrewburton

Image ©andrewburton

Courses are triangular, allowing everyone to start and finish at the same location. The GL3D™ is all about maximum enjoyment. However, each participant should be competent in the mountains whether running or walking and an ability to navigate is essential. You must be self-sufficient!

Although some competitors race, many solo participants form groups to share a day in the hills. No prizes are awarded, just a slap on the back and a nod of respect from your peers.

Flexible start times between 0700-0900 (faster participants start later) reflect the relaxed nature of the event and if cramming a few extra zzz’s in your sleeping bag doesn’t tempt you, I am sure the ‘free’ tea, cakes and beer at the end of each day will.

Tempted? I bet you are…

 supported by

GL3D_Lowe_Logo_png32

Race website – http://www.greatlakeland3day.com

Entry – http://www.greatlakeland3day.com/enter/

 

The nitty-gritty

Competitors must register before starting and they can only do this on the evening of Friday 2nd May (between 1800-2200) or on the morning of Saturday 3rd (between 0600-0700). Competitors can only register at the Event Centre. At registration competitors will be issued with their map, which is pre-printed with checkpoints and control descriptions (for all courses), and their SI card. We recommend arriving on the Friday night so that everyone has an opportunity to relax, meet fellow participants and discuss the following day’s route. The night before the GL3D™ the atmosphere is always good and many competitors sneak off to a local pub for an informal gathering. Camping is available on the Friday night and this is included in the entry fee.

Competitors may also park their car at the Event Centre for the weekend at their own risk. The competitor’s beer tent will also be erected on the Friday night but GL3D™ beer is only served on the Saturday and Sunday evenings! 

 Our courses are described as Elite, A, B and C, as is usual for mountain marathons. However, it is important to note that the distances at the GL3D™ are greater. This is because our routes are more runnable (we stick to footpaths and tracks for much of the time) and the navigation is easier (generally mountain summits) than at the equivalent mountain marathon courses at the LAMM, OMM etc. We would describe our courses as roughly equivalent in terms of ‘difficulty to finish’ as the same standard mountain marathon course at one of these events. The approximate course details are:

Course Average Distance Average Time Number of Checkpoints
Elite 30 miles per day 9 hours 9
A 25 miles per day 8 hours 8
B 20 miles per day 7 hours 7
C 15 miles per day ? 1

Elite, A and B Course
These courses are definitely for runners and it is not possible for walkers to complete these courses within the cut-off times. Competitors must have finished an equivalent mountain marathon course within 50% of the winner’s time for the course that they are entering. Any competitor who is slower than 50% of the winner’s time and/or arrives at the overnight camp after the cut-off time will automatically be moved onto a shorter course for the following day.

C Course
The GL3D™ has always attracted long distance walkers but other than the most able, they have generally struggled with the long distances and significant height gain each year. Because of this, for the 2014 event we are introducing a C course (already coined the Café Class by the planning team), which will be specifically aimed at walkers or slower runners and will only have one checkpoint per day to allow competitors maximum route choice between the overnight camps… and time to visit the very best Lake District cafés!

The choice of four different courses means that competitors can choose from either an Elite, A, B or C Course. The really exciting component of the GL3D™ is that competitors simply enter the event, and then choose whichever course they prefer on the day. This could either be Elite for all three days, Elite, B then A or any ‘mix-and-match’ combination. All competitors will still share the same overnight camp.

To appear in the overall results, competitors must complete the same course each day. Obviously, on a daily basis we will publish results for each course. 

Each day competitors start anytime between 0700 and 0900 (please note that there is a 0715 Mass Start for competitors on Day 1 in 2014) and should expect to spend a long day in the hills. The first two days will be the hardest and the last day will be easier. We anticipate that everyone would have finished by 1500 on day three. 

The course will be roughly triangular with a different overnight camp each night. We will provide free tea/coffee, cakes and beer at the end of day one and two and a large, tasty meal at the end of day three.

The competitors ‘beer tent’ – a popular addition to the 2013 GL3D™- will be available at each overnight camp and can used by competitors to hangout in, cook meals in etc.

 

 

 

MARMOT24™ – A NEW 24-HOUR MOUNTAIN MARATHON

Marmot_24_Logo (Colour)
The World’s first 24-hour mountain marathon, the inaugural Marmot24, will be held on the weekend 2nd and 3rd August 2014.
This exciting new event combines the very best elements of the predominantly British mountain marathon phenomenon with aspects of the more international, 24-hour rogaining events. With mountain running and navigation at the heart of the event competitors will have 24, 12 or 6-hours to visit as many checkpoints as possible on a score format course. With the 24-hour race starting at noon Saturday, the 12-hour race starting at midnight Saturday and the 6-hour race starting at 0600 on the Sunday morning, everyone will finish at 12 noon on the Sunday in an exciting and dramatic finale to a memorable weekend of racing.
©JonBrooke

©JonBrooke

Seven times OMM Elite winner, Steve Birkinshaw was quick to state that, “A non-stop 24-hour mountain marathon has been missing from the UK calendar, the Marmot24™ fill this gap. It sounds like a great event that I am really looking forward to competing in.”
©RobHoward

©RobHowar 

Race Director, Shane Ohly explained his thoughts about the new race, “I’ve actually been injured since August and this has given me some extra time – when I would normally be running – to think about concepts for events and as Steve Birkinshaw said, a 24-hour mountain marathon really was the missing piece in the current range of mountain marathon events in the UK. So, by this time next year, there will be high quality mountain marathon events each month from the Highlander in April through to the OMM in October. There will also be a great variety of events with the 3-day format Great Lakeland 3Day™, score format races like the RAB Mountain Marathon and even an overnight winter event with Marmot Dark Mountains each January. 
Marmot24 will have a central event centre within the event area where all teams will start and finish. The location of the controls is such that competitors can choose to pass through the event centre during the race, with the two-person teams making the choice whether to rest, or eat, whilst the four-person teams can tag-in their team mates; swapping tired runners for fresh runners. The event centre will be a hub of activity with a large marquee, race control, retail shop, catering and camping for competitors and supporters. Supporters are actively encouraged and they can provide help for the competitors at the event centre.
©JonBrooke

©JonBrooke

With events like the Dragon’s Back Race™, the Great Lakeland 3Day™ and Marmot Dark Mountains™, Shane Ohly and his team from Ourea Event have been steadily building a reputation for delivering high quality mountain running events in recent years. This years 2013 OMM Elite winner, Nick Barrable, was happy to lend his endorsement, “Experienced race organiser Shane Ohly, always puts on a good show and I am sure that much fun will be had.”
Marmot UK Sales Director, Hugh Harris said, “After the great response to Marmot Dark Mountains™ (MDM), we wanted to extend Marmot’s support of mountain based events. MDM is brilliant, but it’s deliberately extreme and targeted at experienced, and seemingly masochistic participants! After working very successfully with Shane Ohly and his company Ourea, on MDM, we asked him to create a brand new summer event for us that would be open to a much broader range of participants. The result is Marmot24, and we’re really excited to be launching it this week.”
Key Event Information
Date: 2nd & 3rd August 2014
Venue: Northern England
Entry: from £55
Courses: 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour

Zegama Race Summary

Kilan and Hernando copyright Ian Corless

Kilan and Hernando copyright Ian Corless

It was close… oh so close! Seconds separated Kilian Jornet and Luis Alberto Hernando at the 2013 Zegama-Aizkorri. Post race in a chat with Kilian, we discussed the race and he was extremely satisfied to be pushed so hard in the latter stages of the race.

“I had relaxed and was running comfortably and then suddenly Luis appeared” Kilian said, “I had a race on my hands, we pushed each other very hard and it was only in the final kilometre that I surged and pulled away”.

Luis Alberto Hernando is the 2011 World Champion and is clearly in great form at the moment. Only a couple of weeks ago he participated in his first ultra, Transvulcania La Palma, and here he placed second again behind Kilian.

Kilian and Marco, Zegama 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Kilian and Marco, Zegama 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Marco De Gasperi, after some deliberation (ankle injury) toed the line and led the race to the 21 km check point with his sparring partner, Kilian Jornet. Kilian and Marco love to race each other and we have witnessed some tremendous battles over the years. However, Zegama would not see a repeat, Marco pulled out to ensure that he did not stress his injury any farther.

Luis Alberto Hernando worked his way through the field and pursued Kilian and finally caught him. What followed was a tremendous game of cat and mouse as the two pushed each other to the limit on the long and final descent.

Kilian pulled away in the final moments of the race to miss Rob Jebb’s 2005 course record by just 20 seconds, his finishing time 3:54:38. Luis Alberto Hernando finished just seconds later and Tadei Pivk produced a stunning run to finish third in 3:59:07.

It was really close.... Zegama 2013

It was really close…. Zegama 2013

The ladies race had all the makings of a classic. Emelie Forsberg, Nuria Picas, Oihana Kortazar, Silvia Serafini and Stevie Kremer would do battle on this classic mountain course.

World long course mountain running champion, Stevie Kremer pushed hard from the start and lead the race until over halfway but Emelie Forsberg paced herself extremely well. She took over the lead and then slowly pulled away to ultimately dominate the race for a stunning win in 4:48:12.

Emelie Forsberg copyright Ian Corless

Emelie Forsberg copyright Ian Corless

The first half of the race was fast and furious, but as time and distance progressed experience came through. In particular, Nuria Picas, the 2012 Skyrunner Ultra champion and fresh from her second place at Transvulcaniawho was out of the top five in the first half of the race. She moved through the field, hunted runners down and then passed Stevie Kremer on the descent to be place second.

Nuria Picas copyright Ian Corless

Nuria Picas copyright Ian Corless

Stevie Kremer (pre race interview here) running her first SkyMarathon performed superbly and without doubt is a star of the future. She openly said, “I need to work on my descending, it is what let me down today”.

Stevie Kremer copyright Ian Corless

Stevie Kremer copyright Ian Corless

As Nuria waved to the crowd she almost lost second place as Stevie burst around the corner of the finishing straight. The time gap shows how close it was at the finish, 4:49:55 for Nuria and 4:49:58 for Stevie. Without doubt we will be seeing Stevie on podium again throughout the 2013 calendar.

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1100432

A notable mention must also go to Silvia Serafini (pre race interview here). Silvia was having a stunning race and was in third place for much of the race, but she twisted her ankle on the final descent. She finally finished within the top ten but the frustration of what might have been was clear to see on her face and she fell to the floor after crossing the finish line.

Silvia Serafini copyright Ian Corless

Silvia Serafini copyright Ian Corless

Zegama-Aizkorri is renowned for the severity of the course, the ability of the runners and the passion of the supporters. It’s a pleasure and a honour to witness the action unfold and the atmosphere is akin to a stage of the Tour de France.

The crowds and the passion, Zegama 2013 copyright Ian Corless

The crowds and the passion, Zegama 2013 copyright Ian Corless

Skyrunning is not just about fast ascents, but even faster descents – a technique that distinguishes the sport.  Many strong runners new to the sport, like Germany’s Florian Reichert, Japan’s Toru Miyahara and South African A J Caltiz, who excelled on the uphill, will be honing their skills on the downhill for the next Sky Series challenge in Chamonix on June 30 with the Mont-Blanc Marathon.

  • A full set of race images are available HERE
  • Images from the race briefing HERE
Kilan Jornet and Emelie Forsberg copyright Ian Corless

Kilan Jornet and Emelie Forsberg copyright Ian Corless

Race results

Men

1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon Santiveri) – 3h54’38”

2. Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) – 3h54’50”

3. Tadei Pivk (Crazy Idea) – 3h58’07”

Women

1.  Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) –  4h48’12”

2.  Nuria Picas (FEEC) – 4h49’55”

3.  Stevie Kremer (Salomon Agisko) – 4h49’58”

Video Highlight: