Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Montane Lakeland 100. 29-31/07/2011.

The Montane Lakeland 100 2011 experience, personal and observed in others, in a nutshell:

Scales: "64.2", black on yellow.
Kit checks.
Sobering, nervous, serious, pensive;
10-yard stares abound.
Hot sun.
Views to die for.
Camaraderie that can't be beaten.
Stick the dibber in.
Steaming tarns in the cool dusk air.
Bogs and wet feet.
Two very dark, moonless nights.
Big climbs that can't be run.
Trip hazards to give 'elf and safety' a heart attack.
Stick the dibber in.
Big descents that can't be run.
Trip hazards to give 'elf and safety' a heart attack.
Stick the dibber in; are they following on-line?
Rocks, boulders and scree.
Trip hazards to give 'elf and safety' a heart attack.
Toenails rammed into their beds.
Feet now hurt too much, so can't run anyway.
Sheep rescued and returned to the flock.
Physical and mental challenge.
A great leveller and destroyer of preconceived targets.
Just finish now.
Distant, mournful groans as stomach contents get emptied.

Pasta, Rola Cola, chocolate cake and custard;
Dalemain ultra-fuelling.
Best ever aid stations and support.
Medics observe for warning signs.
He's as white as a sheet and stopped sweating.
Confusion, nausea, vomit.
Out with the mop and bucket.
Physios tend to tortured muscles, medics to shredded feet.
Cheered by merry ones in Ambleside.
Swig of beer blagged off one.
Beef stew under the fairy lights by the chimenea.
Cheered by supporters night and day.

At 03:44 on Sunday another cheer rises in Coniston.
Stick the dibber in one last time.
34:14, 4 hours and one minute faster than last year; that'll do me.
Enter sanctuary and the stench of pure evil: wet socks and shoes-a-festering.
I proudly add to the fugg and get a cup of tea.
Scales: 62.0kg, 2.2 down, all's fine and dandy.
Drink, chat, chill, sleep, eat, drink, chat.
Prizegiving laughs, Marc should be on stage, so he is.
Sleep, PUB, drink, eat, chat, chill, SLE-E-E-E-E-P.

Starting pen.

Walna Scar Road.

Descending towards Boot.

Burnmoor Tarn.





The Lakeland 100/50 is truly an epic. It is now a world class event, take it from me.


9 down, 3 to go. Next one will be Long Tour of Bradwell on Saturday. My big toenails are so tender and will be lost once again. I hope they settle down in time. I only have myself to blame. I didn't wear the Crosslites in the end. What an idiot.


  1. Im humbled to say well done Nick.
    I sat at Mardale Head for 3 hours watching runners come pass me- in all sort of states.
    Hope the toenails don't stop you doing what you obviously love doing.

  2. Hi nick, it will be some achievement to do all 12 races which I have no doubt you will. Wanted to say hi before the race as your blog gave a good idea of the race route for the likes of me who couldn't get over to recce. Best of luck with the remaining races in the series. See you at UTLD2012.

  3. Wow !!! Bloody well done !!!
    (If I were an American I'd be whooping and 'high-fiving')

  4. Cracking report - amazing effort. The socks were something else.


  5. Awesome awesome awesome! Great report and a great time Nick. Hope you are OK for LTOB. I've missed far too much training to make a decent fist of it but will be running out there to take a few photos hopefully and cheer people on. Good luck.

  6. Awesome! My feet weren't as bad as I thought under the bandages. Tonight i'm going to try them out while navigating some people from Stone on a pub run. I think that's about my level for now.. Good luck with the Long Tour of Bradwell. I almost feel up for it but didn't enter. Probably for the best, I think I'm still on a high.

  7. Cracking effort Nick. At your current rate of 4hrs improvement per year you'll win it in 2015! I've not done this one (always thought it was a bit pricey) but I'm tempted for next year having read the reports...

  8. Terrific Effort Nick!!!, Very well done indeed ... and if you do the 12, as you surely will then congrats on a great year of grinding `em out.

  9. Nick, can't believe I actually bumped into you on the 100 while doing the Open24. Sorry I didn't have time to do anything more than shout "Good Luck!" We probably saw another couple hundred runners while we were out on our biking section, totally amazing...like our race director planned it or something. Congrats on finishing, the Grand Slam is in the bag now!

  10. well done Nick, that write up almost (I say ALMOST) makes me want to have a go!

    Fantastic weather too and lovely pics :-)

  11. Hey Nick ,missed being on the start line and meeting up with the usual suspects at the week-end but i am out for awhile with shin issue but watched it all unfold on the live! event at the week-end and noted your steady progress through the field,def alot of feet in bits on that outing, but nice to see you with another PB and still on course with 03 to go!


  12. Nick, what a performance! Briliant, and we enjoyed reading your poetic write up.

  13. Well done Nick! Amazing, awesome absolutely run out of superlatives begining with A.

    I like the write up. It must be your shortest post for one of your longest races.

  14. :) Dave, that's for getting your head around it and getting a result. And here's one for the next time :)

    Wow, thanks Stu, and thanks for cheering us on. I'm glad you spoke up at Mardale Head because I wouldn't have known who you were otherwise. Wasn't it hot. I only remember it being cold, wet and windy around those parts. Did you take pictures?

    Hi Paul, I wish you had said 'Hi'. I enjoy a good chinwag. How did you do?

    Jan, cheers my friend. Since you're more English than American I assume it would be hands in pockets, staring at the ground and kicking an invisible pebble and muttering "Jolly good show, old bean" under your breath, while hoping that no-one else notices such an unseemly show of public enthusiasm. No?

    4 Winds Paul, did we meet? If so I wasn't aware and I apologise. How did you do?

    Simon, I'm looking forward to LToB. Apart from my sore toenails, which are becoming less painful now and should be just about right by Saturday, I'm amazed at the absence of other soreness. It was just another day at the office as far as the legs are concerned, though I have to admit that I have been cycling to work at only 90% power level. Give me a shout if you see me first on Sat.

    Roger, yours was an awesome result as always. I think you had a lucky escape in that blazing sun running at your speed with no head cover. You certainly looked well cooked and burning up long after your finish.

    Thank you Mike. Although I was confident of my first (running) PB of the year at the Lakeland 100 (although not such an emphatic one) I don't want to count my Grand Slam chickens until after Round Rotherham. There's the small matter of the UTMB to get out of the way first.

    Dawn, please excuse me but I have absolutely no recollection of our bumping into each other. I didn't think I was that far gone. Did you see a bloke in Union Jack shorts? If so, when and where? I did pass through Pooley Bridge a lot earlier than expected - well before 11am. After that we went round to Howtown, up Fusedale then over High Kop and down to Haweswater before turning right to Mardale Head. Then it was up and over to Kentmere. Did your route take you to any of those parts?

    Thanks Emma. The draw will prove irresistible. Think of The Borg.

    Pat, I did miss you. I didn't realise you were injured. Get well soon.

    Thank you loopy

    Steve, they say less is more. I gave you less and left you hungry, nay, gagging for more. Seriously though, such an epic event deserves more detail. There is so much to tell but I don't have the time.

  15. Thanks I really enjoyed it but yeah maybe next time I should have kept a hat/buff on. I've been peeling ever since, lesson learnt.

  16. Hi Nick,

    Don't think we met (but you never know!) Finished in 16:25 - having a crack at knocking a few mins off next year.

    Word - 'unferch' (v) the act of removing socks after an ultramarathon.


  17. Love the photos that really capture this event Nick. I'm really torn between running this one next year or attempting UTMB... I wouldn't attempt both in the same year! Only crazy people would try that ;-) GOOD LUCK NICK!

  18. Stu, get them both entered. A man of your calibre could easily do them both, then in case you don't get into UTMB you've at least got one nice challenging Hundred to fall back on. Remember you've got youth and fast recovery on your side whereas I'm getting on a bit now, yet my legs feel quite normal after less than a week (tell the truth they never really felt that 'used' at all).
    Thanks for the 'good luck' wishes. :)

  19. Sums it up perfectly Nick.
    Great to see you and chat all through the weekend as we kept to-ing and fro-ing positions. That chimenea must've given you a new lease of life at Chapel Stile as you came flying passed us just after. I think Mark and myself outstayed our welcome there though.
    Good luck at Bradwell. Would like to do it but don't think I would do it justice. HP40 next for me. See you there

  20. Well done Nick. I followed the timings live - quite exciting!

  21. Thanks for the write-up and pictures, Nick. I ran with you for a bit near Burnmoor Tarn and at various times over the following 30ish hours. I particularly enjoyed the disgusted look of incomprehension you gave me when I innocently asked if your toenail problems would stop you finishing. It was a truly fantastic event with wonderful kind people.

    Please can I steal one of your images (Burnmoor Tarn #4)? It's spectacular and it has a little competent-looking me in the corner.

  22. Hi Jon,
    I remember the toenail question after I'd just killed them and my reply that it wouldn't stop me. Was I that dismissive? Oo-er, I do apologise. I've been there so many times before, you see. I wonder how much longer they can survive the abuse. It takes over a year for them to grow back after the ruination.
    Don't you mean Burnmoor Tarn 6? That's the good one with you at the edge. It's actually two pictures stitched together to make one. Yes, use it but please link and/or acknowledge.

    Thanks Mad. You found a table of numbers exciting? I'd say 'Get a life' but you're an Ultra Runner and you understand ;-)

    Thanks Simon. I was flying with a new lease of life after Chapel Stile. It's the stew, you know. They need to roll it out to a few more checkpoints.

  23. Nick
    I've just had a look at he dragon's back challenge for next year. Thought of you. I'm trying to enter:
    Best Wishes