Lakeland 50, 30 July 2016
Race report by Kim Ashworth & Andy Worster
Five Toddies approached the gantry at Dalemain on Saturday 30th July to take part in their first Lakeland 50. There were 672 starters in the “fun run” 50, sharing the course with 345 competitors on the circular Lakeland 100 route. The 50 mile course starts by travelling south along Ullswater, taking in classic Lakeland passes such as Fusedale Valley and Gatesgarth. It then heads west through Kentmere, over Garburn and on to Ambleside and Langdale, finishing south past Blea Tarn and over Tilberthwaite to Coniston (the last 5k being nicknamed “the world’s worst parkrun”!). Overall it takes in around 10,000ft of ascent.
Greg May and Andy Worster competed as individuals, alongside the Tod ladies’ team, consisting of Pauline May, Siobhan Doherty and Kim Ashworth. Both Greg and Andy were hoping to finish before dark; the three amigas were aiming to finish before dawn, so all set off at a steady trot to Mardale. Up until Haweswater, Greg was having a great race; unfortunately his recent 2,800 mile jaunt down the Great Divide MTB Route caught up with him and his knee went while descending Gatesgarth Pass. Realising it would be a long day not being able to run down anything, he pushed on up the climbs, waddled along the flats, finally finishing 354th in a respectable 14:22. Then there was ice-cream.
Andy was surprised at how good he felt during the race, finishing strong in 11th place with a time of 8:50. The ladies’ team continued their steady pace and were pleased to reach Ambleside before dark, bewildering other competitors with their fast downhill pace, cheese jokes, singing, litter picking and “excessive” chatting and eating. This aided them in finishing in 14:51, and in the final presentation on Sunday they were shocked to find that they were the first female team to finish!
The weather was perfect, the marshals delightful, the route breathtaking (thanks Phil) and the food delicious. Some of us will definitely be back next year.