Ultimate Trails Challenge 110K and 55K - Lake District 27/28 June 2015

Five hardy Hardley Runners took part in this event.  Well done to all concerned. 

Hardley results are below.  You can see the full results here.

Time Name
127 20:08:17 Paul Blundell MV50
128 20:08:18 Ian Hawker MV60
175 22:18:05 David Gould MV50
69 8:25:29 Tiffany Hanley FV40
72 8:30:14 Martin Loveless MV50

Here's Paul's report

The Challenge was 110k in 24 hours.  To read more click on the logo to get to their website.

It was a 9:00 start on a warm Friday when I picked up Tiffany Hanley, Martin Loveless and Ian hawker to head up to Ambleside in the Lake District, Tiff and Martin had decided to do the 55k,Ian and I to attempt the 110k.

Things started to fall apart around midday, when we heard a major accident had blocked the M6 causing long delays, normally a 6 hour max journey, Ian and I had to be registered by 7pm,so we had 10 hours to get there, but still in almost stationary traffic at 5pm, we still had 100 miles to go.

David Gould was already there and the organisers told him the time would be extended due to the accident .

We eventually registered 3 minutes to seven and the registration closed, despite the organisers assurances so it was a bit close.

Tents up, safety briefing, a quick meal and then I kitted up ready for the quarter past midnight start.

Ian and I had a plan, the website promised mountains of food at each of the eight checkpoints, so we didn't take much, take it slowly but beat the sweeper to each checkpoint to avoid being pulled out.

The first leg to the Kentmere institute (12.4k) saw me almost falling over several rocks as I just could not read the terrain well by head torch. We got there over an hour ahead of the sweeper but the promised food did not materialise with just a few crisps and bits of banana left.

Up over Nan Bield pass and a technical descent to cp2 at Mardale head (22k) kept us slow but some 2 hours ahead of the sweeper . There wasn't much improvement in the food situation, so more crisps, banana, water and I resorted to some of the little food I had brought with me.

The sunrise over Haweswater was stunning and at least I could see the rocks I was stumbling over.

The trail became road as we approached Bampton Cp3(35k),we were now 2 and a half hours ahead of the sweeper.

The food here was described as a breakfast of champions, and a small bit of bacon sandwich, a coffee and more crisps was certainly an improvement but not quite what I was hoping for and I really wished I hadn't believed the hype and brought more food.

The voluntary staff and marshals were once again brilliant, and the weather was clear at around 6 in the morning.

Off over Askham moor to Howtown cp4 (50k), for more coffee, a cup a soup and some flapjack crumbs some 3 hours ahead of the sweeper.

We were spending between 15 and 20 minutes at each checkpoint and overtaking runners who then passed us again by spending less time at checkpoints.

Another Rocky ascent revealed a lovely view of Ullswater but progress was slow and by the time we reached Glenridding(60k) and my drop bag, still around 3 hours ahead of the sweeper, my legs were starting to complain quite loudly.

Luckily I had put plenty of food in the drop bag so I stocked up.

A long climb up Helvellyn where we stopped for a quick picnic rest once again allowing recently passed runners to overtake, although one stopped with us, for a rest.

My feet were starting to feel sore having got wet on numerous occasions and were starting to blister, another very difficult descent but we kept seeing the same runners and conversation helped pass the miles, it seemed to take ages to reach checkpoint 6 at Dunmail despite being a mere 10k from Glenridding.

Another steep climb on wet ground ,another quick food stop, at around 12:30 before heading over a marsh ,Ian was spotting the guiding flags as my eyesight wasn't up to it, and our food breaks were becoming more frequent.

Cp 7 at borrow dale although only 11k on(83k total),promised pizza but delivered a delicious pie, once again cut very small, but with cup a soup and coffee went down very well.
A major patch up on the feet was now required, which was a good excuse for a longer sit down.

Running on, the blisters treated now felt OK but new ones were forming, and my legs were not happy. I was trying to run on anything smooth as the rock paths were causing so much pain.

We seemed to have a little posse of around 5 runners now as we made our way over stake pass before a windy and rough descent to a rocky track leading us to the final checkpoint at Stickle barn tavern (96k).

What a great surprise, cheered in to proper soup, sandwiches, and proper chips, I almost could not bring myself to leave.

So close to the finish, we knew we had only about 12k to go but one more rocky ascent/descent. Mind over matter, we were now on the same route as the 55k competitors, so content to be overtaken on a regular basis.

We even managed a fast hobble over the line completing the entire route in 20 hours and 8 minutes.

Freezing showers awaited us and a vegetable chilli, we met Martin and Tiff before heading to the pub.

I slept very well that night.

It was one of the toughest races I have done but as always with these events, everyone was very friendly and we met such a variety of other runners, all as determined as we were.

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Last updated 06-Jul-2015.

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