The following report has kindly been provided by Toby:
The Montane Lakeland 50 is billed as ‘one the greatest ultra running challenges in Europe’. With a distance of 50 miles, including over 3000 metres of ascent across rough terrain, the race has a justifiably hard reputation. The race starts at the Dalemain Estate in the North East of the Lake District and finishes in the small town of Coniston in the South West of the Lake District. Runners follow an unmarked course that combines long brutal ascents, high mountain passes and punishing descents.
Toby Lowe and Soraya Hawke-Perry from Newquay Road Runners travelled up to participate in this year’s race on 28 July 2018. Whilst the country had been basking in a heatwave of temperatures of 30 degrees, the day of the race saw the weather break and the rain come in. The race organisers warned the 840 competitors that conditions would be the worse they had seen in the 11 years of the event. They were not wrong. Runners faced winds gusting at 50 miles an hour, rain, hail, thunder and lightening whilst crossing the highest points of the course.
The race was won by Oliver Thorogood in an impressive 7 hours 3 minutes and 11 seconds. The first lady was Salomon Team runner Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn who came in at 8 hours 12 minutes and 19 seconds and was placed 5th overall.
Lowe finished in 12 hours 29 minutes and 29 seconds and was placed 214th. Hawke-Perry (a previous finisher of the race), unfortunately, pulled out at the 35-mile checkpoint at Ambleside having fallen victim to the challenging conditions earlier in the day. It is testimony to the difficulty of this race that a strong competent runner such as Hawke-Perry took the difficult decision not to continue.
Lowe described the race as follows,’it was a tough, hard race but utterly inspirational. The weather was brutal at times, but the camaraderie of the other runners combined with the wild beauty of the Lake District made it one of the most unforgettable races I have ever run. I can’t wait to go back and run this incredible event again’.