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Montane Lakeland 50 Ultra Marathon

July 26, 2014

The Lakeland 50 is run simultaneously with the Lakeland 100 and begins in the grand setting of the 100’s halfway checkpoint at Dalemain House near Ullswater. Martyn and Helen Price, Rich Willis and Andy Holohan had entries for this incredibly tough race, all hoping that the Weather Gods would be kind following last year’s very hot conditions. This was a pivotal race in more ways that one: For Martyn it was his warm-up race for the forthcoming Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), while Helen has been having a great season and solidifying her reputation as an outstanding ultra-distance runner, meaning a good performance was essential. This was Andy’s first race after an extended period of injury and it was the first time that Rich had tackled a 50-miler – there was a lot at stake. This race was UK Athletics Ultra Distance Championship race, so (unsurprisingly) a lot of the UK’s best runners were gathered at the start.

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Rich Willis on the long trail to Coniston ….. (Sports Sunday)

In the event, everyone’s hopes were dashed and it turned out to be a blisteringly hot day; all competitors had to battle dehydration as well as a complex and technical route. Helen lived up to expectations and ran a superb race among a very strong field, taking 90 minutes (!) off her 2013 time to finish in 10:45:31, 8th lady overall and 1st LV40. The hot conditions were always going to exact a toll on Martyn, but despite being limited by dehydration and its effects he managed to trim an hour off last year’s time to finish in 12:00:58 and 102nd position overall. Rich suffered in the heat and his pace was curtailed accordingly, nonetheless he put in a spirited performance to finish in 13:18:07 and 189th overall. Andy battled on bravely throughout the night, showing real resolve to finish the race in 18:48:49 and 470th overall.  Results

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