Montane Lakeland 100

Lakeland 100 – Probably the toughest ultra-running in Europe

The Montane Lakeland ® 100 “Ultra Tour of the Lake District” is the most spectacular trail race ever held in the UK. The 100-mile round trip through the spectacular scenery of the whole Lakeland, includes approximately 6,300 meters of positive height, and takes place only on trails.

The 100 mile run starts in Coniston and leads initially to the south before it goes a clockwise arc across Dunnerdale, Eskdale, Wasdale and Buttermere to Keswick. From here, it’s on to Matt Patterdale, Haweswater and via Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater to the finish back to Coniston.



The way to the nature reserve of the Lake District, which is located about two hours drive away to the north of Manchester leads along the south coast of England. The last 30 minutes away from the highway are to take part, defined by stone walls, on beautiful, narrow streets. Typically, the farmer houses built with these very rocks and meadows with sheep everywhere – everything here is reminiscent of the children’s show “Shaun the Sheep”.









Arrived in Coniston, a small town with maybe 1000 inhabitants, the sun shining on your face us; around us – as far as the eye can see – mountains – on the right as on the left. Coniston, a place of the Lake District in the north of England, on the shores of Coniston Water Lake and at the foot of the mountain Old Man of Coniston (803 m). In the past, the place lived of copper and slate mining, since the Victorian era, it is a popular resort. Among the tourist attractions here, include hiking and mountain climbing. In 1950, the National Park “Lake District” was established by as one of fourteen national parks in the UK, which gave a further boost to tourism.



It is Friday, the 07/27/2012, at about 15:00 clock, and on a large fenced meadow still cars are waved in, controlled and allocated parking. Many of the participants pitched their tents on the lush green lawn, some rest in their cars and are eagerly awaiting the start signal of the legendary 100-Lakeland Ultras, which since 2008 life has been breathed.

In the neighboring school where the race numbers are issued, some of the exhibitors, including Montane – the main sponsor of the race, set up their stalls. Here, in front of the building in a timely manner of the start would take place. First, we have to weigh – to my question “Why?” I get an unexpected response: “Many runners eat and drink during the run too much and increase too strongly in weight.” We pick up our race packets and the safety equipment of each participant is checked. Yes, mountains and altitude should never be underestimated – we remember the deaths at “Zugspitze Run “and here it was not even around 17 km! Of course, a head lamp is also demanded an emergency food ration, because it should go through two nights without sleep. At best, you could make it to the finish before the second night, but it could not be assumed. Carried must also, among other things, an additional rain jacket, rain pants and gloves (in this sunshine?), But we would already know yet why this is so important. As the English saying goes, “Four Seasons a Day”.

After the inspection of the pack, each gets his start documents and 2 bands around the wrist. One provided with an electronic stamp, which must be used at each checkpoint to the time-stinging. (The time is therefore most real-time online and can be followed on the competition page from outside).

Near the entrance to the school is the kitchen of the school, all participants having the opportunity again, to strengthen themselves before the race with “healthy” English food and fill their memory.

The time is approaching 17:30 clock – time to make the final preparations. I decide to run in long, do think of the impending night. My teammate runs in short, but must take two pairs of trousers in his backpack.

And now it’s time to start is imminent, almost 300 people, including a handful of women. What to expect? Each participant is provided with maps (scale 1:40000) and a road book – whoever wants to can also take a GPS device. The route is not marked; in the map the 14 checkpoints (CPs) and the “distance” with 169km located.



Here we go, the starting shot is heard, yet it is light, yet the sun is shining and then it goes up the first hill. The first stage should be about 659 meters and 11.3 km. It goes up and further up, the air is cool, the view from up there but always fantastic. The first mountain is created and it goes down again – yet you can walk – but the whole thing looks a bit different already downhill. First reflections on coming whether we perhaps should have used light hiking or walking boots and no trail running shoes. This would turn out after about 20 hours time – also would have to do without walking sticks is not intended to. Many roads, uphill and downhill again the same, often boulder fields, where normally runs down only water and no people, perhaps even the sheep that are found on almost every corner. Right pace to make at this ebb is not really. However, there will always be runners who will be downhill on the gas, even if every little distraction can mean a crash, injuring or even to shut down. The fastest in this race have done it in any case, otherwise this brilliant times, ultimately did not come out – but more on that later.

A future step goes through a wild moor landscape – finally, sometimes no boulder fields – but the shoes and legs up to his calves in mud or water, and again no way to do it in the right pace. The clock is starting to work against us.



It’s getting dark, my team partner is unfortunately already out – too severe cramping in the legs – he also has kept our GPS device accidentally. I am attached to a Scot “Alexander” who had tried it last year before, but had not come through. I have the impression that he knows the track still good. Besides, he also has a GPS device and runs at a good pace.

Now it is not only dark, but it gets cold, the distances between the CPs, which are to be run, have an average length of 11km. Each CP has reached a sense of achievement. There are even some warm soup or pasta – the organizer has really given his best here. Especially at night, it’s good to get something warm to the body. After each pause, however, one is then really cold, the wet clothes sticking to your skin and it takes a good 10 minutes to get back to reach operating temperature and to ignore the pressure pain in the feet. 4:35 clock, it is getting light “Daylight”, this motivates and delays fatigue. And finally a piece of level ground, even a little paved road, you can run again – but more strenuous than walking fast – but it relieves the calf and thigh muscles, and doing really well. Well, it is of course for the prescribed time limit …

Now it goes up again: 6300 meters are already not to be underestimated, and a private label. Also about 7 miles routes are not to be underestimated. At first glance, just 11.2 kilometers – were it not for the altitude. It often happened that one was travelling 1,5 hours for a kilometer ever – yes, the Pythagorean theorem …








Checkpoint 8

The sun comes through and it looks like a beautiful day. But at Km 90 , my Scottish sport friend surrenders. Too severe pain in the legs and too many open blisters. He had arranged to meet his wife but at kilometer 95, the drop-back checkpoint, where all 100miles participants could deposit a red bag with new clothes, shoes, energy bars, etc..

I walk on alone and now meet the first 50Meilen-runners who started at 12:00 clock in this area. Yes, you meet at once fresh, cheerful and motivated runners who greet a friendly and appreciative.

I reach CP 8 (Dalemain) after 16 hours without sleep, along with a British runner, a triathlete who last year finished the 50 miles in 13 hours. My meantime is good , 24 hours until the Time-Out. This means that even without a guilty conscience to make a slightly longer break.

In the tent, I meet again many runners with whom I entertain myself in the last 16 hours or I have met. Many of them finish the race here. A doctor looks closely at most runners, want to help them, but it is often too late. Usually completely broken feet, sometimes just yet empty eyes, in which he looks.

The triathlete is unfortunately gone, I need a new partner, without the GPS device I lose too much time in orienting. I speak in the tent to the English MONTANE-runner team. They laugh at me, have you heard from me. So far, the Lakeland 100 probably only Britons who participated, I and my team-mate seem exotic. We now run a threesome, good start, but the pace will slow down soon. Also, the two are at the end cannot any more. Together we reach still CP 9, then the race for Toni and Steven is also over.


On alone

I stay only briefly at CP 9, want to waste no time and now meeting Phil, a Briton and do a few miles with him. Things are looking up a lot of miles, I’m leaving Phil and try to follow the human shadow on the distant horizon.

The weather is getting worse and worse the longer height I make. I overtake other runners and pull me now on the windbreaker; not much later, the rain jacket and rain pants also. There is wind chill, it’s getting colder by the wind and now I need even hat and gloves. The rain pouring down the face, the wind whistling in the neck and ears, I now need to put even the rain hood – but my Montane equipment now holds everything from and against. I have finally reached the ridge, but running does not go any more here, again you sink deep into the mud and water fields. It is probably the longest and highest distance that is to take at 15.2 km and 765 meters of altitude. Then, sometime it goes really back down the mountain, unfortunately, even more difficult than uphill. You slip and have to be extremely careful that you do not get injured. But still it is light and luckily I can follow the well-trodden path.

The rain is getting worse, my pace slower. Now I have a problem with a toe. It hurts, the nail is probably torn and the first bubbles are also noticeable. I meet again on Phil, this Englishman even speaks some German, lived 4 years in Berlin. He is no longer motivated.

The route now runs right past a lake. I would have needed other footwear. You cannot run, everything is slippery and I have to compensate for each step, to keep from falling.

I leave Phil behind me and can finally see CP 10 on the other side of the lake. Rain and wind become more violent and I ask two hikers (no competitors) to fix my rain hood.

Finally, after another 20 minutes I finally reach the CP 10 – a small tent – and ask immediately for a pair of nail scissors – unfortunately negative, there are only normal scissors available, but these are not suitable for my plan. A tutor offers me to taping my toe. After all, I suppose! I eat at the time still a hot tomato soup and looking for a new mate. Duncan is British, 53 years old and also going alone. He agrees and we go together. It is now 19:30 Clock and in 2.5 hours it will be dark.

Again, it goes uphill, again a boulder field, where only water and chamois run up and down. We need for the first few miles more than an hour. Downhill we are still slow, it saps the energy and every step on the screen is associated with pain.








The second night

Darkness, we have to turn our head lamps and finally reach a level where we can run again a little. According to the road book a small bridge is to cross and the next path to find. Found! Things are looking up again, over the next boulder field (has here ever been gone a man?) – of course, all runners who are ahead of us. We need the first compulsive break, the fatigue comes through now and it’s getting harder to keep eyes open. We each drink a small bottle Red Bull and eat a protein bar. Energy comes back. Now we have finally reached the third gate and the height according to Road Book. It further goes along the rocky slopes and slippery grass paths, uphill and downhill and then we are finally back on the road. Now it` s not far to the next CP.


Checkpoint 11

Mardale Head – “Montane” Checkpoint 11 is reached. Here is barely company, but I know almost all survisors. There is cola, hot soup and warm sweet rice. It’s the middle of the night and the time is running out to us now. We look to make the next point,there the next 589 meters wait on us.

The first 30 minutes we put before a good pace, and then comes our friend, the fatigue comes back. It’s raining slightly and it’s pitch black. Fortunately, we have changed the batteries for the head lamp. It’s no use, we must take the compulsive break, the fatigue is playing their game with us. Duncan also needs a break and asks for coffee or something makes awake. We take coffee powder to us and eat something. Now it goes again a few miles, but we are always slower and inattentive, but would have to step up the pace to the predetermined maximum time of the next CP .Time wise it becomes slowly critical, fortunately, most roads are now easy to walk and the risk of falling somewhat reduced. Target is a small place “Kentmere”, here is the next CP in a sports shop. It is getting light again – 4:35 clock – is really relying on the daylight. Fortunately, the second night is finally over. We arrive with great effort CP 12 after 35.5 hours and 144 km mileage. And then it happens, unfortunately, what we had already suspected, but did not want to admit: “Time Out”! We are no longer in the given security time frame and are both removed from the race.

What a bitter disappointment! We were so close to the target…


100 miles Winner was Terry Conway, an extraterrestrial, who undercut his own record from last year again in a fabulous time of 19:50:37.

Now I am richer on experience of what I’ve done so far, if desert runs or even the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra 100 miles at 50 degrees-all looks at once much smaller…


On Conclusion

The Montane Lakeland 100 is a fantastic Ultra in a beautiful setting. Whom plays with the idea to participate should perhaps start with the Lakeland 50 should prepare him very much straight and long for it, unless one is Army mountain guide or lives in Upper Bavaria. All in all a great event, and the event directors Terry Gilpin and Marc Laithwaite have really given their best. We could look back on a great care, doctors, physiotherapists and hundreds of volunteers. The organizer has the runners created the best conditions for an exceptional competition and offers amazing natural images they will never forget.

Androgon team is here again in 2013 and is finishing here, that is for sure already.


Sponsored by: Montane

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Next Montane Lakeland 50&100

5:30pm, Friday July 26th 2013 – 9:30am, Sunday July 28th 2013.

Entries for the 2013 Montane Lakeland 50&100 will be open 9:00am September 1st 2012. The event takes place on the weekend of 26th-28th July 2013 from John Ruskin School Coniston. Entries will only be available from this website and only online entries are accepted. There will be 350 places available for the 100 mile event and 600 places for the 50 mile event.

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MONTANE® is a British company that creates premium lightweight and breathable clothing for mountain climbing, running and biking. Founded over 18 years ago, MONTANE® works with leading athletes in climbing, trail running and mountain biking disciplines.

MONTANE® supports the world’s leading ultra-distance endurance events and works closely with innovative mountain and polar expeditions. MONTANE® products are sold through leading specialist outdoor, run and bike retailers in over 40 countries around the world. For more information please visit FURTHER. FASTER®. For further information


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