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Montane Lakeland 100 Recce Day, Coniston to Buttermere, Sunday 11th November

The opening recce for 2019 event takes place on Sunday November 11th and covers the ground from Coniston to Buttermere. This section is the first 25 miles of the Montane Lakeland 100 course and it’s a challenging section. The day starts from John Ruskin School and the first call is Seathwaite CP1. From here the route heads to Boot CP2, Wasdale CP3 and finally it’s a long, steep and tough section to Buttermere CP4, including Black ©iancorless.comIMG_5078UTLD2014Sail Pass and Scarth Gap. The final sections of this recce in particular are steep and rocky with rough descending. Last year many did the final section in the dark and the last finished at 9pm Sunday night.

All are welcome for this recce day (including 50 runners) but you must be fully prepared and confident of your navigation skills. You must bring all of the equipment specified on the compulsory kit list, including head torch!

Boot to Buttermere is the toughest section of the whole course and will be done in the dark during the actual event. Last year, the final finishers for this recce reached Buttermere at 9:00pm, it is a long day.

Timetable for Sunday November 11th:

7:00am Arrive at Buttermere and park
7:30am Coach pick up from Buttermere, bottom of Newlands Pass: GO HERE FOR PICK UP LOCATION
9:15am Coach drop off at Coniston John Ruskin School to start run
8:00pm Last anticipated finisher at Buttermere

Cut off times: Seathwaite 2.5 hours from start / Boot 5 hours from start / Wasdale 7.5 hours from start. Those after cut off will be returned to Buttermere in minibus.

You should be prepared to navigate and learn the route, the guides will support you. You should bring full kit as per the event requirements and you will need a copy of the road book (which can be downloaded from the site) and a map (either printed from the site or purchased). If you have a GPS you should also bring this, the routes are available from the Lakeland 50&100 website. please not that there will be no GPS support throughout the weekend and we will not have access to the routes/tracks for you to download.

Food and drink will be provided at Boot and Wasdale Head. The food will be jelly babies and flapjack and the drink will be water.

How do I sign up?

To sign up GO HERE, all recce days cost £15. The cost includes refreshments at checkpoints and coach transport. You will need to find your own accommodation, we suggest Buttermere Youth Hostel or other accommodation in Buttermere/Keswick.

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Lakeland 50 & 100 Recce Days 2018/19

The recce days give you the opportunity to practice on the course and experience the terrain and navigation required. We split the 100 miles route into 4 sections to cover the full 100 course. The 50 mile event is the final 50 miles of the 100 course, so this means that your relevant sections are 3 & 4. You can register by clicking the relevant links below, but read the following information, which gives you a better understanding of how the weekend works. Each recce day costs £15.

Section 1: Coniston to Buttermere (100 course only) Sunday Nov 11th
Section 4: Ambleside to Coniston (50 & 100 course) Saturday January 19th – NIGHT RUN
Section 2: Buttermere to Dalemain (100 course only) Sunday March 24th
Section 3: Dalemain to Ambleside (50 & 100 course) Sunday 26th May

Q: Why are the sections done as 1/4/2/3 and not just 1/2/3/4?

A: Anyone doing the 100 should be very comfortable running on the fells in the dark, this may not be the case for 50 competitors, especially if it’s your first ultra. The sections covered are therefore based upon daylight hours, length of section, level of ability required for 100/50 runners and the potential weather conditions at that time of year.

Q: If I’m doing the 50 can I join the 100 runners for sections 1 & 2?

A: Of course, we welcome everyone as these are great training runs and the 50 may well be a stepping stone to the 100, so a recce of sections 1 & 2 may be very useful. Things to note are that these sections are tough and may be done in darkness. Last year during the recce of section 1 (due to take place in October) runners were still finishing at 8pm in the evening, completing Blacksail Pass and Scarth Gap in darkness. For those of you not familiar with the Lake District, those climbs and descents are not for the inexperienced.

Q: All recce days are ‘point to point’ so how do we get our cars back?

On Sunday morning (Saturday afternoon for Jan recce) you need to drive to the end point for that day and you will be collected by coach and taken back to the start. For example, recce section 1 November 12th, Coniston to Buttermere. On Sunday morning you will drive and leave your car at Buttermere. You will be picked up by coach and driven to Coniston to start the run for that day, finishing back at your car. This might sound a little complicated… ‘you’re at the start, you then drive to the finish, we then bus you back to the start’ but it is the best format as explained below.

Q: Why do we drive to the finish and not just bring you back by coach?

A: Faster runners can often finish the recce days up to 6 hours quicker than the last runners. If the coach were waiting to bring you back, it would have to be in place for 6 hours to collect everyone before you can get back to your car! Alternatively, we’d have to have multiple buses running shuttles which would not be logistically possible. Driving to the finish means that we can collect everyone together, it also means that at the end of the day, you can get in your car and go straight home!

Q: What if I’m coming on the train or don’t have a car?

A: Please don’t presume that you can get a lift back to the start or to the station when you reach the end of the run, this isn’t the case. If you are traveling by train or don’t have a car, we suggest that you go onto the Facebook page and try to arrange with others beforehand. The organisers cannot ferry any runners back to the start or any other location.

Q: What’s at the checkpoints?

A: We will count you through and provide ‘basic’ refreshments such as water, biscuits and flapjack. You should carry your own food and drink if required. You will also be counted in at the finish.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Full kit list as per website, food and drink, mobile phone charged, map and roadbook printed from website, GPS if you have the option – route downloaded from website.

Q: Will there be people to guide and help me navigate

A: Whilst there may be a number of people running who are there to guide, presume that the answer to this is NO. Ultimately you need to navigate yourself and you need to bring all the items as above, which will help you navigate the course.

Q: When does the sign up close?

A: Sign up closes on the Wednesday prior to the recce weekend as we need to confirm coach size and requirements.

Q: If I’ve signed up, when do I get final details regarding pick-up times, location of guest talk etc?

A: We will email all those signed up on the Monday prior to the recce weekend, details will also be posted on this blog page in the week prior. You can find the blog page by going to the Lakeland 100 homepage and clicking the blog link.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Each day, including refreshments and coach transport is £15.

Q: If I can’t make it can I transfer my money to the next recce day?

A: You’ll need to tell us 1 week in advance otherwise this won’t be possible as transport, venues and refreshments have been booked and paid. If you tell us a week or more in advance.. no problem..

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Who’s looking after you… a guide to checkpoints, 1-14

Checkpoint 1, Seathwaite Village Hall

Checkpoint 1 is a quick stop for the 100 runners at Seathwaite Village Hall. It’s staffed by the wonderful team at Ulverston Triathlon Club. Their theme is World Cup and you’re invited to try and score a penalty, beating the keeper. If you miss… there’s no food and water for you.


Checkpoint 2, Corn Mill, Boot vikings

For the 100 runners you’ll be facing darkness soon after this checkpoint so this is the perfect place for Petzl and CP manager Martin Bergerud. This year Martin and his team will be feeding, hydrating, supporting and pushing you onwards to Wasdale. Martin is an all round mountain man, runner, cyclist and great guy so you are in safe hands. This year their theme is VIKINGS!


Checkpoint 3, barn close to Wasdale Inn, Wasdale Superheroes

Based in the North East is an immense army known as The Sunderland Strollers. They are regulars at ultra running events throughout the UK, competing or supporting. Many of the members have already taken part in the Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 and they have an elite team ready and waiting for you at Wasdale checkpoint. With Blacksail Pass and Scarth Gap looming, you’ll need ‘lifting’ at the Wasdale CP, the Strollers are the team for the task. Imagine a barn in bleakest Wasdale full of super heroes…. these guys goes above and beyond, you need to get to Wasdale just for the fancy dress, it’ll be worth it. 


Checkpoint 4, Buttermere Village Hall, Festive Celebration

Bev & Kim (don’t need to say any more for the regulars) will be staffing this point and the theme this year is Christmas. Last year their theme was American Diner and the milkshakes and hot dogs were so popular that we have to keep them…. but they’ll be festive this year. Yeah… we’re not sure how that will work either but don’t worry, it’ll be fine. Merry XMAS everyone, only 24 more sleeps!!

Checkpoint 5, HMS Braithwaite, The High Seas

Tony and Giselle are at CP5 and that’s probably as much as we need to say for those who’ve done the event before. They’ve been there every year, feeding, supporting and pushing people onwards and they are the first ‘real food’ stop (mains and pudding!!). Tony and Giselle have been long distance runners and walkers for many years and have racked up more LDWA events that they’ll serve hot meals in July. If anyone complains, you will be made to walk the plank as the pirate team running HMS Braithwaite will not take any abuse from slackers.

Checkpoint 6, Blencathra Centre School of Rock

Trawden AC are the crew in charge of Blencathra, the most Northern Checkpoint on the course. The theme is ‘School of Rock’ and they are ready to drive you onwards… it’s tradition that NOBODY drops out at Blencathra and Trawden AC will keep you moving!

Checkpoint 7, Dockray Pink Pleasure

Checkpoint 7 is found at the end of the old coach road, in a deserted car park, usually in the early hours of the morning and that’s why you’ll be pleased to see them. The Newburgh Nomads and Parbold Pink Panthers are a running club from Lancashire who have experienced you pain. This year the ladies have taken charge and their theme is ‘think pink’…. rumour has it that some of the men have revolted already!

Checkpoint 8, Dalemain House Garden Party

The ‘half way stop’ for the 100 course which is in fact not half way at all and it is the start of the 50 mile event. Dalemain is manned by the familiar face of Angela Bardon and this year they are going formal…. and hosting a garden party. More tea vicar? Cucumber sandwich? That’s enough now… get up and crack on.

Checkpoint 9/1, Bobbin Mill, Howtown Pyjama Party

The first CP for the 50 runners and you’ll have barely broken sweat. After a great trail along Ullswater you drop to Howtown for the first stop and then start the first real climb up Fusedale valley. The checkpoint is managed by Kerry & Rick Gilchrist and their theme is Lakeland Pyjama Party!!!

Checkpoint 10/2, Mardale Head Car Park, Mardale Sparta

Delamere Spartans are a collective of trail runners who shun tarmac in favour of adventure and good times in the great outdoors. The brotherhood of Sparta is a bond that cannot be broken. In Sparta you will find friendly bravado and good old fashioned ‘encouragement’ for all. They live wild in Delamere Forest, their spiritual home and out on the killing fields of Cheshire. The Spartans are driven on through wind, rain, sleet and snow. Even darkness turns to light in their presence. They are committed to finding personal limits and once discovered, they smash through them like a truck on a colossal mirror.

Treacherous Persians cower (NB: not many Persians at Mardale) as the Spartans find glory through their victories. Witness their banner at races, from the friendly Lakes of the North to the burning pit of hell known as the South (their words not ours, for our Southern friends reading this). They are the Delamere Spartans, what’s your occupation?


Checkpoint 11/3, Kentmere Institute, Kentmere Beach Party

Kentmere is staffed by our friends at Mountain Fuel and they’ll welcome you to their beach party! Hopefully the weather will hold out, feel free to take your bikini!


Checkpoint 12/4, Parish Hall, Ambleside Circus

Checkpoint 12 is Ambleside Parish Hall and the stop is managed by Ringmasters Charlie Sproson and Noanie Heffron. Roll up, roll up, come and see the biggest show on earth at Ambleside Circus!!

Reaching Ambleside is a great landmark so you’ll be glad to reach the parish hall and you’ll welcome the relief. Some of you will reach Ambleside before last orders, no stopping in the pub please, it’s not in the spirit of the event…


Checkpoint 13/5, Chapel Stile Pleasure Dome

Chapel Stile is staffed by Nikki Knappet (De La Napsack) and her team. Their theme is ‘The Pleasure Dome’ and they are ready to motivate you when your energy levels are reaching a low… Frankie says don’t DNF. 

Checkpoint 14/6, Tilberthwaite, Jacob’s Ladder

This year the Checkpoint will be managed by ‘the Colby’s’ and their team. They’re supporting Jacob’s Join in aid of child cancer, Manchester Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. Jacob’s ladder is your final challenge… you just need to pay £1.

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Lakeland 100 – 500 Club

2015 was the first year we created the elusive 500 Club to recognize the brilliant achievements of those that have successfully completed five Lakeland 100 events. Below is a list of those inducted so far and the number of successful 100 completions:

Matt Neale 9
Gary Warmington 7
Ian Boardley 6
Nigel Harrison 6
Jody Young 6
Tony Maxwell 5
Lawrence Eccles 5
Kevin Perry 5
Nathan Walsh 5
Mike Dunn 5
Charles Brent 5
Philip Musson 5
Jon Pitchford 5
Simon Webb 5
Nick Ham 5
Jason Sherwood 5
Martin Thomerson 5
Brandon Webb 5
Raj Madhas 5
Steve Harvey 5

This year we have seven athletes ready to run their way into the club, so without adding any additional pressure on their shoulders the seven runners are:

Chris Brookman
Duncan Oakes
Alan Lucker
Antony Brown
Steven Major
Jonathan ‘the legend’ Steele
Carl Hobbins

Good luck to the magnificent 7 and we look forward to inducting you into the 500 club in the not so distant future.

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None Shall Sleep…

Completing 100 miles within the 40 hours time limit requires runners to travel through at least one full night, often 2 . Hallucinations are common amongst competitors and in 2012 one runner was convinced that he had passed opera singer Paul Potts (Britain’s Got Talent winner) and ‘swore blind’ he humming Nessun Dorma at the time. The relevance of this story is that Nessun Dorma translates as ‘none shall sleep’ which seemed appropriate given the circumstances of the runners. Roll forwards 12 hours and during the Sunday presentation party, a Twitter conversation with Paul Potts, reveals that it was in fact him on the course and not a hallucination at all…. much to the amusement of those tired souls who attended the presentation.

Such was the relevance and popularity of this story, in 2013 we adopted Nessun Dorma as the official Lakeland 100 anthem, to be played at the start line. Runners and families were silent as the anthem played and there were a few tears shed for the epic challenge they were about to embark upon.

Following that moment in 2013, our anthem was set and it’s now part of the event history. Each year we invite an operatic tenor to sing Nessun Dorma and this year Chris Lafferty will be performing live at the start line.

Whether you’re supporting a 100 runner, or taking part in the 50 mile event, don’t miss the start of the 100 mile event from Coniston John Ruskin School at 6:00pm, Friday 27th July. It’s is truly an iconic moment.

The children and family 1 mile event follows at 6:30pm, so make sure you book the Friday afternoon off work and travel up early as it’s not something you’ll want to miss.

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What’s on the menu for 2018?

The food available at each checkpoint has remained relatively consistent for the last 5 years, as returning competitors know what to expect and it helps them to plan ahead. There are a few small changes and the table below shows the food which can be accessed at each of the checkpoints, on the Lakeland 100 and 50 course.

You should note the following:

1. Anything else you require should be carried from the start. It’s not possible to have personal food delivered to checkpoints.
2. The one exception to this rule is for Lakeland 100 competitors only, who can leave personal food in their drop bag to be collected at Dalemain.
3. Taking food from supporters or spectators is considered to be ‘outside the spirit of the event’, this is your personal challenge. Carry it or get it from the checkpoints.
4. Stashing food on the course beforehand is strictly against the rules and may result in DQ, drinking stream water and eating wild animals is allowed.
5. Upon reaching Ambleside, public houses, off licenses and the fish and chip shop are strictly out of bounds.
6. The event rules are very simple and fair for everyone: carry it from the start or take it from a checkpoint.
7. Dropping any litter on the course will not be tolerated, this will result in an immediate DQ.
8. It is impossible for us to enforce these rules, we rely on your good will to support and adhere to them.

You can see a list of checkpoints and food supplied below, THIS LIST IS NOT EXTENSIVE, IT IS THE MINIMUM YOU WILL FIND AT THE SPECIFIED CHECKPOINTS, the CP team will often bring additional/personal food and snacks. Water and cola is available at every checkpoint on the course. Hot drinks will also be available at all checkpoints with the exception of Seathwaite.

CP Location Food Water Cordial Cola Tea / Coffee
1 Seathwaite various cake, biscuits & snacks Y Y Y N
2 Boot various flapjack, biscuits & snacks Y Y Y Y
3 Wasdale soup, sandwiches, crisps, fruit & snacks Y Y Y Y
4 Buttermere Hot dogs, milkshakes, sandwiches, crisps & snacks Y Y Y Y
5 Braithwaite pasta meal, rice pudding, biscuits, sweets, fruit & snacks Y Y Y Y
6 Blencathra cakes, biscuits, sweets & snacks Y Y Y Y
7 Dockray soup, sandwiches, biscuits, crisps, fruit & snacks Y Y Y Y
8 Dalemain meat stew and veg stew, bread, pudding & custard, sweets, biscuits and snacks Y Y Y Y
9 Howtown flapjack, biscuits, fruit & sweets Y Y Y Y
10 Mardale soup, sandwiches, crisps & snacks Y Y Y Y
11 Kentmere pasta meal, biscuits, sweets, fruit and snacks Y Y Y Y
12 Ambleside soup, sandwiches, cake, crisps, fruit & snacks Y Y Y Y
13 Chapel Stile meat stew and veg stew, bread, biscuits, fruit & sweets Y Y Y Y
14 Tilberthwaite Sandwiches, biscuits, flapjack, sweets and snacks Y Y Y Y

*Sandwiches will be ham, cheese, jam and peanut butter (not all together, but any suitable combination should be expected).

*What’s VEGAN at checkpoints? There are foods which are clearly vegan, such as fruit etc. Checkpoint teams may also bring their own foods, whch we cannot account for. In terms of the basics, see bwlow:

1. All soups, veg stew, pasta and pasta sauces
2. Bread, spread (vitalite), jam and peanut butter
3. Salt & Vinegar / Ready Salted crisps (not cheese and onion)
4. Millions sweets are vegan, not Haribo
5. Hob Nob, Nice, Rich Tea & Bourbon biscuits are vegan, custard creams are not vegan
6. Cakes and flapjack are not vegan

IMPORTANT – Remember there are 2 separate events running over the weekend, those taking part in the 50 and those taking part in the 100. If you’re running the 50 and find the thought of soup and sandwiches as checkpoint 2 a bit strange…  remember that some people will have done 70 miles by that point!

However… feel free to indulge yourself, it’s all included in the price.

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Family and friends coming with you?

It’s 9 weeks to go, are you traveling alone or with friends and family?

There’s lots to do for your friends and family in Coniston and we very much encourage them to come along and enjoy the atmosphere. If you’re competing in the 50 miles event, we very much encourage you to arrive Friday afternoon and join us for the iconic Lakeland 100 start, followed by the children’s fun run.

Here’s some of the things you need to know beforehand:

1. Camping is free for competitors, paid for within your entry fee. Subject to any last minute issues, we also allow your family and friends to camp with you free of charge. All we ask is that you don’t abuse this rule and bring 50 supporters, each with a 20 foot marquee. Competitors are our priority so please be fair.

2. The cafe, bar and coffee shop are open throughout the weekend, closing at 11pm Friday. Your family will be able to greet you at the finish line and food / refreshments will be available right through Saturday evening to Sunday morning. We’ll have live music on Friday evening 7:00 – 10:30pm and everyone is welcome.

3. There will be a live screen in the marquee which shows the anticipated finish times and progress of all competitors. This will not be available from 11pm Friday to 8am Saturday, but will be available right through Saturday night into Sunday evening. Your family and friends can track you on the sportident website, but there is no wifi at event HQ and 4G is ‘sketchy’ at best.

Spectators can sign up for SI Updates, you can do this within your SI entry by adding mobile numbers that you’d like texts to be sent to as you pass through each checkpoint. This is the same as the info displayed on the big screen, supporters will receive a text to inform them of the CP and the time you went through. There is a cost for this to cover texting charges etc, but this is the best way for your supporters to keep up to date with your progress throughout the event. We’ll send out more details closer to the event.

4. There’s loads to do in Coniston and not least visiting the lake! Take a look at some of the things to do by GOING HERE

5. The Lakeland 100 starts Friday 6pm after our traditional live rendition of Nessun Dorma. Make sure you are there for the 100 start, the streets are lined and it’s an amazing spectacle.

6. The Lakeland 001 starts Friday at 6:30pm from the main gantry. It’s a free 1 mile fun run to Coniston Lake and back. We encourage all the children to take part, no matter what age and family members are very much encouraged to join them!

7. The Lakeland 50 starts at 11:30am on Saturday from Dalemain Estate. Your family can drive there (you can opt for coach transport, but this is for competitors only). Your family are also welcome to join you for the first 4 miles of the 50 route, as you’ll complete a 4 miles loop and the pass the 50 start point. If they don’t want to join you, they can watch you start and then cheer you through at the 4 mile marker! Parking is free at Dalemain for family and spectators.

8. Event briefings and presentations will be held in the school hall. Can we please ask that friends and family DO NOT attend the briefings as it will prevent other people from accessing the hall. EVERYONE is welcome to attend the presentation on Sunday!

WE NEED YOUR HELP – Please read the points below

Every year we have lots of spectators asking us where to go to support runners. Spend a bit of time with your family planning where to meet them and your anticipated time of arrival. You should also plan the route between meeting points as the Lakeland roads can be tricky and navigating can be more stressful for your family than it is for you as a runner!

1. With the exception of the first 4 miles round Dalemain estate, supporters cannot run on the course with you, this is deemed outside assistance.

2. Supporters MUST NOT enter the checkpoint buildings, CP staff will ask them to leave as they generally ‘get in the way’ of other competitors and CP staff.

3. There are specific points on the course where they can watch you. We have agreed with local councils, National Trust and National Park to avoid key areas. If your supporters go to these areas to watch you, it may result in a disqualification. The specific areas where supporters can watch as as follows:

100 Course:

  • Coniston (start and finish – please do not support in village centre after midnight as this can upset local residents)
  • CP3 Wasdale (specifically from Wasdale Inn)
  • Keswick – back of Fitz park before climbing Latrigg and on A66 approaching this point

50 & 100 Course

  • CP8 Dalemain Estate (parking available and friends / family of 50 competitors may join you for the initial 4 miles loop)
  • Pooley Bridge – main village (100 & 50 competitors)
  • CP12/4 Ambleside – main village (100 & 50 competitors) *can spectators please avoid entering the Parish Hall checkpoint. Ambleside is a key location for spectators.
  • Skelwith Bridge Hotel
  • Elterwater village – BE QUIET IF IT’S LATE

What is our recommended plan?

If you are taking part in the 50, our recommended plan is that your family watch you at Dalemain then go directly to Ambleside. Driving to Howtown, Mardale and Kentmere is an awful trip, especially if you don’t know the roads and it’s also not allowed as a spectator point. They should drive to Ambleside via A66 and turn left and St John’s in the vale, to avoid the Kirkstone Pass. If they leave Dalemain at 12:30pm, they will reach Ambleside at 1:30pm, runners arrive from mid/late afternoon onwards, most are arriving in the evening. There’s plenty for them to do in Ambleside and it is also the best atmosphere on the route! From there they could move quickly and drive to Skelwith Bridge Hotel to see you at the road crossing, before moving on to Coniston.

100 runners, there’s no spectating on the West and it’s a Hellishly dangerous drive if they attempt to go over Wrynose and Hardknott to see you. Keep your family safe, let them watch the start and then Saturday morning, arrange to meet them in Keswick as you pass through on your way to Blencathre CP. They can then head over to Dalemain and there’s plenty of opportunity to see you there. From Dalemain, the same applies as above for the 50 runners. Ambleside via the A66 and St John’s in the vale, quickly to Skelwith Bridge and then to Coniston.

It Is extremely difficult for us to police the above regulations so we are asking YOU as a competitor to take responsibility, help us to ensure the race runs as smooth as possible and also to ensure that the event continues to take place every year forwards from now.  Every year a small number of people think the rules don’t apply to them and send their friends to every checkpoint and every year we have someone being rude to checkpoint staff when they’re told they are not allowed in. We’re not trying to spoil your enjoyment, we’re trying to ensure that you get the best help at each checkpoint without someone else’s family getting in your way. We’re trying to keep residents and landowners happy to guarantee the future of the event. We’re trying to ensure that your family are safe, don’t attempt a perilous journey and enjoy the weekend as much as you hopefully will.

9 weeks to go people…. crack on.

Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 Team


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