The full race report from this event is here: http://doarunner.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/lakes-in-a-day/ Leaving out the boring pain/human suffering bits however, here is a short assessment of Open Adventure‘s Lakes in a Day awesome 48 mile ultra.
As expected from OA, organisation was first rate. The experience all involved had in outdoor events came across in that all bases were covered from start to finish. Equally, we were well informed from the outset. The high number of emails sent out in the run up was a symptom of this being the inaugural running – that will no doubt be squared away for next year – but I’d always rather have too much info than too little, no dramas.
This run was nails, in a good way. With 12000′ of climb, most of which in the first 30 miles, it would always be hard. This section spread the field out nicely to ensure we all had to navigate. The second ‘half’ was mostly flat but meant there was a good race for the front runners all the way to the finish. The scenery was amazing, taking in some of the best the Lakes (and indeed the UK) has to offer. The route was mostly unmarked (and advertised as such), with only a few marked areas. Nav was at times a challenge (in fog or the dark), but not so tough as to be an impediment. Advertised as 48 miles, that would always be conservative once you included ups, downs and wiggles (not to mention nav faff), so I expected 50 which turned out about right for the fastest runners of the day.
Food and People
Although spread well apart – there was a looong section between CP 1 and 2 (in time terms) with no water unless you went wild – the aid stations were very well stocked in terms of quality and quantity. Lots of the right stuff, handed over by very friendly and capable marshals. They also had tv screens with our positions (we had trackers attached to us) which was great to keep an eye on other runners. Equally, the other runners were v friendly and happy to chat, and everyone was looking out for everyone else from start to finish. The event had 2 photographers out on the course as well snapping all of the competitors and sharing the pictures on Facebook – good work. I’ll be back next year
With the magic spreadsheet returning a strong 8.6 out of 10 (highest so far), this race is one to have a go at – if you’re fit and well prepared. Navigational ability is a must, as is planning, but if you get it right you’ll have chance to enjoy some amazing views. Carry enough food/water to get you between check points if you make a poor route choice, and have a look at the route (at 1:50,000 on the event website) and you should be good to go. Entries are open now.