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Lakeland 50

By Jamie Masters

26th Jul 2014

My Journey To The Lakes

It all started back on the 2nd of September, Feeling ill with the flu, I pulled up at the multi storey car park in Launceston. I got my mobile out and connected to the Lakeland 100/50 website, (back then I thought it was a good idea). Walking to the castle on the net trying to upload all my details and pay my race fee.

Not done a marathon at this point I thought I best start doing some mileage and book up a marathon, So Eden it was, Then the Cornish, Feeling good and on a roll I was invited on a 28 mile training run with the Ultra Elites David Speake, Duncan Oakes, Dave Rowe & Geoff Bazely, Big Mistake that turned out to be. I got my first injury and was out for a nearly two months only managing up to 5 mile runs. Between then and mid-July I think I must of got every injury possible (Might have been in my head). Then two weeks before I was feeling great ish and ready to tackle the lakes.

Bag all packed ready to go just waiting for Brett to turn up, Car all packed and off we set sharing the driving between me, Kerry and Brett. 11 hours later we got to Coniston the start for the 100 milers and finish for all of us, we just missed the 100 milers set off so we didn't get to see Duncan off.

Had a look around the field to see if we could see any STARCers and yep you guessed it, the flag was flying high. So we got the tent up and then went to get my kit checked, all passed then got weighed and tagged then back to the tent. It was then time for some food, the local chippy was calling the loudest so sausage and chips it was. We then went back to the tent & re-packed my bag and time to get some sleep, I didn't sleep great but got some, was up at about 6am feeling slightly nervous, got a coffee and some porridge for breakfast before the briefing at 8.30am.

The briefing was very good and the chap (Marc Laithwaite) doing it gave some great advice, it was then that I really realised that time is no issue and my only goal was just to complete it, having never done an ultra before. After the briefing we got on the buses and made or way to where the 50's start as we got their the 100'ers were passing through. The time had come on the start line ready for this adventure and off we went, I managed to stay with Dave Speake and Brett Jackson for the first four miles then we caught Andy Young up, As we was approaching Pooley Bridge we expected to see the STARC flag but they were caught in the traffic and only got a glimpse off the STARC flag being carried up the road by Nadia. I remember going through Pooley bridge and a member of the public saying well done Jamie, I took a look to see if it was one of our Clan but it was someone reading my name of my number, and also remembered a load off kids saying ‘'Come on David'' when we hit the trails that was probably the last time I smiled until I finished I think.

The plan was to get food fill up water bottles and eat on the move. The four of us were still together checkpoint 1 (11.2 miles), Coming up to the 2nd check point (20.6 miles) I was still holding onto Dave's pace, we agreed again fill water bottles, grab food (Soup, Cheese & Ham Sandwich, Cake and Coke) and eat on the go, That food didn't mix together very well and I felt sick after that checkpoint the heat probably didn't help either. We then hit the 3rd checkpoint (27.1 miles) still feeling quite rough and my knees starting to hurt with the descents, all I could manage at this checkpoint was an apple (Tried a smoothy but body was saying no), This is where we heard a voice behind saying ‘'alright guys'', it was Doug before we knew it he had slipped out the door and started making his way up the hill.

We caught Doug going up the hill and over took him, but that was not the last I saw off him oh no, Dave managed to get away from me on this leg as I couldn't run down the hill's or flats as fast as him anymore, Doug caught me back up on this stage and overtook me, I managed to get to Ambleside which was very welcoming the public at the pubs were cheering us on, so as gratitude I raised my hat to say thanks and they cheered louder (great feeling) As I was coming to the checkpoint I spotted the STARC flag flying high so put my hand up and the cheers started again, the STARC support crew was most welcoming, At this checkpoint (34.4 miles the furfest I had run to date), I entered the checkpoint thinking Doug must off had a second wind as he was nowhere to be seen but no he only took a detour in the woods and came in the checkpoint behind me, my stomach had settled a bit now and new I had to eat, so I managed two choc chip cookies cup of orange juice and picked up a cheese sandwich for the next section (which I took the cheese out ate the cheese and chucked the bread in the bin) I left with Doug then and made some time on him on the uphill's, I then Partnered up with a guy (Richard) from Harrogate Harriers (North Yorkshire).

Talking to Richard and finding out abit about him, He told me he had reccied the coarse from Ambleside to Coniston only in the dark tho, so for the next 15 ish miles, we ran together supporting each other, we weren't doing much running at this point could of probably walked faster, we came to one point where we were unsure off which way to go, there was two ladies, Richard, myself and one other guy at this point, the other guy was saying he was 100% sure it was the wrong way, I didn't have a good feeling about this and Richard said he couldn't remember as it was dark when he reccied it, So me taking control of the situation took my book out and got us through this tricky part of the section (never did get thanks off the girls they left us behind). A

bout 10 miles later the other guy caught us up not saying anything just kept his head down and run past us, So we got to the next checkpoint (40 miles) just as it started raining (good timing), Got some crisps, cake, coke and a couple more cookies, Put on headlight and waterproof jacket at this point and set off again, Between this point and the unmanned checkpoint, Doug then latched onto another group passing us as he could run and myself (knees) and Richard (cramp) couldn't very well, This part of Richard's knowledge came in very well as it was pitch black and he remembered the route, We got to the unmanned checkpoint and then it was downhill for a bit but still couldn't run, managed to get to the last checkpoint (46.5 miles)got a couple of jelly babies down, coke and thought I seen breaded chicken only taking a bite and realising it was flapjack (that was a shock to the taste buds)weren't expecting that. So the last 3.5 miles 283m ascent and 385m descent but knowing I was near the end I managed to run the last downhill part into the village of Coniston and over the finishing line where my wife was waiting and all the STARC crew.

I said never again but never say never, The day was fantastic, The Support was amazing, I'm proud to be in a great club. Till next time………..