montane 50 '' race report'' part 1 ( my computer hates me )

You either love it or hate it , and I loved it.  The race briefing by the organiser contained a wish that we all find ourselves on our knees for the last few legs because only then does this event become a challenge instead of a well planned training exercise.

My kit was the source of some amusement at the kit check with temps predicted to be high I had a wooly hat and a buff as well as winter cycling gloves and lots of extra clothes. I pointed out that the year before in very similar ''oppening weather'' many people retired with mild hypothermia totally miserable shaking and soake to the skin- I remember a helicopter !

This excellent if heavy planning collapsed on the first leg when it became apparent that some moron had packed my bag for me and loaded a single 750ml bottle image, all be it a pirate one. Despite looking cool I was desperate for water after an hour of the first leg-it took me over 3 hours. Arriving at the first checkpoint , and being mindful of the no outside assistance rule , I managed to drag a 500ml coke bottle out of the bin and now was up 1250ml! This prove woefully inadequate for the beast of a second leg from howtown to Mardale head, 9.4 miles and 765m or ascent in temps that reached 28 degrees in the mile long drag up fusedale beck.

The long and very pretty yomp down the side of Haweswater became torture, dropped off the back of my group ,then several others, and having the pain of them waiting increasing often for me to catch up , 2 gels burst in my bag and I licked the packaging like my life depended on it . The coke bottle water tasted funny then ran out, I tramped on.

We had been told that most people drop out at Mardale Head and also that competitors choose to drop out , with only a very few getting medically withdrawn. It may sound silly but I was firmly of the mind that choosing to drop out was not an option. I sat down , well slumped really and took stock, I knew it was water and sugar that were required but holding a sandwhich and a cup couldn't be bothered to drink them . Went to the toilet feeling sick , didn't vomit or pee, forced myself to drink and bit by bit, then very quickly got dramatically betterimage.  Five cheese and pickle sandwhiches , a coke , some juice , a coffee , 2 bits of cake some nuts and and several biscuits and I couldn't believe there had ever been a problem.

I shot out of the aid station like Mrs Doyle had given my a cake with cocaine in it, and flew up the steep and neverending switch backs of Gatescarth pass, with the rest of the leg passing in a sugary blur.

The next check point had smoothies just like the year before , plus pasta and jelly babies plus all the other essentials of life Like the previous year it had gone dark when we exited and started to rain ,  a vote was held on waterproof trousers and was unanimously in favour of staying in shorts, and so we set off blinding eachother and all the wildlife with thousand of candles of petzl brightness...part 2 to follow....


  • Great reading so far Citizen - looking forward to the next instalment image

    I tried a MDS backpack (almost fully loaded with kit) on for size at the weekend (it was DK's - he brought it to the Outlaw so I could have a gander) and had a little jog round with it. Those 2 minutes arsing about up and down the campsite, with all the gear and no idea, were enough to convince me that I should do this race. image
  • you should do it .

    my fellow competitor overheard a conversation outside the briefing between two hundred competitors both calling eachother mad,  one had entered the marathon de sables and the other something even stupider apparently!   Gear doth not maketh the man or woman.

    How was the Outlaw , glad I was forced to choose this year and enter the 50 but hope to be back at Nottingham at some point,



  • you wouldnt need anything like that weight for the lakelands100 Pudge, half the amount of food - if that and you wouldnt need a jetboil really, lakelands cut off is 40 hours iirc, the t184 is 80 - thats why we have to carry so much food, the pack you carried weighed about 7kg ( because there wasnt any water hardly in it - we are carrying about another 3kg to start with if its hot)  i would think for lakeland id be looking at closer to 4.5kg plus a smaller amount of water as lakeland has more check points than you need. i think lakeland also supply food bits at check points as well so pack maybe even lighter



  • spoke to several hundred people who ALL carried puritabs and just kept topping up the second bottlle.

  • Citizen - Outlaw was brilliant thanks, a really great weekend.  Seen some of the Lakeland pictures on Facebook, and it looks fab...brutal but fab.  Definitely hope to be there next year.  Registration opens in September I think, so I'll be poised to enter then.  Some serious training needed between now and then.  Have my first 100k coming up in November, so I'll see where I am as a gauge.

    DK - cheers for that.  Will the MDS pack still be suitable though, as I did like it and it was comfortable.  All I have at the moment is an Inov8 race vest and an Ultimate Direction AK vest - both of which I like, but are woefully inadequate as far as space is concerned, for something like this.

  • cheers Pudge, I guess you had the same beautiful weatherimage. 0900 on September the 1st , sells out very quickly , have about 700 for the 50 and 300 mentalist places!

  • i will be using the WAA (mds) pack, i like the bottle up front, the side pockets also move round the front or slide to the back - so many packs have them positioned to far back it makes getting into them awkward.. the front pouch also counter balances the weight in the back which why it seems lighter when you put it on. i didnt show you half the stuff either - the bottle holders are adjustable on the straps, you get 4 bottle holders but i only had 2 - you can put another 2 on the front pouch or at the sides of the pack. its a versatile bit of kit with so much adjustability its hard to find an argument for another pack. IF i was to choose another pack it would be the raidlight olmo 20 but by the time you buy the front pouch for it, its almost as expensive as the WAA pack. the WAA also comes with a poncho type thing which is great if its just showers, you can put it on without taking your pack off - havea look on youtube or google some reviews i bet its on there somewhere. also comes with a waterproof pack cover. the downside it that the bottles that come with it are shite but thats an easy remedy. The raidlight olmo pack is lighter but doesnt look/feel so well made, another one to condsider is the montaine ones


  • DK - I'm totally sold on the WAA pack so thanks for that!

    I will be getting the black version though, so we won't be looking like husband and wife if running together! image
  • harold and hilda we call that Pudge image


  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    howard image

  • Harold and Howard?image
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