Why I’m running the Montane Lakeland 50

Montane Lakeland 50

I am running the Montane Lakeland 50 this year, a pretty brutal 50 mile race in the Lake District on July 28th 2018. At this stage I’m not sure if it’s wise or stupid but I have my reasons below.

Montane Lakeland 50
Montane Lakeland 50 – Image © Montane and Ian Corless

Why I Started to Run

I started running because it was a challenge. I wanted to taste complete freedom so I escaped to the comforts of my local trails and explored. Running for me started as finding some time in my otherwise hectic life to process my thoughts, make sense of things, feel a sense of accomplishment and pride that I had challenged myself. Then I can approach my day with good vibes and a clear head.

Running recently

As running a 10k got easier I ran a half marathon. The first few half’s were so hard but after some time the distance stopped being a challenge and I stepped up to run marathons. They were all tough as hell but now the distance doesn’t scare me and it’s a challenge of speed instead.

Slowly I have become obsessed with beating myself over these distances and I love them for that. I’m racing myself hard at every opportunity and while I get a huge kick out of setting a new PB I feel like there’s a safety net around me, however fast or slow I run… I know I can finish.

The Challenge

The Montane Lakeland 50 is not like many 50 mile challenges.

  • 3100m of ascent.
  • It’s twice as far as I have EVER run.
  • It’s well known as one of Europe’s finest trail events. It’s the second part of the Montane Lakeland 100 and their own website claims that 50-60% of participants will quit at 50 miles because it’s simply to hard to complete. (Can you imagine feeling that broken! I can’t wait!)

For some reason that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
I can’t wait to be on the start line… not knowing what lies ahead or how my mind and body will react.

Montane Lakeland 50
Montane Lakeland 50 – Image © Montane and Ian Corless

To reconnect with trail running

It’s been a long dark winter in the UK and I can’t wait to shift my focus from road to trail over the spring/summer. I live in a small town and I have been running 300m laps of a housing estate for most of my winter miles because it’s street lit and flat. Sometimes running up to 20-30 laps… the scenery gets rather dull!

I will continue to use this as my ‘track’ and do some speed work there but If I turn left at the end of my road I have miles of Devon forrest trails leading to the epic Jurassic coastline.

I want to get out there and explore more, I want to go on more journeys and be rich in experiences.

For me I look forward to winning being about getting to the summit, not just about the pace I’m running at.

Why this?

The most common thing people have said so far when I considered this was ‘why would you run 50 miles?’ and they do have a point.
I’m taking on something that I genuinely have no idea if I can actually complete.
The Lakeland 50 is bigger than me right now and that gives me a target.

I’ve always found life more interesting when things are hard. When your short on time, up against a deadline, or there’s a problem to solve. This is my toughest physical and mental challenge yet.

I have no idea what I’m actually doing!
I could really use some help so please please please help me out with advice on kit, training, race prep, mentality, nutrition… anything!

You can follow my journey on Strava, Instagram, or Facebook to see how it goes!

Bring on the Lakeland 50 2018!

Montane Lakeland 50 Medals
Montane Lakeland 50 – Image © Montane and Ian Corless

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