LAKELAND 5 PASSES….a must for all you hard core Lomies!

The morning of 16th June, and we all gather in the Grasmere Village Hall, for our race numbers and our checkpoint stuff! (bit of laminated plastic with the checkpoints written on, then its snipped off when you reach that point!) Weather was awful…heavy rain and low cloud! This was the inaugural Lakeland 5 passes, and I chose this to be my first Ultra, was I mad! 33 miles and nearly 10,000ft of ascent!

Luckily for me Laura Fleming and Angela Taylor were doing this, and were quite happy to buddy me around on this venture, Im so glad they did cos they helped me get round within time and Im sure they could have done it an hour or more quicker than myself!

From the village hall we ran on a tarmac path that led us uphill on to a cobbly rocky path till we got to a signpost that said YHA Loughrigg Terrace, thru a metal gate and onto Red Bank Wood (GR3360600) then continued along a track to re-join the road, (GR340057) then turning right uphill, after 50 yards turn left down a gap between the wall and metal rail going down a stony path, thru a metal kissing gate, over a slate bridge and up a stone staircase (gr342057) then its straight up to the summit of Loughrigg Fell! safety checkpoint!

we left the summit by a wide grassy path and came down a stony pass with numerous cairns, and I know all this cos I kept my navigation instructions ! we eventually head to a point (GR352047) which is a T- Junction then after down a minor track (GR354045) at the bottom it splits and we take the right fork, descending slightly to reach a small tarn then go over the stream left and uphill a fir plantation (GR359044), we carry on through a gate and cattle grid to road, turn right on the road over another cattle grid a stone foot bridge and straight ahead into the park (GR374044) Check point 1 4.3 miles and food and drink!

That is some of the navigation, wont detail everything as it will take up a lot of space, after 1st checkpoint it was in to Ambleside and making our way to the Waterfalls, then onto Wansfell Pike (GR394042) that was 6.5 miles in…after that it was heading towards Troutbeck..Checkpoint 2 was in a lay-by 8.5 miles in..then onto  the Garburn Pass and to Kentmere Village Hall..Check point 3 12.3 miles in..we continue on to Sadgill Bridge  (GR484057) which is Check point 4 15 miles in..after that its up and over the summit of Gatescarth Pass then on to the summit of Harter Fell, which is a safety check (GR460093), from there we descend down to Nan Bield Pass, then uphill to Thornthwaite Beacon…at this point I was cold and wet through and we had to put our waterproofs on! (GR431100)From this point it was onto Threshthwaite Mouth and Stony Cove Pike (GR419100) then onto the summit of St. Ravens Edge (GR4050820) and the follow the path down to the road at the Kirkstone Pass (GR401081) check point 5 25 miles in….

From this point, I just looked ahead and seen what we had to climb…Red Scree (GR396088)…very rocky climb, and got rockier! Getting past that we reached Scandale Pass (GR388096) and headed across to High Sweden Bridge, in to Rydal Park and then make our way to the Coffin Route to Grasmere, which seemed to never end, by then I was shattered…nearly home…Laura and Angela ran off when we reached Grasmere and myself? I just got myself lost in Grasmere..forgot where we should finish and ran past the village hall…but did get there…organiser gave me a time of 12.07 and the cut off for runners was 13hours, so Im well pleased.. this was an extremely tough race with a lot of technical climbing and descending and Im still pinching myself that I did it! My next Ultra will be a lot flatter! 😂

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