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Great Lakeland 3 Day 2019 (not quite a race) Race Report – Anwen Darlington

Great Lakeland 3 Day 2

The Great Lakeland 3 Day is just that and this year it started in Pooley Bridge with the overnight camp just outside Patterdale. The first hurdle was packing. Trying to fit three days worth of camping kit, clothes and food into a 13kg bag meant priorities had to be decided - for me, the biggest priority was food! In hindsight, it should have been more clothes but we didn't expect the sub-zero overnight temperatures in May!

This event is extremely flexible; it provides 3 different courses, no commitment to run any particular course and the ability to switch courses each day. Overnight bags are transported the campsite so all we needed to carry was a small backpack with some pieces of kit and plenty of food and water. We chose to do a different course each day and make the most of this flexibility. The first day was the long day, 49km with 2600m of climbing. We were treated to long ridge runs, some rocky sections, a bit of scrambling, plenty of fantastic views and a lot of sunshine. We chatted to plenty of other runners as we wound our way up the hills, a welcome distraction to how our legs were feeling. On the second day we attempted the Wainwrights course - the aim of this is to get up as many Wainwright peaks (almost the lake district version of munro-bagging) and so back up the hills we went! Today's 35km and 2100m of climbing route took us up Helvellyn amongst other peaks and after a rocky, scrambly and hilly first 2 hours it became much more runnable. A 5km or so stretch took us along the shores of Ullswater back towards Patterdale, suddenly so much warmer and the memories of the earlier hailstorm were forgotten. By this point we were up to 84km of running in two days with a lot of climbing and it was an easy decision to run the cafe course on the Monday.

Great Lakeland 3 Day 5

In order to cater for all abilities the cafe course is planned so that it is possible to drop into a cafe mid way through the course. It is mostly aimed at walkers, or runners new to the sport. Luckily for us, the cafe was open and we enjoyed scones and coffee before running the final few miles back to the finish.

Great Lakeland 3 Day 7

Whilst the courses were fun, beautiful and challenging, the big attraction to this event is the atmosphere in the overnight camp. Free cake and hot drink for all runners, a free beer voucher for a local brew and a food van selling a range of hot snacks and drinks helps to make it a much more comfortable evening. We even managed to sit outside the tent in some late afternoon sunshine to cook dinner on our little stove before heading into the big marquee once it got a little chilly outside.

Great Lakeland 3 Day 3

In total we managed to run 104km with 5500m of climbing in beautiful Lake District terrain. It was a really fun weekend and friendly event which I really hope to return to. If you're reading this thinking you fancy a wee adventure up some hills, whatever your ability then I really recommend this event! It's perfect for all abilities and the flexibility of the courses allows you to really tailor your day to what you'd like to achieve. It is certainly an adventurous way to spend a bank holiday!

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