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Lakeland 100 & 50 UTLD (Ultra Tour Lake District)

24-Jul-2020 Coniston, Cumbria, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
161KM / 100Miles
24 Days - 320 Runners

Alternate Distances: 80KM/50M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Expert  

The Lakeland 100 is a circular route along public bridleways and footpaths through valleys and fells and starts and ends in Coniston, Cumbria.

The cut off time is 40 hours. It is a single-stage event that starts at 6pm on a Friday and ends at 10am on the following Sunday.

The race is open to individuals, pairs or 3-person teams. The route has 14 checkpoints that provide refreshments and food.

The route of the Lakeland 50 coincides with the second half of the Lakeland 100 with approximately 3100m of ascent.

The race starts at 11:30 on a Saturday morning with a 24hour cut off. It starts at Ulsswater and ends at Coniston.

The route has 6 checkpoint providing food and drinks. Like the Lakeland 100 it can be entered by individuals, pairs or teams of three.

Good navigational skills are required for both categories. No external assistance is allowed.

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Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Lakeland 100 & 50 UTLD (Ultra Tour Lake District)

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09:30 24-02-19

I've done this twice now, the last time in 2016 but I've been up there since to watch other friends run it and the format is still fairly similar. This is a really well-organised race and great for a first ultra (50 miler) as the time limit is very generous. It's hilly enough to be interesting but the climbs are quite condensed, making most of the terrain fairly runnable. It's in the lake district so of course the scenery is spectacular. There are lots of checkpoints so you're never too far away from more food and fluid and the marshals are fantastic, helping you re-fill drinks bottles, asking what food you need etc. Everyone camps on the school field so you do feel like part of a little community for the weekend. The goody bag is well-stocked and entry includes camping for two night so pretty good value. Because of all these things it is incredibly hard to get a place - entries sell out within a couple of minutes but if you're unsuccessful you can try and marshal which will give you free entry to the event the year after. Warning that marshallng can actually be more tiring that running the event as you are up for longer and get less sleep :-)

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11:03 02-01-19

I LOVE this event.. this weekend... the Lakeland family! Lakeland 50 - 2015, was the event that got me into racing (having never done a marathon or anything else except track at school), I have not looked back, Lakeland 50 essentially carved my life.

Lakeland 50 completed 2015, 2017 and Lakeland 100 completed 2018.

Either course is not to be underestimated and if you've never been to the Lakes the kit is mandatory for a reason, do not question the kit and pack everything and more!

The camaraderie of everyone involved is astounding, the volunteers, the race organisers and the competitors are a fundamental part of this weekend and what make it so special and why so many people return.

The course is pretty savage but completely rewarding. Such a journey.

I love this event's rawness and pureness it creates - you are a trail runner most likely because you absolutely love running but more because you love being outside, exploring what nature has provided and this event recreates that but in an organised way - if that makes sense. It is up to YOU to complete this event, it is a test of YOU and you alone, but your individual journey is shared with so many others at the same time.

As long as I can keep getting in, I will keep returning. Couldn't recommend a better trail event.

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10:01 24-03-17

Ran in 2015. I was under trained, suffered hard, but managed to finish.

What can you say? Probably one of, if not, the premier event in the UK! Great people, insane course! Why are you reading reviews? Just sign up! Commit to it! You WON'T be disappointed!

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07:21 14-02-17

I love this race. I've now done the 50 twice and it's up there as one of if not THE best event I've ever run.

The camaraderie out on the course is incredible, the 50 runners chat & interact for most of the route and all give the 100 participants support as they pass.

The CP's are always stocked with good fuel including soups & coke which is perfect for my delicate stomach and as most are themed it's like joining a party when you arrive at them.

The Lake District is obviously not going to provide an flat & fast 50 ultra but the UTLD is all the better for it and they traverse some of the most beautiful passes this fair country has to offer, it is a genuinely stunning route, just a shame you cross some of the nicest spots under cover of darkness.

If you love a challenge then get set up with your laptop ready on registration day as both events sell out in seconds... understandably.

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01:01 17-08-16

I ran my first Lakeland 50 this year and it was absolutely fantastic. Definitely the best ultra experience I've had in terms of the course, the other runners, the volunteers and the organisation.

I will certainly be hoping to get a spot on the race next year and I would 100% recommend the race for anybody looking to push themselves out of their comfort zone without having to head out of the country. The 50 course has everything from grassy fells, bogs, rocky sections, steep climbs and long descents as well as an energy boosting jaunt through Ambleside town centre!

Race HQ is in Coniston and there is a real atmosphere of camaraderie and shared experience. It's great to spend the weekend surrounded by like minded people and even those not running are made to feel welcome and definitely part of the event.

Great stuff.

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07:57 07-08-16

A year ago I signed up for the Ultra Tour of the Lake District, otherwise known as the Lakeland 100, with the intentions of running the 50 mile course. In my naivety I ran the Clif Bar 10 Peaks Long Course the month before, 45 miles and 5600 meters of climbing, over the 10 highest fells in the Lake District. It destroyed me. Taught me a valuable lesson. Moreover it side-lined me from my goal.
A year later I was driving up the motorway network towards Coniston, mentally running through my mandatory kit list periodically, checking if I had left anything at home. A boot full of ultra and camping gear, the coming 36 hours would be challenging…………
The Ultra Tour of the Lake District consists of two races, 100 and 50 miles, circumnavigating the Lake District National Park. An unmarked route across fell and bog, it is the pinnacle of UK ultra-running. The 50 mile route starts in Dalemain, heading to Howtown, Haweswater, Kentmere, Troutbeck, Ambleside, Langdale, Tilberthwaite and finally Coniston.
Lakeland 50 map
With 2965 meters of ascent and 3069 meters of descent it’s a tough course, whilst carrying essentials for any problem you may face. 1 litre of water, waterproofs, thermals and survival kit adds up, but it’s a level playing field.
Lakeland 50 stats
Arriving in the nick of time, I was able to witness the start of the 100 mile race, as they set off the night before my race, at 6pm, before I striked camp and signed in.
Lakeland 100 2
After showing I.D., having my kit checked, receiving my dibber and being weighed (that’s my little secret) I was free to relax under a stunning sunset over the fells surrounding Coniston. With a mind that wondered about what lay ahead, rather than filling it with doubts, I slung some headphones on and watched Outside Voices, following ultra legend Jenn Shelton on her travels amongst other trail running films.
Lifesystems Sunset
Waking up early, race briefing starting at 0830, I had plenty of time to walk around my mini camp, scoffing a variety of food from my Ellipse cookwear. With time in hand, it allows you to eat slowly, promoting proper digestion and preventing GI distress. Neck your breakfast and you may find yourself sprinting for a bush in the early miles.
Lifeventure Lakeland
Laying out my kit for the 4th time, I wanted to make sure I had everything I would need for the coming 50 miles. The reality is most of what goes into the pack will not be used and certain items should never be used unless an emergency occurs.
The contents were as follows:
Road Book
Waterproof Jacket & trousers
Long sleeve baselayers, top & bottom
Survival Bag
First Aid Kit
400 Calories of emergency food
Head torch
Charged Mobile phone
Lakeland kit shot
This would be on my back for the good part of half a day, so making sure my pack fitted well and didn’t rub was essential. I opted for my favourite Lifesystems Safety Whistle, despite my pack having one built in, as I know it’s easy to locate, ridiculously loud and is my one go anywhere piece of kit.
I stripped back my Nano First Aid kit to meet the minimum requirements of the race. Though comprehensive and designed for endurance sports, I took out the sun cream and primary care leaflet to make it that bit lighter and smaller. Hidden in the depths of my bag, I had a Light & Dry bivi bag, ultra light and compact, if I or someone else had to use it something would have seriously gone wrong. Finally, I bathed myself in Active 40 sun cream before heading to the start line. With hours of being exposed to the elements in the middle of summer, I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about being burnt or UV damage.
Lifesystems 2
Keeping all of this organised (if only my house was), I used 3 Lifeventure Dry Bags to colour code my kit. Red for emergency, Blue for waterproofs and Green for thermals. Thought it didn’t rain, it meant the contents would be protected from my sweat, as well as making finding kit in a hurry easier. Dry bags are often an overlooked tool in the outdoor kit arsenal and using a large bag liner doesn’t make finding your head torch any easier.
So the run itself. After an hour or so sat on a bus to Dalemain and standing in a toilet que full of nervous stomachs, runners huddled into the starting pen, as the atmosphere grew in energy. With a 10-1 countdown by the crowd, we launched into the Dalemain estate, running a 4 mile loop before heading onto the main 46 mile course.
Dispelling nerves by locking into a comfortable tempo, each field saw the elite pack increase their lead and break away. Running out of the estate, passing 100 mile runners, who by this time had been on the move for 18+ hours, thousand mile stares were common. Finally out on the course, it was liberating and a little terrifying. My plans to train had failed and having missed out last year, I felt a certain amount of pressure on myself to get the job done. My aim was simple, keep things consistent and above all, finish.
So when I came into the first checkpoint at Howtown, 11 miles in after 1 hours 40 minutes of running, I knew I would pay for this later in the day. I was running way too fast. If this was a trail marathon, I’d be struggling to keep that pace up for the second half, let alone for 39 more miles!
The ascent up High Kop was a real slog, my legs, unaccustomed to ascending anything of any real height suffered and the earlier blast of speed meant my system was attempting to slow me down. To add to this, my competitive side didn’t want to lose position, despite many clearly being more prepared. After the descent to Haweswater and contouring the shore line, I had more energy back and felt strong again, but with reasonably high temperatures for me, I had gone through my litre of water and felt myself slow again. To keep moving, I used my mug to take gulps from streams, before finding a fast flowing waterfall where I was confident in filling my flasks. Once again the climb up Gatescarth Pass took its toll, why did I leave my poles in the car??! I had used them at the 10 Peaks Race to keep myself moving on steeper ground and I was paying the price for a lack of judgment.
single iamge i tookFrom that point till Ambleside, I ran flats and descents, a walked/power hiked (I sound like Homer Simpson when he changed his name to Max Power) anything with a slight vertical gradient. Seeing Windermere in the distance, glimmering in the afternoon light, I was re energised knowing it wasn’t long till I’d be pounding the streets.
Up to this point, I had been mainly fuelling myself from Mule Bar energy bars, Mountain Fuel Extreme Energy drinks and a combination of crisps, sandwiches and biscuits from checkpoints. In Ambleside I opted for soup, which cranked a hot body to boiling point, only managing a couple of mouthfuls before I had to bin it and return to cooler solids.
Leaving Ambleside, although 1/3 still stood in the way, I felt good and knew I would finish. The flat paths of Elterwater were great for some consistent running in, after miles of undulation causing stops and starts.
The checkpoints were incredible. I remember being in the Wild West, Sparta, Hogwarts and then my mind goes blank. Not through spacing out, I just concentrated on getting in and out as quickly and efficiently as I could. Dib in, refill bottles, neck a couple of drinks, eat, stash food in bag, breath. Run.
As night set in, the mood changed. Eyes became transfixed on the spot of light thrown out in front by a head torch, noises suddenly became clearer and then a bull charged in front of me, stopping directly in my path. Making noise as a fellow runner shouted to make some, it moved off the path and the race continued. And then it happened again, this time he didn’t shift. Gingerly moving behind him, potentially in kicking range, we both took off up the trail.
The checkpoint at Tilberthwaite was special. Lights lit up the steps, leading onto the final climb. A few small EZ Ups providing the last safety and chance of refuelling before heading into the abyss. I pretty much walked straight through, filling one bottle, grabbing two biscuits and onto the final climb.
My quads screamed as I forced myself up, 3 miles from the finish and yet it felt further away than halfway. Using my watch to navigate the paths and head torch to prevent myself from falling off the cliff edge to my right.
And then the lowest moment struck. By this point my feet had become saturated and sores were developing. As we summited, a searing pain shot up from my left foot, leaving me incapable of walking a step forward. I was defeated. Short of screaming out, I clenched my fist as those that had lined up behind me moved past, their head torches disappearing into the night ahead.
I’m so close. I’m so damn close.
I’d set myself the task of getting round in 12 hours and I could see the minutes ticking ever closer. Hobbling, then walking, I made my way down the descent, taking my time on anything technical, wishing I had my poles, telling myself off.
Hitting the fire road, I started running and kept a conservative pace given I wasn’t sure how far I had to go or how long my foot would last.
Seeing lights, hearing voices, I pushed on. Joining the main road, a roar erupted as my torch beam came into view, as despite it being 11.30 something PM, crowds of supporters were still out welcoming runners in. Turning into the final road, bystanders funneled me into the finish arch and my adventure was over.
medal image
50 miles. 2965 meters of ascent. 3069 meters of descent. 12 hours 7 minutes and 58 seconds.
I was 8 minutes outside of the goal I set myself, but I was happy. I’d achieved the first aim of all races, finishing. I had learnt a lot about my dietary requirements, physical ability and mental strength. I walked away, ok hobbled, with a sense of my mental strength having been increased, better understood and above all in control, bar a momentary lapse late on. They say endurance sports are all in the head, the mind leads the body and I feel on this occasion it literally did. I was ill prepared and had several opportunities to quit in relative comfort throughout the race.
Of course, the recommendation is you do this prior to a race, but hey, it’s good to keep the spontaneity in life. If I can get a spot next year, I’ll be back on the 50 start line and have all the intentions of training properly.

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08:45 06-08-16

I have looked forward to this race since I entered last September, been on all the Recce weekends ( which were fantastic) and spent ages in the Lakes but this race still exceeded my expectations from start to finish. The Briefing, the course, the Checkpoints/Aid stations, the other runners and especially the Volunteers made this the best race I have done so far. It was a long 105 miles but great T shirt, medal and "buff" and the cheers at the finish despite it being 3am made it all worthwile.

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02:38 06-08-16

Just done my third Lakeland 50

Value for money, there can't be a better well organised event

Run over some of the best countryside England has to offer, only the quickest get the full benefit of finishing in daylight

Can't praise the organisation of this event enough

#lakelandfamily sums it up

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05:22 05-08-16

I 'ran' the 100 last weekend - 2016. I found it a tough, tough event - adding to the distance and terrain, the need for navigation compounds the difficulty. Excellently organised - the checkpoints / food / marshals were superb. Many preparation emails leading up to the event. A real challenge - even though we thought we were managing ok, we still had a rush to get in before the cut off. Definitely recommend this to anyone

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10:27 03-08-16

If you want to take part in probably the biggest ultra running event in the country then this one is for you. It delivers exceptional organization, impeccable logistics, friendly unique feed stations, well thought through maps and route guidance, dedicated medical teams, etc, etc, etc, On that basis this is a safe and accessible event to run, particularly if this may be your first time attempting this distance. If it is your first 100 mile race, be aware that this is actually 105 miles. Apparently the extra 5 are 'good value'! It's fairly easy to navigate. This year was the first time I've done it and previously I'd only reccied about 50% of it. Navigating the rest of it as I was going along wasn't hard and it was rare that there wasn't someone else around to run with. If you're not confident in your navigation though I'd certainly recommend practicing as much as possible on the route in order to minimize wasted time during the event, and avoid incurring extra distance.
The route is all run on good paths and tracks. These are generally suitable for running on although a bit technical in a few places. By staying to the valleys and going over the main passes this route avoids prolonged exposure to the higher ground. It goes through some beautiful parts of the Lakes and the views are certainly stunning in places. I personally felt that there were some parts of it which if I had been doing a run purely for the sake of running I'd have avoided some of the places where it dropped into a valley to simply climb out again. However I think there needs to be a balance of sticking to main paths and areas where damage from 800+ pairs of feet tramping over it will be controlled.
The support on the route is great, and this is primarily a function of how many people there are out supporting the other runners. This made the event feel special.
Over the 105 miles there's about 6,500m of climbing so this is quite a bit. The route starts with a series of climbs but then is relatively flat through from Keswick to the start of the 50 mile route at Dalmain. It then starts getting hilly again from Pooley Bridge, but even after the long climbs you're rewarded with long, runnable downhill sections to help make back the time (if you still have strength left).
This year I was impressed with the food in the checkpoints, but less so with the food available in the school at Coniston (the event base). This seemed to be mediocre quality and expensive for small portions. It's raising money for a good cause though (I think) so nobody will probably complain too much.
My one tip would be to pace yourself. The hills continue all the way to the end and keeping something in reserve will probably make your race more enjoyable and efficient.

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