5th May


Official Results

Richard Beard 21.42.07

Great Lakeland 3-Day mountain marathon has been on the Mayday bank holiday calendar since 1998.  This year I was tempted to give it a try having last taken part in a mountain marathon in 1988.

As described on their website,  the format for the GL3D is pretty relaxed.  Maps/courses available the evening before the race start with a selection of course lengths – Elite to ‘Café’ – which you can elect to mix and match as the mood takes you (final decision can be made on the start line).   GPS assistance is allowed if you feel the need. Camping gear , spare clothing and food (limited by volume/weight) is transported from site to site by the organisers - who also supply free beer/cider and a slice of cake at the campsites.

This year the event was based on Pooley Bridge.  Saturday at 7.15 we headed off to board a ferry for the short cruise along Ullswater to Howtown and the race start.  Under near perfect running conditions we were gradually released through the start to explore the hills and valleys of eastern Lakeland heading erratically towards the 1st nights campsite by the river Kent just north of Staveley.  Navigation using the supplied 1:40,000 Harvey event map was generally straightforward, although in a couple of places I suspect local knowledge would have helped route selection.

Day 2 provided a longer and much more testing day.  Overnight rain gave way to drizzle and low cloud which persisted for much of the day adding to the fun of navigation across the tops as the course headed out on a loop west to the day’s finish in Easedale.  At the  campsite tales were told by competitors who had gone astray in the murk, and as night fell the organisers set off to round up a couple of ‘strays’ from neighbouring valleys.  

Day 3 returned us to Pooley Bridge.  Conditions quickly improved, with early cloud/mist breaking on cresting the ridge of St Sunday Crag and navigation was again pretty straightforward.  Back at the finish it was time for a rinse off in the river, downing the supplied meal and then it was off on the trek back south in time to avoid any holiday congestion.

Altogether a really enjoyable weekend which I look forward to repeating another year although with an entry limit of only 200 I anticipate it becoming a race that rapidly sells out,

Course A:

Day 1       c40km /2,373m              6hr 34

Day 2       c47km /2,883m              9hr 49

Day3        c29km /1,765m              5hr 19

Richard Beard

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