|Above: Braddan Johnson leads the way to final checkpoint on Hooker Crag (Muncaster Fell) on the final day of the Great Lakeland 3Day™. © Ian Corless|
Dear Competitors and Volunteers,
Every Race Director’s report starts with some handwritten notes about the things I wish to say compiled over the weekend, and every list of notes always starts with the words, “thank volunteer marshals”. The feedback we received from competitors at the event and now over email and social media is completely unanimous in stating how excellent the volunteers were and asking that thanks should be passed on. So, on behalf of me, Tom, Charlie and all the competitors, I would like to congratulate the team of volunteers on a job well done and thank you all very sincerely.
The Great Lakeland 3Day™ continues to grow yet that very palpable atmosphere (informal, relaxed and friendly) happily keeps pace. This is great news, and I am certain that this ambience is an important reason why the event does continue to grow and many competitors return year after year. The event atmosphere is really the responsibility of everyone attending, competitors, and staff and volunteers alike so thank you all!
|Above: A fantastic start to day one wasn't to last unfortunately! © Ian Corless|
For the 2015 event Charlie Sproson (the Race Planner) and I had wanted to use the Ravenglass-Eskdale railway to transport competitors from Ravenglass into the mountains and we based our initial course planning and venue selection on this premise. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond our control we were unable to use the railway in the end, but this decision came too late in the planning process to alter the Event Centre and Overnight Camp locations, which had already been finalised and the guts of the courses determined. As such, the B and C course participants travelled to Eskdale in coaches and the Elite and A courses were extended to start from Eskdale and shortened later in the day. It all worked fine in the end but it wasn’t quite the same fun and elegant solution we had planned, or achieved in 2014 with the Ullswater Steamers. For 2016 we will once again look to do something ‘creative’ with the courses…
Feedback about the event is really important for us as we continually attempt to fine tune and improve – see comments below. This year the one thing that stands out to me, as the Race Director, is the process for registering and weighing in and loading drybags. I updated the process from 2014 but clearly it is not quite right yet and the bottlenecks in the system resulted in queues at peak times. Sorry about this. I promise to have a super slick system in place for 2016!
|Above: Best of ShAFF films comes to our marquee cinema on the Friday night before the start of the 2015 Great Lakeland 3Day™. © Ian Corless|
Before the event really got going on Saturday morning the stand out change for me was the introduction of the ‘Best of ShAFF’ films on Friday night. We sold out our marquee cinema and our two films went down really well. Certainly, we will be continuing this at the GL3D™ in 2016 and at various other Ourea Events races this year (Marmot24™ in July, Berghaus Trail Chase™ in August and the Rab Mountain Marathon™ in September – I hope to see some of you there!)
|Above: Elaine Stewart clearly enjoy the rain! © Ian Corless|
The weather was tough for everyone on the first and second day with plenty of rain and wind in the valleys making the breakdown, move and re-assembly of the camp challenging. However, for all our difficulties, participants had a much harder time on the hill with snow, sleet, heavy rain, poor visibility and gale force gusts of winds. Well done to everyone who completed their courses and well done to everyone for staying safe and making sound decisions about how much of their intended course to tackle based on personal levels of experience.
Holding the 8pm Lowe Alpine raffle in the competitors’ marquee proved to have some unexpected benefits on both Saturday and Sunday night. Personally, I really like the opportunity to engage with most of the competitors and share a few laughs but it was also a useful opportunity to share information about the weather and the event. This is something we will do again next year and I’ll ensure we have a few additional prizes to give away.
|Above: Challenging weather conditions on the second day. © Ian Corless|
The poor weather did bring the ‘Café Class’ into it own and many competitors on all the courses took advantage of the checkpoints located at some of Cumbria’s finest pubs and cafes along the route. I must admit to the odd chuckle in the download tent as many participants apologised for their late arrival at the overnight camp and admitted to long pub lunches or café and coffee stops. Great stuff! This is exactly the relaxed approach we want at the GL3D™.
Very late on Saturday night we made the decision to use the shorter Bad Weather courses on Sunday. As a Race Director this is always a difficult decision but ultimately the role of the Race Director is to make good decisions for the majority of the competitors and although there were a few disappointed runners the overwhelming consensus was that this was a good decision and the very poor weather on the tops the following day confirmed this.
The GL3D™ is not about results, winning or losing but focuses on participation, enjoyment (even if that is retrospective for many!) and quality mountain journeys. However, I do like to mark the leading male and female winners and to this end previous GL3D™ winner Heather Dawe has provided a superb limited edition print for the last three years for the fastest runners on the Elite course.
|Above: Lizzie Wraith setting off from the summit of Swirl How on Day 3 of the GL3D. © Ian Corless|
For me there were some other memorable performances over the weekend. These include a large number of competitors preparing for the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ next month and using the GL3D™ as their final big training run. Renowned ultra runner Lizzie Wraith flew straight back from Nepal to take part in the GL3D™, cruised round the B course on the first two days and then causally set the fastest time for the Elite course on Day 3. She’ll be one to watch I reckon! Damian Hall also looked in fine form finishing 5th overall and Kerstin Rosenqvist dominated the female results finishing 3rd overall and winning the female Elite race for the second time at the GL3D™. Other competitors preparing for the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ included Niklas Holmström, Jim Savage, Greg Crowley, Jonathan Whilock, Braddan Johnson, Tim Miller, Caroline Watt, Cath Holloway, Nigel Harrision, Elaine Stewart, Chris Williams, Melody Hazi, Debbie Brapbacher and George Waller. I wish you all the best of luck in your final preparations.
The following items were handed into us over the weekend. If you think any of them are yours, please contact us with a description and we will arrange their return:
- Inov-8 hat x1
- Blue beanie hat
We would welcome any feedback from competitors… good or bad! If you enjoyed yourself, just a few sentences about your experience that we could include on the website would be greatly appreciated. If you feel we could have done something better please let us know. Email info@GreatLakeland3Day.com
We suspect that if you enjoyed spending the bank holiday weekend just gone with Ourea Events, there's every chance you'd like to take part in one of our upcoming races. Here are some highlights:
25-26th July 2015: Marmot24™ - Combining the very best elements of the predominantly British mountain marathon phenomenon with the most exciting aspects of the more international, 24-hour rogaining events.
8-9th August 2015: Berghaus Trail Chase™ - An exciting weekend of trail running adventure with a greatl overnight camp, set in the stunning North York Moors National Park.
26-27th September 2015: Rab Mountain Marathon™ - A two-day fell running and navigation challenge for solos and pairs with an overnight camp. Est. 2007.