2017 Race Director's Report

3rd May 2017

Welcome to 2017 Silva Great Lakeland 3Day Race Director’s report. After a few days’ reflection, it is clear from feedback already received and the fantastic atmosphere at the event, that the 2017 event was a big success. Thank you for being part of it. That’s not to say we are complacent and we will take a thoughtful and reflective look at the new course structure and your feedback as we prepare for the 2018 event, which will be the 20th anniversary event. We will want to make 2018 that little bit special so please put the dates (5-7th May 2018) in your diary now!


SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day - copyright Steve Ashworth

Absorbing the relaxed nature of the event to the max - ©Steve Ashworth


Incidentally, there is a superb retrospective article from Joe Faulkner, who was the original organiser of the event on the website if you want to enjoy a read about the early history of the event.


Thanks to the Event Team

It’s fantastic when a seasoned competitor, who has almost certainly completed 100s of events over the years, approaches once we are back in Coniston on Monday, and says, “The team helping are the best that I have ever experienced at an event”. I’d concur with that sentiment completely, and what makes them so special is their happy, caring and enthusiastic attitude to helping at the event, combined with a huge amount of experience, and approach to helping that means they never walk past a job. If it needs doing, they sort it! For the record, the team helping to make the Silva Great Lakeland 3Day happen in 2017 were:

  • Alex Chesters
  • Ben Abdelnoor
  • Beverley Notton
  • Colin Harding
  • Craig Kingston
  • Dave Cumins
  • Gary Tompsett
  • Geoff Cox
  • Heather Ohly
  • Helen Samson
  • Ian Cowie
  • Jim Imber
  • Joss Abel
  • Kate Worthington
  • Keith Montgomery
  • Kevin Powderly
  • Lawrie Jones
  • Matt Gemmell
  • Paul Weaving
  • Stuart Smith
  • Sue Dowker
  • Tom Hecht

Of course, the event would not have been possible without the consent of the major landowner, which is the National Trust, and we would like to sincerely thank them. We also had fantastic support from Coniston Sports and Social Centre, and the landowners in Langdale and Duddon where our overnight camps where located. Many thanks! 

2017 event in a nutshell

The 2017 event is a wrap! Thanks for coming - how did you find it? Maybe you missed out this year - fancy joining us in 2018? Entries open June! Thank you SILVA + supported by Harvey Maps, Lyon Equipment, The Climbers Shop, Joey's Café, Trail Running magazine UK, National Trust Lake District

Posted by SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day on Tew's Day, Month o' May 2, 2017


Welcome to Silva

I was delighted to welcome Silva to the event as our new title sponsor. We hope to be working together for many years to come, and it was great to see Silva’s UK Sales Manager taking part in the event and chatting with participants to get a real first-hand experience of the unique, friendly and fun Silva GL3D atmosphere. We are looking at more ways to involve Silva with the event in order to further improve the overall experience.


SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day - copyright Steve Ashworth

Welcome on board SILVA! ©Steve Ashworth


Introducing the Expert, Wainwright and Café Courses

There is rarely a good time to make a change to the course structure of an event, but after much consideration and debate internally we launched the new Expert, Wainwright and Café Courses for 2017. Our intention is to differentiate the Silva GL3D from the standard mountain marathon format and course structure, because quite simply, the Silva GL3D is different, with more emphasis on the journey and with mountain summit checkpoints rather than more complex navigation and route choice. However, we want to maintain that link to the mountain marathons and the event has proved an excellent stepping stone to more navigationally challenging events over the years. Also, with its 3-day format, the Silva GL3D has also been a natural stepping stone to longer ultra-running events, and we hope to maintain this. And of course, the transportation of participants’ overnight kit and the availability of beer, cake and hot water at the overnight camp, definitely mark the event as unique and these are key features of the event, which we have no intention of changing.


We will review feedback carefully but my sense from the weekend was that the Wainwright course was spot on, that the Café course was a little more challenging than previous years, and that the Expert course was shorter than the elite course of previous years.


SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day - copyright Steve Ashworth

The new Wainwright course got a little scramble en route to Foxes Tarn ©Steve Ashworth


Specifically, with the Café course, we have changed from a ‘C Course’ that evolved over several editions to visiting cafés along the way, to a ‘Café Course’, which as its name suggests, really ought to visit a café as part of the route each day. For 2018, we will consider this from the earliest planning stages, and consider the feasibility of a pop-up café if there are no logical café stops along the route.


The Expert Course is shorter than the previous Elite Course, and now that we feel settled on this kind of distance, we will ensure that this is clearly communicated in the pre-event information. Apologies to the speedy participants that wanted to spend longer out in the hills this year.


Overall, the key philosophy of the Silva GL3D is to enable participants to enjoy a journey through the mountains, following natural lines like ridges and valleys, with checkpoints on summits, which help to define the route, but avoid complex orienteering navigation. This philosophy is unchanged and we will be really focused on this for the 2018 (20th anniversary) courses.


Introducing the Marquee…

Well on most nights anyway! We have had a marquee at the event for many years now, but it has been our own (as in Ourea Events’s property), and in all honesty much smaller and less capable tent (many will remember that it was very nearly destroyed by the wind in 2016 at the Loweswater overnight camp). We decided from 2017 onwards that we would invest in a large commercial marquee at the Event Centre and each Overnight Camp so that participants have a great space to socialise in at the event. Despite the marquee blowing down at the Sunday camp, it is clear that this development has been a big success and you’ll see it again at the 2018 event.


Marquee Duddon Valley

Course Planner Gary Tompsett 1, marquee 0! ©Tom Hecht


Monday Finish Frustrations

After an excellent weekend of adventure for everyone, it was disappointing that approximately 30 participants were frustrated at being unable to finish before 12 noon. I’d like to be clear that the last thing we want to do is frustrate and annoy our participants, as you are our customers, and we need you to recommend the event and return in the future. As a regular participant myself in many different events, I completely understand why you would have been annoyed. So that you understand why this happened I’d like to share with you my approach to being a Race Director, how we communicate this rule, the reasons for this rule, and some solutions for avoiding this occurrence in the future.


First, as the Race Director my role is multifaceted with safety, fluid logistics, and fairness as key considerations. Very occasionally, ensuring that these key event parameters are met will mean that I annoy a participant (timing them out, retiring or disqualifying for example). I believe that being a good Race Director means stepping back from the moment, taking an overview and ensuring that the structure and parity of the event is maintained. That structure is created from many aspects of the event set up; the rules, the start/finish times, the blue fencing etc. all of which combine to give the event its identity. Without this structure, there would be no coherent event.


To ensure parity across the event I can’t just change the rules adhoc. The rule about 13:00 finish on Saturday and Sunday, and 12:00 noon on Monday is on the event website, printed on the maps, and emphasised at the event briefings. With ~250 participants at the event, the clear majority planned their start time appropriately, and it would have been grossly unfair to have changed this rule on the fly on Monday morning. The reason that we have this rule, is to allow the Event Team sufficient time to pack the Overnight Camp, return to the Event Centre, and get set up again. Every year this process takes a different amount of time depending on the location of the Event Centre relative to the Sunday night camp. We have taken the view that to have 12 noon as a consistent finish time every year is better, than trying to customise it each year, as this would become confusing (i.e. 11:30 one year, and 13:00 the following year). I hope this explanation helps everyone understand why we have this rule and why we enforced it. 


On a much more positive note, what is important is how we can make this clearer to the participants and therefore hope to avoid frustration like this in the future. We have two immediate suggestions:


  1. We will add the first finish time to the event schedule on the details section of the website rather than simply including this information within the event format section.
  2. We will print an advised start time for the following day on the participants’ print-out at the end of each day. We do this for the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race and Cape Wrath Ultra, and it works well.


As ever, we really value your thoughts and welcome any feedback.


SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day - copyright Steve Ashworth

This year, the SILVA GL3D mixed things up with a delightful gorge-side path at the start of Day 3 (Café and optional Wainwright) ©Steve Ashworth



The 2017 results are now live. If you spot any errors please let us know and we will check. Please note, that anyone who finished before 13:00 on Saturday and Sunday, and 12:00 on Monday will have a finish time (and therefore overall time), based on these times.


Economic Impact Survey

It would be extremely helpful if as many participants as possible would complete this economic impact survey. It will only take 2-3 minutes. We are asking participants to complete this survey so that we can clearly demonstrate to organisations (like the National Parks, National Trust and major landowners) the positive economic impact events have on the local economy at a time when many landowner organisers are dramatically increasing the fees they charge to events. This is really important.


We will provide 2 free entries for the 2018 GL3D to be drawn from 2017 participants completing this survey! Don't let this delay you entering though - if you're lucky enough to win and you've already entered we'll square things over.

Fill out the short survey now!


Photos & Video

Official Silva GL3D (and local) photographer Steve Ashworth has already sent us the 1-minute video cut and photos from the event.

You can check out his photo galleries on the website and visit our Facebook page album to tag yourself and your friends.


Your Photos and Video

If you have any photos, videos, or blog posts about the 2017 event that you would be willing to share on social media, please post them directly to our Facebook page or tweet us @GreatLakeland3D


Lost Property

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:


  • Gloves x1
  • Wash Bag x1
  • Neck Gaiter x1

Participant Feedback

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. All feedback is valuable in making the event ever better! Please use our contact form to get in touch or if you prefer to use your own email program, try us on this address.


SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day - copyright Steve Ashworth

Thanks for dibbing your way around the SILVA GL3D in 2017, see below for what's happening before May 5-7th 2018 


What’s Next

We suspect that if you enjoyed spending the early May bank holiday weekend with Ourea Events, there's every chance you'd like to join us again in 2018. Entries will open in June.


You might also like to take part in/follow the live tracking in one of our upcoming events. Here are some highlights:


10Peaks™ (Lakes) 2017

Entries still open

24th June 2017

The 10Peaks™ events are designed to challenge even the toughest competitors, combining ultra-distance running/hiking with some of the UK's most rugged and mountainous terrain. Navigation plays a major part as there are no marked trails leaving competitors to plot the quickest, safest route between the 10 highest peaks. The Lake District courses vary from 48km to 73km and must be completed within 24 hours!


Cape Wrath Ultra™ 2018

Entries open Monday 8th May 2017!

20th – 27th May 2018

The Cape Wrath Ultra™ is a once in a lifetime, 8-day ultra-running expedition race weaving 400km through the Highlands of Scotland. Starting in Fort William, the race will take competitors on an incredible journey linking ancient footpaths and remote tracks to the furthest north-westerly point of the British Isles, Cape Wrath.


Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017

Live tracking from Monday 22nd May 2017

22nd – 26th May 2017

The legendary Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ follows the mountainous spine of Wales from north to south. This incredible 5-day journey is 315 kilometres long with 15,500 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain. It is not a trail race, rather one of the toughest mountain running races in the world.


ROC Mountain Marathon™

Entries still open

23rd – 24th September 2017

The ROC Mountain Marathon™ is a two-day fell running and navigation challenge for solos and pairs with an overnight camp. Famously relaxed and welcoming, the fun and friendly atmosphere of the ROC Mountain Marathon™ is epitomised by the lack of prescribed start times, the wide spread of prize categories and the opportunity for younger competitors (to participate. This year it returns to the Lake District!


10Peaks™ (Brecon) 2017

Entries still open

9th September 2017

The 10Peaks™ events are designed to challenge even the toughest competitors, combining ultra-distance running/hiking with some of the UK's most rugged and mountainous terrain. Navigation plays a major part as there are no marked trails leaving competitors to plot the quickest, safest route between the 10 highest peaks. The Brecon Beacon courses vary from 58km to 89km and must be completed within 24 hours!


Salomon Skyline Scotland™ 2017

Entries still open for the VK and Ultra

15th – 17th September 2017

Salomon Skyline Scotland™: Home to four of the highest-octane mountain running races in the world: Salomon Mamores VK™, Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™, Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra AND the incredible Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™.