Skyrunning UK: 3×3000 Ultra Trail Recce

On Friday 5th September I set sail for Scotland, with my ultimate destination Keswick in the Lake District. The purpose of the trip was to join High Terrain Events for a two day recce of the 3×3000 race route. Having never been in the Lake District before, I figured this might just be a good idea! I don’t want to learn it at 5am in the dark on race morning!

The race is a rework of the classic ‘Lakes 3000s’ route for the Skyrunner National Series, which is also in its first year. The route covers 80Km and a mean 4000m of ascent. It’s mostly marked, but that means nothing in the clag and high mountains. The route starts (5am) and finishes at Crow Park, Keswick, and undulates along the hills to the east of Derwentwater, before it winds it was up the Borrowdale Valley to the first summit – Scafell Pike. The tallest mountain in England at 978m. That’s checkpoint one! The route then heads off towards Wythburn on the southern banks of Thirlmere, via Angle Tarn and High Raise. At approximately half way, the route ascends the Helvellyn range, were we have a checkpoint on the Helvellyn summit and another at the end of the range on Clough Head. A sharp fell descent from Clough Head and a short trail run across to the checkpoint at Latrigg brings us to the last of the 3000s, Skiddaw. The route here is an anti-clockwise summit loop by Dash Falls, then a steep final fast descent from the summit trig point back to Latrigg. The last section is an easy 5Km back to the finish at Crow Park.
Click here to view the Route Map

Marking out the course!

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Training and Racing

The past 8 months have seen me train for a couple of ultras, a trail marathon, and a few longer distance fell races. I did this while continuing to race in most of the local midweek and weekend fell races. This has been the norm, but as the racing season closes out and my last, and biggest, goal for the year looms large (3×3000 Ultra Trail), I think I need to train more and race less!

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I recently purchased Killian Jornet’s book RUN or DIE for a light holiday read while in Limone. In the book Killian delves into his Taloe Rim Trail 2 day record attempt, the Atlantic to Mediterranean Pyrenees crossing, his ‘Summits of my Life’ Kilimanjaro attempt, a few races (UTMB, Western States), and some of his inner thoughts about life and running.

The book is just short of 180 pages, so it’s a quick read. In truth I read it in 3 sittings. I wouldn’t let this detract from the content though, as Killian commentates his way through the various physical challenges, and for any trail/ultra/mountain runner who knows of Killian, you will take something from this book which may inspire you to greater achievements.
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