Montane Lakeland 100 & 50 2015: a tale of success
Over 900 competitors arrived at the John Ruskin School in Coniston on Friday, nervously and excitedly lining up for race registration. 305 were on the roster for the ML100 and 615 for the ML50.
A live rendition of the operatic race anthem, Nessum Dorma, was sung by tenor Alexander Wall before the start of the ML100 at 6pm on Friday 24 July.
The weather was kind to runners – not as scorching as last year’s race (read the 2014 ML100 & 50 race report here). And with no heavy downpours expected, competitors could get on with the serious business of placing one foot in front of the other for over 100 miles and racing against the clock.
The ML50 kicked off at 11.30 on Saturday 25 July with the front runners almost sprinting off the start line.
And while all eyes were on last year’s returning winners – Marco Consani and Debbie Martin Consani for the ML100 – there were hot favourites all providing stiff competition – Marcus Scotney, Paul Tierney, Matty Brennan, Ben Abdelnoor, Jason Lewis, Kevin Perry and Nicky Taylor to name but a small fraction.
Some solid, good old fashioned racing across the Lake District fells followed with high profile names tumbling to the pressures of distance, physical aches and pains and psychological stresses, proving that the ML100 & 50 races aren’t to be taken for granted, even by elite racers.
But even so, success rates were high – race organisers reported a 69% finish rate for the ML100, with 209 athletes making it round, the highest finish rate to date. The ML50 garnered a huge 95% finish rate, with 585 finishers.
New champions stepped forward across the board, although no course records were smashed:
- ML100 male winner = Paul Tierney
- ML100 female winner = Carol Morgan
- ML50 male winner = Jayson Cavill
- ML50 female winner = Sally Fawcett
Behind the scenes, organisers, marshals, medics, IT support, catering staff and many more worked to ensure everything ran like a well oiled machine.
Race organisers remarked that this year in particular, checkpoint marshals stepped up their game, with fancy dress / themes keeping runners suitably amused and entertained throughout the course.
A stand-out moment came on Sunday morning, towards the end of the ML50. 80 year old Harry Johnson crossed the finish line at Coniston to a rapturous reception. Read more about his momentous achievement here.
An estimated £38,000 was raised for charity – this will be distributed to various charities and worthy causes in the North West.
Full results can be viewed here.
Race photography courtesy of Sport Sunday can be viewed here.