Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lakeland 50 - Getting Ready to Go

Friday arrived.  It was time to head up to the John Ruskin School (aka Race HQ) to register and get ready for the Lakeland 50. Girls and ageing, stinky dog were dropped off for a weekend with my parents and off we went.

Camping for a couple of nights on the school playing field is included in your race fee so we packed up the tent and headed up to Coniston.  We were quite early arriving it seemed and were shown to a decent spot on the field relatively close to the buildings but not too close to the porta loos.  We pitched the tent and headed into the main building for kit check and registration.

Stupidly, we'd spent ages packing and repacking our race packs to get everything in and have it all organised "just right" only to have to get everything out again for inspection.  Once compulsory kit is checked a cross was drawn on the back of your hand with a marker pen and you could proceed to pick up your race number and goody bag.  Number collected, you moved on to get your timing tag.  Finally, you are weighed and, unfortunately, your weight is written on your race number for all to see.  At least it was in kilograms - I don't really get kilograms - so not as bad as stones and pounds!

Tagged, numbered and weighed.
When we finished registering and went back to the tent, the camping field had filled up completely.  It was like a festival or something.  One or two clubs had banners up, and there was a pleasant buzz around the place. We could take it easy for a while and we were looking forward to watching the 100 milers set off at 6.00pm.  We knew a couple of competitors taking part so we wanted to give them an encouraging cheer at the start.

After a live performance of Nessum Dorma was performed at the start line by tenor Alexander Wall. There's a back story for this which you can read about here if you want to know more! They were off.  Led out by Richard Bardon up the road and through Coniston.  The road was lined with people cheering them on and then they were gone.  Off on a journey of 100 miles.  Possibly on the go for 2 nights.  Incredible.

A short while later, there was a 1 mile race to Lake Coniston and back for the children that were in attendance.  All ages from tiny tots to teenagers having a fantastic time. Possibly some future running stars in amongst them, who knows?

A chippy tea and a quick pint and then we turned in for the night. We'd been a bit concerned about such a busy campsite but we needn't have worried.  It was pretty peaceful and we had a good night's sleep.

Roll on Saturday.

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