Lakeland 5 Passes and leaderboard update

Andy has very efficiently updated the leaderboard already, you can find the latest individual and team standings on the 2022 results page here.

The Lakeland 5 Passes went well in spite of a horrible MWIS forecast. Aside from a 30 minute hail-blasting it was mostly cool and grey. Karen’s report follows below, I’ll add mine to the page once I’ve finished it.

Next up is the Hallows 12 Parishes.

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Lakeland 5 Passes 2021

Apologies for the delay to this update, but I’ve been away in the far north (Caithness) doing some walking guidebook work.  The Lakeland 5 Passes went ahead OK,with staggered start times, and the results are on the race website.  Spencer Shaw won in 5:14:32, Julian Hood was second in 5:37:43, and Lawrence Eccles was 3rd, just 11 seconds later.  They didn’t find out they were that close to each other though, as they had different start times.  First woman was Karen Nash in 6:56:44, 2nd was Amelia Churnside in 7:36:31, and Wioleta Wydrych was 3rd in 7:41:35.

I’ve updated the Runfurther leaderboard, with this race and the Pennine 39.

Karen wrote the race up on her blog, and you can read it here too:

Lakeland 5 Passes

 Another Runfurther race actually happened! Race number 4, or for me number 2 as I was injured for Pendle way and didn’t travel to Shires and Spires. It had been a busy month with Brennand Watershed, two runs with Rowena,  three runs checking out parts of L100, Nav4 Lakes Mnt 40, the Dales Skyline, a Bowland run plus some cycling and climbing. Two cycle rides and a restful damp Friday was my taper. Checking the entry list it was clear I would meet some friends that I had no seen for ages but that on the whole I would not recognise many people. It was also the day of The Great Lakes Run in Langdale plus Sabs was recovering and Carol waiting to start a mega run.

We drove up early on Friday afternoon in wet and increasingly windy weather. The rain eventually abated and we put up sponsors flags and banners. The wind was fierce and blasting down from Dunmail Raise so strongly we contemplated taking the flags down at least twice. I don’t tend to sleep well before a race and the noise from the wind had me awake more than I would have liked. I was up early to register but even then it had not become clear that Si Entries emails were not getting through to those of us with talktalk. I managed to find some runners and dish out spot prizes before heading to my start wave at 8.25am.

Starting in this way meant I missed some friends altogether and for much of the time had no real idea who was in front, or just behind and how I was doing. Still, you can only do what you can do. It was quite nice being able to pick off the walkers who had started an hour earlier and those at the front of the alphabet who had been in earlier waves. I never did catch Richard Lendon who had started just 5 minutes ahead of me. Before we even left tarmac I was shouting some runners back and this continued throughout the day. Climbing to the summit of Loughrigg we were still quite bunched and I was able to chat to Ian F.

Ambleside CP always seems far too early for me to need anything but by now I was regretting the extra layer and faffing with my number and safety pins. I gave up and stuffed it in a pocket in the end. On the steep climb to Wansfell I overtook some runners but was also passed by some faster men. Initially the descent is a delight but I am not good on gnarly bouldery lanes. I lost some places but then regained them as I knew the way down to the valley floor. Stomping up Garburn Pass I managed to eat a bag of crisps and drink a load of MF in between running the slightly less steep sections. The drop to Kentmere is now awful but at least I knew what to expect and looked forward to the CP in the village. I topped up my water and grabbed cake before again putting a runner on the correct path. This event seems to attract many people from a long distance which is lovely. Brighton man ran just ahead or just behind me for much of the race and he was awed by the scenery and the need to use hands as well as feet on some climbs like Stoney Cove Pike. He was also starting to feel the brutal climbs.

There was some softer ground as we crossed to Longsleddale and the track was less gnarly for the feet. Next up was the long long climb up from Sadgill to the top of Gatesgarth Pass and then on further to Harter Fell.

I was doing nicely on the big wide track but suddenly tripped and hit the deck. I didn’t even have time to put a hand out- perhaps just as well as another female runner did so and dislocated a finger. A bit of a shock and some small grazes to knee and elbow but I was OK really. I was helped up by Geoff who showed great concern. I knew there would be some great bruises later along most of my right side but for now the best thing was to keep going rather than stiffen up. By the top of the pass I was moving OK again. Having company certainly helped and we pushed each other along as well as reeling in a couple of others. Apparently I was first female and that motivated me too, although not knowing if a runner from a later wave  was just behind me was a little disconcerting.

Looking across the tops earlier I had predicted more challenging conditions on the tops. Before Harter Fell I had to stop and put on my long sleeved base layer- just low cloud and a damp feeling but chilly. We made good time over the tops and down to Nan Bield Pass.

Heading up from this I knew to check for the grassy area and rather vague left turn. Just before this we bumped into the ‘mobile’ Safety check who were still on their way to Harter Fell! Nice grassy running took us most of the way to Thornthwaite Beacon and there were a couple of tiny flags to help. No distant views today though and the Beacon remained hidden until we were within 50m or so.

I feared losing places and my companions as we dropped to Threshthwaite Mouth but I almost kept up and soon reeled them in as we scrambled up Stoney Cove Pike.

Then easier running dropped us on Kirkstone and the final CP.  I didn’t want to stop long but refilled water, grabbed quiche and banana and dug out more crisps. If you are not used to the Lakes or similar Red Screes must come as a shock at this stage in the race. It wasn’t long before there were just three of us. Adam was stronger on the descents but Geoff and I could keep up on the climbs. The food did it’s trick and we powered our way up and enjoyed the slightly boggy drop to Scandale Pass.

A determined effort meant ?? couldn’t drop us even on the long run down the valley to  pretty little High Sweden bridge and luckily we were still close enough for me to stop him bearing left to Low Sweden Bridge.

The pace was starting to hurt me now and I wanted the other two to push on so I could slow down. No such luck even when I stopped very briefly to refill my water at the Rydal campsite tap. These last few miles were the only bit I had not receed earlier in the month but basically it’s simple- just follow the old Coffin Road until you reach tarmac. We chatted and pulled each other along. I was now far too hot in two layers and had a stone in my shoe but there was no way I was stopping now. Just before the tarmac I realised a PB was possible and it gave just the extra burst of energy needed as we sped down the tarmac, across the main road and into the show ground.

6 hrs 56 and first female. True it would only have been 3rd place 2 years ago with that time but I was happy. Only 20 secs behind martin and only 6 mins behind Adam.

Lakeland Five Passes 2019

The results are up on the race website, and I’ve added them in to the Runfurther leaderboard.  Rob Brown won in 5:23:10, with Josh Wade second, just under 5 minutes after Rob.  Third place went to Matthew Curry, nearly 20 minutes behind Josh.  First woman was Hayley Evans, 13th equal overall, in 6:24:45.  Sabrina Verjee finished 20 minutes later, then Karen Nash 20 minutes after that.  There were 211 finishers, so this looks like it’s become a popular race.

No Nick Ham this time, so there’ll be no photos from him.  I’m not sure which of Karen’s photos were taken on the day, but I’ve borrowed one of Hayley anyway.  Karen’s race report is below, and also on her blog.

Sabrina Verjee was tired after the Dragon’s Back and a Ramsey Round, and she didn’t manage to win the race, but she’s probably got enough points to take this year’s title anyway.  It’s not definite though:  either Hayley or Karen could catch her if they come in first woman in another three races.  Karen’s got form in that sort of thing…

Karen Nash’s race report

By Friday we were in Grasmere and meeting the team at Ascend Events ready for the Lakeland 5 Passes event. All the flags, banners and display boards went up that evening which gave me a relaxed start to Saturday and the race.

So pleased to have all these sponsors for Runfurther

Bob went off early to do parking duty and I pottered with breakfast and kit. In the hall I tried to direct Runfurther people to the boards and spot prizes before I met up with Richard L who I have not seen for ages. Earlier in the year I had persuaded Sabrina to enter and ensure that she had 4 counters for our series. I was keen that it was won this year by a fast runner and not an old plodder. She claimed to be tired after the Dragons Back and then an impromptu Ramsay Round last weekend. It’s fair to say she did start cautiously as we streamed out on the tarmac and track towards Loughrigg but from that top at about 3 miles she started racing.

On my sunny recee

From Loughrigg you drop to Ambleside and then climb to Wansfell. It was steamy and yes we possibly had gone off rather fast.

Kirkstone and red Screes from Wansfell

The second summit was cold and breezy so it was a relief to drop to Troutbeck. Well relief from the weather, sadly not relief for my feet as Nanny Lane is gnarly. A fallen tree had brought down some dry stone wall and the obstacle bunched us all up again. As we started the pull up the nicer side of Garburn Pass I started to struggle.

Hayley – winning woman

Hayley Evans was long out of sight and now Sabrina and Helen started to disappear too. Ah well, plod on the best you can. Again at the top it was breezy. The drop into Kentmere has to be one of the most eroded tracks in the Lake District but I had in my head that it was awful so on the day it was just bad rather than dreadful. The CP was stocked with all sorts of goodies. I ate quiche while Bob refilled my water bottle. Then it was off to Longsleddale and more gnarly track after a short grassy section. I was now on my own which was fine but meant it was easy to ease off. I tried to see runners up ahead and to work on reeling them in.


It took a while but by the top of Gatesgarth I had overtaken one and caught an other. It was damp and cold enough for me to put my cag on here but I wasn’t overly concerned by the low cloud as I knew the way. The odd tiny yellow flag just helped serve as confirmation. The safety marshalls on Harter Fell looked cold but I didn’t stop more than a second as I had spotted more runners ahead.

The views you might have got if you were lucky

This section and across to Thornthwaite Beacon was my favourite and the cloud allowed occasional views. I couldn’t quite catch the guys ahead yet but they were still in my sights as I dropped to Threshthwaite Mouth and climbed up to Stoney Cove Pike.

Not race day

Again they were runners from other parts of the country and had no idea where they were or where they were going. I had twice called runners back in Ambleside and was now asked if we were “on Kentmere”. The look I got when I pointed out Red Screes across the valley and explained that it was our next summit was priceless.

Richard putting his poles to good use

The drop to Kirkstone was not as greasy as I had expected and I broke out onto the grass where I could. Again the CP had quiche and again I refilled my bottle (although I forgot to add the Mountain Fuel powder).

Red Screes from Kirkstone
The top on a sunny day
I set off to take the last serious climb eating as I went. The climb was tough but I loved the descent to Scandale Pass- don’t mind mud and bog.
soft ground at last

Sadly it then changed into another gnarly track and by now my foot was complaining big time.

The male runner I had my sights on ran steadily away as I ran/jogged and walked. Another woman caught me and this dredged up some spirit and made me fight to stay with her.

5th woman

We took it in turns to lead. Dropping to Sweden Bridge and Rydal I used the verges where ever I could and tried to force some more food down.

I have decided I prefer Aldi ‘fake’ naked bars to the real thing and will never bother with gels even if they are a freebie (MF Jellies were what I should have had).

more grass at last- it didn’t last long though

The dirt road to the Hall and campsite seemed longer than I remember but I knew there was a tap and so was able to refill again and to remember this time to add MF powder. All that was left was the old Coffin Road- how appropriate. I was struggling but determined not to be dropped. I am glad I had receed this as it was over sooner than I thought and then there was just the steep tarmac   down to Dove Cottage and the main road. We debated which route to take to the village hall. Neither of us knew which was faster. I hoped the riverside path would not be busy and opted for it. My new friend followed. To my surprise it was deserted and the gamble paid off. I could smell the finish and dug deep. I had been 4th all the way round and was not about to let that change now.
The final steps to the upstairs of the hall were cruel but I stayed ahead, by less than a minute. Bob was back from the Kentmere CP and so was here to great me and get me cups of tea. After cup 6 he did suggest I just asked for the tea pot. My foot was agony for over an hour but eventually it eased as I got stuck into the delicious post race meal. We had agreed to wait for as many runners and especially Runfurther runners as possible and so had a very relaxed late afternoon.


Big bling

As usual I had forgotten to turn my watch off so for the moment my time is a guess of about 7 hours, 4th F and 1st FV50.  I had hoped to run more but I guess it wasn’t so bad in the end. 33 miles and 10,000ft is advertised. Interestingly my device measured 49.75km and 2700m whereas Sabrina measured 50.37 and 2828m (her is a much fancier beast so is likely more accurate). I also forgot to go and take a screen shot of the results so these will have to wait.