The Lancashireman race report

Update: Nick’s photos from the event are here.

Karen’s race report on the Lancashireman:

What can I say. It was a disaster and I was terrible. I knew it would be bad as in the last 2 months since the L100 I had run ONCE- the GRP and much of that is stomping up big mountains. True we had been very active with lots of climbing, Via Feratta and SUP plus a few walks but it’s not the same. I also know that at 26 or 27 miles it would be faster than I like but I never imagined quite how bad and humiliating it would be. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail has never been so true. I was tired and didn’t really want to go but had to take some Runfurther stuff anyway.

I arrived nice an early, found the parking area and then Nick arrived. We found the start using OS on my phone and then set up the flags etc as other runners stated to arrive. Phil was desperate for the loo but no key could be found.

It was good to see Roy, Vic, Katy, Dave R and Katherine S plus Ian S who I have not seen for years now and also Tony.

We stood chatting in the very cold Burnley morning until it was time to head to the start over the road and down on the canal tow path. Within minutes I lost a few places as I had to rapidly leave the tow path and go to the loo.

I then perhaps ran too hard to make up places.  I had no idea of the route but assumed I would have others around me. That worked until the local Trawden guy ran faster and then I stopped to take my jacket off as I was over heating. Ran on with a woman who seemed to know the way- she didn’t. I was focused on getting through a field of cows and bulls- so much so that I didn’t realise all the runners not far behind me had turned sharply left up hill and were now ahead. I cut up to a track and got back on route but about 20 had overtaken. At some point here I was with Matt H but not for long- he was running strongly. I did meet up with Michelle though as I dithered in one field before Thursden Brook. She talked non-stop for miles and miles- quite impressive. Climbing to the road and then up to the col towards Widdop  I met other friends but also realised just how hopelessly knackered I already was.

It was a slow walk up the tarmac and even slower onto the Haworth Hobble route.

Trying to enjoy the day

I did try to run more heading towards Hurstwood Res but even that seemed a struggle and it is mostly downhill. I arrived at Long Causeway safely but was so tired. I tried to stay with Michelle and her friend hoping it would spur me on and that they would know the best line. They didn’t and I was struggling. Having made a poor route choice we were overtaken by a couple and caught by David and Katherine. Oh dear. Next came the climb to Thieveley Pike. Initially this was steep and I fell further behind. The weather also seemed to be clagging in with just a bit of misting wet in the air. Please don’t rain on me was all I could think. From the trig I did run reasonably well down to the railway line and the CP but I was done. my head ached, my throat was sore and I had no energy. I stomped on with the odd bit of running the best I could. Even going slowly I made a couple of small nav errors. Crossing the main road at Walk Mill I prayed I was almost back. It gave me a bit of a lift and I ran down to the park and Townley Hall. It was busy but I had no time to linger. I took a wrong path here but it didn’t matter much and likely only added a few hundred metres.


The last bits to get us into Burnley seemed to go on but really it was quite short and not long before I was heading down to the canal. I remembered Jamie’s last minute instructions of turn right (the event base had changed) but recognised where my car was parked anyway. I made some sort of effort to run the last bit on the canal but must have looked a sight.

How on earth did it take me almost six and a half hours to run 26-27 miles? I was at least an hour off the pace. I didn’t even need it for the Runfurther points- I just had to deliver the mint cake. I needed to sit down and could really have done with warmth and a cup of tea but couldn’t face walking back to the car for money and then returning to help with the flags. I waited for Jenny, Ken and Nick.  I wasn’t very good company and felt ill. The RO and marshalls helped with the flags which was lovely and it did at least stay dry.

Ian back to running- 2nd

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail – oh yes. Absolutely no consolation that I was 1stFV60- maybe I was the only one. I had been beaten by Tony and he is a V70. Time to go home, lick my wounds and do some training once I feel better.  It’s a lovely route so I will have to try again.


On the plus side Claire could easily beat me and win the Runfurther trophy this year so long as she has a good run at the Yorkshire Trod. She won today in an awesome 4hrs 52.