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Langdale Marathon Race

Kim Brown recorded yet another excellent result at the weekend, claiming 3rd place at the tough and challanging Langdale Marathon.

Report by Kim Brown:

Four members competed in the Langdale Marathon on October 20th – Dave Binks, Douglas Scott, Kim Brown and Neil Dring. The Langdale Marathon is an extremely challenging race which takes place right in the heart of the Lake District. It is known as being the UK’s toughest road marathon. At only £22 for an entry, it is also extremely good value compared to some other marathon entry fees.

The race starts and finishes at Sticklebarn, which is at the head of Great Langdale. It is a two lap course and there is also a half marathon to tackle which starts at the same time. This year the marathon had 125 competitors and the half marathon had 304. The route elevation for the marathon is 3,400 feet.

The race follows an anti-clockwise route from Great Langdale to Little Langdale, then along to Skelwith bridge, through Chapel Stile and back into Great Langdale. After a flat first mile the incredibly steep first climb up to Blea Tarn is reached. This section reduces a fair amount of runners to walking pace. The route is then nicely undulating for the next five miles or so before a steep drop down to Skelwith Bridge followed by a very steep climb up Foulstep and past the pretty Loughrigg Tarn. Another steep drop down to The Langdale Hotel and through it’s grounds is then followed by an undulating section through Chapel Style and back to Stickebarn, where the half marathoners turn right to the finish and the marathoners carry on for lap 2!

This is where the race becomes mentally tough as well as physically tough! The support on the course is certainly minimal but the marshals are all supportive and the signposts are all well placed so as not to take any wrong turns!

The runners certainly become very spread out on lap 2 and you can find yourself running completely alone for large sections of the race.

The medals each finisher received were very attractive and had a metal carving of Harrison Stickle mountain on them. The prizes were extremely generous too, with large trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions plus 1st and 2nd in each age category. There were no team prizes. A post race massage would have been extremely welcome but there were none to be had unfortunately!

So this race is to be recommended if you are after an extremely challenging road race in amongst some of England’s most stunning scenery. Not that any of the scenery was on show this time in the constant drizzle and low cloud, but that’s the way it goes sometimes!

Kim Brown finished in 3rd position with a time of 3.12.22. Dave Binks finished in 12th position with a time of 3.32.41. Douglas Scott finished in 21st position with a time of 3.44.34 and Neil Dring finished in 100th position with a time of 4.51.17. Andy Purll completed the half in 2 hours 4 minutes.