An action packed weekend for Keswick in the Lake District saw Mountain Fuel runners Howard Seal and Dave Troman finishing first and second V40 and third and fourth overall in the second running of the Lake District 3×3000 80k Ultra Trail which is set to become a classic ultra race in the country. The winner was course designer and Salomon team racer Ricky Lightfoot from Maryport with the Scottish ultra runner and last year’s winner, Donnie Campbell finishing in second place overall.
After the race Howard Said: “The 3×3000 is one the toughest, friendliest, enjoyable and beautiful ultra distance event in which I have competed being both physically and mentally demanding. The post event massage (Cumbrian Events Sports Therapy) at the Skiddaw Hotel was fantastic, helping to get the legs working again almost to the point I felt like running again: almost… Congratulations to everyone involved be it runners, volunteers or organisers. I hope to be back next year to take on this challenge for a third time.”
Just after 5am, nearly 100 ultra runners set off from outside the Moot Hall in Keswick to tackle the 80k/50mile route with 4,000m/13,000ft of ascent and descent before returning to the start. The route takes the runners over Lake District’s three highest peaks: Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw, along with a number of lower fells in between.
The runners were blessed with near perfect running conditions, as it was cool with no wind and little cloud which is a huge contrast to last year where stormy weather led the route to be altered missing out the summit of Scafell Pike.
It was during this first mountain section where Dave stubbed and fractured his big toe “In the space of 20 minutes, I had stubbed my toe three times, with another 7 hours of running yet to do. The adrenaline from racing keeps you going and I didn’t really feel too uncomfortable until after.”
From Scafell Pike you go over High Raise and then drop down to Wythburn by Thirlmere to be faced with a 600m climb up Helvellyn. Howard said, “After getting fed, watered and resupplying, the stomp up Helvellyn began, looking back I could see two runners not far behind but I resisted picking up the pace as at that point we were only half way into the race. The views from the top were spectacular so I took a couple of minutes to take it in and remind myself why we do this”
A trot along the Dodds takes you to Clough Head and a steep decent towards the final peak of Skiddaw, with 30k still to go there is still time to make up places. “The run along the Dodds was, for me, the best part of the race, a relatively good trail and fantastic views.”
Climbing again to over 900m to the summit of Skiddaw you are then faced with a quad bashing decent. These final few miles can make or break your run with places gained and lost, Howard said: “From mistakes made last year I knew it was important to keep enough back to be able to enjoy the last 5 miles from the top of Skiddaw back into Keswick. With my legs feeling strong I opened up and descended surrounded once again by breath taking views”
After the prize giving Dave said, “It’s a brute of a course with a bit of everything thrown in; rocks, mud, road, big climbs and long descents. I’m delighted to finish off my season in such a positive way.”
Howard is now beginning his training for the Lakeland 100, which is the UK’s most prestigious Ultra Race of which local sports nutrition business Mountain Fuel are proud to be their chosen nutrition partner.
Dave has also begun his training for his main event next year which is going to be the Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS), which is part of the world renowned Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc festival around Mont Blanc in France.