Race Date 23 September 2018, report by Sallyann Winslow
The Ladybower Ultra series is a looped circuit, routed around the Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs in the Peak District with a mixture of trail, track and a small section of country road. In its 4th year, the series has grown in strength and attracts runners attempting the 20, 35 and 50 mile distances.
Andy Telford gives his account of the Ladybower 20 here:
It all started so well, we were pacing nicely and enjoying the scenery and a chat. Then out of nowhere at 14.5 miles disaster nearly struck!
I was running along the trail and I went to get a drink and as I was trying to put my bottle back into its holder whilst running I tripped on a big loose stone! I smacked the floor with a big thud! Right down on my hands, arms, elbow and knee. It really hurt. I had to walk for 25 meters or so while checking for any injuries before running again.
I’m surprised I was able to carry on, as was Gavin Holmes my awesome PT who joined to help me pace myself today. Then we hit the 20 mile mark and realised it wasn’t over! It had been advertised as being a 20 mile race but ended up being nearly 21! I had to run further, it was now mind over matter. Gav really stepped up here, motivating me to keep on going.
So hurting, aching and wanting it all to just be over, I dug deep and found the energy to get over the finish line. I must have looked exhausted as the marshalls showed me to a seat so I could recover.
But I had done it! It was over. All I could I feel was relief. Just got the small task of 26.2 miles in 3 weeks time! 😂😂
Andy completed to 20 mile run in a time of 3 hr and 31 minutes.
Sarah Storey and Sallyann Winslow opted for the 50 miler.
A few days before the race I had checked the weather which delighted in telling me that it would be rainy, windy and generally crap. However, the storm passed quicker than anticipated and bright, sunny and perfect conditions met us at the 7am registration.
The route is advertised as ‘mainly flat’, which is a bit of a fib as there are some tough inclines and knowing you have to do them 3 times can be a bit of a breaker.
The reservoirs were low, much lower than when I went to the Dams in February, when I went to meet their acquaintance. There were bridges and other delights on the reservoir bed that aren’t usually visible and they gave a certain distraction at points.
The first 5 miles is a loop around the Ladybower Reservoir and then it’s 3 x 15 miles of the 3 reservoirs, stopping to check in mile 20 and mile 35 before heading home at 50.9.
I decided to pick up my backpack at mile 5, to make the first few miles an easy warm up.
I can’t honestly remember much of the run, except my knees and right hip hurting from Mile 30ish. I remember bumping into Sarah as she passed me at mile 12 / 13 and she said ‘why am I even doing this? It ticks a box’. I agree. As a runner and an advocate of self discipline for my mental health, I am always trying to find out where my breaking point is. It’s fair to say that it is greater than 50 miles, when I need it to be.
I remember being asked by the rangers at mile 25 if I’d seen ‘the flasher’??? I hadn’t but apparently Sarah, unfortunately, had. And I thought we were strange doing a 50 miler on a Sunday morning, each to their own I suppose.
Running that distance on your own is interesting, you think a lot of things and can go a bit stir crazy … I nearly bored myself senseless, jabbering to myself. I apologise to all those who I run with at Heeley, as I must bore you all too J It was a blessing to see Helen Smith and Sharon ‘Renners’, who appeared at the right time, just what I needed.
My pacer and most trusted running buddy, David Adams, joined me at 4pm, as we set off for the final 15. I was struggling and hoping that I had enough to get me round, although I knew if anyone could get me round, he could.
Finding a little bit of extra energy on the last 4 miles, I managed to run home and in. Greeted by my Husband and my best friend, Gail. Gail has been with me through every single bit of my running journey and has never, ever doubted me or my crazy ass ideas.
So, what’s next … as my mantra on the day was ‘ever forward, keep moving, one foot in front of the other’ … I’ll stick with that.
Sarah came home in a cracking time of 10 hours 20 minutes.
I came home in 11 hours and 27 minutes… very pleased with myself.
The winner of the 20 mile event was Bruno Beckett in a time of 02:22, Paula Pilling was first lady in 02:47.
The winner of the 50 mile event was Gareth Boden in a time of 07:04, Kim Kennedy was first lady in 08:32.
Full results here.