0….8…0…0…R….R….R…..R….E…V….E…R…..R…..R….R…..R….R…S…..S (oh for gods sake why does the 7 key not work)….S…..S…..E…..

‘please hold while we connect your call’

Mum, it’s Wayne, I’m at Kentmere, can you come and get me and Glyn?
22 seconds i was on the phone. Cost £7.10 it did. And there ended my Lakeland 50 this year. As we walked down the valley, away from Kentmere Institute, in a bit of a sulk, we agreed that there were two good things about the 0800 REVERSE advert – it was catchy, and Holly Valance (that was Glyn that last bit, nowt to do with me). Shortly after, my dad came racing up the road followed by a boy racer and nearly ran us over, and there started a long night trying to get back to Coniston via Kendal!
I’m still a bit devastated that I was so lame in the 50, and i won’t go into it in too much detail, but there’s a few lowlights to go over I think and it will help me. I love the word catharsis, and this is probably an appropriate time to use it, as i vent a bit of emotion.
I set off from the start of the Lakeland 50 feeling pretty confident and hoping for a finish of between 12 and 15 hours, after finishing my first one in short of 19 hours. I was running with the other lads from ultramadness.co.uk but something wasn’t right. I was incredibly well hydrated, as evidenced by the peeing before the start. I’d had a few bits to eat before the race, which was unusual for me, so i was pleased. I’d had a fair nights sleep. I’d done a fair amount of training. But my chuffing legs just wouldn’t move. We were having a bit of banter as we trotted along, and i was quite enjoying it. But my chuffing legs wouldn’t move. And as we moved round the Dalemain estate I started to struggle keeping up with the other lads so I just let them go, and resolved that it would get better, and I should enjoy chatting away to the other runners.
Next bit of memory, is getting up to the cock pit between Pooley Bridge and Howtown. I’d been chuntering away to a Welsh lass coming out of Pooley Bridge, who was entertaining me greatly, and then I saw Glyn stood on the path. He’d got a bit hot so had taken off his Skins, then saw me coming and had waited. We continued together for a bit, and then my partner Liz came bounding up the hill behind us, chatted for a bit, and then bounded off like a bloody deer into the distance. I knew this would happen sooner or later, but this was a bit sooner than later! Needless to say, this didn’t help my state of mind.
Fast forward to Fusedale and a guy I’d met at the start from City of Lancaster Triathlon (COLT), coming back down the hill after giving up. Too much he said. Youre an Ironman I said. Yeah, he said, and carried on walking, back down the hill to Howtown.
Half way up Fusedale, and another person we knew was on the phone to his wife. How far to the next CP, he barked at us. 6, I responded. Miles or k’s he said. Miles I said. Great, he replied.
Top of Fusedale, and Ruxers is lying by the side of the path barfing (sorry Ruxers). You need anything mate? No, she said, and waved us on
It was so humid, that every time I drank, I could feel the water immediately being extracted through my forehead. I had resorted to spraying Elete straight under my tongue to help salt get in my system, then chugging water. The only down side to my new Ultimate Direction pack, was the bottles, they just weren’t big enough for a gimassive plodder like me, so I was running out of water fast.
We made it along Haweswater, and started the last climb before Mardale Head, to see some of the Delamere Spartans from the next checkpoint, stood talking into a satphone around a guy with half of his body lying in the bushes. Not good. And starting to hammer home a really negative voice in my head. This just isn’t worth it. I don’t need to do this. I’ve done it before. I don’t have to put myself through this torment. It’s going to take me over 20 hours to finish, and the rain is coming. But my chuffing legs wouldn’t move
We made it into Mardale Head, and there were a fair few that had pulled out there. We had some soup, butties, sweets, rola-cola, and started moving again just as the rain started. Massive splodges of rain. Ruxers was there too, and we’d passed Sue coming in to the CP, so we had more friendly faces around to chat to. Glyn started pulling away from me going up Gatescarth Pass, and the rain was still splodging down and getting heavier. Then there was a flash of lightning. Great. Then there was a deep rumble that started a while away, and echoed up the valley or over the fells towards us all plodding up the pass. Then there was a different sort of thudding, and I turned, and so did everyone else on the pass. And we saw the yellow speck of an air ambulance getting bigger, and then it turned towards us, and started descending towards Haweswater. Crap. That guy was having a seriously bad day out. And that was the nail in the coffin for this year’s Lakeland 50 for me.
I’m still convinced that Glyn dropped out because of my negative attitude, and I’m convinced that I got to him with my whining (sorry mate). I could have continued physically, and it probably would have got better, but I would have been a long time on the fells. The only saving grace for me really was that so many people that I know pulled out that day, including some top ten contenders. It seems that a fair few of us threw our toys out of the pram as our race strategy went out the window!
We got into Kentmere Institute, and I went to see Paul Cosgrave and Jo Allen from Montane, and thanked them for the continued support they’re showing to us at Ultramadness. I ate a load of food, smoothies and had some pop. Then I went and rang my mum.
It was only to be a few weeks later that I was in the Ultimate Trails 100k, with the Ultramadness boys, my partner Liz, and a growing number of good friends including Ruxers, Sue Dowker, Jon Fletcher (who didn’t actually start as he’s too old now). That’s another story though, and I’ll tell it soon.

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