Tuesday 25 November 2014

High Terrain Events - Ultra Trail Running Weekend 21st-23 Nov.

Over the weekend of 21st - 23rd of November I got the pleasure to be apart of High Terrain Events Ultra Trail Running weekend. For anybody into trail running I'd fully recommend looking out for next years camps. The fun all started as Ian, Emily from High Terrain Events and my self headed down to the Derwentwater Hostel in Keswick to get set up on Friday afternoon before our runners started to turn up late afternoon. Our itinerary for the Friday afternoon was as follows: 

Once everyone had arrived including Simon who is also part of the High Terrain Events team we had a great range of Salomon running shoes/apparel and Petzl head torches for everyone to try on our first trail run of the weekend. With many of the runners not ever had an opportunity to run on trails they were thrown right with a head torch night run along the trails of Derwentwater Lake towards Keswick. This evenings running route had a good mixture of single file trails, muddy tracks, lake crossings and rocky paths, the weather was very kind to us for Keswick. After a good little 7km to loosen everyone legs off from travelling I held the next part of our weekend talking and presenting equipment and kit selection for ultra running with a questions and answers session after where it was interesting to see what every one used and favourite bits of kit was.. Following our first class room session we all got tucked into a well deserved evening meal at the hostel. The food here was amazing and lot of selections for everyone from soups, fish to sticky toffee puddings! Our evening session was all about planning and training for an ultra run. My self, Phil Smith and Ricky Lightfoot had put an example of our training programs together for everyone to see and discuss, we had a good discussion on the different types or training, how everyones plans can often vary for different reason and how do you train for an ultra marathon whilst juggling a working and family life on top. I felt we all learnt something from each other and picked up many hints and tips to use for our future training plans. 

Route profile for our Friday evenings run. 
Saturday morning started off with a huge breakfast buffet spread for everyone and a brief break down on the plans for the day. After breakfast we had a great morning session on core stability & conditioning for runners from Phil before heading out along a great little trail along the Derwentwater  Lake before taking the group through a few key warm up sessions at the furthest point of the lake. The group got to see and learn how to warm up their muscles up and prepare on race morning before starting their future races. This mornings weather was very intermittent between sunny spells and rainy showers.. Again the group got the opportunity to see what the lakeland trails had to offer! We quickly started to climb up the trail towards Cat bells and many of the runners started to find out exactly what trail running was all about with the different terrain and gradients what you can cycle through a day on the trails. Half way up the climb myself and Phil showed many demonstrations on how to run up hill with different techniques including with or with our poles and advise for the whole group to take on board and try out along the way. 
What we was rewarded with after our climb up from the lake side...
Phil taking everyone through some exercises.. 

 On reaching the top of our climb we had an awesome view down the valley of the sun trying to break through the clouds. With many runners traveling up from the south of England for the weekend they were amazed at some of joys and views we got to witness along the way what made everyone more excited to learn more and see more of the trail running we had planned for them. 
Running into the sunlight! 
Shortly after reaching our highest point of the day we made our way across the tops through bogs and stream crossings before descending through the Rigghead Quarries onto a section of the High Terrain Events Scafell Pike Marathon race route were we gave the group a shorter and longer option back to our accommodation. Simon lead the small group what decided to head back along the lower trails whilst myself and the rest of the team took the rest of the group down to Rosthwaite and along the High Terrain Events Borrowdale race route back through Watendlath and along the river side trail back towards Keswick. It was clear by the smiles and happy vibe amongst the group that many had really enjoyed the route and trails what High Terrain had put together for the days route. On return to the hostel many were actually shocked at our total distance just being over the 21km mark as they had felt they had covered much more distance. It was only when we explained that the 3700 ft of ascent involved in the route it soon come clear why everyones legs were hurting and the call out for lunch was much welcomed by the group. 
A great technical descent for the group to play on!

Route profile of Saturday's run.
There is always one! (Usually always me) Why take the easy option..?? 

Saturdays afternoon was packed full of hints and tips as we covered ultra endurance nutrition/hydration and training in a little more depth with Phil running through his usual training programs and how plans don't always go to plan! The group of runners were great with interacting and asking questions on various aspects of ultra running training and racing. After a short little break we headed out on a second night time head torch run up Walla Crag what was a great challenging little run up after a tough day on the fells of the Lake District but everyone enjoyed the near perfect night we had with stars overhead and a clear view over Keswick from the top. We had a great 'peaceful' moment on the summit where we all turned off our head torches and just embraced the outdoors and that moment of pure silence! 
Making our way up Walla Crag..
After a nice 6km with just over a 1000ft of ascent we headed back to the hostel for our evening dinner where we were greeted by Salomon International athlete Ricky Lightfoot for his evening talk with a questions and answer session for the whole group. We had a great insight to what it takes to be a top athlete and how Ricky now balances his training around his working and family life. It was good to see how everyone suddenly realised that a great training program can be fitted in around a busy lifestyle and how everyone took something away from Ricky's talk. Leaning from one of the best athletes in the country is not something everyone gets the privilege to do. This was a great touch by High Terrain Events to arrange this for the runners who were along on the weekends camp. 
Saturday evenings run profile.
Hints and tips from Ricky Lightfoot on ultra and trail running

Sunday morning once again started with a superb breakfast from Derwentwater Hostel and followed by a core stability exercise class with resistant bands from Phil Smith before Ricky lead the group up along the trails towards Bleaberry Fell where we had a few navigational exercises for the runners who wanted to try their hands at navigating around the Lakeland Fells. We crossed a great variety of underfoot conditions including rocky trails to boggy ditches where all the runners got to practise what they had learnt over the weekend on the fells. Just before we reached the summit of Bleaberry, myself and Ricky took the group through techniques on how to ascent and descend on the mountains/fells the most efficient and effected way. We reached the summit and following a few pictures we started descending of the back through some great boggy terrain and up towards the summit of High Seat. 
Runners enjoying the climb up on Sundays run.
Every one wondering if it's safe to follow Ricky or just check the map once more..

On reaching the summit of High Seat the sun had just started to shine through and make the day even more perfect for us all. The sky had started to clear and the smiles from everyone were greater! 
High Seat summit group picture before descending down towards Watendlath
The descend was a cracker! We had a great variety of fast technical descents to waist deep bogs what many of people ending up in.. Finishing off the weekend with a really enjoyable run was just what everyone needed to top of a great weekend in the Lake District organised by High Terrain Events.. The final few km's of Sunday's were once again along the superb single file trail back along the river into the back of the Hostel. The location of our accommodation was just perfect to access the trails and fells within the surrounding area... 
Runners making their way through the bogs on the descent into Watendlath.
Making our way over the tops.

Overall the weekend was a huge success and the information/hints and tips gained was priceless! I know I will personally look forward to next years trail weekend and many other events that Ian and Emily from High Terrain Events organise through out the year. A huge thanks to Ian, Emily, Simon, Phil, Ricky and all the runners for a brilliant weekend of real trail running! 

Sundays run profile.. 

For anyone looking for some great trail and ultra races next year, check out High Terrain Events race calendar below: 

  • 29th of March - Buttermere 10mile Trail Race
  • 26th of April - Kielder Ultra 50/80/100km (UTMB Qualifying Race 100k only) 
  • 7th of June - Borrowdale Trail Race 13/21km 
  • 7th of June - Scafell Pike Trail Marathon
  • 4th of October - 3 x 3000 Ultra Trail 80km (UTMB Qualifying Race) 
  • 18th of October - Ennerdale Trail Race 10/25/50km  
More info and details can be found on http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk or follow them on Facebook at 'High Terrain Events' and Twitter on @HiTerrainevents

See many other pictures of the weekend here: 


Thanks for reading as always
Breathtaking views on our descent into Watendlath. 
(All pictures are the property of either myself or supplied by High Terrain Events)

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