Described as “THE ultra tour of the Lake District”, the 2014 Montane Lakeland 100 is fast approaching. We've been busy in the past couple of weeks advising customers on what to take...
This coming weekend 350 hardy ultra runners will take to the Lakeland fells for one of the most demanding off-road events on the calendar.
Starting at the John Ruskin School in Coniston on Friday 25th July competitors will face not only 100 miles but also a mind boggling 6856m of ascent and descent, all of which must be covered within the 40 hour time limit. As the 50-60% drop-out rate suggests, this is a tough event and as such, having the appropriate kit is crucial and understandably the compulsory kit list is pretty extensive. Here we give you our pick of the key items.
The terrain encountered in the Lakeland 100 is highly variable and as such shoe choice can be tricky, but having spoken to many competitors over the years a few favourites jump out. Including the Salomon XT 6 Softground for its solid, supportive feel and excellent grip, the Inov-8 Roclite 295 for those we prefer a slightly lighter, faster feeling shoe with great ground feel and grip or the Hoka Stinson Trail for the oversized cushioning fan and with adequate grip to take on the terrain.
As with all mountain marathons fully waterproof body cover is compulsory and as the Lakeland 100 is sponsored by Montane, the Montane Minimus Smock and Pants come highly recommended. We have all been very impressed with the performance and protection provided by the Minimus range, keeping the worst weather out whilst remaining breathable. Their lightweight and small volume, also make them an ideal choice when everything you take has to be carried.
With an extensive pack list and a possible 40 hours moving, a well fitting, high volume pack is vital. A great choice would be the Ultimate Direction PB Adventure Vest 2.0, designed in conjunction with elite ultra-runner Peter Bakwin this pack will swallow all your kit and is highly adjustable ensuring a snug and stable fit is attained.
An addition to the usual fell running kit requirements is a spare set of base layers, which must be carried, but only used in a ‘race ending emergency’ as such the warmth of these garments is vital and for this merino wool can’t be beaten. We would recommend the Soleie range of merino long-sleeved tops and leggings from Norwegian brand Bergans who know a thing or two about keeping warm!
Finally, although not compulsory with the huge amounts of ascent and descent a lot of the competitors choose to use poles to help them conquer the inclines. Our favourites are the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Carbon Z Poles. Incredibly strong, yet unbelievably light these collapsible poles are designed for fast and light events such as the Lakeland 100.
We are looking forward to seeing how this year’s race unfolds and if you want to follow the race live check out the live competitor tracking at http://www.lakeland100.com/ from 6pm on Friday 25th July. It might just tempt you try something similar yourself!