Lakeland Orienteering Club

Heather Heppenstall - 2021LiaDLakes in a Day Ultra, Caldbeck to Cartmel, 50 miles, 4000m climb

Last updated: Tue 26 Apr 2022

I decided I wanted to challenge myself and get back in to some longer races again after having the kids. Pre kids (Chris and) I had done a certain amount of adventure racing and mountain marathons but never anything of the scale of LiaD. But I thought it would be a good challenge!

Here are some of my thoughts on the race:

Now I'm feeling a bit more human again, I'm reflecting on my LiaD race. Firstly, it was brilliant. It was my first ultra and my first big event since before having children (they do get in the way of life ��), so wasn't quite sure how it was going to go. I'd trained well through the year and was aiming for between 12-16 hours. I started off too fast (I knew that was going to happen but i was enjoying myself ��). Nicky Spinks cruised past me as I struggled up Clough head and then my quads, calfs and lower legs began to cramp trying to run along the ridge. I was all alone in the mist for long periods along here. The mist on the fells was what I'd practiced in but I wasn't concentrating on the nav and got lost going over the Dodds. All along the first two sections i kept seeing 3 other ladies and we would keep switching places and saying a quick Hi �� to one another. I found myself alone coming off Fairfield but by now I was in familiar terrain. Heading out of Ambleside I was looking forward to seeing the family near Sawrey and it kept me going. I caught up with a guy called David and we ran on together all the way to Finsthwaite. It was great to have a chat and keep each other moving. Anna (having got lost) caught me up and we set off together, a few minutes chat and she went on ahead. I was pretty tired by now but knew this last bit well. These are my home trails that run week in week out, and the local knowledge definitely paid off in a combination of dark and mist I managed to stay on line when others got lost. Coming on to the road near the end I was pretty sure I could get under 12 hours if I kept pushing. That last 3km was SOOOO hard!!! I made it in just under 12 hours and 2nd female ������. Living a mile away, it was amazing to see so many friends and family come out to cheer me on along the course and at the finish. Sorry if I didn't seem overly impressed when I finished James Thurlow, I was fairly tired and hadn't really taken it in ��. I felt for Anna and Carol who both got lost in the mist on the last section. And I'm very proud to be able to say that in my first ultra I finished 2nd female behind the legend that is Nicky Spinks!!!

A big thank you to JT and all the helpers it was an awesome race ������ (please can you remember to book some views for next time though ��)