Liz and Natalie team up to tackle a big challenge...the legendenary Lakeland 50 Ultramarathon

By Liz Beavis on 

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Caption: Liz and Natalie on the summit of Scafell Pike

The last two years haven’t really consisted of any physical exercise after previously being fairly active. In 2009 I took up running and went on to complete my first marathon in 2010 and then went on to run a few Ultramarathons, including the Lakeland 50 in 2013. I started to develop some problems in my lower legs and back in 2017 and after some sessions with a Osteopath and a subsequent MRI scan discovered that I had some slipped discs in my back – running had to go on the back burner. We also undertook a full house renovation which took over nearly a year of my life. When exercise wasn’t part of my life anymore I felt sluggish and frustrated – exasperated by an unhealthy diet (having no kitchen for 2 months did not help).

So nearing the end of the home improvements I promised myself that I would focus on regaining a healthier lifestyle and get fit again!

After a month of procrastinating I started a healthier diet and dipped my toe back into exercising. I made sure I followed the exercises given to me by my Physio, signed up to both a Pilates and exercise class, and walked, jogged and then ran (a little).

In the midst of this, at the end of July, I decided to cheer on some of my friends who were participating in this year’s Lakeland 50. I drove with trepidation to Dalemain, near Ullswater, to watch them set off. I say trepidation because I felt nervous turning up and seeing all of these amazing runners undertaking this fantastic event, knowing how far I had let my own fitness slip. I needn’t have worried – this group of people are the most warm and welcoming bunch you will ever come across and I went from feeling ashamed to inspired. A throwaway comment to a friend at the start of the race went from an almost confirmed entry the following year by the time I went to see them at the finish! And so the seed was sown.

Natalie joined our Team at FMB almost a year ago, and since she has been with us has shown us what a ‘can do’ person she is. As I got to know her, I have found out about some of the amazing challenges she herself has undertaken – the London Marathon in 2018 for one! I knew she had been looking for something to get her teeth into (but could I persuade her). Turns out I didn’t need to! ‘oh yes, that sounds like fun’, I think were her words. Believe it or not, the Lakeland 50 is pretty difficult to get into and entries were available on the 1st September but this year it was a ballot system. After a lot of nail biting we both got in (our reactions were a mixture of excitement and terror) and have since been putting a training plan together with a few events building up to the 50 mile distance.

So come Saturday July 24th 2020, myself and Natalie will be towing the start line with the rest of the legends. Wish us luck!

Training Plan – so far

  • Spring in Lakeland recce 19 miles 22nd September 2019
  • Ullswater Way Challenge 24 miles 27th October 2019
  • Ambleside to Coniston recce 15 miles 18th January 2020
  • Silverdale Circuit 18 miles 15th February
  • Spring in Lakeland  recce 33 miles 18th and 19th April
  • Pooley Bridge to Ambleside Recce 28 miles 24th May

More about the Lakeland 50

The Lakeland 50 & 100 (UTLD) takes place on the weekend of July 24 - 26th 2020 and is the most spectacular long distance trail race which has ever taken place within the UK.

The circular route encompasses the whole of the Lakeland fells, includes in the region of 6300m of ascent and consists almost entirely of public bridleways and footpaths. The Lakeland 100 route starts in Coniston in Cumbria and heads South before completing a clockwise loop which takes in the Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale and Buttermere before arriving in Keswick. From here, the route heads to Matterdale and continues over to Haweswater before returning via Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater to the finish at Coniston. In addition to the Lakeland 100, the Lakeland 50 event also takes place with 3100m of ascent, starting from Dalemain Estate north of Pooley Bridge and finishing at Coniston.

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