Ultra Marathon

3 posts

A woman running next to a lake

Hannah’s Lakes in a Day adventure

On 7th October I took part in ‘Lakes in a Day,’ the 50-mile British Trail Running Middle Distance Championship which goes from the top to the bottom of the Lake District. I wanted to see what my limits were. It was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I was a nervous ball of energy on the start line and had to stop myself sprinting the first few miles, remembering it was 50 miles, not Ganger Farm Park Run! After the first climb, we crossed a waist-high river. It was absolutely terrifying. Then I “ran” (plodded) uphill through a bog with no defined footpath, in a cloud, on my own. When I got to around 600m I starting panicking about descending Hallsfell ridge in 60 mph winds, but we got diverted to avoid the slippery ridge. This added an extra 5km to the overall distance but it was a good thing because the wind knocked me over several times ascending Helvellyn. At that point, I cried on a man called Gary who held my hand till I pulled myself together. 

I told myself I was dropping out at Ambleside, but when I got to Ambleside, changed my shoes, had some squash and realised there was just 35km left to run it all felt bizarrely achievable so I cracked on. I tried to view being submerged in Lake Windermere up to my pants for the next 1km as a good thing, a free ice bath. 

At the final checkpoint, I realised I had a chance of being in the top ten ladies. I was a bit unclear of my actual position but my competitive edge spurred me on in the dark, trying to not confuse sheep eyes with race signage, and I made it in just two minutes ahead of the 5th lady. The first three women did insanely amazing times. For the British Trail Running Championships I’m very happy as a Romsey *Road* Runner who lives nowhere near any mountains to have come fourth! 

I’ll be very happy to not think about racing for a while. It’s been a wild 6 months of training. Fun, but not sustainable!!

Smiling runner in a blue hat and red running backpack with backdrop of cliffs and coastline

Race Report – August 2022

August has been notable for two things: heat and drought. Running in hot weather brings its own challenges, mainly trying to keep hydrated while avoiding heat stroke. Ryan Snell navigated both during the Tadley 10k on August 14th. Running in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, Ryan completed the course in an impressive time of 36:17 to take second place. Ryan said of the event “the Tadley 10k is a pretty route and was well organised by Tadley runners. It was very hot (unsurprising for August) and there was some climbing in the second half.”

The same day, Jonny Stevens was competing in the Newark half marathon, where he set himself an impressive new PB of 1:38. Jonny noted that “the course was fast and flat and it was a proper warm day, over 30 degrees by the time I finished! I got a PB so it was all worth it. It’s definitely a race I would go back to.”

The following weekend things had cooled down a bit, which was just as well as Alice Lane was taking on the very challenging LDWA event the Dorset Doddle. This involved running from Weymouth to Swanage, a distance of over 32 miles with 1800m elevation. Alice, a seasoned long-distance runner, completed the course in 7:37 hours.

Smiling runner in a blue hat and red running backpack with backdrop of cliffs and coastline
Alice Lane at the Dorset Doddle

On the same day, Romsey’s Lottie Budd took part in the Big Pilgrimage, a 15-mile run that follows a Pilgrim Way recently rediscovered on the 13th century Gough Map. Lottie, who completed the run in a time of 2:50 hours, said of the experience: “the Big Pilgrimage has to be my favourite race so far. It’s very varied trail but predominantly follows the coast from Southampton to Titchfield with a short ferry ride en route. Despite talking a wrong turn and joining the marathon runners for a short bit, I came 7th in my age group.”

Also competing on August 21st were Louise Holliday and Megan Batchelor who crossed the water to the Isle of Wight to take part in the Ryde half marathon. Louise finished in an excellent time of 2:18 hours, while Megan netted herself a fantastic new PB of 1:55.

Louise said of the race “the Ryde half marathon is an undulating course through Ryde, Nettlestone and St Helens. Some of it was off-road on gravel tracks but otherwise it was mostly on quiet lanes. It was a small, low-key event with only around 200 runners but it was very friendly and I would definitely do it again. I had some trepidation as the race was in the middle of the day in August, but luckily it was a lovely cool morning with glimpses of the sea over the fields every so often to make us think refreshing thoughts!”

Finally, Romsey were in action in the inter-club competition The Mile of Miles at the end of the month. The club fielded two teams for this popular event which this year was held at the athletics track at Mountbatten School. Each team consisted of ten members, with each member running a mile over four laps of the track. Romsey’s teams posted times of 1:06:03 and 1:08:59 respectively, with the faster team taking 8th place overall.

Results Roundup


The penultimate race in the CC6 series took place at Denny Wood on Sunday 10th February; this latest race provided lots of mud and puddles – a typical cross country. The event was marshalled by Totton Running Club who stood in the rain to cheer on all club runners, their efforts greatly appreciated. A total of 11 Romsey runners finished, and although some of the overal results have now been decided, the final race in March will decide the laides title which Romsey’s Shantha Dickinson is in the running for.

Prior to this, the 23 January marked the Stonehenge Stomp, a choice of distances or walkers and runners to tackle around the famous stones. It was organised by the Amesbury Walkers of the Long Distance Walkers Association. All distances started from Amesbury Sports Centre and followed gently undulating routes around Amesbury and Stonehenge. Tam Ryan tackled the full 40k, Lynda Brown and Di Cross the 30k, and David and Ruth Page the 20k. The going was very wet and muddy underfoot, with the chalk making for slippery, energy sapping conditions. Continue reading