Devil Take the Hindmost 2016

Devil Take the Hindmost 2016

Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

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Frank's Valentine Run 2017

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Dentdale 2017

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Criffel Hill Race 2017

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London Marathon 2016

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Highland Fling Relay 2016

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Moffat 15k 2016

Screel Hill Race 2017

Screel Hill Race 2017



Lakeland 100 - 2016

08/08/2016

The Montane Lakeland 100 is renowned for being the hardest 100 mile race in the UK. 

At 105 miles and 20,700 feet of climbing circumnavigating the Lake District with strict cut-off times throughout the course it's clear to see why. With 1/3 of the runners who start the race not making it to the finish line, and a very low turnout of female competitors DRC's Vicky Hart set her sights on the race as a new target above and beyond anything she had ever attempted before.

On Friday 29th July 345 runners set off from Coniston to begin their 105 mile journey, running into the warm early evening. The runners were blessed with a stunning sunset on that first night, and most of the runners would also see a second sunset before they finished.  Some runners would also see two sunrises, finishing their race on Sunday. Vicky Hart was one such runner.

Despite a positive start Vicky soon came into some difficulties, being hit on the head by a tree branch only 8 miles into the race. Developing some pain in her hip she struggled with some of the early descents. As night fell Vicky found herself alone running across Eskdale Moor which made for some tricky navigation but she arrived on schedule at Checkpoint 3. What followed was one of Vicky’s more memorable race moments, watching the line of head-torch lights winding their way up towards Blacksail Pass in the dead of night.  This is the toughest climb of the whole race and at only 20 miles in it can set the tone for the rest of the race. Black Sail Pass and the following Scarth Gap Pass tested Vicky and her sore hip, but she was determined to keep going. Following the 26 mile checkpoint Vicky found herself on the trickiest part of the route alone, still in the dark.  This section was a huge struggle as Vicky’s pain spread, fatigue was taking its toll and Vicky started suffering from dizzy spells. Reduced to painful walking Vicky was ready to withdraw from the race, phoning her husband to collect her at the next checkpoint.

An extended stop at Braithwaite and a laboured walk to Blencathra checkpoint (41 miles) and the pain and fatigue had seemingly broken her resolve and Vicky informed the marshals she was ready to pull out. Another extended stop and with some strong persuasion from husband Paul and daughter Annabel and the checkpoint marshals, and Vicky was persuaded to at least push for one for checkpoint. However, Vicky now found herself precariously close to the race cut-off times. Painfully walking the next section was not an option. In spite of the pain, especially in her feet, Vicky pushed on.  This was the crucial part of the race for Vicky.  Being so close to being pulled out of the race, due to the time, meant Vicky had something other than the pain to focus on. This was how the rest of the race unfolded: focusing on staying inside the cut-offs, no matter the pain or tiredness.

At Dalemain, the ‘halfway’ point of the race at 59 miles, Vicky had a change of shoes, socks, and top helped by Paul and DRC members Susan Gallagher and Marian McPhail, and then set off into her second evening with everything hurting but completely focused on the mamouth task ahead.  All around her runners were falling behind and being timed out as each checkpoint came and went. With the next three huge climbs of Fusedale, Gatesgarth Pass and Garburn Pass Vicky found herself with only 20 minutes to spare running down into Ambleside. Rather than stopping to refuel Vicky ran straight through the checkpoint chasing her second sunrise as she ran into the Langdale Valley with only 16 miles to go. Knowing this part of the Lakes really well Vicky was able to make up time and passed more runners who were struggling in these final miles. Ensuring she had just over an hour left as she began the final punishing descent into Coniston Vicky was able to run the final miles knowing she had finally made it and so nearly pulling out of the race. The moment she finished was extra special as her family and friends were all out the cheer her over the finish line in a time of 39 hours and 28 minutes, placing 20th lady overall. Only 232 of the original 345 runners made it back to Coniston.

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