The Ladybower 50: Part 1

Andy Luke
Monday, 8 October, 2012

Registration for the race started at 7 am and we were only staying half an hour away and got there in good time.  It took all of 30 seconds to register and receive my number and a route map for the day.  There was a nip in the air before the sun got out so I kept my tracksuit bottoms and hoody on until the last minute.  I spent the remaining time checking I had everything I needed in my back pack and making sure I’d been to the toilet before the race started.
The race itself is a trail race comprising of one small loop (5 miles) around LadyBower reservoir then three big loops (15 miles) of LadyBower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs.  This meant that you passed the start line four times and the last meant it was the finish line.  My girlfriend Dom, had very kindly offered to support me so this is where she would be waiting for me throughout the day.
It was the inaugural year of the LadyBower50 so it was a relatively small event.  There was a maximum of 50 people signed up to do the race however an email from the organiser at the start of the week mentioned there was now only 46 taking part.  Then on race day another dozen or so runners failed to even turn up so at least I’d managed to get this far!

Women's Running

  operation-ultraAt the start line I’d met up with Jen Hitchcott who was the runner from Women’s Running magazine.  We agreed to run with each other for a bit until we parted ways.  So the countdown began, a horn sounded and we were off.  We started off right at the back of the pack which moved at a slow pace but I was happy with this thinking it would save some vital energy.  Within the first mile or so the pack slowly spread out with the stronger runners taking a good lead.  The route was sign posted with yellow arrows and was easy to follow so Jen and I chatted and took in the sights and wildlife around the first five mile loop.  


There's no going back...

  On passing the start line, I picked up my back pack from Dom and kept on moving.  Once we’d come round the loop again we had to bear right this time to avoid looping back to the start line again and this time it committed us to the bigger 15 mile loop around the 3 reservoirs.  Once you were on this route there was no short cut back to the start line, it was either the long way around or you had to double back on yourself. Throughout the first hour of running I’d noticed that my heart rate was up at a high rate (200 plus) so was getting a bit concerned that come the 2 hour mark it had not lowered.  I still felt OK so monitored it with caution.  Eventually we reached the point where Jen parted my company.  I think I’d been holding her back anyway but she was just too polite to say anything sooner.  I plugged in my MP3 player and plodded on...


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