The Lakeland 50/100 with Jenn Gaskell and Montane

July 25, 2018

We caught up with Jenn Gaskell, an experienced ultra-runner who is heading out to the Lakeland 50/100 this weekend.

What is the Lakeland 50/100 to you, why this event?

I love the Lakeland 50/100 as it has the best race atmosphere in the UK! It’s a fantastic route, with enthusiastic marshalls at the brilliant checkpoints along the way. It’s a true family experience with everyone camping together before and after the race, and because you can walk the 50, even my 70 year-old step mum is taking part! I keep coming back to this event because the trails are fantastic, particularly looking back from Black Sail pass when everyone starts to put their headtorches on, and running down to Haweswater.

What is the route?

The route encompasses the lakeland fells, with 6300m of ascent full of bridleways and footpaths. The route begins are Coniston, before heading through Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale, Buttermere, Keswick, Matterdale, Haweswater, Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater before finishing at Coniston. Quite the route!

How did you train for the event?

It’s actually more runnable than my usual races (Montane Tor des Geants, Xreid Norway and lots of orienteering), so I have to do some faster trail running beforehand! I had a big race 3 weeks ago, so I’ve been doing a few flatter recovery runs and some shorter speed sessions, and hoping the endurance base is covered!

Top tip for a new Ultra runner?

Start steady and if you have spare energy in the second half, you can always use it then! It’s much more enjoyable (and usually faster overall) to feel strong on the second half than to death march it after a speedy first half!

Top tip for an experienced ultra runner?

Hopefully you’ve figured out the pacing by now, so just take little bits that might make a big difference – I find 2 or 3 salt tablets throughout the race work a treat on hot days.

Please share any advice on how you prevent injury

We always need to do more strength and conditioning! To make it more exciting, why not do it in the local woods or near a lake, I try and follow different YouTube videos every week.

Do you have any pacing tips?

I like to save my energy for the flats and downhill, don’t worry if it feels like everyone’s overtaking you on the uphill – you’ll catch them soon enough!

What Montane gear would you recommend for the race?

The Claw 14 running backpack is perfect for this event – big pockets on the front for water, snacks and phone, then all the essentials on the back, and so comfy I never notice I’ve still got it on in the pub later! The Minimus waterproofs are great for taking on every run too as they pack so small but make a real difference when the weather turns. 

Images taken from Jenn’s Instagram