It’s the fourth edition of the Lakes Sky Ultra (LSU) – a 56km skyrunning race with 4,500m of ascent in the Lake District National Park in the UK – and it provided plenty of adrenaline for the competitors and spectators.
The racers set off at 7am, Saturday 14 July, in decent conditions, with a high of around 20˚C in the afternoon.
Only those who are judged to have skills enough to undertake it, are accepted for the race and the elite field comprised 74 runners. Rob Sinclair took an early lead at Dove Crag (via Low Pike and High Pike), and by the time he reached Striding Edge the Scot had a 10-minute advantage.
The first half of the course is a beast with around two-thirds of the 4,500m of ascent and the majority of the technical ridge running. The second half has more runnable sections.
Robbie capitalised on this strong lead and arrived at the finish line in Ambleside just 10 minutes off the course record in 7:40:27. “The race was brilliant,” he said. “It was a really good run. It was super hot, but I felt good in the heat today.”
Tim Campion-Smith. Photo credit: Ian Corless.
“I loved the race,” said Tim Campion-Smith (GBR) who came in second. “It was super fun. The first five hours were great. Hours five to seven were pretty bleak. But then it was a nice little run in to the finish. The blueberries were out too, so I stocked up on a few calories.”
“The other two lads were just a different level today,” admitted third-placed Andy Berry (GBR), who was still 13 minutes faster than his winning time last year. “I don’t have that in the tank at the minute. Pinnacle Ridge [a particularly technical and exposed section where runners use safety ropes] was superb.”
In the women’s race, Sophie Grant, smashed it and won by over two and a half hours, in a time of 10:14:41. “This is a race with service!” she said as she was sprayed with water at the finish line. “I’m feeling way better now. That was fantastic. It’s just such a cool race.”
Kate Simpson (GBR) was second in 12:37:38, with Jenny Yate (GBR) third in 12:51:35.
- (M): Rob Sinclair (GBR) 7:40:27
- (F): Sophie Grant (GBR) 10:30:27
Sophie Grant. Photo credit: Ian Corless.