Next weekend (24-26 July) will see two of the longest and most challenging ultras in the country, the Montane Lakeland 100/50 Ultra, take place. The Coniston events, which come under the name of the Ultra Tour of the Lake District, are often referred to as the most spectacular long distance trail races that have taken place in the UK.
The 100 mile course, which can take competitors up to 40 hours to complete, starts in Coniston and heads south before completing a clockwise loop which takes in the Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale and Buttermere before arriving in Keswick.
From here the route heads to Matterdale and continues over to Haweswater before returning via Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater to the finish at Coniston. The event is continous in nature, competitors don't have to stop or sleep on the route and the winners are generally expected to finish close to the 23 hour mark. Competitors will set off on 6pm on the Friday and 10am on Sunday morning.
The 50 mile race is run over the second half of the Lakeland 100 Ultra Tour of the Lake District, completing the final 50 miles of the 100 course. That said, even though it represents only half of the longer event, it still constitutes almost a double marathon, and has a drop-out rate of around 60%.
The route starts from the northern end of Ullswater within the grand Dalemain Estate before following the eastern shore line as far as Howtown. A quick climb and descent followed by a trek along the banks of Haweswater and visits Long Sleddale, Kentmere, Ambleside, Langdale and Tilberthwaite before the final climb and descent to the finish at Coniston.