If not the TGOC then …. why not the Lakeland 100?

Sometimes we cannot do the TGOC.

When this last happened to me the Cape Wrath Trail (CWT) beckoned. In an earlier note I described the first half – planned as a mountain route. After illness moved the trip from May round to a rainy October, it became more low-level covering some of the areas frequented by TGOers in the first few days of their trip.

In 2018 I completed the TGO again. When I arrived to check-in at the Park Hotel in Montrose two old timers were talking in hushed tones about running. Maybe even marathons! I used to enjoy a little running, but first one knee, then the other required some remediation and I quit my modest efforts. Preserving my long walking capability in old age should take priority!

But then, running is a buzz. It turned out that one of these gentlemen had recently done his first marathon in Toulouse, without special training, at the age of 69. And the other does some regular mountain running even though over 70 years old. “Just do some parkruns – and then see how you feel, that’s all I do for training”.

The Times tells us on the one hand that regular running maintains resilience in the knee cartilage for older people, and on the other hand we should consider reducing running and replacing it with other forms of exercise when reaching our 40s. False science?

In May 2019 there were plans which meant I should miss the TGOC this year. With echoes from that conversation in Montrose I looked for an alternative challenge. Something led me to the Lakeland 100 website – something to put in the calendar for next year! It mentions ‘walk and run’, and it also requires first timers to do the Lakeland 50 which covers the second half of the 100 course.

Entry for the Lakeland 100 and Lakeland 50 opens on September 1st and it fills almost immediately, leaving some ‘charity’ places at double the cost. I signed-up in a hurry, then did my research.

The blogs of previous entrants implied that they were all runners. My idea – that I’d be a strong walker in the field was blown away – it looked like I might be a lone walker!

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