Andy Berry wins Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 as Montane female athletes make podium

The 2023 Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 races have concluded with Andy Berry claiming first place in the Lakeland 100 race after a record number of participants crossed the finish line, with a 91% success rate for men and a 92% success rate for women across both races.

The Lakeland 100 men’s event saw Andy Berry take first place, with a time of 20 hours 3 minutes, pipping Jarlath McKenna at the death to record the third-fastest time the race has ever seen. Sabrina Verjee was victorious in the women’s event, recording a time of 23 hours to finish over 3 hours 46 minutes ahead of Ukrainian Dariia Bodnar, who was running in the event after being sponsored by Montane.

Meanwhile, the Lakeland 50 men’s event saw Neil MacNicol emerge victorious with a time of 8 hours 3 minutes, just ahead of Robert Trigwell in second place. The women’s event saw Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn take gold with a time of 8 hours 23 minutes, while #TeamMontane athlete, Victoria Thompson, finished runner up with a time of 8 hours 47 minutes.

Renowned as one of the toughest long-distance trail races in the UK, the Lakeland 100 ‘Ultra Tour of the Lake District’, is a circular, non-stop route encompassing the whole of the Lakeland fells and sees participants tackle climbs, descents, and rugged terrain while battling through darkness along certain stretches. The difficult conditions and challenging navigation mean that the race sees on average a 40-50% drop-out rate over the 100-mile course, with the vast majority of those pulling out by the halfway point.

The route includes approximately 6300m of ascents and consists almost entirely of public bridleways and footpaths, beginning in Coniston and heading south before completing a clockwise loop which takes in the Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale, and Buttermere, before arriving in Keswick. From here, the route continues to Matterdale and over to Haweswater before returning via Kentmere, Ambleside, and Elterwater, and eventually heading back to Coniston for the finish.

Participants of both the 100 and 50 races follow the same route with the 50 race starting at the half-way point. Time limits are set for both races; 40 hours for the 100 and 24 hours for the 50.

The event saw Montane sponsor Ukrainian athlete, Dariia Bodnar, with the brand arranging travel, accommodation, and race entry for her to take part in the event. Bodnar is a renowned ultra runner in Ukraine, becoming one of only five athletes to complete the first ever 100-mile trail run in the country. The Lakeland race marked her first ever event in the UK, with it seeing a successful result as she comfortably secured second place in the women’s 100 event.

Speaking on her second-place finish, Bodnar said “The course very beautiful and very green, although very wet. I loved the mountain lakes, although I didn’t enjoy the flat running! As the course was very wet with a lot of water, I would advise wearing a good pair of shoes that dry quickly!”

The event also saw a host of #TeamMontane athletes taking part across both races, with Victoria Thompson claiming second place in the women’s 50 event.

Speaking on her result, Thompson commented: “The race was challenging but the weather was ideal. The highlight was getting to Kentmere and hearing the bells – it was a great atmosphere, although I struggled coming down the final steep descent into the Coniston quarries. I would encourage anyone who is considering taking part to enter. – set yourself a goal and build your training up towards it, and everything will be fine!”

Montane’s Marketing Executive Lead – Athletes & Events, Hannah Foster, commented: “The Lakeland 50 & 100 races never fail to deliver, and this year was certainly no different, with the event firmly established in the Montane race calendar in what is now its 16th year. It is a truly spectacular event, with the picturesque yet unforgiving route requiring participants to dig deep in order to overcome it. I’d like to extend my congratulations to all the athletes who have taken part this year and we hope to see them again next year for more of the same!”

Alongside the Lakeland 50 & 100, Montane also sponsors races throughout the year including the Montane Spine Race, the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra (MLAU) and Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU), and the Montane Dragon’s Back Race, amongst others.

More information on the Lakeland 50 and 100 can be found over on the Montane site:

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