Words: Sim Benson
The Lakes Sky Ultra tackles 56km of extreme running across crests and ridges, where the mountains meet the sky. Its vertical drops and rocky paths certainly aren’t for the fainthearted, but all this – combined with over 4500m of ascent and some exposed grade-III scrambling – make for a race that will live long in the memory.
I was invited to run by headline sponsors Salewa to test out its new range, including the brand-new Lite Train 14 bag and Ultra Train shoes, which gripped rock exceptionally well. That proved to be a blessing, as this course is scenic but serious, passing through some of the most dramatic Lakeland fells. Starting in Ambleside, it traverses the Helvellyn massif before dropping down into Patterdale. It’s a race of two halves, with two-thirds of the ascent packed into a technical first half. The rest is far more runnable, if you still have any legs left. It was a tough day, with plenty of miles but not enough of them in the mountains. Despite pushing me to my limits, it was an incredible experience and I’ll definitely be back. A big thanks to Charlie Sproson and his team of marshals!