With the 2nd edition of the Lakes Sky Ultra™ less than two weeks away, here is all you need to know about supporting/spectating at the race.
Starting at 7AM, the race will get under way from the University of Cumbria campus in Ambleside.
View the course map here: Lakes Sky Ultra™ Course 2016
Spectators are most welcome. There is very limited parking at the start line, however, the car park on the south side of Rydal Road is large and only a two minute walk from the start line.
The route heads out along Nook Lane, onto the open fell at Low Sweden Bridge. Please refrain from cheering near to residential houses on Nook Lane. It will be an early start, and it is the goodwill of local residents that will ensure the race remains at the forefront of Skyrunning in the UK.
Grisedale Tarn will be the first manned check point. It is relatively low level, although it does involve a reasonable strenuous walk to get to. Flanked by the high ground of Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield and Seat Sandal, there will be a real sense of scale at this location.
Helvellyn summit plateau is a great and a very popular summit. However, it is exposed to the buffetting of the wind and any spectators who venture onto its high top will need to be well equipped and experienced. However, on a clear day, the ability to view the race from this location will be second to none, as runners cross Swirral Edge before eventually returning along the delights of the more technical Striding Edge. Access from Glenridding Car Parks will be the most sensible, but leave yourself plenty of time to get here, as the lead runners will be through from 08:45.
For more detailed timings, see the below table
Patterdale Junior School feed station. Spectators are more than welcome to drop in here for a free tea or coffee. We would ask that no parking takes place in front of the school or the adjoining George Starkey Swiss Alpine Hut. There is a large car park about 2 minutes walk along the road at the Patterdale Hotel. If this car park is full or you are in a large vehicle/motor-home, there is ample parking in Glenridding. There is a footpath that follows the road back to Patterdale and the walk time will be approximately 20 minutes.
Another great spot to watch some fast technical descending will be Threshthwaite Mouth. With views south to Troutbeck Tongue and down into Thresthwaite Glen (north), runners will descend from Thornthwaite Crag on what is one of the most stunning parts of trail on the race. Their re-ascent onto Stoney Cove Pike will be welcomed, undoubtedly, with the help of spectator cheering. Easy access is gained by parking at Hartsop and walking up Threshthwaite Glen, approximately 3km (2 miles) with a little under 400m of height gain. Alternatively, walk in from Kirkstone Pass following the race markings.
Kirkstone Pass car park feed station will be at the top of the car park, furthest from the Kirkstone Pass Inn. No doubt this will be a popular support area, and we would encourage supporters to check out the hospitality of the good guys at England's answer to an Alpine hut. There will be some parking available at Kirkstone Pass, however, a more beautiful car park lies approximately 800m to the north. It is called Red Pitt, and is situated on the west side of the road as it descends from Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale. There is a well worn path, which passes the famous Kirk Stone and finishes by the feed station.
From Kirkstone Pass check point, runners will embark on the timed ascent of Red Screes. The line which ascends Red Screes will not follow the normal footpath, but takes in steep, broken ground. Support at the foot of the ascent and again at the summit will be welcomed by racers, but it is not recommended on the majority of this section of the race.
After dibbing their timing chips, runners will then embark on a timed descent back to Ambleside. This will be fast and furious, the gradient just so, and with not only race positions still up for grabs, but a special prize for the fastest descent to the finish this will be an exciting place to be.
As spectators, please be considerate and courteous to other fell users and to the general public. Feel free to let others know about the race and to explain to them what the racers are putting themselves through.
One final point of note is respect for the environment. We welcome cheering, but please consider how your cheering might affect others (especially early in the morning in the centre of Ambleside). Cow bells are a great addition to life!! You can purchase these from us at the events centre, The University of Cumbria Campus in Ambleside or at the Patterdale and Kirkstone CP's for a mere £6.00.
Litter is unacceptable - please ensure that you take your litter home with you, or bring it to one of our feed stations (and we'll take care of the rest). If you see other litter in the fells, then use some extra calories to bend down and pick it up. Wombling is good for your soul, and if you doubt that ask Bungo, Orinoco or Great Uncle Bulgaria!!
Don't forget you can also view the action from your armchair at home! Of course we'd love you to come in person, but if you can't then checkout the live tracking by Open Tracking: http://live.lakesskyultra.uk