Rocket Rod's Ramblings - Part 1

Langdale 10k
18 Jan

I’ll begin by introducing myself to potential new runners in this classic Lake District road race.

For me, the three most important requisites for the event are stamina, observation and an enquiring mind!

The severity of the course is more than outweighed by the beauty of the scenery and the feeling of satisfaction when you complete it. You’ll accept how hard (but rewarding) it is.

I come from a non-fell running background. In fact, my home town of Manchester is more acclaimed for its magnificent football club than hills! The mighty Manchester United. More of that at a later date...

I know this horrible pandemic is affecting our plans but if you can keep up some sort of training plan (including hills or stairs!) it’ll give you a head start when the Langdale Races begin again.

Just to give you a brief history of the event (brevity not being one of my traits), my family and I started the Great Langdale 10K in 1988 when I came to work at the Langdale Estate. Because the Windermere Marathon had been disbanded, there was no marathon in the area and I wanted to plan a challenging race in its wake.

With much blood, sweat, tears and postage stamps I decided to plan a course and host a race from scratch, having no experience of such a daunting challenge. Remember, this was in the days of paper entry forms and posting race numbers to all runners.

Our first event, the Christmas Pudding 10K of 1988, attracted a meagre 38 runners. At great effort and expense we had a giant plywood Christmas pudding finishing-arch made by a company in Sedbergh. We carefully covered the ‘hole’ in paper, ready for the winner to run through. Instead of breaking through the paper arch, the dozy guy ran straight into the plywood frame. Since then it’s blossomed to an 800 competitor run!

More from me next week. In the meantime, keep well, warm and with it!

Rocket Rod

Rocket Rod