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The rocky, the flat (coke) and the blinding (peakers) side of the Limestone 50

An account of the Peak Running 2021 Limestone 50, by Stuart Laurie


After participating in quite a few Peak Running events, I decided to dip my toes into the world of ultra running. Before this, I had only competed in one marathon back in 2019 so I knew it would be my biggest challenge yet!

Due to work and family commitments, finding the time to train for a 50 mile event was tough and not having the terrain on my doorstep meant having to use the local country park and doing monotonous loops of the parkrun course.

Time on feet was the goal though, so it helped, even if the looks got stranger when I passed other park users for the umpteenth time!

I also joined in on one of the Peak Running recce runs (covering the route from Baslow to Millers Dale) which was very much worth it. I couldn't attend the others but looking back, wish I'd have made the time. Being ex military, I'm pretty good at memorising routes and during the Limestone 50 last year, I found that once I'd reached the part of the course I knew, I could take the focus off navigation slightly and concentrate on managing my mind and body through some of the more technical sections such as Lathkill Dale where every rock seems to want to trip you up!!!

Thankfully there weren't too many people on that part of the course so I could swear at the rocks, and myself, without concern!

The Limestone 50 as a whole, is challenging but the sense of achievement is amazing and almost overwhelming when you start the descent back into Castleton.

The support from the Peak Running crew is second to none and if you aren't feeling upbeat upon reaching a checkpoint, The Blinding Peakers will have you leaving with a smile on your face and ready for the next section!

In summary, it was an amazing experience and my biggest achievement to date.

I placed 3rd overall which wasn't without effort, especially mentally as there were numerous times I wanted to throw the towel in.

I must have enjoyed it though as I signed up for the Millstone 100 straight away when entries opened - I must be mad!!!

Stuart's Kit Tips:

  • "In terms of kit and equipment, a good race vest is key, something with easy access to food and water avoids having to stop unnecessarily."

  • "Decent trail shoes are a must, just make sure they're broken in!"

  • "In hindsight, I should have used poles, as the ascents were tough during the latter stages but maybe that was down to lack of hill training on my part..."

And Fuelling Advice:

I carried almost everything from the start. I consumed a gel after 30 minutes and food after 60 minutes, continuing the pattern for the duration of the race. I found though that most of the snacks I had packed were at the checkpoints so again, using hindsight, I could have utilised the checkpoints more rather than weighing myself down with 10 hours worth of food!

Oh, and don't refuse flat coke!! It's an absolute game changer and saved my race when I'd hit a low after about 40 miles!!!

- Stuart Laurie

Limestone 50 (September 2021) 3rd Place Finisher

Account written June, 2022

~ Psst...Convinced the Limestone 50 is for you? You can sign up here. ~

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