August 1, 2022

Kaars Sijpesteijn breaks own record in Lakeland 50 victory

There was some thrilling racing at the Lakeland 50 at the weekend - with fine margins the order of the day
By Ed Mezzetti
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Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn broke her own course record by just 13 seconds to take victory in the Montane Lakeland 50

The Leeds-based athlete produced the weekend’s outstanding display as Andrew Siggers claimed the men’s title, with Emma Stuart and Ali Bailey taking the respective Lakeland 100 honours

Kaars Sijpesteijn completed the 50-mile course, which starts at the northern end of Ullswater and finishes at Coniston, in 8:02:19. 

This was a marginal improvement on the 8:02:32 she clocked in 2017 and means she now has the three fastest times for the course, having also recorded an 8:12:19 in 2018. 

‘Dream’ run

Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn photo copyright James Kirby Lakeland Trails
Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn [Photo credit: James Kirby / Lakeland Trails]

Kaars Sijpesteijn posted on her Instagram page: “To break my own course record is a dream. 
 
“I have loads more to say when my head isn’t spinning with a dozen gels and 2.5 litres of cola!” 

Sabrina Verjee, who won the race in 2016, was second in 8:43:13, improving her own best time for the course. 

Lauren Graham was third in 9:33:37. 

Down to the wire

Siggers edged out Spencer Shaw by just 50 seconds after an epic battle in the men’s race. 

The lead changed hands several times before Siggers finally held off Shaw to take the win in 7:56:25. 

Shaw had been around six minutes behind at the final checkpoint, but could not quite haul in his rival as he crossed the line in 7:57:15. 

Rory Harris was third in 8:09:07. 

This meant Kaars Sijpesteijn’s husband Caspar retained the course record with his 7:34:07 from 2017. 

Stuart steps up from 50 to 100

The 100-mile course starts and finishes in Coniston, taking in Eskdale, Wasdale, Buttermere, Keswick, Matterdale, Haweswater, Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater en route. 

Having won the women’s Lakeland 50 last year, Stuart stepped up to the full distance in style. 

Eventual runner-up Eve Moore held a narrow lead in the early stages, but Stuart came on strong to take victory in 23:05:54, with Moore clocking 24:47:14. Nicola Duncan was third in 25:53:17. 

Beth Pascall set the women’s record of 21:29:36 in 2016. 

Bailey took victory in the men’s race in 20:46:02 from Neil MacNicol (21:55:28), who had led briefly in the early stages. 

James Chapman was closing in fast on MacNicol at the end, but had to be content with third in 21:56:52. 

Mark Darbyshire’s course record of 19:10:27 was never under threat. 

Ed Mezzetti
Article by
Ed Mezzetti
Ed has almost 20 years of experience as a journalist, writing on sports ranging from rugby to rowing. His career highlights include covering the London 2012 Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games. Ed writes news and feature articles for RUN247 & TRI247 and is a keen club runner himself.