Lakeland 50 & 100 Camping & Spectating

There’s lots to do for your friends and family in Coniston and we very much encourage them to come along and enjoy the atmosphere, the start of the Montane Lakeland 100 and the children’s Lakeland 1 fun run. If you’re competing in the 50 miles event, we very much encourage you to arrive Friday afternoon, so you don’t miss out on the action and atmosphere. 

Here’s some of the things you need to know beforehand:

1. Camping at Coniston School opens 9am Friday and is available free of charge for competitors and their immediate family (you, your partner and children). Be sensible and be fair to everyone, don’t bring 45 relatives with 10 tents, it’s for you and your immediate family only, extended family will be turned away so need to source alternative accommodation. Those arriving early will be on the main field closer to the marquee and those who arrive later will be on the overflow field further from the marquee. the overflow field is only 300m away, so don’t be concerned if you arrive late Friday, there’s space for everyone. You don’t need to book anywhere or inform us in advance. 

2. Camper vans and caravans are allowed, but there is no electricity hook up. Camper vans, caravans and motor homes will be on the overflow field, not the main school field. 

3. On Friday, once you drive onto the main field, you can’t exit until Saturday. There’s only one route on and off and cars trying to leave causes too much congestion. If you drive onto the main field on Friday to pitch your tent, your car can’t leave until Saturday. If you want to pitch a tent and leave in your car on Friday, you must pitch on the overflow field. 

4. If you’re coming to register but staying in a hotel, then you park on the overflow field and you can register them leave. 

5. TENT SIZE: We have to find space for a lot of people, so be reasonable with your tent space. You’ll get a spot for your car (you can park there all weekend) and your tent should be pitched next to it. The tent should be no bigger than a large car to sleep a family. 

6. Dogs are allowed on the school / camping field, but must be kept on a lead at all times. They are not allowed in the school at any time but are allowed in the marquee so long as they are on a lead. There are no fires allowed and camping is only available from Friday 9am through to Sunday 4pm. You cannot under arrive Thursday and you cannot stay until Monday. 

2. The cafe, bar and coffee shop are open throughout the weekend, closing at 11pm Friday. Your family will be able to greet you at the finish line and food / refreshments will be available right through Saturday evening to Sunday morning. 

3. Your family and friends can track you using by using Open Tracking and details of how to do this will be sent out in advance. Open Tracking is a GPS system which operates live, so in theory, your family should be able to use Open Tracking to ‘dot watch’ and see exactly where you are at any time on the course. However, this is signal reliant and for that reason there are several ‘dead spots’ on the course, where it may appear that you have not moved for a lengthy period of time, due to no signal. 


Every year we have lots of spectators asking us where to go to support runners. Spend a bit of time with your family planning where to meet them and your anticipated time of arrival. You should also plan the route between meeting points as the Lakeland roads can be tricky and navigating can be more stressful for your family than it is for you as a runner. If you don’t know the lakes, it can be extremely stressful for family members and children trying to navigate the roads to meet you at checkpoints. Whilst you are enjoying the race, ensure that your family are also enjoying the experience by planning ahead.

Here’s some things you need to know:

1. With the exception of the first 4 miles round Dalemain estate, supporters cannot run on the course with you, this is deemed outside assistance.

2. Supporters MUST NOT enter the checkpoint buildings, CP staff will ask them to leave as they generally ‘get in the way’ of other competitors and CP staff.

3. VERY IMPORTANT – There are specific points on the course where they can watch you. We have agreed with local councils, National Trust and National Park to avoid key areas. Permissions are very delicate and the future of the event is never guaranteed. If your supporters go to these areas to watch you, it may result in a disqualification. The specific areas where supporters can watch as as follows:

100 Course:

  • Coniston (start and finish – please do not support in village centre after midnight as this can upset local residents)
  • CP2 Boot
  • CP3 Wasdale (specifically from Wasdale Inn)
  • Keswick – back of Fitz park before climbing Latrigg and on A66 approaching this point

50 & 100 Course

  • CP8 Dalemain Estate (parking available and friends / family of 50 competitors may join you for the initial 4 miles loop)
  • Pooley Bridge – main village (100 & 50 competitors)
  • CP12/4 Ambleside – main village (100 & 50 competitors) *can spectators please avoid entering the Parish Hall checkpoint. Ambleside is a key location for spectators.
  • Skelwith Bridge Hotel – BE QUIET IF IT’S LATE
  • Elterwater village – BE QUIET IF IT’S LATE

The bus ride to Dalemain for 50 runners

As part of your entry, you have booked a place on the bus ride to Dalemain on Saturday morning. You do not need to contact us or request this, there will be enough space for everyone. These buses generally start departing at 9:15am. Some people prefer to travel by car, especially if friends and relatives are heading to Dalemain to watch the start. 

IMPORTANT CHANGE FOR 2022 – This year, if friends and family are driving to Dalemain, they must arrive before 10am. Last year, the volume of cars delayed both the arrival of coaches and the start of the event. NEW RULE for this year, cars must arrive prior to 10am at Dalemain or they will be turned away. If you intend to travel by car, then you need to take into account that you will not have enough time to attend the Saturday morning race briefing and then get to Dalemain prior to 10am. There is however a race briefing on Friday evening, so you should attend that instead if you intend to travel by car to Dalemain on Saturday morning. Alternatively, keep it simple… just use the buses provided and if your family wish to go to the start, tell them to get to Dalemain prior to 10am and you can see them there. 

What is our recommended plan?

If you are taking part in the 50, our recommended plan is that your family watch you at Dalemain then go directly to Ambleside. Driving to Howtown, Mardale and Kentmere is an awful trip, especially if you don’t know the roads and it’s also not allowed as a spectator point, don’t ruin their weekend by asking them to chase you round the course, most likely missing you at each point or being turned away by event staff.

They should drive to Ambleside via A66 and turn left at St John’s in the vale, to avoid the Kirkstone Pass. If they leave Dalemain at 12:30pm, they will reach Ambleside at 1:30pm, runners arrive from mid/late afternoon onwards, most are arriving in the evening. There’s plenty for them to do in Ambleside and it is also the best atmosphere on the route! From there they could move quickly and drive to Skelwith Bridge Hotel to see you at the road crossing, before moving on to Coniston.

100 runners, there’s no spectating on the West (aside from Boot & Wasdale Inn) and it’s a hellishly dangerous drive if they attempt to go over Wrynose and Hardknott in the dark to see you. Keep your family safe, let them watch the start and then Saturday morning, arrange to meet them in Keswick as you pass through on your way to Blencathre CP. They can then head over to Dalemain and there’s plenty of opportunity to see you there. From Dalemain, the same applies as above for the 50 runners. Ambleside via the A66 and St John’s in the vale, quickly to Skelwith Bridge and then to Coniston.

It Is extremely difficult for us to police the above regulations so we are asking you as a competitor to take responsibility, help us to ensure the race runs as smooth as possible and also to ensure that the event continues to take place many years from now.  Every year a small number of people think the rules don’t apply to them and send their friends to every checkpoint and every year we have someone being rude to checkpoint staff when they’re told they are not allowed in. We’re not trying to spoil your enjoyment, we’re trying to ensure that you get the best help at each checkpoint without someone else’s family getting in your way. More importantly we’re trying to keep residents and landowners happy to guarantee the future of the event. We also need to ensure that your family are safe and that they don’t attempt a perilous journey. Keep it simple and ensure they enjoy the weekend as much as you undoubtedly will.

Did we say it’s only 12 weeks to go?

Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 Team

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