This weekend, Mick Lowther took on what is known as the World’s hardest Half Ironman distance Triathlon, Wasdale. The Wasdale attracts the most hardened of triathletes, boasting it’s swim as the deepest, it’s bike section as the steepest and it’s run as the highest. It is not one for the faint hearted.
Lowther, who had been struggling with illness lately started the swim in the cold, dark waters of Wastwater. With only light from lamps provided by the team, Lowther donned his wetsuit and entered the lakes chilly waters (approximately 13 Degrees Celsius) for the beginning of an incredible day.
Completing the 1.2 mile swim in approximately 32 minutes, Lowther ran to transition and prepared for the 56 mile bike section, containing the steepest category climb in the country. It wasn’t long before Lowther was tackling the severe ascent of Hardnott, the steepest mountain pass in Britain at 2.2 miles with an average 25% incline and the last two bends at over 30%. Wrynose pass would ease the legs compared to what they had just endured, however the downhill would keep Lowther switched on knowing there is a 500ft unprotected drop along the side of the road. More and more miles came under Lowther’s two wheels as he pushed on and as if once up Hardknott wasn’t enough, he had to take on it’s return pass. Peaking at an incredible 33% incline for 200 yards and then 30% for mile, Lowther was pushed to the limit. The bike section racked up a total 7,217 ft of climbing over the 56 miles in approximately 5 hours.
Still, Lowther was not to be defeated. In to transition and with his trainers on, Lowther began the final leg of the journey. Starting the athletes off steady through Styhead Tarn and the Corridor Route, it wasn’t long before Lowther was at the base of Scarfell Pike. Scaling one part of the rock face took half an hour and only achieving a 75m gain in distance was both mentally and physically challenging. However once at the rocky summit of England’s highest mountain, it was the horrendous descent with zero visibility, sheer drops and large loose rocks to negotiate that stick in Lowther’s mind. This was no “run” at all, even the flat bits were through marshlands but Lowther completed the final leg in approximately 5 hours 20 minutes.
Lowther may be suffering after taking on Wasdale, but he is proud to have completed it in 10 hours and 50 minutes (approx) with some incredible competitors.