On 2nd – 3rd July the Ice Maidens came from all corners of the UK to gather in the Lake District for the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon.

This 2-day orienteering race was designed to test the team’s micro-navigation skills, stamina and endurance as they ran (and walked) across the fells between carefully concealed check points. Competing in pairs, we practised our march routine by eating on the move and pausing for no longer than 7min breaks throughout the 8hr day. We had to carry our tents, food, kit, stoves and clothing for every weather that Cumbria decided to throw at us!

Nat & Nics at the start of the race

Just as the teams were descending a steep hill into the overnight campsite, one of the squad, Steph Innes-Smith slipped and fell off a cliff into a river. Fortunately, our two Ice Maiden doctors were on hand to administer first aid and help Steph get airlifted to hospital. She suffered minor back injuries, a broken arm and a wound to the head but is recovering well and should be back in training in time for Ex Ice Ready in November.

All very jealous that Steph got a ride in a helicopter, the rest of us camped in a bog in torrential rain and then got up to finish the race, coming together as one group due to the depleted numbers and the events of the day before. We finished in high spirits and were thrilled to be reunited with our rather battered team-mate as she was discharged from hospital. We wish Steph a super-speedy recovery!

Survivors’ photo!