LDWA 100 – Ian France (the Story of the 100)

“The best ice-cream ever, by friend and support Richard Davies. At 95 miles, after a day and half of hot weather”

I’ve been pleased to post the accounts of a few entrants of the LDWA 100, their achievements have been incredible in some often difficult circumstances of walking 100 miles without the traditional support offered by the LDWA. This account is by Ian France, and he was successful in completing the 100 miles, as well as seemingly now being addicted by the event. I was happy to complete the LDWA 100 a few weeks ago, but I have to confess to not yet being addicted, so I’m again very impressed at how brave our entrants are   🙂  I like the hint about ginger as well, I’ve heard a few people mention that taking ginger in numerous forms helps ward off queasiness.

Anyway, Ian’s account, and I like the music festival situation which could have been rather problematic….. And those stiles must have been annoying near the end.


I fancied the idea of starting and finishing at home, such that there would be no driving. After some measurements, I determined that Settle was just the correct distance away, for an out and back

My route was, cross fields to join the Lancaster Canal. Travel along the Lancaster canal towpath to get to the Preston terminus. Cross a few roads to join the Preston Guild Wheel. This was used to get to Penwortham Bridge, where the route joined the Ribble Way, which was then followed to Settle. I had a small loop around and back through Settle and then returned back along the same route.

I even had a name. Many years ago whilst driving through the Yorkshire Dales, a relative had got a famous Tom Hanks film name wrong. I gave this route that name. ‘Sleepless In Settle’.

The LDWA Y 100 Sir Fynwy web page stated what was required regarding evidence. I decided that as well as providing a completed evidence form, I would also provide witness testimonies, photos and a gpx track, from a tracker I had hired. The tracker worked very well, and people could use it to check on my progress and determine when and where to meet me.

On the event I was blessed with plenty of help and support. A combination of West Lancs LDWA, my fell running club Bowland Fell Runners, and friends from work. I also had friends of friends along who I’d never met before. After all the Covid restrictions, people were glad to be outside taking part in something again. New friendships were made along the way, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

I was well looked after and well fed, Soup with bread, Beans on toast, and a Chicken and Mushroom pot noodle, along with loads of tea and coffee. On the Cinque Ports 100 I discovered that watered down ginger ale goes down well and it certainly helped to settle my stomach when I got a bit queasy in the heat. I had another of my LDWA favourite foods, chilled melon. It also went down a treat, very refreshing.

For the first third I was flying, everything went very well. But then the sun came out, it was hot, I wilted, I changed to a fast walk, and we sensibly gave up with my ambitious schedule. I was still moving fast and still enjoying it.

In the evening we passed through a music festival near Gisburn, right on the route of the Ribble Way. We got some surprised comments as we walked past the queue of well dressed people waiting to go in. I remember wondering if I’d get back through, on the return, or if the bouncers we passed would stop me.

I didn’t need to worry for on the return it had finished. It would have made a very interesting story for a DNF.

Later that night I was treated to a memorable highlight. When the clouds cleared I saw the beautiful Pink Moon. I’d been reading about it recently and hoped I’d get to see it. There are some very special moments you only experience on night walks.

For the last 15 miles my feet were very hot and sore, I was helped along (near the end) by the best ice-cream I’ve ever had.

I kept on plodding on, one more enormous stile after another, one more step after another, the miles were counted down along the canal towpath and eventually I finished.

It was certainly an adventure, it took me 35 and half hours. It was my 3rd (from the last 3) successfully completed LDWA hundred, and I’m now addicted to them.

I’m now recovered and looking forward to next years.