The leg routes for this year’s relay promise to be some of the most beautiful and physically demanding ever. Taking runners over some iconic Lake District fells, the routes cover ground from some classic races and the Bob Graham Round.
Although not very far in terms of distance, each leg delivers a challenging amount of climb over steep and, at times, technical terrain. Leg 2 particularly covers some exposed and rough ridge running, and is not for the faint-hearted.
As you consider your teams, please bear in mind that the leg routes and maps are being made available earlier than usual (late June hopefully) in the hope that teams will have the opportunity to recce the routes over the summer. We would ask that, as our marshals will be out on the hill for a considerable amount of time, if runners feel that they will be significantly more than double the estimated winning time for a leg, they should consider the suitability of that leg for them. This is not meant to discourage or exclude people from entering but is an essential part of keeping competitors and hill marshals safe on the day.
Please take care when reccying not to do anything that will upset the farmers and put the event in jeopardy. This includes climbing any walls, fences or gates or crossing any private land. We all rely on the goodwill of the landowners to race on their land so please be considerate.
On the published leg maps, you will notice a 3-colour system for flagged sections. Where there is red on the map, this denotes a section of red flags on the ground, which must be strictly followed. Yellow sections on the map will have yellow flags and it is advisory to follow these flags – they are a very safe bet in poor visibility and in most, but not all cases, follow the fastest lines. You are free to choose your own lines where yellow flagging is in place. Green sections on the map represent sections with no flags and runners must choose their own lines on these sections.
So get training, work on those climbing (and descending) legs, and we hope to see you there on October.
Please note that the organisers may have to change the routes at any time. We will endeavour to keep competitors informed of any changes in good time.
4.3 miles 2000ft / 7km 600m
Estimated men’s winning time 35/40 mins
Suitable for over 16 year olds
The glory leg of the race is the shortest and fastest with an estimated winning time of under 40 minutes. It will be fully flagged and the red flags must be followed (within 5m). It is suitable for over 16 year olds. The route takes runners up the same narrow lane as leg 2 then crosses the beck beyond the gate and follows the main path up to Alcock Tarn. The big zig zags on this climb must be taken and none of the main corners cut. This will be taped off and marshalled on race day. As the ground flattens, a scenic dash down the west side of the tarn reaches the south end and the first checkpoint. Cross the wall then a stiff ascent of Heron Pike brings you onto the Fairfield Horseshoe race line. From the south summit follow the flags on the main path until just before the climb up Great Rigg. Take the line of flags into the apex of the contour line for the third checkpoint. A speedy contouring descent then takes you to the summit of Stone Arthur (cp) followed by a hair raising descent back down the main path as the climb for leg 2. Enter the event field and take the applause of your teammates. You’re done!
Estimated men’s winning time 60/65 mins
Follow the flagged section out of the event field to the map hand out. The rest is up to you.
6.7 miles 2800 feet / 10.8km 850m
Estimated men’s winning time 65/70 mins
What a cracker this promises to be. This ‘Queen Stage’ of this years’ British relay has a bit of everything and is hard from the off with a relentless climb up Great Rigg from Grasmere via the broad Stone Arthur ridge. It starts up the narrow lane that climbs to the left of the beck and up a red flagged section to a checkpoint on a steep path bend. It then climbs past Stone Arthur and up on to Great Rigg (cp). This climb will see the fastest labouring for half an hour; mere mortals can scale up according to ability. Once you are up, the fun begins, with a route that links together sections of Fairfield Horseshoe, Hodgson Brothers Relay, Grisedale Horseshoe and the Old Counties Tops.
After a swift run over Fairfield (cp), the route follows yellow flags over Cofa Pike down to the base of the St Sunday climb – a section as rough as Lakes running gets. At the bottom of Cofa (cp at Deepdale Hause), a hard left turn commences a hair-raising descent down the ‘runners trod’ descent that you climb up on the Grisedale Horseshoe race. Follow the flags on a good contour line above the tarn to hit Grisedale Hause (cp) and the final challenge of the unflagged Tongue Gill descent. Those with little imagination will follow the path down this section, but the faster lines are to either side. Either way, at the base of the valley you will be funneled into the flagged run in along the ‘high walled lane’ back to the event field.
5 miles 2400 feet / 8km 730m
Estimated men’s winning time 40/45 mins
Leg 1 sets off north from the event fields south of the Traveller’s Rest pub on the A591. It follows mandatory red flags through the intake fields and onto a walled lane. This flagged section leads to the runnable Tongue Gill path, which forms part of the Old Counties Tops route, and up to the ruined wall at Grisedale Hause (cp) before a final steep scrabble to the summit of Seat Sandal (cp) via the Bob Graham route. The route then descends the glorious broad ridge, first SW then S, down to the gate by the outbuilding and freshly creosoted gate (cp) to the bridleway adjacent to the ghyll. This descent will be flagged with yellow flags which are advisory, but not compulsory, to follow. Please be extremely careful to get the right line through these lower fields if reccying – hit the track at the outbuilding and large wooden gate. At this gate turn hard left up the unkind finishing climb back up to cross the beck beyond the gate and follow the fast run in along the walled path that you ran out on. The initial 500m away from the event field, and the route from Seat Sandal summit all the way to the finish will be flagged. Please follow these red flags.