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.