Trail Running in the Lake District

Runner with views of Derwentwater as backdrop

The Lake District is a mecca for trail runners. Keswick itself is typically the start and end point of the world famous Wainwright and the Bob Graham Rounds, both of which have recently made headlines having had their long standing records smashed by ultra runners Paul Tierney and Kilian Jornet. If you fancy something a little less gruelling than 100KM + challenges then read on for our top Keswick trail running race routes which we’ll order by distance, shortest first.

If you’re just starting out in the world of running or fancy something a little shorter but fast and furious, then check out Keswick’s Park Run which is hosted every Saturday at 9am in Fitz Park (during non-Covid times). But if the thought of 5 laps makes you dizzy, then you could also take a look at our  single loop adidas TERREX 5KM Trail Run. The race leaves Crow Park and before taking you through Cockshot Woods until you reach the track alongside Borrowdale Road. You follow this path until you reach Calfclose Bay, you’ll then take a sharp turn and head back towards Crow Park along the shores of Derwentwater where you can enjoy beautiful views to the fells and hear the shouts of spectators as you cross the finish line!

Photo: 5KM Junior Trail Runner

If you’re looking for something with  more mileage than you can check out Keswick AC’s Skiddaw Fell Race typically hosted in Summer covering just shy of 10 miles but packing a punch with 2700ft of ascent. The race starts in Fitz Park before taking you past Jenkin Hill, Little Man and Middle Top before reaching the summit of Skiddaw, where you then turn around and head back along the same route. Alternatively you could check out our adidas TERREX 25KM Trail Run (our version of a trail half marathon!). The race starts in Crow Park and will take you out and down the east side of Derwentwater until you reach the Rosthwaite Institute, where you will be fed and watered by our marshals before running to Crow Park up the west side of Derwentwater.

Photo: 25KM Trail Runner Smiles for the Camera

As mentioned at the start of this post, the Lake District isn’t short of ultra runs being home to both the Bob Graham and the Wainwright Rounds. But there are more ‘low key’ ultra-options available too, like the Abraham’s Tea Round. This round starts and finishes at George Fisher in Keswick and consists of a 30 mile loop with 12,000+ feet of ascent where you must ‘touch’ (deep breath…) Catbells, Robinson, High Stile, Grisedale Pike, Hobcarton Crag, Eel Crag Sail, Causey Pike, Rowling End and Barrow (and exhale!). You can find out more on the George Fisher website.

If you’d prefer something just as long but with chip timing and UTMB points, then take a look at our adidas TERREX 50KM Ultra Run. With this race you get to enjoy three of the North Lakes finest bodies of water, including Derwentwater, Buttermere and Crummock Water. The route heads south along the east side of Derwentwater before heading west where you’ll then traverse along the far side of Buttermere Lake and Crummock Water before heading back east to Crow Park. With an ascent just shy of 2000 metres this is a challenge you won’t forget!

5Km Trail Runner

Photo: Runners on our 50KM Trail Run

If you need any help with your trail running training then we highly recommend you check out our race partners Trail Running Magazine.. This magazine will ensure you’re kept up to date with the latest training plans, gear and routes!

Where are your favourite Lake District trail running routes outside of Keswick? We’d love to know!

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