The 50km Trail Ultra Marathon is graded ‘Very Hard’ and one to get into your 2021 ultra running calendar if you’re looking for UTMB points where can you bag 2 points!
Our KMF 50km ultra marathon is fast becoming a classic in the calendar of ultra running enthusiasts, this fantastic course takes in some of the best trails and views that the Watendlath, Borrowdale, Butteremere and Newlands valleys have to offer. You don’t need to be an elite runner to complete the course, but make sure you have done the training required, as it can be a tough day out!
The route is a mixture of wide open trails, single track (fast & technical), big long ascents & fast technical descents, open valley running and very remote trails around the back of the Buttermere, Crummock Water and Newlands Valley’s. It takes in remote locations that you will not have run in before. Expect to be blown away by the views of the 4 valleys we take you through & overwhelmed by the quality of running you will be immersed in. This race is not only tough, but is also one of the most scenic races of its type in the Lake District, taking mountains and lowlands in its stride offering you one of the best trail running experience in the country! Check out the tabs below for our free ultra run training guide!
415 places available in this wave!
Greener feed stations:
Disposable cups are a source of waste so we're keeping their use to a minimum. There will be no cups at the feed stations so please bring a re-usable foldable ‘soft cup’ or drinks bottle. You will need to carry this with you and use it on the course if you wish to use feed stations. Foldable soft cups will be available to buy in Sports Registration on the day if you need one.
The athlete guide for this event will be available here approx 2 weeks before the event.
Please make sure you read this prior to coming to the event, it will answer most if not all of your questions.
Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Male and Female Overall. We will also award 1st Place Male and Female prizes for Senior, V40, V50, & V60+
The 50km route starts from inside Crow Park, heading down the east side of Derwentwater and coming back on itself on the trail next to the ‘Borrowdale Road’. Crossing the road the course runs through Castle Head Woods to head up the fell to the NE corner of Great Wood. Mountain trails then take you above Walla & Falcon Crags and into the hidden valley of Watendlath, which has some amazing single track to float along.
At the head of the valley you ‘grind it’ out over Grange Fell and descend the fast and technical track to the Rosthwaite Institute & your 1st Feed Station (CP 1) of the day. Watered and fed you will then head West up the track running parallel with the Honister Pass road to your 2nd Feed Station (CP 2) at the Honister Slate Mines. Now you follow the old miners track up and over the fell, passing Dubs Quarry round the back of Fleetwith Pike and into the stunning Buttermere Valley by an extremely technical track which descends steeply. The route now takes you around the southern shore of Buttermere and then Crummock Water to the 3rd Feed Station (CP 3) of the day at the foot of the lake on the western most tip.
Next follow wonderful single tracks through European feeling woodlands on the lake-shore to run back up the north side to the next hidden gem of a valley, Rannerdale which is famed for its Blue Bells. From here it’s up and over the pass at the head of the valley and then round the extremely remote single track hugging Whiteless Pike, Addocombe Beck and then through Salibeck pass. Dropping quickly down the technical and rocky track you end up in the Newlands Valley and the 4th Feed Station (CP 4) before you head towards Little Town on the country roads, before heading back onto the miners tracks and down the Newlands Valley arriving at the 5th Feed Station of the day at Hawes End (not a timed CP).
From here you’re on the final leg and you run along tranquil woodland trails until Portinscale village is reached, crossing the suspension bridge to head back into Keswick via the ‘Bob Graham Round’ finish. Once on the streets of Keswick you will be directed by marshals to the final sections of the race and the home straight passing through the boat yard and to your glory finish back in Crow Park at the Festival site.
The route is a perfect training run/race for the Scafell Sky Race or the UTLD Lakeland 50 both held in July.
It is possible that events and courses at KMF may need to be amended at short notice due to weather issues, water levels, road conditions or roadworks.
By nature, many of these factors are not possible to know well in advance. For each event there are a number of alternative options available which can be implemented at short notice. The organisers and race directors will always have athlete and spectator safety as the highest priority, and within that context will seek to provide the best possible experience.
All sporting events would be impacted if the KMF Festival Village has to be closed. In this instance, as long as circumstances allow, all starts and finishes would be relocated to Lake Road and Lakeside Car Park and the events operated as smoothly as possible. The 50km route would be re-routed through Hope Park (north of Crow Park) to finish on Lake Road.
The 50km course is pretty robust and will stand up to most weather. By using a dynamic process of route design we would create a course geared to the weather and ground conditions presented to us on the preceding day and actual day of the race. A bad weather route will be published closer to the Festival to be used in the event that the course needs to be adjusted.
Electronic chip timing
Event t-shirt (unless you choose to donate cost of T Shirt to National Trust instead)
Access to 5 feed stations on route
1 day of live music & festival village activities ticket
Hydration will be provided.
Free Ultra Marathon Training Plan
Our run partners Trail Running Magazine have kindly shared the following training plan for any competitors, click to download:
You must comply with the kit list below and carry this with you on the day of the race.*
WATERPROOF whole body cover (i.e. covering the torso from head to ankles)
Other body cover appropriate for the weather conditions including, as a minimum, hat and gloves but also e.g. a light long sleeved base layer
Map & Compass and/or GPS type equipment is perfectly acceptable
Emergency food (minimum of a bar/gel, must be still in your possession at the finish, if you have needed to eat it then you will be disqualified).
Mobile phone fully charged (If this is your GPS device we advise you turn it to Airplane Mode, so to save the battery)
First aid kit to include: blister plasters/1 large sterile wound dressing and tape to secure dressing
*The race director and Keswick Mountain Festival reserve the right to ask you to carry more clothing on the day of the race, depending on the weather conditions. This will be detailed to you via email in the run up to the race.
We will be kit checking on the day & if you are found to not have the minimum kit requirements, we reserve the right to pull you from the race. Please understand this is from a safety point of view only.
Bad Weather Course:
Should we have serious weather conditions on the day we will be opting for a bad weather course, this will be advised upon on the day of the event. We do not take this decision lightly!
Timing & Cut Offs
The race starts from Crow Park at 06:00
There are 5 checkpoints (CP’s) around the course, for timing/safety purposes, which all competitors must visit & dib in at with their ‘timing card’, failure to do this will mean disqualification from the race & putting the whole event at risk. Please don’t forget, this is for your safety. At these CP’s there will be feed stations where you can fuel up with water, juice & some food. 2 marshals will be present at each CP.
There are cut off’s at the following CP’s:
Honister Slate Mines CP (09:45 – 3 hours and 45 minutes after the start and 18km in distance)
Crummock Water CP (12:00 – 6 hours after the start and 28km in distance)
This gives you ample time to get to each of these CP’s. In order to make the cut offs you need to move at an average of 5.5km per hour over the varied terrain of the race. This is a fast walk!
If you are outside the generous cut off we are afraid you will be pulled from the race, so please make sure you are ready for this distance and ascent.
If you are timed out, we can’t lay on the provision of transport to take you back to the race HQ, you must make your own way back to the events centre & hand in your ‘Timing Card’, failure to do this could result in the MRT’s being called out to search for you, so please make sure you do this.
There is a bus service running at regular intervals from both the Honister Slate Mines and Crummock Water, should you not make the cut offs.
The Festival Village is located adjacent to The Theatre By The Lake close to Derwentwater.