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Fell Running Exhibition - Feb to Dec 2024 at The Armitt, Ambleside

Guide To The Best Lake District Fell Races In 2024

All For £120

by Jacob Tonkin (Keswick AC).


The Tonkin List For Cheapskates

In the time it takes to cough, Christmas has been and gone. We've now welcomed the New Year in, and most of our thoughts turn to goals, targets and dreams for 2024.

With folk feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis, I've decided to utilise one of the major plus points of fell races over other types of running races, the cost. I'll do that by seeing how many races £120 (a tenner a month) will get you into this year in the Lake District.

Below is the aptly named "Tonkin List For Cheapskates!"  (By the way i got 16 races!)

Note: Details of all the races are on the fellrunner.org.uk website.

1 - Carrock Fell Race – 10th March

5.6 miles / 1640 ft

£4 on the day!

A brilliant fell race. I've yet to do it when it wasn't sideways rain and very gusty. Nevertheless, it's a cracking route and always sets you up well for what's to come in the season.

2 - Coledale Horseshoe – 30th March

8.5 miles / 3002 ft

£12 pre-entry.

One of the more expensive races on this list, but it's worth every penny! One of the best races of the year.

3 - Dungeon Ghyll – 6th April

3.5 miles / 2100 ft

£5 on the day!

A big old climb for a short race. The descent will test your legs as it's up and straight back down again.

4 - Loughrigg – 10th April

4 miles / 1083 ft

£5 pre-entry

It's always an exciting time when midweek races start up again, so why miss this one out!

5 - Teenager With Altitude or Newlands Memorial Race – 20th April

15.3 miles / 7546 ft or 11.5 miles / 3609 ft both £14 pre-entry

I always think it's a shame both races are on the same day, as I always want to do both! Another "expensive" one for the list, but completely worth the money. Usually get a free pint at the end too!

6 - Glaramara – 19th May

5 miles / 2297 ft

Free (Donation to charity instead of entry fee)

A classic fell race, that has a lot of route choice on the descent.

7 - Blencathra – 5th June

8.1 miles / 2707 ft

£5 on the day!

A long race for a mid week race. Always falls close to my birthday so will usually have a few pints after!

8 - Bash Up Bessyboot – 10th July

3.2 miles / 1496 ft

£5 on the day!

Slightly biassed opinion here, as I did create this race route for Borrowdale School. A great mixture of every good element of fell running. Steep climbs, a scramble, good descent and plenty of places to go a bit wrong. As fell running should be. Last year your £5 got you a beer and a burger afterwards. All money goes towards Borrowdale School.  

9 - Seat Sandal – 17th July

4.6m miles /2200 ft

£5 on the day

A mid week race just up and down.

10 - Borrowdale – 3rd August

16.8 miles / 6562 ft

£15 pre-entry

Despite it being the most expensive race on the list, I couldn't not include my favourite fell race! Are you even a fell runner if you've not done Borrowdale?!

11 - Steel Fell – 7th August

3.1 miles / 1312 ft

Free

A tough ask to race Borrowdale on the Saturday and Steel fell on the Wednesday! But a free race is a free race. One of my favourite events in 2022, mainly because the weather was lovely and Abdelnoor brought beer and crisps for us afterwards.

12 - Barrow - Keswick Show  - 26th August

4m / 1400 ft

£10 on the day includes entry to the show

Organised by Keswick AC so has to be included.

13 - Three Shires – 14th September

12.4 miles / 4003 ft

£16 pre-entry

It was a toss up between this or Grisedale Horseshoe. In my mind Three Shires wins.

14 - Langdale – 12th October

13.1 miles / 4757 ft

£12 pre-entry

It's up there with Borrowdale as the best fell race for me. One I would hate really to miss!

15 - Dunnerdale - 9th Nov

4.9 / 1804 ft

£12 pre-entry

Classic end of season fell race.

16 - Crag Fell Handicap Race – 14th December

2.5 miles / 1345 ft

Free

A fun way to finish the racing year. They operate on a prize to win a prize system. There is a collection for mountain rescue instead of an entry fee.

Which comes to a grand total of 16 races for £121.

Total mileage (if doing Teenager) 106.5.

Total ascent (if doing Teenager) 38,446 ft.

That to me looks like a rather good year of fell racing and would give you plenty to sink your teeth into. To me it's just another reason why this is the best sport out there. What other sport would give so many opportunities for making so many memories, whilst offering such good value for money?! Certainly not football!

I hope more than anything that whatever it is you've got planned for the year ahead, you enjoy it!

Happy running,
Tonk


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