Hawkshead Challenge

Thinking about doing this for my first run 2011 image

Is it as hilly as it looks ? I'm a 1.50 1/2 runner would this be to hard ?


  • It a good one is this hilly but lovely running, not run it myself but have heard its good running terain, hope that helps, Tke your time and enjoy the run and you will be ok
  • All of the races in the Lakeland Trails series are excellent - I've done them all a number of times and am back in again this year.

    Hawkshead is one of the tougher ones but certainly within your compass as a 1:50 half runner - history suggests that I'm a few minutes quicker than you over the half and I get round this in about 90 minutes.  You should have plenty of margin to the race cutoff but, if you feel intimidated by that, enter the Challenge instead - this is the same route on the same day for the same 'reward' at the same price but with an earlier start so that the marshalls can get home sooner.  All the information you need is here

    The running surface is good throughout and there is nothing that could be described as technical terrain - although a couple of the descents do require a bit of attention and a pair of trail shoes, if you don't already have any, are a sensible investment.  There's basically three inclines of note - the first is long but not particularly steep and begins soon after the start so it can be tough to find a line among all the other runners.  The second climb is just after the water station outside the pub at Near Sawrey (about 6/7k I think) - again, not very steep but goes on a while so can be draining - it's not uncommon to see folk walking towards the top.  The final climb is the infamous 'Coffin Trail' starting at about 11k - again there's a water station at the bottom - this one is shorter but steeper and reduces all but the very quick people to a walk.

    My advice to anybody thinking about any of these events is to enter and to bring the family - there is usually stuff to entertain kids around the start/finish area (the bouncy castles can't operate if its wet), plenty to eat and drink, retail stands and always a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  This particular one is also less than half a mile from Hawkshead village which is one of the prettier locations in the Lake District.

  • CA - That's great advice and lots of information image

    Is the challange for slow runners and walkers as you said enter the Challange instead ?

  • Yes - The Challenge is for 'less serious runners and walkers' (to paraphrase the website).  If you use the link I gave you earlier it takes you to the Hawkshead Homepage - if you then click the 'Events' tab on the left it gives you the full descriptions.

    Assuming you are fit, and based on your half time, I'd advise you to enter the race - asuming past practice is continued, you'll be allowed to switch to the challenge on the day if you need to.  Again assuming continuation of past practice - you wouldn't be allowed to swap from challenge to race.  There's always a good overlap of finishing times across the two races - those at the front of the challenge deliver times that would see them well up in the race (second quarter of the field) and I often feel that some who bring up the rear in the race would have had a more enjoyable day in the middle of the challenge - but each to their own.  As a general rule of thumb, derived without any detailed analysis at all, I reckon the cut-off whereby folk 'should' be in The Challenge is somewhere around 2:15 - 2:30 for a half.

    And as a final tempter - I don't think I've ever met anybody who has done one of these races who hasn't gone home and entered another in the series immediately afterwards - they are seriously addictive image

  • Andy,

        Fantastic information again, I will decide before weekend and place my entry.image

    Cheers image

    Roll on the big day image

  • Is anyone planning to drive from London? Would you be willing to share a lift (will split petrol cost)? Thanks!
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