Lyke Wake Race

Any takers this year?

Did this as a first Ultra last year and loved it - well after getting over the three days of walking down stairs backward.image



  • I'm doing this again. Loved it last year. 10 hours of running, most of it solo. Fantastic scenery.

    Tough course, but what a fantastic day.

    Problem is that my handicap has been amended buy 2.5 hrs, and I'm not as fit as I was last year.

    Teach me to train hard and have a good run year 1. Hope the boggy seciton is as dry this year as it was last. When I did this as a walk, my left leg disappeared up to my thigh at one stage.

    Cant wait for the Ravine at Jugger Howe again, fantastic section of the course.

    I have also picked up another tip on shortcuts, look forward to trying this one.

  • Care to share your shortcut tips? After all the Lyke Wake Race isn't a race to me, it's more like a fight for survival!

    I ran this last year in 9:25, so should be on for a start time around the same time as you - 6:30am.

    I meet some great people last year and I’m sure this year will be no different. All the marshals were great and the faster runners, with later start time, were so supportive particularly as the race gets towards ravenscar.

    Agree it's a tough course but the scenery and support make it one of my 'must do races' for the year.

    Entry going in the post tomorrow!

  • Tip one that you may already know is dont climb the hill after checkpoint one. Go round the base instead. Means taking the path to the left of the hill, and then following the undulating path. It rejoins the "Official" route just before entering broughton plantation

    Tip two, and a new one I heard at the finish line is to go to the glider club before checkpoint one instead of continuing down the steep path that is the normal route. There is an exit road from the glider club that is much easier and quicker to run down than the path.

     Tip three is one that I witnessed by another runner. Instead of taking the road after the radio mast just before the finish, go straight ahead and cross the field. Turn right onto the road, then left when the road comes to a close. Its obvious when you look at it on google maps. Cuts a corner, but doesnt really save a lot of distance.

     The other well known one is to cut across the heather after the Lion inn. This means not taking the road all the way to the start of the bog section. Again not a huge saving, but an easy path to follow, and does take some of the distance off.

     I'm off at 06.20, odd start time, might be off on my own from the sounds of things.

    Spent 10 hours running solo last year, have to say that it was actually quite an experience to run for all that time with only the checkpoints for company.

  • Race may be cancelled this year. Website states that there is a shortage of marshalls for the checkpoints.

    As this race isnt run by a running club, it is down to those who run the lyke wake club itself to organise. and marshall. Its getting harder each year for them from the looks of things.

    Issue seems to be around one checkpoint, Hamer. It may be possible (my suggestion only) to remove one other checkpoints, no, 7 being the obvious one IMO. This will hopefully ensure that the race can then go ahead.

    Lets wait and see what happens.

  • I have been informed by the organisers that the race is going ahead and there are 60 entries so far.  I am going to enter.  They are having the usual staffing problems though...

  • image

    Fantastic. This is not just a great race, but also a great tradition. Its on my ever growing list of must do races each year.

    Thanks for that piece of news, a good day just got a whole lot better. Now just got to start doing the serious training that I have  been prmoising myself all year.

  • You'll Never Do It, I like your attitude.  How refreshing.  I will check out your tips too on reccies.  Thanks

  • If you are doing a reccie, please let me know how bad the bog section is. Two years ago when doing the walk I disappeared almost up to my waist, last year bog section was a genuine delight to do, bouncing over the peat was great fun image

    Strange course

  • Hi YNDI

    Of course I will report on bog conditions.  I am off to Edinburgh for the marathon then cycling to Aberdeen, so the next opportunity I will have to recce the LWR will be 29 May or 5 June so please be patient I will report back.

    I have done the crossing twice (traditional direction) but never run it, so it's a first for me really!

    Let's hope for trampoline as opposed to deep bogs on the day, I agree. 

  • Done this route 37 times, but only done the race 3 times, and not for a while, I used to guide groups across the route ( twice on one weekend )
    Great route, not as popular as it used to be.
  • You'll Never Do It, You're not starting alone at 6:20am. This is when I'm due to start.

    Looking to have a go at your route options and catch my wife by the red lion (she has a 2hr head start) and I want to try and run the last half with her, as it's her first ultra.


  • 2hrs by the red Lion is a huge ask to catch anyone. Unless she waits its going to be hard for you to catch.

    Happy to run with you for the first part of the couse, but my pace will be measured. I'm looking to be fairly cautious from the start.

    I'm staying in the Osmotherly YHA the night before the race, if you are planning staying there too, I'll go over the route with you the night before and show the options in more details.

    Look forward to meeting you at the start line if we dont get in touch before.


  • Osmotherly Youth Hostel booked, start time 5.20 am, excited!  Recces will have to be a bit nearer the day now, for me. 
  • Looks like the bog section is going to be fun now. All this rain means that we are certain to end up waist deep in the muck desperately trying not to lose our trainers image

    Remember to tie the shoe laces tight and point your toes upwards when extracing your legs from the bog.

    Not long now.

  • Has anyone got an update on the conditions across the course? Might even contemplate taking a spare pair of trainers for the bog section if its bad. Lots of rain planned on the 10 day forecast as well.

    Suspect I may find it harder to get into the Ravens Court hotel bar this year. If I'm covered in too much mud, I may have to have a quick dip in either Wheeldale or Jugger beck prior to arrival.

    Has anyone done the race when the Lion to Hamer stretch was completely covered in water? Now that would be fun image

  • Hi, You'll Never Do It

    I am planning a trip to the NY Moors this weekend to recce parts of the route, so I will report back if I can make the recce.

    Is there any bog section in particular you would like me to look at?


  • Dont look specifically for me, section in question is regarding the section after the Lion Inn.Between Lion and Hamer, the bog can be quite bad.

    f you are doing a recce, concentrate on the following areas.

    1) Finding the path down the slope (lots of wide steps as you go) in Coalmire plantation. This is very early on,approx 1 mile in. Many people miss this and go wildly off course as a result. When entering the plantation, keep going unti a slight clearing opens, path you need to take is down to your left. This is just before the path starts to curve to the right. (dont take the curve is the message)

    2) When at the bottom of the steps / path, dont take the first path on your right, this leads uphill (give away if you get it wrong) and back to the original path you left to go down the steps. Take the second right, and you will be going in the right direction.

    3)  After check point 1, look to select the path that takes you round the base of the hill ahead. This is to the left of the hill and easy to navigate. Official LWW walk goes over the top, great view, but why do the extra work.

    4) When approaching checkpoint 2, ensure that you go down the path next to the stone wall (right hand side). Its easy when running to continue along the main path and go round the corner into broughton plantation.

    5) When approaching the start of the railway line (note the railway line does not start immediately after checkpint 2, it is almost 5 miles into section 3), the path suddenly takes a sharp left (cleveland way), narrow muddy path straight ahead is the actual route. When this muddy path ends, you are at Bloworth Crossing. Go straight, dont take the right hand path (goes off at a slight angle) make sure you stay on the railway track, the right track starts to curve left quickly.

    6) When approaching the Lion, make sure you come off the railway track when you see the roof of the lion inn, red roof if memory is still working. Uphill path, not too muddy.

    7) After the lion inn, look for the path across the heather that cuts off part of the road  near Roesedale head.

    8) after Fat Betty, there is a road to your left. Ignore this, you will then come to a small layby. 200m after this layby / car park is a very minor path on your left. Easy to miss. This is the entrance to Hell / the bog section.

    9) Once you have completed the worst of the bog section, approx 1 mile of swimming, you will come across Shunner Howe, large pile of stones. Shortly after this, you will come across a very minor looking and easy to miss path to your left (recall a small pile of marker stones left by walkers to mark this). Take this path. I have never understood where the other path goes to, and why it is clearer. I can only assume that most walkers miss the real path and have to correct later. If you take the correct path as I have stated, it will lead directly to the next checkpoint.

     Next sections are pretty easy to navigate.

    I'm sure you have maps of the route etc, but for regular reference, I find the following quite useful. You can see most of my comments above detailed on the map.

    Let me know if you need any other tips etc.

    Good luck.


    PS whats your start time?

  • Well!

    that is great information to have, thank you so much Julian, I am definitely recceing this weekend and will let you know how the land lies. 

    My start time is 5.20 am.


  • Just one last point that I feel I need to add, probably obvious if you have looked into the route in detail, but the map I shared above is slightly misleading in section two. Actually its very misleading.

     Firstly it takes you directly over the the hill that I recommend that you go around the base of. The route round the base is actually marked on the map, ignore the blue line and take the dotted black path as I hinted to above.

    HOWEVER more importantly, when approaching Broughton plantation, the blue line shows that you should climb to the summits of each peak. Heights 401 & 397. Dont do this, instead where the blue line takes a sharp right to avoid entering broughton plantation, go straight ahead to the path that skirts the very edge of the plantation. Its obvious when you get there, just avoid the peaks and go through the obvious path in the plantation (until virtually at the end as I pointed out in point 4 above)

    The map on the whole is very good, it just goes astray in a couple of minor instances.

  • Brilliant, got this - thanks YNDI
  • It may prove to be a gamble, but having studied the course in more detail, I may have found a way to take 0.7 of a mile off the distance. I've looked at this in great detail tonight on Gmaps, and if the detail is correct, there is 0.7 of a mile to be taken off the official route.

    I would share this, but as it is a gamble, I'd rather  not put an untested route onto the site.

    Will run it on the day and let you all know if it works.

    So excited now, only two weeks to the race.

  • Hi YNDI,

    I had a great weekend recceing, with good weather if a little hot today.  The tips you have given are all spot on and I eagerly await the new one after the race for the year after! 

     Leaving the disused railway to take the path through the heather to the Lion Inn there is a stone marked LWW on the left.

    Finding the path to the bog section, from the road after the Lion Inn (cutting across the heather worked too), look for the spray painting on the tarmac pointing to the path.  After the signpost for Fryup.

    The bogs were not too bad today - I had to detour a fair bit from the path but I have seen worse bogs both here and elsewhere.   Lots of water about but not thick black goo.  Dry peaty bouncy path for a fair bit of the way.

    I changed into some dry socks after the bogs but they got wet quite a few times after that due to big puddles further on.  

    I can't wait now for the big day!

  • Glad the tips helped, most are well known, only the path down the glider club isnt a commonly used option. The final one I listed last night is an odd one, cuts off less than I first thought, but still almost 1/2 a mile. If I list it without trying it and make a mess of others race day, it simply wont be fair. I'm going to give it a shot and then share it will all next year.

    Thanks for the tip on the bog section. Will help in my prep.

    See you at the finish line.


  • Hi YNDI

    Stupid question, please indulge me!  I just wondered: how does the update on the bog situation help with prep?  Is it just about spare socks/trainers - I don't think I would want to carry a spare set of trainers, but that's just me.  I set off with 3 litres of water yesterday from the Lion Inn that was hard for the first few hours.   But yes I think I will take 1 or 2 spare pairs of socks to refresh wet feet.


  • Its around the pacing. If the bog is a complete nightmare, then I can go fairly hard to the bog section and then accept that I will have to slow to a walk. Last year I was able to run through the bog section, so ran a measured pace to that point.

    Spare socks are definite, but if I am bouncing over most of the bog, then I will run a steady pace with some walking to that point.

    If the bog is virtually impassable, then a spare pair of trainer is to be considered. If you lose a trainer, you are out of the race.

  • Oh thanks that is good advice, I appreciate that very much
  • Hi Julian

    Great tips. I've done the crossing twice now (once s a race) and missed the short cut after the Lion Inn on both occasions. Thinking about it I missed the path after the bog both times as well!!  Good job I have the same start time as someone who knows were they are going this year!

    PS The catch the wife before Lion inn wasn't serious - just trying to motivate her.

    I'm not sure I'm going to be running that well this year. I've had a few knee issues and my longest XC training run has only been 24 miles, fear I may be doing lot's of walking this year.

    See you at the start!


  • Hi YNDI, one thing I should mention, as I did endorse all your tips which worked very well at the weekend...

     ... the glider club one.  I missed this.  I couldn't work out when to leave the path and divert to the glider club to use that easier path down the hill.  I did see a well worn track to the right of the path but ended up staying on the path in the end.

    Captain Pugwash, on that elusive footpath after the Lion Inn: the clearly trodden footpath across the heather which cuts across the corner is a few yards after the signpost for the foopath cutting across the heather, trust me! 


  • Sounds like there is some fun to be had on the shortcuts then;.

    I havent done the glider club shortcut yet either, just a piece of advice that I got from someone very experienced in the race. I have looked at various photographs of the area, and it does appear that there is no direct path to the glider runway, but also it isnt a particulary long cut across the heather to reach it.

    I will be choosing on the day which route I take, but I think that it is worth a shot at this route, even if a couple of minutes are wasted in searching for the correct route to it.

  • Paul

     Your training is probably slightly better than mine this year. Last year I came home in 10hrs, could have run a bit quicker but kept it steady towards the end. This year I'm aiming for 9hrs, but may end up settling for 9.30 or above. I will be walking parts of the course, and intend to walk the hills from the start.

    Last year it worked out well walking the steep climbs etc and running where the course allowed.

    I've stopped training now, had a shocker yesterday when doing a 15 mile steady run. Legs just too tired now, so just relaxing ahead of the big day, and praying for decent but cloudy weather on the day.

    See you at the start line, and so looking forward to the entrance to Coalmire Plantation, so beautiful expecially at that time in the morning.

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