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The Scafell Sky Race has grown up!

40km of mountain terrain and 3500m ascent/decent: Scafell Sky Race is played out on technical, single-track trails from start to finish. It’s a Lake District journey that will test the speed and endurance of experienced and aspiring mountain runners.

in Race News / Skyrunning

Scafell Sky Race
Race Map 2019 Online Version
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40km with 3500m ascent | June 8th 2019 | Based in Great Langdale | Entries Open

Scafell Sky Race was the UK National Team qualifying race for the Skyrunning World Championships 2018, based in Scotland at the Skyline Scotland events.

Already attended by some of the worlds best mountain/sky runners already, the SSR has a big following and with its new circular route it’s going to get even bigger and better.

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Local runner George Foster ©Ian Corless

The Scafell Sky Race has grown up! Splitting the race away from its Big Sister is going to allow the 'SSR' to spread its wings and really fly.

A word from our race creator and director, Charlie S:“We always wanted to start the SSR in a ‘Mountain Environment’ and 2018 we managed it with a great start at the Glaramara Centre in Borrowdale, however we knew the coach journey wasn’t for everyone and the second half was somewhat lacking. It was rolling and sublime, a real test of legs after the first half, but not our Number 1 route choice. Now with the start in the true centre of the English Lake District, the valley of Great Langdale, we can host a circular route containing all the best bits and a few more corkers to add in there. This is truly an epic mountain race, starting in a truly epic location, passing many historical Lakeland mountaineering features/locations along the route, tying the race in with REAL Lakeland history”

Happy Scafell Sky Race runners on the 'Corridor Route' © Paul 'Wildman' Mitchell

Lets check out the all NEW Scafell Sky Race circular route.

Starting at the National Trusts Stickle Barn, right in the heart of the UNESCO status English Lake District, the route heads directly up the first mountain of the day, Harrison Stickle. This section used to be just after the Mid-Way Food Station, but now its BANG, straight into the first 650m climb, something to really get your teeth into and with some mild scrambling and exposed situations on route to the summit, it’s a real eye opener into what’s about to come. The route now drops to Stickle Tarn and loops round the back of the epic Pavey Ark, one of Lakelands biggest rock faces, and heads over sublime high mountain moorland terrain to drop you into the head of Borrowdale and the start of the original route. Seathwaite Farm is where it all began in 2016 and this is where your ONLY ‘Food Station’ will be, so time to fill up on water and calories!

Now the epic route really begins with the classic and mild-scrambling ascent of Sour Milk Ghyll, the tranquility of Gillercomb and the long ascent to the summit of Green Gable. Dropping from here down scree ridden paths, a traverse around Great Gable is now made on the highly technical and extreme single track that winds its way around this domed summit, to take you past the birthplace of British Rock Climbing, Napes Needle. Expect easy un-graded scrambling on route with plenty of jaw dropping views and experiences on route.

The race route continues now on very technical ground, ascending what is known as ‘The Corridor Route’ to the summit of England, Scafell Pike at 984m, expect boulders strewn around like a battlefield, technical ground, ungraded rock scrambling and extremely absorbing skyrunning. We stay high level now, ticking off summits along the way to Bowfell, the giant at the head of Great Langdale, and the end is now in sight but the fun certainly isn’t over yet. Dropping from the summit you descend into the Great Slab section before dropping into the ‘Climbers Traverse’ and on your final journey to ‘The Band’ to descend into Great Langdale and back to the final technical but low level track and of course to YOUR glory finish and a bottle of Premium Lakeland Cider!

It might sound reasonable, maybe easy in some runner’s terms, but make no mistakes, the second half of the route will chew you up and spit you out unless you have been eating mountain trails for breakfast. There are mountain trails and then there are ‘Mountain Trails’ on the Scafell Sky Race!

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Keri Wallace descending 'The Band' © Ian Corless

This is the first Sky Race in the “Skyrunner® UK • Ireland 2019 National Series” and we’re extremely confident it will blow your mind, body and soul right into the spirit of how the series will continue for 2019.

The ‘organising team’ of the race have everything under control up there for you, using a team of highly skilled race coordinators operating a safety team making on the spot decisions should the weather conditions change during the race and re-routing should they need to. For this reason and the lack of ‘Graded Scrambling’ the organising team decided on a non-vetted entry allowing everyone to take part…. But remember, don’t expect to be able to step off the roads and onto this race, it might not be vetted, there might not be graded scrambling, but it’s a very extreme 40km in the mountains with 3500m+ of ascent, just to check your legs are working!

Runners heading to the 'Corridor Route' © Paul 'Wildman' Mitchell

Some comments from past competitors:

“The Scafell Sky Race is the most technical race I've ever done ... even tougher than Tromso!” - Lucy Bartholomew, 2017.

“The terrain and technical difficulty of the route was absolutely superb. I’ve been searching for something with this level of technical difficult and exposure and I will certainly be back! Hats off to the route planner!” – Michael Lucas, 2018

“Brilliant event. Brilliant organisation.” – Paul Molyneux, 2018

“The marshalls were all absolutely outstanding. So supportive and enthusiastic. They make the event.” - Jonathan, 2018

“Awesome race across some incredibly picturesque country! Well marked course with fun obstacles, halfway watermelon snacks (amoung others) and well placed water stations. Had a smile on my face the whole way, great vibes all around!” – Joey Platts, 2018

“No other race has ever made me whoop and grin as much - the course is beautifully technical and is full of great little route-choice surprises. It has a bit of everything, from the best single-tracks I've ever run (honestly, the best!) to the lung-busting climbs, the rough steep descents, boulder hopping, scree-sliding, scrambling a little and then the lovely rolling mid-fell sheep tracks that make you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere for hours! I can't recommend this race highly enough” – Lianna Bell, 2017

Live Tracking for the Scafell Sky Race 2019

Live Tracking for the Scafell Sky Race 2019

This is a new course for this year and one we plan to keep. The new section connecting Great Langdale with Borrowdale

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