Fell and road running
Well defined trails, wide vistas and relatively quiet rights of way combine to make the North York Moors a great place for running. Whether you fancy a daily jog, a long weekend run or something more competitive, there will be something here for you either on or off road.
Our forests have some great trails to explore; Hambleton Drove Road along the western scarp offers dramatic views; there's the old coastal railway 'The Cinder Track' from Scarborough to Whitby; and don’t forget some great beaches to run at low tide to experience that 'Chariots of Fire' feeling.
There's also a full calendar of road, trail and fell races throughout the North York Moors. Sign up for an event today! Sample the thrill of hurtling up and down the hills and across the moors in rain, mud, snow or even sunshine, you're guaranteed an exhilarating experience.
You should be a reasonably fit road or cross-country runner to try fell running, or an experienced hill walker that can move faster. You may also need to navigate at some events, and know how to look after yourself in the event of injury or exhaustion.
- Join Dalby Forest's free 5km Parkrun every Saturday morning at 9am
Trail races and challenge events
- No Ego Torch Challenge - 5 mile evening race around Dalby Forest in January. Don't forget your head torch!
- Hardmoors 26.2 Trail Marathon Series - seven challenging trail marathons, half-marathons and 10k's held at classic locations around the North York Moors throughout the year, starting in February through to December
- Ravenscar Coastal Half Marathon in May with stunning coastal views (half marathon and 10k)
- No Ego Trail Challenge - Conquer the Forest, Dalby Forest in July (10k and half marathon). NEW for 2016 includes a junior 1 mile (ish) trail run (minimum age 6 years)
- Castle Howard Trail Races in July (10k and 1k Children’s Dash)
- Berghaus Trail Chase™ - an August weekend trail running adventure with an overnight camp and three courses, blue (the shortest), red through to black (the longest) - resting in 2016, back in 2017
- Hardmoors Princess Challenge in September - 30 mile and 8.5 mile options along the North York Moors coast. New for 2016 will be a 17 mile route
- The Viking Chase – Four Peaks in September – a run of 7.8 miles on scenic off-road tracks
- Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series in September – ultra, marathon, half marathon and 10K options from Ravenscar
- Forest and Moors Marathon in October - NEW for 2017, with 26.2 mile, half marathon and 10K options starting in Dalby Forest
- MoorsRun: Turnpike Trot 10k & Rabbit Run 5k - in October, we've joined up with the Hardmoors team to organise two family friendly trail runs starting from The Moors National Park Centre, Danby. Children aged 7 - 13 can enter the 5k if running with their parent/guardian. Online entries for 2017 will open in March.
- Dalby Dash in November (10k)
The traditional sport of 'fell running', differs only slightly from trail races, requiring racers to find their own routes using their navigational skills. Fell races have a long tradition in northern England, where many of the events were originally guides' races that took place as part of country shows, as some still do today.
Osmotherley Show Fell Run in August is one example, a 5.83ml from Osmotherley Show Field up to the top of Black Hambleton and back; entries taken on the field.
The OMM Lite - the Original Mountain Marathon comes to the North York Moors for a September weekend in 2016. Following the same format as the main October OMM, teams choose their own routes and collect as many checkpoints as they can, but must only use public rights of way. It's all at a more relaxed pace too, suitable for families and with campsite facilities at the end of day 1.
Fell runners have regular summer and winter series races mainly over the northern hills, most being organised by the Esk Valley Fell Club.
The National Trust hosts a number of fell races across the North York Moors:
- Roseberry Romp: Tackle this 8.2km/5 mile evening race (17 May 2016) on a scenic and challenging route around the National Trust’s land which takes in the summit of Roseberry Topping
- Tom’s Bransdale Fell Race: a 12km/7.5 mile evening race on hilly route (12 July 2016) with cake for all finishers
- Ravenscar Rumble: 4.7 mile evening race (9 August 2016) on a challenging coastal route around Ravenscar. All money raised helps the National Trust's conservation work. Free cake for all finishers
Runners seeking longer races of up to 26 miles or so are welcome to enter the traditional challenge walks run by the Long Distance Walkers Association and the Mountain Rescue Teams: Cleveland and Scarborough & Ryedale.
Ultramarathons are gaining in popularity with a number held across the North York Moors, many using sections of the Cleveland Way.
The 52nd Lyke Wake Race (July 2016), organised by the Quakers Running Club, involves following the iconic 40+ mile Lyke Wake Walk route starting from near Osmotherley (Sheepwash car park) and finishing in Ravenscar village on the North York Moors' coast. Runners are expected to complete the event in twelve hours or less.
Hardmoors Ultra Series - the Hardmoors series includes 160, 110, 60, 55, 30, 15 mile races held throughout the year, starting with 15 and 30 mile runs on New Year's Day 2016.
For the ultimate challenge look out for the Hardmoors 110 – 110 miles following the Cleveland Way National Trail from Helmsley to Filey – the current record is 21 hrs 3 mins! Or how about Hardmoors 160, a single stage 160 mile ultramarathon linking up the 48 mile Tabular Hills Route with the Cleveland Way, held on the same weekend in May.
Northern Traverse (2018 dates tbc)
Organised by experts Open Adventure, how about having a go at an ultra run following Wainwright's Coast to Coast route, where you get to decide when to stop. First run in May 2016 from St Bees, the event will return in 2018 and you'll have 5 days to make the 190 mile journey to Robin Hood's Bay in the North York Moors.
Castle Howard Triathlon – part of the Castle Triathlon Series, held in July, this popular event now runs over a weekend and includes a Gauntlet race distance (half iron distance) on the Sunday. The triathlon includes swimming in Castle Howard’s Great Lake, cycling through the undulating Howardian Hills countryside before finishing with a run through the estate, taking in the historic monuments along the way.
Perfect if you like to combine navigation and cross-country running with mountain biking. Good races to start with are the shorter races like Open 5. The longer 12 hour and 24 hour events also add in other challenges (often known as 'trouser fillers') along the way, such as paddling, climbing, abseiling and related rope skills.
Open Adventure runs 5, 12 and 24 hour adventure races, as well as multi-day, multi stage and expedition events, some of which are held in the North York Moors. Keep an eye on their website for future races.
They also organise a three day Coast to Coast Adventure Race every other year; the last being August 2015, starting from St Bees in Cumbria and finishing up at Robin Hood's Bay in the North York Moors.
Road, trail and multi-terrain race calendars, entry forms and results from John Schofield’s UK Results site
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