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CFRA - Wasdale Fell Race

Event Website

Saturday 13th July 2024

Entries Open
Monday 29th April 2024 at 10:00
Entries Close
Thursday 11th July 2024
Substitutions are allowed for this Event.
Entries So Far
300 Participants
Waiting List Entries
60 Participants
Entry Fees
FRA Member   £15.00   
Non Member   £18.00   
Event Organiser

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To get a waiting list entry just enter as normal. No payment is required at this stage as there is no guarantee of being offered a place. If the Event Organiser is able to offer you a place they will send you an email inviting you to enter. You will then be asked to come back to this site and make your payment to confirm your entry. For more details please see our Waiting List Help.

Wasdale Fell Race

AL 34km/21.1mi, 2750m/9022ft.

The Wasdale Fell Race is organised by Cumberland Fell Runners Association and is also part of the Lakeland Classics Trophy (details at

Fee includes light refreshment, use of the SPORTident race management / results system.

Entries close 11th July and a Waiting List will be used if the event becomes full - substitutions allowed until then.

All Si-Cards are provided and pre logged onto the system, no personal SI-Cards will be used.

Start: 11:00

Details of Course                                          Grid Ref

Start:     Brackenclose                                    184072                 

Checkpoints                                                                                 Closing times

CP1        Whin Rigg                                           151035                  12.00
CP2        Greendale Bridge                             143056
CP3        Seatallan                                             139084                  13.25
CP4        Pillar                                                     171121                  14.25
CP5        Gt.Gable                                              211103                  15.30
CP6        Esk Hause Shelter                            235083                      -
CP7        Scafell Pike                                         215072                      -
CP8        Wall on Lingmell Nose                    193075                      -
Finish                                                                    184074                     -

Records:              Billy Bland                                         3.25.21 (awesome!)        1982
                               Janet McIver/Jackie Lee               4.12.17                                2008

Deepest lake, highest mountain, biggest liar and hardest fell race – that’s Wasdale. Wordsworth once said that every fellrunner should do Wasdale at least once, or something like that!

The race starts with a gentle climb up onto Illgill Head on the south side of Wastwater followed by a fast grassy run along the top of the ‘Screes’ to the the 1st CP Whin Rigg. From here it is a grassy descent to the valley bottom. The route across the valley bottom between checkpoints 1 & 2 is flagged; keep to flagged route as we are only able to race on the fell by the kind permission of the National Trust and local farmers, so your good conduct is essential for future races. The flags lead you to the 2nd CP at the bridge at Greendale (GR 143056) which also has a drinks station. A word of warning here! Many a soul has gone too fast from Whin Rigg to Greendale and paid for it later on -  you have been WARNED!

There then follows a long slog up to the 3rd CP Seatallan, first on a good path, then knee deep grass. Then it's on to the 4th CP Pillar. On a clear day it’s a doddle, just drop into Pots of Ashness and head for the col between Red Pike and Scoat Fell. There is even a little trod most of the way – once you've ascended to the col & run round the edge of Scoat it’s the reverse of the Ennerdale route up onto Pillar. But….in the mist it can be an absolute nightmare – bearings and local knowledge are essential, so recceying is needed! One year back in the twenties in a championship race even Billy Bland managed to get himself on the wrong side of Haycock losing over 10 minutes – he did still win by more than 10 minutes though...

Off Pillar to Black Sail it is straightforward, mostly on the tourist path, although there are some shortcuts if you know the terrain, and from Black Sail onwards you contour round Kirkfell, and before long you’ll be looking at the imposing sight of the 5th CP Great Gable. This is where the race really starts – it’s hands on knees work, not even Jebby will be running up this one. Gable is the last checkpoint with a time limit. If you can't make it this far in 4.5hrs you are not fast enough to continue. Do not argue with the marshals here!!! It's off Gable down the main path to Styhead stretcher box, and from Styhead to the finish is, in my opinion, what makes Wasdale the hardest of the Longs. From Styhead you have a long climb to the 6th CP Esk Hause crossed walls shelter - do not be tempted to cut the corner below Great End! This is straight forward on a good path and also from Esk Hause on up to the highest point in England, the 7th CP Scafell Pike; just follow the crowds of folk either coming or going from the summit.

From the Pike it’s all downhill now but care has to be taken in the mist as many a hope has been dashed by going down into Mickledore or down the main Brown Tongue path. The idea is to drop into Lingmell col then descending, gradually contour under the rocks of Lingmell summit and hit the wide grassy path that takes you first to the sharp drop over the ‘Nose’, then a knee jarring descent to the stile on the wall at the last 8th CP. It is then just half a mile of – still steep! - grassy downhill to the finish by the tent you registered in.

And that’s the Wasdale. Good luck! Oh and pray for a cool clear day, cloud base at about 4000ft. If it’s boiling hot though, the one good thing is you do go through plenty of becks and streams. Adapted from Scoffer.

Prizes: Awarded to the 1st 3 finishers in the M/W open categories, then the 1st 3 in all age categories:- U21, U23, Vets M/W from 40 in 5yr increments to V80. Club teams - Open Gents 5 to count, MV40 4 runners, MV50 3 runners. Open Ladies 3 to count, WV40 3 runners, any other higher age categories 3 to count.

In FRA English championships, points categories are for M/W from U23 - V80 only & the points depend on anticipated entries in various categories, also there are more teams. Details of these & the pre-entry rules can be found on the link :-

Fellrunner — English Championship Format

Course Map: special PBS/Harveys race map from Pete Bland Sports at £3: OS Outdoor Leisure 6 South Western and 4 North Western or Harveys Lakeland West. Harveys also has Ennerdale, Borrowdale, Langdale, Sailbeck and many others on the same format.

Parking, Registration, Start / Finish: located at the field east of National Trust campsite perimeter, Wasdale GR 184 075. Post code for travel to Wasdale Campsite, Wasdale Head, Cumbria, CA20 1EX. Please car share if at all possible to avoid valley road congestion and DO NOT PARK IN THE CAMPSITE IF YOU ARE NOT CAMPING.

Changing: None - use cars. Toilets are only available in the NT car park. DO NOT USE THE CAMPSITE FACILITIES UNLESS YOU ARE CAMPING & ON NO ACCOUNT USE THE SURROUNDS AS A TOILET.


There is a campsite right next to the start – please use the link :-

or by phoning on 019467 26220 (am). Campsites also at Nether Wasdale close to The Screes. Wide range of accomodation available locally. There are many B&B’s – Gosforth and Seascale are close and worth considering as options to the valley itself. Youth Hostels at Wasdale Hall and Eskdale (Lake District Booking Service 01539431117).

Tourist Information Offices :- Egremont 01946 820693 Workington 01900 606699




EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER: WASDALE (019467) 26220 (Camp site booking office)

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View the Event Cancellation / Refund Policy.

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Event Location
Field east of National Trust Campsite, Brackenclose, Wasdale, CA20 1EX