The toughest UK road marathon
A beautiful, challenging marathon course set in England's most spectacular mountain scenery. The Langdale Marathon has a reputation as the toughest road marathon in the UK. Taking in two laps of the Half Marathon course and reaching gradients of 1:3, this stunning marathon attracts both seasoned runners and a large number people looking for their next challenge. With a low key friendly atmosphere, everyone is made welcome.
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Pubs on course
Hosted in the heart of the Lake District the runners follow an anti-clockwise course from Great Langdale to Little Langdale and on to the picturesque hamlets of Skelwith Bridge and Chapel Stile.
Climbing up to Blea Tarn (twice!) and Foulstep (twice!) the course is recognised as the toughest road marathon in UK. However, the stunning mountain scenery will surely take your mind off the effort.
The Great Langdale Valley provides a stunning location for a marathon. The start/finish line, close to Stcklebarn, is surrounded by the iconic Langdale fells. Pavey Ark, Harrison’s Stickle, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and Pike O’Blisco all overlook the runners as they wait for the starting gun. The start/finish field has plenty of space to warm up and prepare legs for the climb up to Blea Tarn....and then warm down and recover after a final sprint up the valley!
Blea Tarn Climb
After only 1 mile, with legs nicely warmed up, the first climb of the course begins. The road ascends 400ft over half a mile, topping out with a welcome view of Blea Tarn sitting at the base of Pike O'Blisco. Fortunately this is followed by a long, gentle descent into Little Langdale giving legs and lungs the chance to recover. And of course...you'll have all this to do again on the second lap!
Three Shires Inn
Just after 4 miles (17 miles - Lap 2) the course passes the Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale. This is the ideal supporter viewing point with local hospitality to keep spectators refreshed. Runners will of course be focused on the 22 miles (or 9 miles - Lap 2) still to run and the approaching climb up to the A593. The next supporter viewing point (and refreshment!) will be the Skelwith Bridge Hotel.
At this stage in the course runners will already have enjoyed stunning views of Blea Tarn and Little Langdale Tarn. At just over 8 miles (21 miles - Lap 2) Loughrigg Tarn comes into view with traditional cottages sitting on the lower slopes of Loughrigg Fell. This provides welcome respite after the lung bursting 1:3 ascent from Skelwoth Bridge up Foulstep Hill.
After passing Langdale (High Close) Youth Hostel runners arrive at Elterwater Common, 10 miles (23 miles - Lap 2) into the course. The traditional village of Elterwater is named after the small lake half a mile to the south and is also home to the Britannia Inn – another cosy spot for supporters. From the village the route heads up the Great Langdale valley, soon passing Chapel Stile on the way to the second lap (or the finish!).
At 12 miles (25 miles - Lap 2) the unmistakable outline of the Langdale Pikes once again comes into view. The gently undulating road still has the potential to sap energy from tired legs. However, the thought of a finishers medal and well earned drink at the Sticklebarn will surely help the final mile pass in a euphoric haze.
Entries for the Langdale Marathon are now open.
Enter now to get the best price. A £2 discount is available for runners who are members of UKA affiliated clubs.View Current Entries
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