MORE than 500 runners will head to Caldbeck on the northern edge of the Lake District National Park this weekend to start Open Adventure’s ‘Lakes in a Day’ race, a journey that is inspiring, daunting and stunning in equal measure.

The iconic 50 mile ultra, now established as one of the UK’s blue riband long distance mountain runs, will challenge them on a course which traverses the length of the National Park and finishes in Cartmel.

The route crosses the summits of Blencathra, Helvellyn and Fairfield, follows the path alongside Windermere for a time and will entail river crossings and steep ridge line descents that require a good head for heights.

The runners will navigate a route which includes 4000m of climbing, setting off from Caldbeck soon after sunrise at 8am, and aiming to complete the distance within 24 hours.

The challenge is made harder by the October weather on the high fells, and the forecast is that it will be wet at times this year, though not as wet as the past two years which have seen torrential rainfall.

The race is now in its 6th year and while the majority of runners are from the UK there are visiting athletes from Sweden, France, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Canada.

There will be live tracking on the day, which can be found at, as well as commentary on the Open Adventure Facebook page.