26 miles 3,200 feet
I decided to carry on where I left off the recce of this route. By starting at the lead up to the old coach road and going all the way to Dalemain checkpoint. It was a beautiful day and the snow covered Lakeland hills glistened like high alpine peaks. It was a perfect day for running. I thoroughly enjoyed the route it was so peaceful even the long (2 miles ish) of roads were nice and quiet. The only tricky bit of navigation is through a farmers field near High Longthwaite, or at least it would be tricky as this stretch will be at night. I enjoyed a very peaceful rice pudding in the courtyard of Dalemain house, not totally sure if I was meant to be there or not, until I noticed the café. At least I wasn’t trespassing.
The route back in contrast was stressful. I decided to run back along the A66. This was a bad choice. I ran on the grass verge at the side of the road whilst cars and Lorries went past at 60 plus mph only a couple of feet away, not fun. My plan to use the dismantled railway to get back was not too great either. When I eventually found it, a bit further on than intended as the early sections are a horrible looking bog, I joined it to find every ¼ mile a farmer had erected a fence across it. Also the golf club had erected a daddy of all fences. Not quite the nice track back that I had envisaged when using memory map to plot my route back!
So after a bit of trespassing and 26 miles and 3,000 feet I arrived back at the car. The run took 4 hours 36 minutes and the 14 miles to Dalemain took 2 hours 30 minutes. This confirmed to me how good this route is, as this is potentially the least inspiring part of the Lakeland 100 route. It also confirmed that I will never run back from Dlalemain that way again.
All in all a good if tiring day out.