Runners will have to cross the bogs of Nine Standards Rigg

Runners will have to cross the bogs of Nine Standards Rigg

We’re not sure Alfred would have approved, in fact we’re pretty sure it would have brought a frown to the brow of the opinionated fellwalker.

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk route will form the course for an ultra-run next year, with competitors racing from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in as short a time as possible.

The non-stop Northern Traverse will test runners’ stamina, mental endurance and navigation skills as they tackle the 309km (192-mile) route across three national parks in the North of England.

Organisers of the race said: “Taking in iconic mountains, valleys, moors and over 16,000 feet of ascent, the Northern Traverse promises to be one of the most spectacular ultra-races in the world.

“There will be four fully catered checkpoints en route – runners will need to be fully self-sufficient between these – and it is up to each individual to decide how long to spend at each checkpoint.

“Runners have up to five days to complete the event, with the fastest expected in under three days. We want everyone who starts the Northern Traverse to finish it.”

The Coast to Coast Walk was devised by Alfred Wainwright in 1972 as a route through ‘the grandest territory in the North of England’.

The taciturn author said: “For sustained beauty, variety and interest, it puts the Pennine Way to shame.” But he was no fan of racing up hills, preferring a more leisurely ascent of his favourite Lakeland mountains and Yorkshire Dales fells.

The Northern Traverse will follow Wainwright's route

The Northern Traverse will follow Wainwright's route

Organisers of the Northern Traverse said: “Wainwright got it right when he devised a route across the country taking in the three national parks.

“The mountains of the Lake District define the first section but also provide half of the ascent. Although Kirkby Stephen is less than 90 miles in to the route it is often thought of as halfway.

“The remote paths off Nine Standards [Rigg] in the Dales provide a stark contrast before crossing the relatively busy Vale of York which are followed by crossing the quiet high plateaux of the North York Moors.

“The final run along the coastal path is a fitting finish to an amazing journey.”

The Northern Traverse will take place between 30 May and 4 June 2016. Details and entry form are on the event’s website.

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