As the paced down the mountain with Derwentwater simmering in the afternoon sunlight below me I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be…

For those lucky enough to live in and around Cumbria there are infinite trails snaking up and around the maze of mountains and lakes just waiting to be run.

Last weekend I tasted the thrill of the fells at Keswick Mountain Festival, participating in the Salomon 10k trail race. I have run several times in the Lake District before around Buttermere (often in the pouring rain) and I had been itching to return for more.

The race began with a cruise across the lake with runners transported to the start line on the opposite shore. After a gentle flat course through the woods along the lakeside the route climbed steeply up the side of Catbells, out of the shade and into the bright sunshine.

My sore calves were soon rewarded with a sharp descent giving me the chance to soak up the view. And what a view it was! The lake below with Keswick at the head could have been taken directly from a postcard. However I was quickly forced to turn my attention to my feet as the rocky ground required intense concentration.

As the finish line came into sight I pushed myself for a sprint finish, coming tenth female with a time of 56:05.

This trail run was a chance to escape the monotony of my usual runs. While Regent’s Park makes for a good route, it is not a patch on the Lake District tracks. There is something about the focus required by the trails that allows one to lose oneself in the pace, letting troubles slip from the mind. I felt freer than I have in months

I will certainly be back next year, perhaps to attempt the ultra…

An alternative longer route

The previous day I had also tried another fantastic route around the newly opened trail along the shores of Derwentwater. The 10 mile route starts in Keswick’s Crow Park and follows the lake path clockwise. The route is relatively flat the entire way and remains close to the shore until the final section where it diverts through the woods, crossing the river and back through Keswick town centre.

For more information on the Keswick Mountain Festival head to their website: