The Stybarrow Dodd race is the toughest of the Kong Winter Series and packs in 2297ft of climbing in just 4 miles! It is virtually an out and back to the summit of Stybarrow Dodd but visits the top of Sticks Pass on the way out as well. In 2019, the race was run in deep snow and many people ran in spikes or crampons so runners were told to prepare for any weather conditions! For the 2023/24 series Stybarrow would be the season opener.
We are delighted to have partnered up with Kong Running and Adidas Terrex to support the 23/24 winter series, right here in the Lakes.
We caught up with Nic Merrett who took part.
"To start with, it was fabulously organised yet with a relaxed approach, typical of a friendly fell race gathering. The weather was dry, a nippy cool breeze as Helvellyn came into view… perfect for runners working hard to ascend, they say it makes them move faster to keep warm."
It was great to be surrounded by a friendly, excited bunch of crazy runners hoping to enjoy a brutally steep ascent, gradually easing off for an exaggerated incline… After the initial burn it becomes a runnable incline heading easterly towards the col at Sticks Pass and fleeting glorious views of the High Street ridgeline ahead with the Raise ski tow to the right.
Not many eyes would catch this as the direction changed to head northerly and the summit of Stybarrow Dodd. A swift about turn and runners changed their gait adapting to the optimum descent of trail… through mossy, rocky ground with grassy Rossi is sprouting from nowhere!
Steeply on a traverse caught some out before a levelling off negotiating the bogs across Reed beds… and rejoining Sticks Pass at the sheepfold for a final sharp descent of loose gravel and rock.
Runners played cat and mouse, some are strong on the ascent, and descending some flew past on the rocky sections, others on the steep traverse… we know one runner who found the magic power of 2 pieces of pocket rocket before the final push to the top… it’s a long ascent to give it your all the whole way!
Stybarrow Dodd Fell Race 2023 Results
Hannah Russell (Helm Hill Runners)
Bryony Halcrow (Ambleside AC)
Holly Wootten (Keswick AC)
Finlay Grant (Dark Peak Fell Runners)
Jack Wright (Ambleside AC)
Gavin Dale (Ambleside AC)
Ascent: Hannah Russell & Finlay Grant
Descent: Hannah Russell & Mark Lamb