The Tonkin List For Cheapskates

In the time it takes to cough, Christmas has been and gone. We’ve now welcomed the New Year in, and most of our thoughts turn to goals, targets and dreams for 2023. 

With folk feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis, I’ve decided to utilise one of the major plus points of fell races over other types of running races, the cost. I’ll do that by seeing how many races £100 will get you into this year in the Lake District. 

Below is the aptly named “Tonkin List For Cheapskates!” 


Loughrigg Silverhow – 5th Feb. 

8.7 miles / 2887 ft 


Organised by Keswick AC’s favourite part time runner, Ben Abdelnoor. Yes folks, that’s right, he’s finally joined us as a second claim. The race is enter on the day only, just like the good old days pre covid! 


Carrock Fell Race – 12th March

5.6 miles / 1640 ft 


A brilliant fell race. I’ve yet to do it when it wasn’t sideways rain and very gusty. Nevertheless, it’s a cracking route and always sets you up well for what’s to come in the season. 


Coledale Horseshoe – 25th March

8.5 miles / 3002 ft 


One of the more expensive races on this list, but it’s worth every penny! One of the best races of the year. 


Dungeon Ghyll – 1st April

3.5 miles / 2100 ft 


A big old climb for a short race. The descent will test your legs as it’s up and straight back down again. 


Loughrigg – 12th April 

4 miles / 1083 ft 


It’s always an exciting time when midweek races start up again, so why miss this one out!? 


Teenager With Altitude or Newlands Memorial Race – 22nd April 

15.3 miles / 7546 ft or 11.5 miles / 3609 ft both £12 

I always think it’s a shame both races are on the same day, as I always want to do both! Another “expensive” one for the list, but completely worth the money. Usually get a free pint at the end too! 


Glaramara – 21st May 

5 miles / 2297 ft 

Free (Donation to charity instead of entry fee) 

A classic fell race, that has a lot of route choice on the descent. 


Blencathra – 7th June

8.1 miles / 2707 ft


A long race for a mid week race. Always falls close to my birthday so will usually have a few pints after! 


Great Lakes – 17th June 

13 miles / 6988 ft 


Another Abdelnoor race makes the list. A proper tough fell race. Last year I was the only Keswick runner to compete, so would be great to see some more folk there this year! 


Bash Up Bessyboot – 12th July

3.2 miles / 1496 ft


Slightly biassed opinion here, as I did create this race route for Borrowdale School. A great mixture of every good element of fell running. Steep climbs, a scramble, good descent and plenty of places to go a bit wrong. As fell running should be. Last year your £5 got you a beer and a burger afterwards. All money goes towards Borrowdale School. 


Blisco Dash – 19th July 

5 miles / 1998 ft


Wednesday night race that starts and finishes at a great pub. Prize giving is not to be missed as Selwyn always puts on a good show. For £1 what is stopping you going along!?! 


Borrowdale – 5th August 

16.8 miles / 6562 ft


Despite it being the most expensive race on the list, I couldn’t not include my favourite fell race! Are you even a fell runner if you’ve not done Borrowdale?! 


Steel Fell – 9th August 

3.1 miles / 1312 ft


A tough ask to race Borrowdale on the Saturday and Steel fell on the Wednesday! But a free race is a free race. One of my favourite events last year, mainly because the weather was lovely and Abdelnoor brought beer and crisps for us afterwards. 


Three Shires – 16th September 

12.4 miles / 4003 ft 


It was a toss up between this or Grisedale Horseshoe. In my mind Three Shires wins, but they’re both £12 so you could go do either of these and still have a great day out for the same price. 


Langdale – 7th October 

13.1 miles / 4757 ft 


It’s up there with Borrowdale as the best fell race for me. One I would hate really to miss! 


Crag Fell Handicap Race – 9th December 

2.5 miles / 1345 ft 


A fun way to finish the racing year. They operate on a prize to win a prize system. There is a collection for mountain rescue instead of an entry fee. 


Which comes to a grand total of 16 races for £99. 

Total mileage (if doing Teenager) 127.8. Which works out as 77p per mile.

Total ascent (if doing Teenager) 50,247. Which works out as less than 1p per foot of ascent. 


That to me looks like a rather good year of fell racing and would give you plenty to sink your teeth into. To me it’s just another reason why this is the best sport out there. What other sport would give so many opportunities for making so many memories, whilst offering such good value for money?! Certainly not football! 

I hope more than anything that whatever it is you’ve got planned for the year ahead, you enjoy it! 

I’ll write another post about the endless possibilities with your £1 left over. Though I’m sure someone can find another Lake District race for £1. But being the cheapskate I am, I’ll probably save it and put it towards next year’s race fund! 

Happy running,

Tonk x