Cumbria Crack

New running routes opened at Whinlatter

Saturday saw the official launch of 5k and 10k running routes at Whinlatter Forest. Local businesses BodyFit and Buggyfit led groups around the routes with around 30 people joining them on the trails.

Jen Wilson from Buggyfit said: “Buggyfit is an outdoor, all weather, post-natal fitness programme and I’ve been running classes at Whinlatter since July 2017. It’s my favourite class location with fabulous surroundings and views to enjoy whilst we exercise – the new 5k route is an excellent addition. Mums attend from the West, Keswick, Penrith and I’ve had some from as far as Shap! It’s a great social class too as there’s always time for a cuppa and a crack afterwards.”

The routes are challenging but reap great rewards of spectacular views to Derwentwater, Keswick, Skiddaw and the surrounding mountain ranges. The new 5k route has been home to the Whinlatter Forest parkrun and this well-tested route is known as one of the most challenging – and scenic – in the country. The 10k route pushes you a bit further venturing into the less explored, quieter, south side of the forest, where you’ll be met with a second big climb after recovering from the first one on the north side.

Running is a fantastic activity to support good mental health and physical wellbeing. The waymarked trails give the confidence to run by yourself knowing you’re heading in the right direction, as well as providing lots of space so if you’re running as part of a group you can all run together. The traffic-free trails are a fantastic place to run for all levels, from new runners to those in training for events. The feedback from those who took part on Saturday was brilliant; they loved the routes, the views and even the hills!

Sonia Dryden, Forestry England, said: “It’s fantastic to engage more people in the outdoors and support running with our amazing trails at Whinlatter Forest. These new waymarked routes provide great opportunities for people to explore scenic and quiet areas of the forest.”

Whinlatter Forest is hosting a 10K running event Sunday 12th May as part of the Forestry 100 Running Series, which celebrates 100 years of forestry. All runners participating in the 10k will receive a celebratory Centenary medal at the end of the race, and enthusiastic runners can enter up to 10 different races across Forestry England sites.

Why not dig out your trainers, head to the forest and start training? The routes that have just opened will give you a flavour of what’s to come.

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