Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn strides through Patterdale during the 2023 SILVA Lakes Traverse - copyright No Limits Photography (002)

SILVA Traverse events return with four ultras in five days

Ultra runners are preparing to tackle a series of races across the north of England, starting on Saturday morning. Over the course of five days, almost 400 athletes will take part in the SILVA Northern Traverse, Lakes Traverse, Dales Traverse and Moors Traverse.

Among the participants will be elite runners, plus participants who have been attracted to the events by the recent rise in popularity of the sport. The racing will begin on the west coast of Cumbria early on Saturday 6 April, and finish at Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast on Wednesday 10 April.

Organised by Kendal based company Ourea Events, the SILVA Northern Traverse is a continuous 300km footrace from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. The race, which has to be completed within five days, follows the well-established coast-to-coast route created by Alfred Wainwright, through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. Meanwhile, participants in the SILVA Lakes Traverse have 30 hours to finish the 100km route. The event will use the same race infrastructure, logistics and staffing as the Northern Traverse. After crossing the Lake District National Park fells, the race ends in Shap.

This year, two new races have been introduced to the SILVA Traverse series, both of which offer entry points into ultra running. The SILVA Dales Traverse will take place on Sunday 7 April. Its distance of 55km will trace the section of Wainwright’s coast-to-coast route from Kirkby Stephen to Richmond. Passing through the North Pennines Area of Outstanding National Beauty, navigating the iconic Nine Standards, and weaving through Swaledale into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the race will conclude with a finish below Richmond Castle. On the same day, the 80km SILVA Moors Traverse will follow Wainwright’s route from Ingleby Cross to Robin Hood’s Bay, hugging the spectacular northern edge of the North York Moors National Park, before winding through eastern Yorkshire to the finish.

The SILVA Northern Traverse and SILVA Lakes Traverse will both start at St Bees, on the morning of Saturday 6 April. Runners in the Lakes Traverse will set off at 7:30am and the longer race will begin at 8:30am. The SILVA Moors Traverse will start in Ingleby Cross at 7:00am on Sunday 7 April, and on the same day, runners in the SILVA Dales Traverse will set off from Kirkby Stephen at 10:00am.

Several well-known ultra runners will line up for the start of the Northern Traverse. They include: Mark Darbyshire, record holder for the Arc of Attrition race and joint winner (and record holder) of the 2023 Lakes Traverse; Eoin Keith, who has taken part in every edition of the race, winning the first two, and who has also won the Spine Race three times; Paul Tierney, former fastest known time holder for a Wainwrights round and multiple Tor des Géants finisher; David Parrish, winner of the 2023 Cape Wrath Ultra; Hannah Rickman, who was second in the women’s 2024 Montane Winter Spine Race; Edwina Sutton, co-host of the Tea & Trails podcast; and James Elson, founder of Centurion Running and host of the British Ultra Running Podcast.

Author and ultra runner Allie Bailey will take on the Lakes Traverse, while Gavin Dale, last year’s other joint winner of that event (and joint record holder), will shift his attention to the Dales Traverse. All four races will feature other competitive runners who are likely to challenge for honours, along with athletes who are testing themselves in ultra races for the first time, following the steady rise in interest and participation in the sport during recent years.

The public will be able to follow progress in the four SILVA Traverse events using the following live trackers:

Updates will be posted on social media, by @northerntravrse on Twitter and @thenortherntraverse on Instagram. For more information about the events, visit www.northerntraverse.com.

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