After two years of race route recces, we can state that we know this route pretty well by now. However, the moors are ever changing and a lot of restoration has gone into this area over the last couple of years. If you are up for a challenge, meet the 42(+) mile route of High Peak Marathon!
Distance: 67 km / 42 miles (without navigation errors)
Ascent: 1709 m / 5610 ft
Bog level: High
Good for: Loneliness, avoiding the crowds, route classic, preparing for your own HPM race.
The route starts and ends in Edale, a small village in the Peak District. It takes you up the ridge, to Lose hill, then to Winhill and subsequently along the famous gritstone rocks of Stanage Edge. When you have climbed up Derwent Edge you will have done most of the ascent, but the trickiest navigation and ground underfoot is yet to come. The 20 mile-ish middle section is infamous under HPM runners; during the race this section is dark and the terrain can be featureless. It will be slow going until you hit the Pennine way at Bleaklow Head, but from there it is a lovely, though long run back to Edale.
Map of the route:
The High Peak Marathon route takes you over some of the Peak District’s highest peaks and most deserted moorlands. The navigation on the middle section (Back Tor to Snake Top) can be tricky even at good weather, so make sure you are good with using your map and compass. As a reward, you can get amazing views and you are likely to run into wildlife along the route!