Dartmoor Marathon ROUTE info
Dartmoor Marathon route map HERE
Dartmoor Marathon GPX file HERE
The Dartmoor Marathon follows a mix of footpaths, bridleways, stone tracks, grassy paths and faint trods. Dartmoor can be very rough and strength sapping, so the route has been created and then fine tuned to be as runnable as possible.
Most of the ascents are made on stony tracks or established paths and fainter/ rougher trails are used for flatter sections and good downhills, making the route runnable - depending on fitness and ability!
The Marathon route is largely the second half of the Dartmoor 50 route. The differences are from the first ascent of Yes Tor, the Marathon goes south straight over High Willhays and down to Dinger Tor. The Dartmoor 50 turns before High Willhays to go to the eastern edge of the north moors to do a big loop of all the tors, before rejoining and following the route over High Willhays and to Dinger Tor. The other main difference is that from the top of Branscombe Loaf the marathon drops downhill to run along Meldon Reservoir, the 50 stays up high and goes back into the moor to rejoin later!
It is a fully signed route, to make it a hard but fair test of running ability only. Without the necessity to navigate, any lesser or greater ability in that respect does not have a bearing on the inclusiveness or success of your participation. This helps to make the Dartmoor Marathon unique - there are very few Marathon races in such wilderness generally, even less that don't require navigating one's way around.
Though you will be given a map of the route and take a compass with you as part of the kit list - you are not allowed onto the moor as part of this event without them. There will be approximately 250 arrow signs and 1000 orange flags on the moor to mark the routes, but these are at the mercy of weather, livestock and general public so a degree of route finding may be called for.
Unfortunately this is something we cannot control or safeguard against. It will be marked very regularly and checked immediately before participants reach each section, but self reliance and responsibility are also things you should take with you onto the moor!