New Lake District endurance cycle stage race

New Lake District endurance cycle stage race
Paul Sutherland who devised a new cycling endurance event as a fundraiser for Brathay Trust

Paul Sutherland who devised a new cycling endurance event as a fundraiser for Brathay Trust

A NEW 24-hour endurance road event is on offer to cyclists looking for a technically challenging Lake District route.

Successfully piloted last year, ‘Brathay 262’ is a tough 10 laps around England’s longest lake, Windermere. A year in the planning, it is the brain child of Paul Sutherland who initially ran the course ten times in 2015 as part of the Brathay 10in10 – 10 marathons in 10 days challenge. He piloted the bike version last July with nine other volunteers.

A proficient cyclist, as well as a keen runner, Paul said: “There’s a massive interest in top end cycling events that are technically challenging and take place in stunning settings. A circuit around Windermere Lake ticks all those boxes. The course is a mix of quiet B class roads, with plenty of twists, turns and hills, and wider A class roads with traffic. The total ascent is 19,500 feet and the distance travelled is 262 miles – equivalent of riding from Kendal to London while ascending Kilimanjaro!

“Riders will be cycling through the night and, even with a full moon, leaf cover will make for darker roads and slower speeds. There are also road hazards, wildlife at night and tourists by day” added Paul.

The first rider back is expected to complete the course in under 18 hours.

This unique event is limited to 20 riders and places are selling quickly.

Scott Umpleby, Event Director, explained why they are offering the Lake District’s newest, toughest road cycle stage race. He said: “Brathay 262 is the brain child of some rather amazing athletes and last year’s pilot proved the event is possible. Over 70 years of expertise in outdoor learning, through challenging activities, means Brathay is well equipped to organise high quality, distinctive endurance events.

“The riders face the unenviable task of staying awake for 24 hours and battling mental and physical exhaustion. In doing so they will also make a commitment to raise funds to help Brathay Trust’s work with some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people.”

The entry fee is £125 and includes support, all meals and accommodation for the duration of the event.

Following a successful pilot the event, 10 road laps of Windermere in 24hrs, is taking place on Saturday 24 June, Brathay Hall near Ambleside.

Anyone interested in finding out more can visit www.brathaychallenges.com/events/cycling or contact Aly Knowles at alyson.knowles@brathay.org.uk