[T]his Sunday (22 May) 1,400 runners aged between 8-81 years-old will be raising over £100,000 for the Ambleside based youth charity Brathay Trust.
One of those taking part in the 10th Brathay Windermere Marathon is double-amputee Chris Moon. The 54-year-old from Lanarkshire, who lost his right arm and leg in a mine clearance explosion in Mozambique, is the first amputee to tackle what has been described as one of the UK’s toughest marathons.
And back for the first time since running the inaugural ‘10in10’ – the same 26.2mile lap of Lake Windermere over 10 consecutive days (and also the route of the Windermere Marathon) – is 81-year-old Sir Christopher Ball. A Fellow of the charity, Sir Christopher, who went to school in Keswick, created the ‘10in10’. This time Sir Christopher will tackle the charity’s new half marathon and welcome past 10in10ers to their own anniversary lap of honour.
For 12 runners, it will be their last marathon in ten days. Half are tackling the 10in10 for the first time, whilst the rest are returning for a second, third and fourth time. Ulverston publican Paul Dewar has turned his second 10in10 into an epic 21 day challenge ‘To Hell and Back’. As he crosses the finish line on Sunday he will have cycled 1,350 miles, swum the length of Windermere and run 10 marathons in 10 days. Former Kirkbie Kendal School head boy, Captain Jack Swannick (28-years-old) is the youngest to take part in this year’s 10in10. The oldest is 60-year-old Jim Meta from Leeds, returning to the event for the third time.
With junior races for those under eight and up to 16-years-old – Brathay’s flagship fundraiser allows runners of all ages to support their work. Recognising that the one day marathon, which is as beautiful as it is breath-taking, is a tough one Brathay has also devised a new half marathon which 500 people have signed up to run. Starting and finishing at Brathay Hall it is a 13.1 mile route through Hawkshead to Esthwaite Water. The 26.2 mile marathon course is an anti-clockwise direction around England’s longest lake taking in the honey-pot sites of Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside.
In its 10th year, and attracting sports tourists and their families and friends from across the UK and overseas, the event and Family Fun Day has now raised over £1million for the Ambleside based Brathay Trust. The vital funds allow the charity to work with over 7,000 young people each year, including those who are severely disadvantaged, helping them to turn their lives around.
Two hundred volunteers, drawn from local organisations as diverse as the Freemasons, Rotarians, Cumberland Building Society and armed service veterans, will act as marshals, operate water stations and man stalls, stands and car parks at the accompanying Family Fun Day.
Sarah Thompson from Brathay says it promises to be a great day out with a hero’s welcome at the finish line for the 10in10ers and a great cheer for those returning from the marathon and half marathon.
She said: “This is a bumper birthday celebration. In addition to all the usual things on offer like canoeing, a high and low ropes course, zip wire, live music, food, drink and local produce stalls we are organising Junior Races. Even if you’re not into running it’s a great day out on a glorious estate on the northern shores of Windermere and all in aid of a good cause. Everyone is more than welcome to join us.”
The charity is appealing for more volunteers to help on the day and those interested should contact Sarah Thompson on 015394 39718 or by emailing [email protected]
Anyone wishing to make a donation to support Brathay’s work can visit:
https://www.brathay.org.uk/appeal/transforminglives or text ‘MARA26’, £the amount and send it to 70070.
For information about Brathay Trust’s 10 anniversary Windermere Marathon, 10in10 and Family Fun Day on Sunday 22 May (9am to 4pm) please visit: https://www.brathay.org.uk/event-information