Cumbria Crack

Charity to grow challenge events

Aly Knowles from Brathay Trust who heads up the Brathay Challenges team
Aly Knowles from Brathay Trust who heads up the Brathay Challenges team

[A] local charity is hoping to get more people involved in sport by offering running, rowing and cycling challenges in and around Windermere and the wider Lake District.

The Ambleside based youth charity Brathay Trust, who work with thousands of children, young people and their families every year, has launched a Brathay Challenges website with full details and sign-up facilities.

The charity, which is unusual in organising its own fundraising challenges, is drawing on over 10 years’ experience to offer, for the first time, a comprehensive suite of events for individuals and teams – of varying abilities – starting and ending at Brathay Hall near Ambleside.

“It is incredibly exciting to be able to present such a diverse range of challenge events including new ones and others people won’t know about” said Operations Manager Aly Knowles who heads up the Brathay Challenges team.

“Our two running events are the ASICS Windermere Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 21 May, and the ‘10 in 10’, which is 10 marathons in as many days. Last year we had 700 entrants for the Marathon, which we want to grow, and we already have 17 people for the 10 in 10.

“We also have two cycling events, a sportive with three routes taking place on Sunday 25 June and, the day before that, the ‘262’, 10 laps of the marathon route to be completed in 24 hours. We hope both will bring 300 cyclists and 20 cyclists respectively.

“On the rowing front we offer ‘Row Runner’ a Windermere three peaks challenge combining rowing and fell running and a ‘Three Lakes Challenge’ where teams tackle three lakes – Ullswater, Coniston and Windermere in three different craft.”

Aly Knowles who is no stranger to a challenge and the huge benefits it can bring, in 2010 she ran the charity’s ‘10in10’ and now encourages people in Ulverston to take up running, is keen to encourage people to start the New Year with a positive commitment to do something.

She said: “At this time of year people are far more conscious about their health and fitness. It is really important to challenge yourself whether you are a super-fast club runner, a plodder or someone who has never tried running, rowing or cycling. It’s so important to have some sort of physical activity in your life. It’s essential for wellbeing and health regardless of your age, ability or gender.

“Could 2017 see you run a marathon, or prepare to run 10, around Windermere, England’s largest lake. Or could you be saddling up for one of four cycling events. Or maybe a water-based team challenge is just the thing for you. Your efforts will not only benefit you but they will help turn around the lives of the young people we work with.

“Why not get started by exploring the new Brathay Challenges website where you can find more information about our Early Bird offers, the team behind the events, accommodation facilities onsite and what’s on offer for spectators and visitors.

“So, no excuses – sign up for a challenge and be a hero to the young people we work with.”

To find out more visit

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