Cumbria Crack

St Bees RNLI volunteer tackles 200 mile challenge to raise funds

St Bees RNLI volunteer Dave Barker is taking on a 200-mile marathon to raise funds for the charity. Credit: RNLI/Dave Cocks
St Bees RNLI volunteer Dave Barker is taking on a 200-mile marathon to raise funds for the charity. Credit: RNLI/Dave Cocks

[A]n ultra-running RNLI volunteer is tackling an epic 200-mile marathon to raise funds for the charity’s Mayday appeal.

Dave Barker, a helmsman at the St Bees lifeboat station on the Cumbrian coast is being supported on the route by members of the Redcar lifeboat station on the north east coast. And he intends keeping his strength up during the marathon with the famous Teesside delicacy, the parmo, as well as traditional Cumberland sausage.

The 200-mile route starts in Hull before picking up the Yorkshire Wolds Way to Filey and then the 110-mile Cleveland Way along the North Yorkshire coast, finishing in Helmsley. Along the way he will be passing through or near the lifeboat towns of Filey, Scarborough, Whitby and Staithes before turning inland at Saltburn to the North Yorkshire Moors.

Dan Birkbeck from Redcar lifeboat station is leading the support team, meeting Dave Barker at checkpoints and providing sustenance and brief rest periods. Dan supported Dave Barker and Redcar RNLI volunteer Dave Scott in 2016 when they tackled the Hardmoors 110-mile marathon, again to raise money for the RNLI.

The marathon starts in Hull on Friday morning, 5 May 2017, and the entrants have 60 hours in which to complete the run.

Dave Barker says: ‘When I finished to Hardmoors 110 last year I thought “next time I’ll have a go at the 160 mile race”, but when I heard the organisers were planning a new route of 200 miles I thought “why not, let’s see if I can do it”’.

Dave adds: ‘I don’t do the usual sports gels and that sort of thing when I’m running. I prefer to eat often and it’s usually fairly normal stuff. I’ll be bringing some traditional Cumberland sausage with me, and I’m hoping Dan will find a good parmo for me while I’m passing through Teesside’.

The money raised will go to the RNLI and donations can be made at Dave Barker’s Justgiving page at

For more information on the marathon go to

For more information on the RNLI’s Mayday appeal visit

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