Cumbria Crack

New organisers will continue tradition of races to benefit local community

Brathay Trust are the new organisers of the Langdale Road Races which include the popular 10k Christmas Pudding run (credit Brathay Trust)

[A] series of road races in the Great Langdale Valley, at the heart of the Lake District, will continue to benefit the community say the new organisers.

The Ambleside based youth charity, Brathay Trust, is taking over the running of the Langdale Road Races which celebrate their 30th anniversary later this year. The series includes the Langdale Marathon (20th October), the Half Marathon (20th October) and the Christmas Pudding 10k (8th December).

Over the last four years profits have benefitted local causes including the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association, Great Langdale Primary School, Cumbria Community Foundation and The Prince’s Trust. Last year monies bought two community-accessible defibrillators for the valley.

Now Brathay Trust, organisers of the ASICS Windermere Marathon, Brathay 10in10 and other rowing and cycling challenge events, are confident the races can support their work with children and young people as well as continuing to bring local benefit.

The three races attract over 1,000 participants who tackle the varying distances and routes within an iconic valley that is now at the centre of UNESCO’s latest World Heritage Site. Runners can take in the jagged outlines of Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and the Langdale Pikes at the head of a dramatic glacially carved valley.

The Langdale Marathon is the most challenging of the events – a particularly hilly marathon course with gradients of 1:3 in places.  The route starts from Great Langdale following an anti-clockwise direction via Little Langdale and through the picturesque hamlets of Skelwith Bridge, Chapel Stile and Dungeon Ghyll. The course record was set by Steve Littler of Wesham Road Runners in 2010, who clocked 2hr 41min 55sec.

The Half Marathon takes place on the same day as the Marathon, 20th October, and enjoys the same breath-taking views of the surrounding Langdale Fells.

In contrast the Christmas Pudding 10k, run from Sticklebarn to Elterwater and back, is very popular, with most runners taking the opportunity to dress in festive costumes.

Scott Umpleby, a runner and head of fundraising for Brathay Trust, the new organisers of the Langdale Road Races (credit Brathay Trust)

Scott Umpleby, Brathay’s Head of Fundraising, said: “It’s a great privilege to take over the organisation of the very popular Langdale Road Races. It’s also a great opportunity for us to use our experience of other challenge events, including the ASICS Windermere Marathon, to make sure even more good causes can benefit from people doing something they enjoy in this most amazing valley. Anyone interested in finding out more or signing up should visit

“The Langdale Road Races are very much a community event with the school and local shop involved. We look forward to the good work we can all do together” added Scott.

Started in 1988 by Rod Berry, who was working as a kitchen porter for Langdale Estate, the races have attracted running legends including Dr Ron Hill MBE. Since 2014 they have been organised by the Langdale Road Races Team made up of staff from Langdale Leisure Ltd and the National Trust’s Sticklebarn, with support from the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and Great Langdale School.

The Brathay Challenges team will continue to work with these local supporters to ensure these distinctive local events continue.

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