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New race for juniors in sponsorship deal

Young runners at Ambleside. Pic by Steve Ashworth

[A] sponsorship deal with Elterwater Hostel means a new race for young runners at Ambleside Sports.

For the first time, this year there will be an “under-nines” category in the hugely popular Guides races, with the hostel team funding ten new trophies.

The Guides races are easily viewed by spectators as they follow a direct course up and down the fell side. The Senior Guides race has seen epic battles over the years involving legendary names such as Bill Teasdale, Tommy Sedgewick, Fred Reeves and Pete Bland competing. There are already boys and girls races in the categories under 12, under 14 and under 17.

“There’s been a massive demand for a race for the youngsters thanks to the coaching efforts of our local club, Ambleside AC,” said chairwoman Marjorie Blackburn.

“We are delighted that our friends at Elterwater Hostel have stepped in to make sure it happens this year. Their support means we can offer five trophies to the boys and five to the girls.”

The owner of Elterwater Hostel, Christine Thomas, said: “Ambleside Sports is one of the highlights of the year in this part of the world. We are very happy to encourage youngsters to take up running and to see their efforts rewarded.

“Many of our guests take their first steps onto the fells – walking or running – while staying with us, so this is a great way for us to be involved.”

The Sports day is always the last Thursday in July, so this year will be held on July 26. The first event of the day is the major fell race, the Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round, a nine mile race around one of Lakeland’s best known routes, the Fairfield Horseshoe.

“You have to be a pretty serious walker to even consider walking this magnificent route, never mind running it,” said Christine. “We hope that the juniors who start in our race might go on to take part in this and other classic Lakeland fell races.”

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