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Runners set off to raise thousands for Lakes charity by tackling 10 laps around Windermere

Brathay 10in10, 10 marathons in 10 days: Friday 10 to Sunday 19th May
Runners set off to raise thousands for Lakes charity by tackling 10 laps around Windermere.

SEVENTEEN runners from around the UK hope to raise £100,000 for an Ambleside based youth charity through an epic 10 day running challenge.

From today (Friday 10 May) until Sunday 19 May they will each run the same marathon every day, a lap of Windermere, England’s largest lake. It is to support Brathay Trust’s work with vulnerable children and young adults. Now in its 13th year, 116 people have completed the Brathay 10in10 – some many times, and one person six times – raising over £1million for the charity.

Cumbrian running legend Joss Naylor MBE, race Patron, and the Brathay Estate game keeper will see the runners off on their 262 mile challenge. With ascents totalling 1,400ft (430m), it is as much a feat of mental endurance and it is physical says Brathay’s Head of Fundraising, Scott Umpleby – himself a long distance fell runner.

Sonja Farish, from Barrow in Furness. Credit Brathay Trust.

Three runners are from Cumbria. Forty-nine-year-old Sonja Farish from Barrow-in-Furness, a swimming teacher, fitness instructor and leisure centre duty manager, returns for her fourth ‘10in10’. Also from Barrow is 27-year-old James Thomas, who works for BAE Systems. This is his first ‘10in10’. It is also a first for 28-year-old Matt Whitehead from Bowness-in-Windermere, a former Lakes School pupil, and who works at RAF Cosford.

Matt Whitehead, from Bowness on Windermere. Credit Brathay Trust.

Details of all those taking part can be found on the charity’s website brathaychallenges.com – on the running tab of the events page.

Scott Umpleby says the runners are always well supported along the route by locals. He said: “The encouragement and smiles that the 10in10ers get as they pass through the same villages each day makes a huge difference. About four miles in, they get a hero’s welcome from the children at Hawkshead Esthwaite Primary School. Almost half way around, at Newby Bridge, they cross the River Leven, follow the A590 for a short distance, and then start the journey back up the east side of the lake. Supporters on the terrace at the Swan Hotel cheer them on at this point, and their spirits can also be lifted by the sight of a Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway steam train.

“At five miles short of the finish line is ‘Ice Cream Mountain’ or Rayrigg Road viewpoint. Here runners refuel on ice cream and lollies after a tiring 50ft ascent over almost a quarter of a mile. As they pass Low Wood Bay the end is in sight. With the wind in the right direction they can even hear shouts of encouragement from the finish line at Brathay Hall,” added Scott.

The final marathon for the 10in10ers is also the ASICS Windermere Marathon, with a record of over 1,200 people entered this year. On the day there is also a new entry level 5k race and races for juniors, offering something for all runners.

The Brathay 10in10 has resulted in a total of 1,646 marathons being completed in an average time of: 4:30:54 and the setting of three Guinness World Records.

Monies raised support the 70 year old charity’s work with over 7,000 children and young people each year.

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