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Fundraising hat-trick at National Trust’s Derwent Water Regatta for local runner Rob Webster

Visitors enjoying Derwent Water Regatta credit National Trust / Paul Delaney

On Sunday 7th July Rob Webster from Ambleside will compete in the 42k Scafell Pike Trail Marathon as the 3rd and final race in his fundraising challenge to raise £500 for the National Trust’s Riverlands project which aims to start restoring the health of the river Derwent from source to sea over the next five years.

The race starts from Crow Park, Keswick and is part of the National Trust’s Derwent Water Regatta which takes place on the lakeshore field all weekend.

Robert Webster at the National Trust fundraising stand credit National Trust / Lewis Hay

Rob’s fundraising challenge started with the 25k Adidas Terrex trail race at Keswick Mountain Festival, where he won 3rd place. He’s since run the 13k Howtown fell race near Ullswater where he came 8th and is now gearing up to the biggest of them all, the Scafell Pike Trail Marathon organised by High Terrain Events as part of the National Trust’s Derwent Water Regatta weekend.

“I decided to do three runs as part of my fundraising challenge after going on a training walk with National Trust staff from the Riverlands project,” said Rob. “It sounds like such an amazing project that just doing one race didn’t seem to do it justice.”

“I got into running by entering the Manchester 10k with my sister and brother-in-law when I was 18, and I just got hooked”, said Rob “We started small, went to as many events as we could, and built up to half-marathons. But it was after completing the London Marathon in 2013 that I switched to from road running to trail running – for me it’s all about that feeling of being free and connecting to the outdoors and nature. When it happens it just feels effortless.”

“I’m really looking forward to the run on Sunday – it’s such a beautiful route. It’s just such a privilege that we can run through this landscape, and so much of the work that National Trust staff do to look after it goes unnoticed, so when I learned more about the project it felt like it’s about time I gave something back.”

The National Trust’s Derwent Water Regatta takes place on the weekend of 6th and 7th July at Crow Park Keswick and has free entry onto the field. It’s run as a not-for-profit event, and all proceeds will go to the Riverlands project to work with communities who live along the river to involve them in helping to restore the health of the river.

“I was so amazed when I heard that Rob was running three races to fundraise for our work to improve the health of the river, “ said Jessie Binns, Visitor Experience Manager, “because that’s what the Derwent Water Regatta is all about – enabling people to get outdoors and connect with the natural world by doing an activity that they love.”

“The first regatta was held on Crow Park in 1781” Jessie continued “and we’re really proud to be resurrecting this local event with the help of local outdoor providers. There will be some living history there, but we’re also re-interpreting the event for the 21st century, so it’s not just for marathon runners;  you can try something new – whether that’s a 500m open water swim, or a 5k run, or a taster session in a canoe or your first ever cruise in a catamaran.”

The National Trust is also providing free family activities on dry land, the team from National Trust pub Sticklebarn are running the beer tent and BBQ with local food and drink, and live entertainment will be provide by local community choirs and the community theatre groups from Theatre by the Lake.  More details and booking information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/derwentregatta

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