Charity announces running heroes and says anniversary event will be bigger and better

Brathay logo

A charity which has raised over £1million through running events has announced its 2016 running heroes. And it says its tenth May flagship fundraiser will be even bigger and better.

Headquartered in Ambleside in the Lake District, with bases in Bradford, Sheffield and Wigan, Brathay Trust is the only charity to organise its own fundraising marathons.

With a mission to improve the life chances of vulnerable children and young people, they hope next year’s runners will raise £150,000 for their vital work.

Fourteen people are already signed up to tackle 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days, running the same anti-clockwise circuit around Lake Windermere. They are eight established 10in10ers – Lucy Clough (handicap 10.3), Paul Dewar, Sonja Foster (handicap 21.1), Kaz Hurrell (handicap 25.5), Ellan Iaquaniello (handicap 18.1), Kev Blackhurst (handicap 17.3) and Jim Meta (handicap 19.6), and Chris Renton (handicap 23.3). A further four are new to the event – Adrian Brooks (handicap 10.8), Rob Byrne (handicap 4.4), Donna Fitzpatrick and Helen McLoughlin (handicap 21.0).

This 2016 cohort, made up of ordinary men and women – many working in the caring profession and others from the public, transport, food and hospitality sector – is very different to that of the first 10in10.

In 2007 no women took part – although they have ever since and the 2016 challenge could see Kaz Hurrell enter the record books by being the first female to complete it four times. This field of eight, which included the challenge’s founder 72 year old Sir Christopher Ball, remains the oldest field to compete. The average age was 55 years and nine months.

The event’s youngest runner is 22 year old Adam Holland (handicap -2.4) who first ran the 10in10 in 2009. He is also the event’s fastest entrant with a world record beating average time of just 3:02:05 hours for his 10 consecutive marathons in 2010.

Writing in the Telegraph in June 2014, Tobias Mews - one of the UK's leading extreme ultra endurance athletes and adventure journalists - said:

“For a group of men and women to undertake 26.2 miles every day for ten days over one of the country's toughest, hilliest and most demanding marathon routes is an amazing achievement. Modest and good natured, for each one of them it was a life changing experience and one that has seen them overcome massive physical and psychological challenges. They are, as the event's founder, Sir Christopher Ball puts it, "Ordinary people doing extraordinary things." The Brathay 10in10ers are an inspiration to us all.”

Adventurer and Everest climber Bear Grylls calls it “an epic challenge that will require an epic strength of mind”.

As well as offering the Brathay 10in10 endurance event, the charity is also responsible for the Brathay Windermere Marathon. It is at this event that many runners experience first-hand the 10in10 course, meet those that run it and are then spurred on to apply for a 10in10 place.

Recognising that the one day marathon, which is as beautiful as it is breath-taking, is a tough one the organisers are offering a brand new, for 2016, Brathay Half Marathon. Starting and ending in the same place as the one day marathon and 10in10, it is a 13.1 mile route through Hawkshead to Esthwaite Water. Runners return with views of the iconic Langdales and the surrounding fells. The addition of Junior Races means all ages will be catered for next year.

Scott Umpleby, Brathay’s Head of Fundraising explains why this running event is so important to the charity. He said:

“Last year we raised enough funds to work with 6,000 young people in their communities across the North of England and through immersive residential experiences in the Lake District.

“That included youngsters like Joe who has been in care since he was seven years old and needs help to make the transition to independent living. And ‘D’, who had to live with his violent dad when his mum died. He said his residential at Brathay, where he met others like him and learned new life skills, was a turning point in his life.

“Whilst we can’t wipe away all the terrible things that have happened to the young people we work with we can put them on the path to new and better lives. Every penny raised leads to a new beginning for a child who has had a hard life.

“This year we are asking all Marathon runners to help raise money for us, and if you raise over £175 in Sponsorship for the Main Marathon, or £100 in Sponsorship for the Half Marathon, it's free to enter.

“Any monies you raise for us will directly transform the lives of young people through the programmes we deliver.”

For more details of Brathay’s 10th anniversary fundraising event and how to enter the Brathay Half Marathon and Windermere Marathon on Sunday 22 May please visit:

Those who sign up for either event by Monday 4 January will qualify for a money saving early bird offer.