Famous fundraising five set to start Windermere Marathon Groundhog Day

Brathay 10in10 2016

Five Yorkshire runners take on 10 marathons in 10 days to raise £44,000 for disadvantaged youngsters.

Five runners from Yorkshire have pledged to raise £44,000 for disadvantaged youngsters by running the same marathon every day for 10 days around England’s longest lake, Windermere.


Their physical and mental challenge begins on Friday 12th May as they fundraise for Brathay Trust, a youth charity which supports work in Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield.


The Brathay ‘10in10’, described as the UK’s ultimate endurance running event, is 10 breath-taking laps around the beautiful and hilly edges of Windermere through honey-pot villages. It starts and ends at Brathay’s head office and residential centre near Ambleside.


The five Yorkshire runners, who join five other men and six women from around the UK, are:

Fifty-year-old Bob Bowman QPM, Director of Operations at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, who hopes to raise £25,000 to fund both charities’ joint work in Leeds. Bob intends to return to Leeds on foot making his 10in10 a 15 marathons in 15 days challenge.


Mike Sprot (handicap 2.3), 37, Chief Financial Officer for Jaywing Plc. in Sheffield aims to raise £8,000 which will also support the Sheffield-based medical charity Neurocare.


Tim Brown, 43, a senior civil servant at the Department of Health in Leeds has a £5,000 goal.


An ex-safety worker for Network Rail at Leeds City Station, 57-year-old Kev Blackhurst (handicap 12.5) is returning for his second 10in10 and has pledged to raise £3,000.


Hull’s Richard Rex (handicap 8.4), 46, who works for Arco Ltd, wants to raise £3,500 with his second 10in10.


In charge of the event is Brathay’s Head of Operations, Aly Knowles (handicap 36.0). She is only too familiar with the monumental challenge facing the runners having completed two herself. Aly said:

“Training for one marathon is tough enough, but training for 10 that are not only back to back, but the same one every day is very hard. And on top of that there is the fundraising. We can’t thank our fabulous runners, their families, friends and supporters enough. We also hope that their ‘ordinariness’ inspires others to do something similar by looking into the runners’ backgrounds” added Aly Knowles.


This Groundhog Day challenge was devised by academic and Brathay Fellow Sir Christopher Ball. He was 72 when he ran the first 10in10, after taking up running only five years earlier. Sir Christopher wanted to show that anyone can be a marathon runner and that the human body can do more than people expect. Eleven years on, his point is still being proven. Ninety-four ordinary people have run the 10in10 at least once and, in doing so, they have raised over £1million for Brathay’s ground-breaking work with young people including supporting those in extremely challenging circumstances to positively change their lives.


Legendary fell runner Joss Naylor MBE, Patron of the Brathay 10in10, will see all 16 runners off on their first marathon and will welcome them back from their last, on Sunday 21st May. Their last marathon, or heroes lap, is also the  ASICS Windermere Marathon which attracts around 900 runners.


Over 70 years of expertise in outdoor learning and personal development means Brathay, unlike other charities, organises its own fundraising endurance events. Further information about the runners, video clips as well as donation and event details can be found on: www.brathaychallenges.com