Ford first women's winner of Brathay 10 in 10

Brathay 10 in 10Despite the inconvenience of shin splints and ankle problems, 35-year old Sally Ford from Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria battled through the pain barrier on Sunday 20 May to become the first women to win the tough Brathay 10 in 10 endurance challenge.

Despite the pain, however, she still clocked off with an impressive final marathon time of 3:38:02, taking her total aggregate time to a mind blowing 36:35:41, a staggering 2 hours and 37 minutes quicker than the previous women’s record.

She was delighted to have finished and despite her humility throughout the challenge, she proud to hear that she had finished ahead of the boys.

“There’s been a bit of banter through the week,” she said, “but it’s all been in good humour and the fact that I’ve posted the best time does give me a sense of pride.”

But with all due respect to Sally’s spectacular efforts, perhaps the biggest story to come out of this year’s 10 in10 event is the fact that all 18 runners completed the sinew stretching, muscle sapping, mind blowing challenge, proving beyond doubt that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

On a day when there were no losers, only winners, all 18 showed the appreciative and sizable crowd that had amassed on the Brathay Hall lawn, the raw determination, desire and hunger needed to finish such a punishing event.

Mark Bushell, spokesman for the organisers, Brathay Trust - the Ambleside based national charity that inspires young people to become successful, confident and responsible citizens - said: “The runners have put their lives on hold for a year in order to get themselves into the best possible shape for this event. It’s not only a tremendous physical challenge, due to the undulating nature of the course, but it also tests their mental strength to the full. The ‘Groundhog Day’ effect of running the same course, day in day out, has seen some of the finest runners fail to complete the challenge in the past.”

And this year’s line-up of runners included some fascinating characters all determined not to be broken by the 10 in 10 challenge, as Bushell explained: “The runners came from all over the UK including London, Leeds and Bognor Regis, and after finishing the challenge the runners toasted their success with a specially brewed 10 in10 ale.”

The 18 runners began their mammoth challenge from Brathay Hall in Ambleside on Friday 11 May and concluded the event in conjunction with the Brathay Windermere Marathon – which was also a resounding success - on Sunday 20 May

It’s hoped that this year’s event has further illustrated the significance of the 10 in10, which is governed by UK Athletics, as one of the world’s ultimate endurance events.

To see footage of the Brathay 10 in10 and Brathay Windermere Marathon visit