TEAM GB heroes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are helping to make Kendal Mountain Festival bigger and better than ever.

The Olympic triathlon gold and bronze medallists have been helping youngsters to warm up for the start of the adidas Terrex 5 mile Train Run at the Kendal Dojo this morning.

And last night they also signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans at the Brewery Arts Centre.

Speaking this morning to The Gazette at The Adventure Sports Village, new for this year at the Dojo, Jonathan said: "This festival is a great celebration of the outdoors and it is good to see people getting involved.

"It is nice that so many people who love the outdoors have come together. One of the reasons we do what we do is because we just love being outdoors. The Lake District is the best place for it."

Team GB hand-cycling paralympic silver medallist, paratriathlon world champion and all-round adventurer Karen Darke and Canadian paralympic sit-skier Josh Dueck are also taking part in the event.

Karen, who is giving a talk at 6pm at The Brewery Arts Centre theatre, told The Gazette: "I think it is a fantastic event. There are so many people doing so many things at the festival and you can come here and get really inspired. I love this area and learned to climb here.

"It is great that they have diversified the festival away from just climbing so that it is more about adventure - there is more of an appeal for the general public."

Josh said: "The festival is a really melting pot of creativity. It is inspiring to the general masses but also gives an opportunity for people involved in the industry to meet up."

The event, which was opened by Sir Chris Bonington outside Kendal Town Hall on Thursday, runs until tomorrow.

More than 70 films in competition, art and literature, the legendary Rab Party, the Mountain Equipment Pub Quiz and the Boardman Tasker Literary Prize will be among the extravaganza’s other highlights.

For information and tickets call the festival’s box office on 01539-725133 or visit its website