FORMER Olympic hurdler Sally Gunnell is championing a new race aimed at raising funds for hard-pressed Herdwick sheep farmers.
The gold medal winner in the Barcelona games of 1992 is working with Taste Cumbria to publicise the Herdwick 10k race, which will be held as a curtain raiser for this summer’s Langdale Gala.
Sally, who was raised on her parents’ farm in Essex, is using her position as a patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund to urge people to enter the event on Saturday, July 5.
The race has been set up by Taste Cumbria in conjunction with Great Langdale Road Races and profits will go to the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association.
Sally, who honed her athletic talents by hurdling hay bales on her father’s farm, predicted the Herdwick 10k would be ‘a fantastic event’.
“It’s all about getting exercise and having fun,” she said.
“As a patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, I believe the investment in this project is invaluable.
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“Run, walk, jog or even hop for a wonderful cause — farming is very close to my heart and the Herdwick farmers need our support.”
Taste Cumbria manager Mary Houston said: “Langdale is the heart of Herdwick country, so what better place to raise awareness about this wonderful, unique sheep breed than on their home turf?
“Cumbria would not have the landscape it so famously boasts if the Herdwick wasn’t farmed on our fells.
“It is a heritage that we need to support and encourage and the funds raised by this run will offer a real, tangible benefit to the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association.
“The life of a Herdwick farmer is harsh and we need to do alal we can to continue this valuable way of life — valuable to residents, food, tourism and the economy.”
It is hoped that 500 runners will take part in the race.
For more information or to register for the race, visit greatlangdaleroadraces.co.uk/herdwick-10k