AN intrepid team of 30 women hauled a car uphill for 3.1 miles to slash the previous record for the Kirkstone Car Pull.

The climb began at Ambleside Post Office, following the Kirkstone Pass up to its summit near the Kirkstone Pass Inn.

Once the driving rain last Sunday had subsided, the team began the gruelling challenge. They finished in a time of 62-27, knocking around 20 seconds off the previous women’s record - set in 2016.

Sandra Graves, who has been involved with the event since its inception in 1980, said: “They have been training very, very hard. My heart goes out to them.

“They did very, very well. I wish I could do something like that but I can’t now.”

The group, who ranged in age from 19 to 59, managed to raise around £5,000 for the Grizedale Unit at Westmorland General Hospital, which provides chemotherapy treatment.

They were coached by personal trainer Ursula Brendling, of Ambleside.

Mrs Brendling, who also took part, said: “The way we did it was we ran more of it. So we ran the flat sections more.

“Once you’re on the hill there’s not a lot of improvement you can do, so the only way you could improve it was to run the flat bits.”

She added: “This was 30 ordinary women, trying to raise money for a chemotherapy unit - raising money for an extraordinary and amazing cause really.”

The event was organised by a committee featuring Dave Reynolds senior, Dave Reynolds junior, Joyce Maddocks and Sandra Graves.

Speaking about the origins of the car pull, Miss Graves said: “Dave Reynolds senior was sitting in the pub at the Queen’s Hotel in Ambleside, and he was thinking of what he could do to raise money for charity.

“He saw the horse and carts going up Kirkstone, and that’s what gave him the idea of a car pull. And we haven’t looked back since.”

Each year a group of 30 women (plus a driver) or 14 men (plus a driver) takes part in the event.

Anyone who is interested in getting a team together for 2020 - the 40th anniversary - should contact Dave Reynolds senior on 015394 43173.