THE largest number of runners yet will be taking part in a challenge to run the same marathon every day for 10 days in an anti-clockwise direction around England’s longest lake, Windermere.

The reality of participating in one of the world’s most difficult marathon challenges became real when the 20 athletes met for the first time at a training weekend in Ambleside last weekend.

Since the Brathay 10in10 first took place in 2007, 104 people have completed it. The smallest cohort to run it were the seven who ran the first one. This year 20 have been offered a place. The record for the fastest time is held by Adam Holland who, in 2010, ran it in 30:24:54, averaging 3:02:05 for each marathon.

The five women and 15 men from all over the country - ranging in age from their 30s to their 60s - include two runners who are local to the course. They are the general manager at the Ryebeck Hotel in Bowness, Duncan Evans – running in the MV45 category – and John McCann, a member of Kendal Athletics Club who lives in Morecambe, who is entered as a MV65.

Another first for the 2018 event is the number of runners who know it as the ASICS Windermere Marathon, its sister event. One of the 15 who have run this one day marathon is Gary Wade, he has taken part in it 12 times. Gary is tackling the 10in10 with his daughter, Joni Southhall, making them the first pair to do so.

“This training event helps everyone get ready for May,” said Brathay’s Operation Manager Aly Knowles.

“The runners receive important advice on hydration, nutrition and sports therapy and, most importantly, they run a practice marathon – although unusually this time all but five of them are familiar with the course” added Aly Knowles.

Each runner has to raise at least £3,000 in order to compete in the event so sharing fundraising tips and learning about the work of the charity was also part of the weekend.

Recognised as one of the UK’s ultimate endurance running events, it was devised by academic Sir Christopher Ball, as a trustee of Brathay. He ran it aged 72, to prove that ordinary people can tackle extraordinary feats of physical and mental endurance. It has raised over £1.2million for Brathay’s work with children and young people including supporting residential programmes at the charity’s base near Ambleside and community projects in the Furness area.

The 20 fundraising heroes have just 17 more weeks of training before their first marathon on Friday 11 May. Their last is on Sunday 20 May when the course coincides with the one day ASICS Windermere Marathon. Over 800 runners are already signed up for that and details can be found at:

Profiles of the 10in10ers can be found on the Brathay Challenges website here: And videos and updates will be shared via twitter @BrathayEvents and facebook @BrathayRunning.