THE 2015 Lakeland Trails Series opener at Cartmel Racecourse in the Lake District on Saturday has attracted a capacity field of over 1300 trail runners from all over the UK.

There are a number of events throughout the day, with the Cartmel Trail Run 10km, starting at 11am. Later in the day there’s the tough but fun Cartmel Trail Challenge 18km starting at 1pm, and finally for the serious runners, the Cartmel Trail Race 18km starts at 2pm.

Competitors have to tackle a real “Beauty & Beast” of a course, with some spectacular views over Morecambe Bay and the southern Lakeland Fells. Much of the course is fast and runnable, along rolling escarpment, ancient oak woodland and around Bigland Tarns. Then there’s the short muddy sections to get stuck into, literally, with knee deep mud. The final water jump through a small river will clean most of the muck off, before a grandstand finish on Cartmel Racecourse.

There will be a real family friendly festival feel to the day, with live music from the Deco Delight Jazz Band, and singer/songwriter Pete Lashley. Food stalls, retail stands, MC and commentary, a Kid’s Zone with bouncy castle, face paining, balloon art and children’s Fun Runs (setting off at 12.30pm - all entry on the day).

Favourites for the 18km Women’s Race include Ambleside AC’s Annie Conway, recent winner of the English Fell Running Championship race at Todmorden, and also from Ambleside AC, Ben Abdelnoor, making a welcome return to fitness after a long injury break, should feature in the 18km Men’s Race.

The Cartmel Trail is supporting local community groups, including the Allithwaite King George V Playing Field Committee, and regional charities Nurture Lakeland and Fix The Fells. In addition, many people are running the event to raise funds for their own charities.

Event partners include Cartmel Racecourse, Holker Estates, ASICS, Bowland Communications, Mountain Trauma Rescue Services, John Bagge Sports Therapy, James Kirby Photography, Allithwaite King George V Playing Field Committee, Nurture Lakeland, Fix The Fells, VO2 Max Timing, and VO2 Max Events