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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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Going the distance in the Keswick to Barrow to raise cash for good causes

THOUSANDS of walkers and runners tackled the gruelling 40-mile Keswick to Barrow and 23-mile Coniston to Barrow events on Saturday to raise what is expected to be a record amount of money, writes NATALIE CHAPPLES

FAMILY and friends lined the home straight of the Keswick to Barrow to cheer on their hero loved ones as they carried their weary limbs over the finish.

There was a collective ‘aww’ from the large crowd as four-year-old Will, and his sister Niamh, eight, ran the last yards of the 40-mile challenge with their dad, BAE worker David McNally.

Scarlett Haythorn, five, had run up to her dad, Paul, to give him a great big hug as he crossed the line as the first local man home. The Barrow family, also including wife Julie, and youngest daughter, Ava, two, all shared hugs and kisses at the Hawcoat Sports Club finish point.

It was the first time the 38-year-old BAE employee and ex rugby player had run the whole course.

Mrs Haythorn, said: “We’re very proud of him. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication.”

The first woman home, Annemarie Almond, 42, also got a warm welcome from her children, Mackenzie, 12, Maddison, 10, and her husband Kenny, 41, after the Barrow fitness instructor had also run the whole of the gruelling route for the first time.

Supporter Lois Jefferson, 14, ran from Dalton with her brother Sam, 16, who broke the boys’ record by 22 minutes. There was plenty to celebrate for the Walney family, as Sam and Lois’ are cousins of Kirsten Bell, 14, the first girl back, and Jemma Bell, 19, who was second woman home.

A record 2,466 starters left Keswick bright and early on Saturday morning.

One man joked to another: “You’ve got new trainers this year,” to which the friend replied: “I need all the help I can get.”

They made their way along the long and scenic rural route as a personal challenge, but also to raise money for charities and good causes. One of the biggest groups of the day was Team Alice, walking for teenager Alice Pyne’s Alice’s Escapes charity in the K2B and also the 23-mile Coniston to Barrow.

Dave Walmsley, 48, of Barrow, ran for Team Jake, raising money for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group in memory of Jake Ellis,who died from cancer in 2008 age five.
In his ninth K2B year the BAE worker achieved his personal best of 6.56.57.

Mr Walmsley said: “It’s a very worthwhile event for charities.

“I’m chuffed with the time, I might do it again now when I’m 50.”

There was also a fair amount of fancy dress, including a dog called Monkey, who was dressed as a bee with the Wraiths and Strays team, and Stephen Heeley, 26, who painted himself blue to be a Smurf after losing a bet at work, Maher Ltd, in Sheffield.

It was a successful event for the police teams. Detective Inspector Dave Banks, of Barrow police, and PC Dave Edwards, of Dalton police, were the fourth and seventh men home.

South Cumbria’s top cop, Chief Superintendent Paul Kennedy, was a member of the teams, raising money in memory of PC Bill Barker, who died in the 2009 floods. The funds were going to the Great North Air Ambulance and Care of Police Survivors.

Ch Supt Kennedy said: “It’s been a great community event. For us it was the chance to come out as a team, and it makes it even more meaningful with the causes we were running for.”

Handing out K2B medals was one of outgoing Barrow mayor, Councillor John Murphy’s, last mayoral duties. Cllr Murphy said; “What a great achievement for all those taking part.”

There were 2,299 K2B finishers and 315 C2B finishers from a record 324 starters.

The last people returned to Barrow at 10.37pm.

Have your say


Posted by matt on 21 October 2013 at 12:26

What a great day! Weather couldn't have been better. Superb organisation, great support along the whole route, amazing people running, walking, hobbling 42 miles for charity. Can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday. :)

Posted by Colleen on 16 May 2012 at 19:46

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