Keswick to Barrow is the biggest event of the year in south Cumbria. Thousands of people push themselves through the pain barrier to raise some much need money for local charities. In the run up to this year’s event, K2B committee member Mark Curwen will be sharing his tips and observations to make May 11 the best yet.

It wouldn’t have escaped your notice that there seems to be a lot more runners, joggers and walkers currently out on the roads than is normally the case.

Welcome to the phenomenon that is the Keswick and Coniston to Barrow walks.

A race for a few, a challenge to all and an addiction to those that come back year after year to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities both local and national.

A day when the area comes together like no other event. Thousands line the route cheering on the walkers, while the finish at Hawcoat Park sports ground is a hive of noise and celebration as family members greet their hobbling heroes with hugs, cheers and quite often tears.

Finishers compare their times and injuries over a welcome pie and peas and the obligatory pint and plans are already being formed to enter next year’s event.

Local groups man checkpoints from early morning until the sun sets and beyond, hands sore from clapping every one of the 3,500 people that pass on their way to the finish line.

Has that wetted your appetite for a challenge?

Well with just nine weeks until walk day (Saturday May 11) you don’t have long to get either your own team together or to grab a spot on one of the 467 teams currently confirmed for the two walks.

The 20mile Coniston to Barrow walk is now almost full so you really do need to get a wriggle on if you are wanting to compete in this years event.

The 40mile(ish) Keswick to Barrow does have more space however the extra training needed to complete the walk means again you really don’t want to be hanging around.

How do you do it?

Once you have found a place in a team, get yourself across to and register as a walker if you haven’t competed before. This generates your unique walker number that your team co-ordinator can then use to add you to their team. Its that easy!

Then you just need to pay your entry fee, get as many miles in as you can before the day and more importantly get as much sponsor money in for your chosen charity as well.

If you want to enter but can’t find a team to join, take a look at the Keswick to Barrow Facebook Page where teams are often on the lookout for people to join. It’s like a walkers dating app!

The infrastructure needed for an event of this magnitude can never be underestimated and it is with that that the final words this week are a huge thank you to our Major Sponsors BAE Systems, Heart FM, Rolls Royce Marine, Lockheed Martin UK, Kier Group, ATS Global, Choose Cumbria and The Mail.

The support of all these sponsors along with the many others that contribute towards the event are vital to the continued success of the two walks.