NEXT Saturday will see the country roads of Cumbria lined with charity runners and strollers, so we are taking a nostalgic look at some of the past Keswick to Barrow Walks.

The 40-mile event — which is now held with a Coniston to Barrow version — has raised money for a multitude of good causes.

This is how the walk held 30 years ago was reported in The Mail on May 15 in 1989.

It noted: “Nearly 2,000 men, women and children, many of whom were raising money for charity, participated in the annual event.

“Runners from Workington dominated the race, taking the first four places at the Vickers Sports Club, Hawcoat, finish.”

First home was Tommy Baxter, a 48-year-old Lakeland Pennine manager, in a time of four hours and 52 minutes.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t feel a bit tired.”

Winner of the Lady Redshaw Trophy for the first woman was Irene Turner, from Lonsdale Terrace, Millom.

She travelled to Keswick at 3.50am after only two hour’s sleep.

She said: “It was the excitement of it all.I just couldn’t drift off.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be the first woman back.

One of the first Barrow men home in 1989 was 33-year-old Dave Pritchard, of Dunmail Raise, who was running with a team from the Farmers Arms.

Most of the rest were just happy to reach the finish – where minor aches, sprains and blisters were dealt with by St John Ambulance members led by Bill Etheridge.

He said: “We get the same faces every year staggering up the stairs saying ‘never again’ – but they always come back.

“It’s the hips and the knees which get most sore. People’s feet are getting better though, because they’re taking more care over what they wear.”

Race treasurer Alan West said: “It was a successful day for us. We hope to raise £36,000 for charity.”

The event held 25 years ago helped push the accumulated cash total for the Keswick to Barrow Walk since 1969 to beyond £500,000.

On May 16 in 1994 The Mail noted: “Organiser Terry Spurling said if all sponsorship pledges were kept, this year’s runners and walkers will have raised £37,270.

“The 25-year total stood at £472,719 but will now be taken past the half million mark.

“The first race took place in 1966 and in 1969 became a sponsored event with all proceeds except costs going to charity.”

The first man home was Barrovian Roly Carruthers in a time of four hours and 39 minutes.

In 1993 the event attracted almost 1,200 starters.

The Mail on May 10 noted that the event was a major logistical exercise with 130 marshals manning the start, finish and eight check points and St John Ambulance staff providing first aid treatment for blisters, dehydration or even heat exhaustion.

The race winner in 1993 was Emrys Jones, from Derby, at his 14th attempt.

Barrovian Amanda Gauntlet, of Victoria Avenue, was the first woman home in a time of five hours and 57 minutes.