Marathon fever hit the United Kingdom in the early 1980s with races being held in towns and cities throughout the land.

In 1982 Windermere Marathon was organised by Kendal Athletic Club and Windermere Rotary Club and took place on October 31.

The event was officially started by footballer Emlyn Hughes, who was in jokey mood at the rain lashed down on the day.

“It’s been cancelled - come back tomorrow!” he told the twitching queue to nervous runners.

But by then nothing could have stopped the 1,600 athletes about to take part.”

Ahead of them were 26 hilly and gruelling miles around the lake.

Only a handful had a chance of winning; for most, the point of it all was to complete the course and put up a good time.

Two and a half hours later the rain was still lashing down as Nick Sirs of Hindstead in Surry romped home to his first marathon win.