A SERIES of remarkable achievements and firsts marked the 56th annual Keswick to Barrow Walk as the epic event continued its fightback from Covid setbacks.

Hordes of cheering spectators basked in the sun at the Hawcoat Park finish line on Saturday to welcome the runners and walkers who tackled the arduous 40-mile route to raise funds for local charities.

Some 947 people attempted the full distance, from Swirls in Keswick, with 910 finishing, while 1,322 traversed the 20-mile Coniston to Barrow trail, 1,304 reaching the finish line.

Committee member and organiser Roy Barnes called the atmosphere 'amazing', and said the entrants represented a 15 per cent increase on last year’s numbers.

"The day was hot, Hawcoat Park was wonderfully full, especially when you think back to the days of Covid that we never want to go back to.

"It certainly felt busier than last year, and we hope that Hawcoat Park had a really good day.

READ MORE: History made in unprecedented finish to 55th K2B

"We're not back to pre-Covid yet, as we had about 3,200 in 2019, so we're still at about two-thirds of where we were, so we've still got a way to go, but we don’t know what the new normal looks like yet.

"It's been an amazing atmosphere though, we've had a couple of firsts, with a lady crossing the line first, and a ladies' team, Jaffa Cakes and Jelly Babies, winning the overall best performance.

"We even had a marriage proposal at the finish line!

"We hope the increase in numbers is reflected in funds raised for the charities."

The fastest time overall was set by James Prescott, who completed the run in four hours and 49 minutes, with 23 runners setting a time of under six hours.

The event also saw around 40 people earning an engraved tankard to mark conquering the K2B for the seventh time.

Pamela Williams, one of around 200 entrants raising money for St Mary’s Hospice, was one of those.

She said: "It was good this time, it was easier in the morning when it was cooler.

"I'm Scottish so I'm not very good in the heat. 

"I'm just looking forward to a pie and a pint of cider!"