There was a palpable buzz of excitement at Windermere School earlier in the month, when a record-breaking number of runners arrived at the Elleray Campus for the annual Inter-Schools Cross-Country event.

Despite the blustery conditions, 552 runners from 26 schools across South Cumbria and Lancashire turned up to tackle Elleray’s challenging courses.

The first race of the afternoon was the girls’ under-10 race and all the runners showed tremendous spirit in what was, for many, their first taste of competitive running.

A superb run from Willow Rigg (Dean Gibson School) saw her finish ahead of Windermere School’s Libby Pilkington, with Ruby Duxbury (Ghyllside) finishing in third place.

The under-10 boys’ race was equally exciting, with Tom Ashworth (Ambleside School) running a fantastic race to cross the line in first place. Harvey Shaw (Lindale School) finished in second place, ahead of Oscar Davies from Lindale School.

The penultimate race of the afternoon was the under-11 girls’ race. Superb running by Kate Collin from St Mark’s saw her cross the line in first place, ahead of St Thomas’s Laura Smith and Crosthwaite’s Eve Longden.

The final event was the under-11 boys’ race and a superb run from Matti Ligema (Langdale School) saw him take first place, followed by Leo Ranner and Josh Todd from St Thomas’s.

Sarah Whitehead, head of physical education at Elleray, organised the event.

She said: “We have enjoyed some wonderful racing and all those who have taken part should feel very proud of themselves. This is a tough course which requires real determination.

“Also, I would like to thank everyone else who has helped to make the afternoon a real success –the team managers, marshals, hares, scorers, first aiders, maintenance and grounds staff, office staff and of course, our catering team.”