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Athletes do Cumbria proud after completing the Brathay 10in10

Published on: Tuesday 23rd May 2017
Categorised under: Active , Charity, Cumbria, Lake District, Sport

Runners pushed themselves to the limit of physical endurance when they set out to conquer 10 marathons in 10 days.

With the help of a dedicated support staff, a team of physios and countless bars of chocolate a team of South Lakes fundraisers took on the challenge of the Brathay 10in10.

Local competitor Trudi Dewar, of Ulverston was inspired by her husband Paul's feats of endurance to take up the challenge.

Mrs Dewar was inspired to take up this extreme challenge after watching her husband compete in ultra-endurance events over the years.

After finally taking off her running shoes after the final marathon Mrs Dewar said it was hard to describe what she was feeling.

She said: "I'm overwhelmed, exhausted, just happy, a mixture of emotions. It's been a roller coaster journey the past 10 days to say the least. I'm really overwhelmed, it hasn't sunk in."

A novice to running, Mrs Dewar initially set a goal of just £1,000, raising money for the Brathay Trust.

As she basked in the glow of finally being able to stop running, that total stood at an incredible £8,500, and still rising.

She said: "I think the fact of me being an ordinary woman, people have been so supportive, I really can't believe it. It's down to being a normal person doing something out of the ordinary."

Mrs Dewar was joined by 15 other runners over the course of 10 days, one of which was Barrow athlete Sonja Foster.

Mrs Foster has run dozens of marathons over the past three years after running her first marathon in 2004.

Completing the 2017 10 in 10 was a particularly special milestone for her, as it marked a hat-trick of her taking part in the challenge.

The 47-year-old grandmother said: "The emotions I've gone through are elated, I've felt really happy I've finished, I've felt really emotional too.

"There was a point where I just started crying for no reason at all."

Mrs Foster's participation in the event full stop was thrown in to doubt when she broke her ankle in November last year.

After recovering she only had 14 weeks in which to train. During the first few races this injury caused some problems, Mrs Foster being dogged with niggling injuries as she ran.

But, thanks to the help of the dedicated physios supporting the runners, and was able to continue, and amazingly posted her fastest time during her final marathon.

She has since raised more than £3,500 for the Brathay Trust having raised more than £14,000 during her past two attempts.

A community fundraiser, Mrs Foster said one of the reasons she ran because the money raised for Brathay stays in the area.

She said: "The money stays in Barrow, helping local kids."

As well as successfully completing her third 10 in 10, Mrs Foster ran her 50th marathon on day seven of the challenge.

Running alongside the 10 in 10ers were participants in the Asics Windermere Marathon, also organised by the Brathay Trust and sponsored by Choose Cumbria.

Initially intended as a one of event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the trust, the event captured the hearts and minds of people in the area.
Now in its 11th year it continues to grow from strength to strength, attracting runners for all corners of the UK, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Scott Umpleby, head of fundraising at Brathay was delighted to see that after more than a decade runners were still flocking to Windermere to take part.

He said: "The initial race was billed as a one off but it was such a huge success we had to do it again. This is our 11th year running the event. This year it's three events in one, the marathon, the Brathay 10 in 10 and Go Active events."

By a stroke of fate a circuit of Windermere measures exactly the distance of a marathon, 26 miles.

More than 700 people came to Windermere this year to take part in the marathon.

The event got off to a vibrant start as the Boom Dang Drummers, a musical group from Barrow, led the runners in a procession to the starting line.

In keeping with the rural surroundings, the gamekeeper of Brathay House, Steph Bond, signalled the start of the race by firing his shotgun into the air.

Mr Umpleby continued: "It's a huge event, it's one of the biggest athletic events in Cumbria." He added that participation since last year's event had gone up by a whopping 24 per cent.

If you would like to contribute to the incredible fundraising efforts of our local runners, please click here to visit their sponsorship page.