Things to do this year in Cumbria

January 14, 2020

Many of us will be familiar with the hesitation which surrounds New Years’ resolutions — “do I, don’t I, will I keep it up?”, and those of us who abandon all good intentions come January 2nd will recall how easy it is to brush any guilt off. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had though, if you are the one person in the office who keeps to their plans — and if it is a fitness related resolution then it’s practically a double whammy! Instead of signing your happiness over to the terms of a fad diet, why not consider tackling a serious challenge, something which both encourages you to get fit and also gives you a reals sense of achievement. We’ve put together some of the most stamina building, pride solidifying events for you to sign up to as your New Years’ resolution, with something for all abilities!

The Carlisle Half Marathon, March 15th 2020

We’re always looking to get the perfect Instagram post, but what about an upload of yourself in the immediate aftermath of completing a gruelling half marathon? Runners will descend on Carlisle, the city of the Lakes, and take on a course which loops through the historic area, beginning and ending at Carlisle United’s home football ground. Training for a half marathon will require slightly more than a bi-monthly cardio session, the thirteen and a half mile race will be the ultimate achievement, and the satisfaction will be even more impressive if you can rope a few of your friends or colleagues into signing up too. Make a group resolution and bring some healthy competitive spirit to the challenge, it’ll keep you motivated for training sessions when you know that others are in it with you and you can support each other along. Fancy it? Propose it to your colleagues and commit to the event before January 1st!

EpicMan Windermere, Sunday 31st May 2020

If you want something that will truly push your abilities, and also burn off all of those pigs in blankets you enjoyed during the height of the festivities, then this could be the event for you! The EpicMan Windermere event is a middle distance — or half iron man, course, over which you’ll swim and cycle and run your way to the finish line, all amidst the beautiful backdrop of Lake Windermere. You’ll plunge into the clear waters first, with a single lap to begin with. Then, you’ll put the pedal to the medal and loop around the roads of the Southern Lake District, zooming by spectators as you dismount and complete a half marathon at the YMCA Lakeside.

The event is pretty intense, and unless you’re experienced then it’ll require a substantial deal of preparation. However, why not use your commitment to signing up as motivation to get training started and use this event as your New Years’ resolution? There’s options too, you could choose the nine kilometre swim, ninety kilometre bike ride and twenty one kilometre run, or alternatively sign up for the fifteen hundred metre swim, forty kilometre bike ride and ten kilometre run. If you’re looking for a challenge, this is the perfect option and both distances will be set to leave you feeling accomplished when you reach the finish line — and a bit tired, too! Sign up and be prepared to give it your absolute all!

The Fred Whitton Challenge, 7th June 2020

If you’re a keen sportive cyclist, then take on the Fred Whitton challenge. The event honours Fred Whitton, a celebrated member of the Lakes Road Club who passed away in 1998, and it began the year after his death as a way for his family, friends and fellow riders to commemorate his proud legacy. The event has taken off ever since, becoming widely regarded as the hardest one day cycling event in Britain, raising over £200,000 for charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, The North West Air Ambulance and the Great North Air Ambulance. Registration opens in mid-December, and there are only 2,500 places available — in past events, up to 5,000 people have applied, so if you are keen to get out on your bike for an excellent cause, then make your New Years’ resolution a commitment to this wonderful event for a range of extremely worthwhile causes.

It’s a gruelling course, beginning at Grasmere and climbing through the likes of Kirkstone, Honister, Whinlatter, Wrynose and Blea Tarn passes. Recorded completion times can be anything between six and eleven hours, and you’ll cover 98 miles at a 30% gradient in places — an uphill climb that will warrant a leisurely stay or a pint of one of the local ales afterwards at one of the nearby hotels in Coniston village. If you’re looking for a sportive cycle like no other, then resolve to sign up to the Fred Whitton challenge in 2020, a unique event with a proud history.

Gelt Gladiator, June 13th-14th 2020

Our best advice for anyone who makes this event their New Years’ resolution is not to wear anything that you’d hate to see coated in mud on the day… As during this event, you’ll be submerged into the dirt and a long bath will be on the cards afterwards. Taking place near the village of Brampton, Gelt Gladiator is a trail run with muddy obstacles throughout, covering either three kilometres, six kilometres, ten kilometres — or ten miles if you’re feeling bold! Be at one with the roman gladiators who’d once have ruled these parts along Hadrians Wall, entires are open to kids from 6 upwards but they must have an accompanying adult — meaning you could be roped into your child’s New Years Resolution if they catch wind of it! It’s a huge event, with over 9,000 people signing up to the past 4 annual Gladiator events. The course is designed to meet Royal Marine Personal Standards, so don’t expect to breeze through this one and prepare to arrive at the finish line bathed in mud!

Go the extra mile in 2020 (literally!) and take on one of these challenges and make your New Years’ resolution a huge personal milestone.