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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Workington to Keswick walkers tackle long and winding road

Dry weather and a dash of sunshine provided ideal conditions for the 236 participants in the annual Workington to Keswick Charity Walk on Sunday.

This year’s walk – the 35th since the event began – raised money for the Karl Hatt Junior Fund, Great North Air Ambulance and Breast Cancer Care.

Numbers were up on last year’s 144 starters, which organisers have put down to a combination of good weather, which brought in about 50 on-the-day entries, and greater awareness of the event, which prompted 216 people to sign up beforehand.

Although some of those who had signed up did not take part, organisers said those who did put in an impressive effort.

In total, 225 people completed the 32-mile course, which took in Ullock, Lorton Valley, Buttermere, Honister Pass, Rosthwaite and Grange.

Despite the higher numbers, the participants also finished ahead of the usual end times and the finish point at Moot Hall was able to close at 7.30pm, a time when some walkers have still been on their way in previous years.

The fastest man was Howard Seal, of Cockermouth, in 3hr 51min, while Christine Bland, of Keswick, was fastest woman in 5hr 29min.

The total raised by the event is not yet known but Julie Bromley, of the organising committee, said estimates suggested it would be more than last year.

The walk was supported by about 25 volunteers, including some from Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team and 1st Seaton Scouts, who worked through the day to check out walkers at the start, run check points, provide refreshments and man support vehicles.

The Red Cross gave first aid cover and The Queens Hotel in Keswick provided shower facilities after the walk.

Julie added: “It went very well. We put extra volunteers on when we looked at the numbers we were expecting.

“The weather always has an impact. People want to see what it’s going to be like. We’ve started a website and I think Facebook seems to have had an influence.

“It seems to have been passed around so there have been more people interested in it.”

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