Scores turn out in the rain to mark Workington to Keswick Charity Walk's 40th anniversary

23 March 2017 3:24PM

More than 200 people refused to let wet weather dampen their enthusiasm for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Workington to Keswick Charity Walk.

A total of 190 walkers set out from Workington's Royal British Legion Club on Sunday morning to tackle the 32 walk to Keswick Rugby Club.

They were supported by a team of more than 20 volunteers.

Organisers had hoped for a bumper year to mark the anniversary.

Though the event was hit by heavy rain, it did not put off the hardy walkers as they made their way via Ullock, Lorton Valley, Buttermere, Honister Pass, Seatoller and Rosthwaite en route to the finish line.

Alyson Sibbald, one of the organisers, said: "We got a few more walkers than we normally do. It was lovely.

"There were quite a lot of floods on the roads along the way. I have never seen so much water.

"There were lots of puddles to walk through but everyone just got on with it.

"Everyone was encouraging one another and at the rugby club they were cheering when people can in and clapping."

The fastest finisher overall was Mark Finlay, of Workington, in 4h 34m, while Leanne Jackson was the first woman in 5h 22m.

Fastest female junior was Sarah Caton of Workington in 7h 41m, with Linus Sandelands of Seaton the fastest male junior in 8h 11m.

In the senior section, for people aged 21 to 40, Jordan Kelly of Workington was fastest in 5h, with Laura Johnston fastest woman in 5h 30m.

The veteran category, for ages 41 to 60, saw Will Coulthard come home quickests in 4h 47m, with Jill Mason, fastest female, finishing in 8h 25m.

In the super vet category for over 60s, Peter Jackson came home in 7h 8m, with Christine Bland, of Keswick, finishing in 7h 26m.

Of the 193 starters, 179 completed the full distance.

Each year the walk raises money for three main causes.

This year's event was held to support Hospice at Home Wet Cumbria, Allerdale Disability Association and the Henderson Suite at Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital.

The Henderson Suite was chosen in memory of Sean Crozier, of Eaglesfield Street, Maryport, who died at the age of 27 after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Smaller donations will also be made to organisations which helped out on the day, such as Workington British Legion, Seaton Scouts, Buttermere Village Hall and Maryport Inshore Rescue.

Last year's event saw 149 people put on their walking shoes and raised more than £10,000 for charity.

In the four decades since the walk began almost 9,000 people have taken part and tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for charities.

Val Wilson, of the organising committee, said: "We always raise a decent amount of money, normally around £10,000 and above. It's all for local charities, it does make you feel you've achieved something when you count the money at the end and people are always so grateful when you hand it to them.

"People like to know that the money stays locally and that it will benefit our communities.

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