New fun running and cycling obstacle races have been created as part of Keswick Mountain Festival.

Festival organisers have created the Town Trials, which will take place in and around the Market Square.

It will be the first time the main festival programme has taken in the town centre.

The town trials, sponsored by United Utilities and Allerdale council, will start on Friday, May 17 at 5pm.

They will be followed by a procession to the festival village in Crow Park led by a samba band, in time for the opening night of live music on the Subaru Stage.

The Keswick Mountain Festival Town Trials will see participants tackle short-lapped loops of Market Square and its alleyways, in waves of up to 30 adults or children.

Runners and cyclists will have to negotiate sharp corners, zig-zags, steps, ramps and other obstacles such as hay bales.

The cycle races will be ‘urban cyclocross’, suitable for a variety of bike types.

Registration will be open at George Fisher from 3.30pm to 4.45pm and the entry fee is a donation to the festival's official charity partner, the National Trust.

The first wave of junior Town Trials runners will set off at 5pm and the event will conclude with adult cycling races, finishing at 6.20pm.

The event is designed for fun and will not be timed but the races will be fully marshalled and a commentator and music will help build up the atmosphere.

When the races end, the Batala Lancaster Samba Band will perform in the Market Square before leading the procession to the festival village, where wristband holders can enjoy an evening of Celtic and folk-infused music headlined by the Peatbog Faeries.

Nicola Meadley, festival director, said: “Keswick Mountain Festival enjoys great support from local residents and businesses, and we have always been keen to explore ways to bring elements of the event into the town centre.

"This will do that in a way that’s in keeping with the spirit of the festival and will be very entertaining for all involved. It’s going to be a brilliant start to Friday night at Keswick Mountain Festival.”

Joe Broomfield, tourism development manager for Allerdale council, added: “Allerdale Borough Council is excited to be supporting the new Town Trials event at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival. Good luck to everyone who has entered.

“We have been working closely with the new owners of the festival to look at ways to maximise benefits for the local area and community and this year we will also have a Visit Allerdale stall in the festival village.

"Data from previous years has shown that a high proportion of visitors to Keswick Mountain Festival haven’t been to Keswick before. Having the Visit Allerdale stall will allow us to welcome visitors to our area, showcase what Keswick and the wider Allerdale region has to offer as a visitor destination and hopefully encourage those visiting for the festival to return at a later date.”

Anyone who can't get to Market Square for the trials can follow the action via the town's live webcam at

The festival will run from Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19, with a full programme of sports events and outdoor activities, high profile main stage speakers and studio talks in the Theatre by the Lake, and live music, taster activities, a wide array of exhibitors and food and drink in the festival village on Crow Park.

Festival weekend tickets are still available which give visitors access to the two nights of live music, a festival village taster activities wristband and the option for booking a pitch on the festival campsite.

To find out more about the festival, visit