Monthly Archives: March 2021

Liz will walk a marathon for charity

An Ambleside woman will set off from home on Saturday (March 20) and walk all the way around Windermere for charity.

Liz Stobbart of Greenbank Road will tackle the 26-mile marathon to raise money for St John’s Hospice, Lancaster.

Gardener Liz and her partner Rob Powley have been training by walking the dog a little further than usual “and getting a few miles from home”.

Liz, a member of the Ambleside Sports organising committee, has never done such a distance before. “Every year when the (Brathay Windermere) marathon is on, I say I would love to do it, and never get on with it,” she said.

“Then I was talking to someone a few weeks ago who had done it on his birthday, so it set me thinking again and I said, right, I will do it.”

Liz chose to do the challenge this weekend while the roads are still quiet, before visitors are allowed back to the Lake District, as the Newby Bridge section of the route can be danerously busy with traffic.

She and Rob will set off from their house heading to Hawkshead, then down to Newby Bridge, and back up via Bowness and Troutbeck Bridge to Ambleside. They reckon the 26 miles will take them around nine or ten hours.

 After deciding to get sponsored for her challenge, Liz chose the St John’s Hospice in Lancaster. “It’s local, and living in such small villages I think we all know someone they have helped, and they need all the support they can get. They get 30% from the NHS and they have to find the other 70% themselves from fundraising. It’s tough.”

She added: “Members of the Ambleside Sports team have been very supportive. We’re all looking forward to being back in action this summer. I love the whole event, helping to set up and take down the equipment.”

Donate here:


Running BACK to celebrate the outdoors

Runners are going to celebrate the return to organised training with a new event based at Fell Foot park at Windermere: We’re Back!

The backwards-running challenge will take place on Easter Thursday, April 1, and is organised by the local run coaching and events team, Jogging Pals.

This will be a Covid-secure event, with participants asked to tackle the route – around the meadow at Fell Foot – in groups of no more than two at a time.

From March 29 outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.

Organiser Wayne Singleton said that he was thrilled to be offering a chance for runners to challenge themselves again, before the return later this year of his Run/Steam/Run events on the Ullswater Steamer and the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.

Last year Wayne’s team had to cancel at the last minute a planned challenge on Wansfell , Ambleside, when the first lockdown came into place. The Wansfell Two-Step was due to see pairs of runners tackle the fell (uphill only) with legs tied together.

Wayne Singleton and Jo Kilkenny training for the cancelled Wansfell Two-Step race. Photo taken before
lockdown restrictions

“We still can’t consider that event because of the need for social distancing,” said Wayne. “But we think a lot of people will enjoy a backwards run around the meadow at Fell Foot.”

The procedure is simple: from 10 am when the car par at Fell Foot opens, runners are asked to make their challenge at any time that morning. There will be no prizes for the fastest finishers, but runners are asked to make sure that someone photographs their efforts, and uploads those pictures onto the Jogging Pals facebook page. A winner will be chosen at random – a name from a hat – to win the prize, a signed copy of the new book about parkrun, How parkrun changed our lives, in which Fell Foot is featured.

Only people living in the locality, who are permitted to drive to Fell Foot for exercise, are allowed to take part, due to Government restrictions.

Nigel Holmes, above, a well-known medal winning retro runner from Manchester said: “Running backwards is great fun. If I lived nearby I would definitely love to have a go at this.”

Lucy Tickle, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer for the National Trust which owns Fell Foot said: “This is such a fun challenge. We have missed seeing our parkrunners here, and it will be lovely to see people going the other way around the meadow.”

How the media covered last year’s cancelled event:

Book here:

And check Fell Foot’s website to book a car parking space. Click the green button to check availability.

Relay from Lakes to London to launch parkrun book

A team of runners will cover 330 miles in a relay from Windermere to London to celebrate parkrun.

The relay will start at Fell Foot park at 9am on Friday (March 19) and will end seven days later in the original home of parkrun, Bushy Park.

The baton – a copy of a new book about parkrun – will be presented there to the founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt.

The event is being staged according to current safety guidelines, with each leg being tackled by runners in their own home area, and only one or two on each leg.

Some of the runners who will be taking part in the relay..
further photos below

It has been organised by the book’s author, Eileen Jones, with a team of parkrunning  heroes in each region through which the journey passes.

“It was a sudden – maybe crazy – idea to launch the book as we couldn’t do anything the traditional way,” said Eileen. “But the moment I put out a call on social media, I knew it was going to happen. The response has been overwhelming.  So many parkrunners are missing their weekly fix, and wanted to be involved. We had to turn down many because they didn’t live near enough to the route. And all of them say that they are excited to be part of something bigger again.”

Eileen’s team comprises Simon Harrop, Eve Taylor, Phil Sutcliffe, Sue Martin, Jenny McBain and Chris Kitchener, each taking charge of a region as the book heads south, following a line created by map-lover Liz Wakelin. Between them they have recruited 90 runners of all ages and abilities.

The regional sections are:

Day 1 (March 19): Fell Foot to Lancaster

Day 2 (March 20): Lancaster to Worsley Woods

Day 3 (March 21): Worsley Woods to Hanley Park, Stoke

Day 4 (March 22): Hanley Park to Lichfield cathedral

Day 5 (March 23): Lichfield cathedral to Warwick

Day 6 (March 24): Warwick to Aylesbury

Day 7 (March 25): Aylesbury to Bushy Park

“This would have been a logistical challenge even in normal times, but they have all worked so hard to make it happen,” Eileen said. “It says so much about the mutually-supportive ethos of parkrun, and a tremendous can-do attitude. It is our gesture of thanks to Paul Sinton-Hewitt whose little idea for a Saturday morning run with friends turned into a global phenomenon that’s had such an impact on so many lives.”

How parkrun changed our lives (  details the health and social benefits of the weekly 5k events for runners, joggers and walkers. Some seven million people around the world have signed up to take part, and were still registering during the past year when the pandemic forced the events to cancel. It’s hoped events will start again in England on June 5.

The book also has interviews with many people who say that their lives have been changed for the better, and who talk of the joy that parkrun has brought them. There’s a number of parkrunning clerics discussing whether parkrun is a new religion, a blind man who has run from England to Wales and back, a couple who got married during a parkrun, and the British doctor who holds the USA female parkrun record.

The relay is supported by Open Tracking who will be providing a live map on which to follow the progress of the book.

What makes a great book cover?

The most important part of any book is the cover. No matter how terrifying the thriller, how marvellous the mystery, the reader has to be invited in first of all.

A new book about the world’s favourite Saturday morning pastime, parkrun, has just been published and the cover photo is the talk of the running world.

It’s a striking picture, loosely based on the famous evolution of mankind image, featuring four runners on a beach below sand-dunes.

But look again. There’s actually just two runners, twice, husband and wife team Laura and Dave McGuigan close to the route of one of their favourite parkruns at Woolacombe Dunes in Devon.

And the photographer is…Laura.

She’s developed a style that she calls bespoke movement imagery, which combines multi-exposure and chronophotography techniques, and has applied it so far to a series of joyfully presented books about not just running but moving, happily, freely and playfully.

Laura McGuigan

Laura and Dave have developed a philosophy of living based on everyday adventure, and have been encouraging us all to revert to more child-like ways of enjoying the outdoors.

They call it an adventure into the world of natural human movement, encouraging readers to “marvel at the sense of joy and contentment you can attain simply by moving your body in the ways it was made to move, in settings it was made to move in”.

There’s a new website, through which Laura and Dave aim to encourage anyone who loves to spend time moving around outdoors in nature to rethink and redesign their lives, so they can get out more and make the absolute most of it.

Movement artwork

Laura is currently putting the finishing touches to a series of video tutorials to show others how to make pictures like hers and she’ll be inviting people to send in their own photos from which she will create bespoke works of movement art just for them.

Meanwhile, the four books she and Dave produced in the Adventures For Adults series have been combined into Move Forever to provide an entire year of guided movement adventures. There’s more than 250 images to inspire readers to get out and get moving more adventurously; all you’ll need to do, they say, is keep the momentum going once you’re out there.

Evolution of a book cover

The cover for How parkrun changed our lives was a collaborative effort, beginning with an idea from David Burnip, the son of the book’s author Eileen Jones. His picture was used as the basis for Laura’s photo, which in turn was created into the stunning book cover by designer Ellen Longhorn.

Move Forever is available on Amazon

How parkrun changed our lives is published by Gritstone, £9.99