The Keswick to Barrow Challenge 2020
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40 miles walked from 6am - yes you read the time correctly, this is a challenge folks but it is a challenge that takes place in some of the most beautiful of surroundings and if previous years are anything to go by, really nice weather too. OK, I know....I may have jinxed it now! Time will tell.....
Starting just south of Keswick, the walk follows the roads, lanes and paths from there to Grasmere, Coniston, Lowick, Dalton and ending in Barrow in Furness on the south lakes coast. Look at it on a map and see what you are about to achieve and believe me, YES YOU CAN!
Every year for the last 6 years, OutdoorLads has entered a team and our incredible members who have given it a try have all done incredibly well with only one drop out in all of our teams for the last 6 years, that is such an incredible result and a show of sheer determination. Throughout the walk you will be supported by our amazing Support Team - see below for more information and to volunteer to help if you don't fancy the walk itself!
The atmosphere throughout the event will have your goosebumps out for the whole day, every checkpoint and every person you pass will cheer you, clap for you, encourage you and offer you some sweets or other energy source if you wanted it! Its the ultimate feel good factor.
With most of us currently in lockdown, (apart from our AMAZING NHS and our lorry drivers and our care workers and a whole host of other key workers) with the ability to leave the home for daily exercise this is a great opportunity to start your training from home. Start walking small distances and then increase your distance every few days until you start t build your stamina - it will give you confidence that you CAN DO THIS.
This is a sponsored event, and there are requirements for you to commit to fundraising at least £80 for OutdoorLads per person. Why, you ask? When you see this event, the infrastructure in place to make this event happen is immense, from road closures, to water points, to support checkpoints it is quite a fete and things like that cost money so the Keswick to Barrow Organising Committee ask everyone to fundraise at least this amount to ensure everyone plays an equal part in funding the event and ensuring all charities get the best possible outcome.
Below is some important information on registering for the event with the Keswick to Barrow Foundation who run the event and also some advice on training and sponsorship:
You must register with the Keswick to Barrow website and when you have done so, please email or message the leader with your Member ID; we will then use this to add you to the OutdoorLads team.
When prompted as you register, you will need to pay your £20 entry fee. This covers your bus ticket to the start location and contributes to the walk operating costs. There is plenty of information on the K2B website regarding what the money is spent on so feel free to have a good rummage around.
If you have already registered in the past for the K2B or C2B, please don't register again. If you struggle to remember your log in details, you can either reset your password or request help on the website to be able to do so.
Our Support Team are there to cheer the team on, to meet them at every checkpoint and provide changes of socks, snacks, energy drinks and importantly hugs, smiles and keep them focused on the challenge ahead. Perhaps your partner, housemate, husband or friend is interested in doing the walk but that isn't for you, then consider joining the support team. Its a long day but it is great fun. Email the event leader on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Training for this event is absolutely essential. Walking on mountains and other terrain is one thing but this is a challenge in itself, not just for distance, but also the majority of the walk is on harder surface. Hence the importance of comfy shoes - running shoes, comfy trainers etc are ideal. Anything that won't give you a blister.
Try steadily increasing your distance on walks or increase your walking ability on the treadmill (if you have one at home that is....) but not to 40 miles or anything like the walk, but just to get your body ready.
The walk overall ascends by 2000m across the course, with the majority being quite steady and in short bursts so the main focus is the distance. But you will be supported at every step of the way by other walkers, your team members and your support team members.
Last year we successfully went with the idea of encouraging everyone to stay in Barrow-in-Furness (the end of the walk). This works for the end of the event, when you will want to return to your accommodation and rest, although it does mean an earlier start to get to the start location in Keswick (90 min drive). However, we would encourage Barrow as your choice. Most people took advantage of good deals at Premier Inn or Travelodge in Barrow but a number of attendees brought tents/caravans, so the options are endless.
We normally meet for a pint and a meal on the Friday night before the event so that everyone can meet each other and we can get some pre walk admin done.
The event has a minimum sponsorship threshold of £80 per walker on the event. This money must be donated via the Keswick to Barrow Website. Donations direct to charity or via websites such as JustGiving/Virgin etc are not permitted.
Of all the money raised, 67% goes to OutdoorLads, which supports our members via a hardship fund, The OutdoorLads Foundation.
The remaining 33% of donations cover the cost of running the event. As you experience it, you will see how much incredible infrastructure goes into the event. It is quite something.
What to bring
This is an endurance walk, so you dont need a heavy pack. Just light clothing, whatever you are comfortable in and your comfiest shoes. The support team will keep spares of whatever you want - shoes, socks etc for changing on route and will take any coats or other baggage you may want. Pack light, pack sensibly!!
Food & drink
All food and drink along the route will be provided. As part of the entry cost for the event, you receive a lunch at the (rough) half way point but in addition, by generous donation from OutdoorLads, we will have sandwiches, fruit, snacks, energy drinks, sweets and maybe a cheeky bacon sandwich for breakfast on offer.