Students keep runners on the road at one of 'UK's toughest running events'

Students keep runners on the road at one of 'UK's toughest running events'

For the 16 runners taking part, completing ten marathons in ten days is a gruelling challenge but one that’s made slightly easier thanks to the work of 20 students from the University of Cumbria.

A team of second year sport rehabilitation students are helping competitors cope with the rigours of the Brathay 10 in 10 offering them ideal hands on experience while providing welcome support for the athletes who’ll clock up 14,000 feet of ascent in ten days.
 
“The competitors come from all walks of life and 10 years after it began the event is rightly known as one of the "UK's toughest running events", Dr Katie Small, senior lecturer and programme leader in sport rehabilitation, said. ”Our students work with the same runners so are able to assess how they’re performing throughout the event. The camber of roads around Windermere is quite steep so we find two thirds of injuries are on the left side of the body.”

Dr Small speaks from experience; in 2015 she ran a marathon in less than four hours so knows all too well how the body performs. She’s also conducting research which might well be useful in helping others stay injury free.

“While more and more non-professional runners are taking part in multi-day marathons there is little research into injury rates and types of injuries,” Dr Small said. “Runners tell us it’s hard to find advice on what sort of training to do and how much of it to do. This research will aim to answer some of those questions.”

The 26.2 mile anti-clockwise circuit of Windermere, includes Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside. So far over a million pounds has been raised to help deserving causes.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) there is some light relief in the gruelling event

“It becomes very physically and mentally tough half way through the event, therefore to help keep morale high there is a tradition of ladies going off first and male runner sometimes dressing up and painting their nails,” Dr Small says. “In addition - after the success of last year -  our male students also dress for the occasion, wearing dresses. It's great fun, gives the runners a much needed laugh and last year helped raise an extra £800 for the Brathay Trust.”