A new outdoor event will be held on Copeland’s coastline next year, as part of the Connecting Cumbria’s Hidden Coast programme.
Run the Edge will take place between Millom and Whitehaven on March 20 and 21, and is expected to welcome more than 800 competitors, boosting the area’s post-covid economic recovery.
Organised by Copeland Borough Council with Breaking Strain Events, and funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Government, the endurance challenge offers a 10km run, a marathon and a 65km ultra-marathon – as well as the option to walk the route over one or two days.
The event will take in much of Copeland’s picturesque coastline, with event hubs in Millom and Whitehaven, and an event village in Ravenglass.
All the routes follow the soon to be designated English Coastal Path and cross beaches, dunes and farmland, passing towering cliffs.
Participants could also spot some of the hundreds of bird species that live along the coastline especially around Haverigg, Drigg and at St Bees Head.
This is the event’s first year, and as part of the Connecting Cumbria’s Hidden Coast programme, its aims to inspire visitors to Copeland’s coast, promote health and wellbeing and raise awareness of the area in the UK.
The Connecting Cumbria’s Hidden Coast programme is led by Copeland Council and funded by £1.15m from Sellafield Ltd and more than £1m from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. As well as the challenge event, it will include a new beach cafe at Silecroft, several new cycle and footpath routes and a coastal art trail enabling people to explore Copeland’s art, culture and heritage using the natural environment.
Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie, said: “This ambitious event will showcase the unique and visually stunning Copeland coastline as a destination for visitors and outdoors enthusiasts.
“We are committed to developing new opportunities like this to support Copeland’s economy. I’m well aware how hard our tourism industry has been hit this year, and we’ll use programmes such as the CCHC to rebuild our visitor economy and support jobs and businesses”.
Gary McKeating, head of community and development at Sellafield Ltd, said: “Through our Social impact multiplied programme we invest in projects that help to diversify our local economy and that address key issues such as wellness, aspiration and attainment.
“I am delighted that our investment in the Hidden Coast programme will help to make our beautiful coastline accessible for local people and tourists, and for people of all abilities.
“Run the Edge will be a wonderful event that will bring runners, families and the local community together for a great couple of days of fun and exercise.”
Lee Peyton, director of Breaking Strain Events, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Copeland Borough Council on this new event. Run the Edge offers a real feel for the great outdoors along a stretch of stunning coastline.
“With multiple checkpoints along the way the event will be safe, friendly and supportive, with different distances making it accessible for as broad a range of participants as possible.
To find out more, or sign up for Run the Edge, visit https://theedgerace.com/