Sally Gunnell: 'My first hurdles were haystacks' - Women's Running

Sally Gunnell: ‘My first hurdles were haystacks’

Author: Chris Macdonald

Read Time:   |  June 12, 2014

Sally Gunnell supports Cumbria farmers

Sally Gunnell supports Cumbria farmers and Herdwick sheep

Olympic champion Sally Gunnell OBE was born and raised on her parents farm, and knows only too well the value of farming to the Lake District. 

“My first hurdles were haystacks as I ran by my father’s tractor on our farm”. It’s because of this bond to the countryside that Gunnell is supporting the recently launched Herdwick 10K to raise funds for Cumbria’s Herdwick sheep farmers.

“It’s all about getting exercise and having fun. I am a patron for the Princes Countryside Fund and believe the investment in this project is invaluable. Run, walk, jog or even hop for a wonderful cause – farming is very close to my heart and the Herdwick farmers need our support.”

When? The ‘Herdwick 10K’ takes place on 5 July, and will be followed by the famous Langdale Gala on 6 July.

What? Held in the Langdale Valley, it is hoped that nearly 500 runners will be racing under the steely gaze of some of Cumbria’s 50,000 Herdwick sheep poised on the hills and fells, and fancy dress is, of course, optional.

Every entrant who completes the course will receive a prize from the Herdy Company, and to ensure it is a great family day out, there will be local food, traders and entertainment.  The following day, Chapel Stile hosts the famous Langdale Gala, which features many, traditional sporting events including children’s flat races, Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling and much more. There will also be a pet show, fancy dress for the little ones, craft stalls, music, and food and drink.

And what’s more…

Recent recipients of a grant from the Princes Countryside Fund, Taste Cumbria has worked with the Great Langdale Road Races to set up the Herdwick 10K, where  profits will be returned to the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association. The event will be partnered by Cumbria Life, Flamco Ltd and The Herdy Company.

Mary Houston, Taste Cumbria Manager, said: “Langdale is the heart of Herdwick country, so what better place to raise awareness about this wonderful, unique sheep breed than on their home turf.  Cumbria would not have the landscape it so famously boasts if the Herdwick wasn’t farmed on our fells.  It is a heritage that we need to support and encourage, and the funds raised by this run will offer a real, tangible benefit to the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association. The life of a Herdwick farmer is harsh, and we need to do all we can to continue this valuable way of life – valuable to residents, food, tourism and the economy.”

Entry to the race costs £13 which also includes entry to the traditional Langdale Gala the following day. The race is also suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
For more information and to enter the race, please click here.

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Chris Macdonald

Editor-at-Large, Women's Running

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