Tim Farron takes part in Ambleside fell race

Our federal and Scottish leaders are known to be keen runners. I asked Tim Farron last year who would win between him and Willie Rennie who would win in a race between them up a hill. “Oh, him, definitely.” came the response. That’s probably an accurate judgement. Willie has form for running races carrying coal on his back. Last month he ran off his post Brexit frustrations at the Ceres Highland Games in his constituency.

Not to be outdone, Tim took part in a 9 mile fell race in his constituency on Thursday.

It certainly looks pretty brutal and attracted the attention of ITV News.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats says it was a “joyful” day:
“I had a great time doing the Senior Guides Race yesterday, despite the wet conditions! Ambleside Sports is a fantastic community event, offering a wonderful window on Lakeland life and its traditions.

It was a joyful coming together of locals and former locals alongside tourists and competitors from across the country. It speaks volumes about this event that it manages to attract top fell runners from across the country to participate in the races.”

Here’s a bit of the history of fell racing from the event page:

The roots of fell racing are to be found in the traditional rural sporting scene of the north of England, although a fell race was known to have taken place in Scotland at Braemar as early as the 11th century, where King Malcolm, endeavouring to find a messenger for royal dispatch, offered a purse full of money to the winner of an race up and down a local fell.
Today traditional fell races are usually held over a direct course across fields, over walls and streams and the general rough terrain of the fell to a specified marker on the skyline and straight back down again.

In the Lake District, the natural landscape provides a home to many fell races, but here they are often known as Guide Races. The name Guide is thought to stem from the 18th century, when tourists seeking to take exercise used the knowledge and skill of the local fellsmen to guide them over the mountain areas. One theory for the actual ‘Guide Race’ is that during their spare time, the guides held competitions amongst themselves racing to the top of the nearest fell and back.

It’s also worth noting that that event also hosted the inaugural world championship for Cumberland and Westmorland Women’s wrestling.

I’ve always said that Willie and Tim should make more of their running abilities – and they certainly should race each other at some point. They could combine making a political point with something fun.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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9 Comments

  • David Pocock 30th Jul '16 - 6:04pm

    Good job, that looks tough. I did a mud run once but that was not quite so up and down as Fell running!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Jul '16 - 6:06pm

    Politics is so often merely a race to the top , let us each member , see that our leaders do not find it an uphill struggle , getting our party to a more winning position !!!

  • grahame lamb 31st Jul '16 - 8:14am

    I was interested to read about the Cumberland and Westmorland women’s wrestling.

    I should like to draw attention to two other issues which are giving me some thought.

    1. The new cat at the Treasury is named Gladstone. I mentioned this the other day.
    But who has noticed?

    2. The new Leader of the Liberal Democrat party is Tim Farron.

    Would any previous (or present) Leader(s) wish to comment on your website?

    I have a suggestion to make and it is this: we should ask people what is worrying them and find a way of dealing with it.

    If I were a political adviser I’d expect a very large fee for this advice. How soon (or late) will the next Election be?

    If you want my advice (which you won’t) I’m here.

  • Richard Underhill 31st Jul '16 - 10:07am

    Cathy Come Home is on BBC4 at 22:00 on Sunday 31/7/2016.
    “Landmark 1960s TV play about a young couple and their children who are overtaken by events which lead them into an unrelenting trap of debt, homelessness and poverty.”
    In black and white.
    Could it happen now?

  • Christopher Haigh 31st Jul '16 - 12:05pm

    Great example from Tim to everyone to keep fit and engage with the local community. Fell running and walking is a wonderful pastime activity.

  • grahame lamb. Tim has been our Leader for over a year now, so he’s not our new Leader.

  • grahame lamb 31st Jul '16 - 5:55pm

    Tim Hill -noted.

    But my remark was intended as a joke, though not a particularly good one as I readily admit. And some might say I am being a little harsh. So sorry.He is not, of course, our “new” leader. But has anyone noticed?

    I simply meant that there has been no impact on the public imagination. I respect Mr Farron but he has yet to make an impression. At or around the Party conference in Liverpool (which I attended) Paddy Ashdown (to whom I spoke on an unrelated matter) said that Tim Farron (at a time when Nick Clegg was the Leader) would have his chance. Well, he has it now.

  • Peter Watson 31st Jul '16 - 8:04pm

    @grahame lamb “He is not, of course, our “new” leader. But has anyone noticed?”
    A quick “Google News” search restricted to the last week returns 7 pages of results for “Nick Clegg” and 5 pages for “Tim Farron”. Farron obviously still has work to do if he is to raise his own profile and restore that of the party.
    Particularly if there is any truth in reports a few weeks ago in Private Eye that senior Lib Dems were sounding out members on the idea of replacing Farron with Clegg and that after the leadership election “one former Clegg special adviser told colleagues the Cleggies should wait 18 months for Farron to fail, then depose him and “Bring back Nick”.”

  • grahame lamb 1st Aug '16 - 8:21am

    Peter Watson makes a very good point.

    I would encourage Mr Farron, who seems to me (I don’t know him personally) a decent person who has gone into politics for the right reasons, to find out what people are worried about and concerned about and to put that at the top of his agenda.

    Mr Clegg also has a role to play in view of his experience and expertise.

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