Anne Bland's achievements as both a runner and a supporter of the ASICS Windermere Marathon were recognised at the event earlier this month when she was presented with a special achievement award by the event patron and fell running legend Joss Naylor.
The award acknowledges Anne's support of the Windermere Marathon as a member of the family business, Pete Bland Sports. Their Kendal store has provided prizes and support for the race for the last 12 years. Anne's husband Pete Bland also helped Brathay to resurrect the marathon to help raise funds for the charity's work with children and young adults in 2007.
Joss Naylor presented the award to Anne in front of hundreds of runners and spectators as the Sunday 20 May event and recognised her running successes including running the Windermere marathon course in 2:58:02 in 1984, aged 42-years-old, to win the women's race that year.
Anne started running in her late 30s and juggled it with looking after her family, working as a nurse and then helping her husband set up their business. Anne puts her success down to training hard, over 60 miles a week at one point. With other female runners Anne also campaigned for women to be able to run the same fell races as men.
Other notable performances for Anne was winning the Elite Mixed Team Class, with her husband Pete, in the 1978 Karrimor Mountain Marathon. She also became the first woman to complete the Elite class in the Karrimor. In her 40's Anne began running road marathons, at least 13 in sub three hours with a best time of 2:50 in the 1981 London Marathon. She also competed in the World Masters Marathon in San Diego, California in 1984 winning a silver medal.
Although retired from the business, which is in the hands of her son Matt, the 75-year-old is still involved in running the mobile shop at events around the country.
Images: above - Anne Bland with Joss Naylor; and below - Anne Bland finishing at the Windermere Marathon in 1984