The Cross Bay Challenge celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday (28 June) in style with almost 500 competitors taking part across three challenges - half marathon, a family friendly 7 mile walk and an event first, a cycle across the bay. With the stunning backdrop of the bay and nearby Lake District, the race is regarded as unique in the UK.
Since being established in 2006 when 64 runners turned out, organisers have witnessed a sharp upturn in the half marathon's popularity, with the race being the only one in the world which crosses a tidal bay. This year’s event started and finished at the Flookburgh foreshore in Cumbria, for the first time with a beer tent, hog roast and refreshments ready to welcome runners, walkers and cyclists.
With views over Lakeland fells and Morecambe Bay, the event has become one of the UK's favourite half marathons. Legend has it that the route dates back to the 13th century when local abbotts served as guides to travellers.
Leading the half marathon field home was Lewis Banton in 1:22:12, followed by Luke Beresford 1:25:15. In the women’s competition, local girl Caroline Baxter finished first in 1:33:01 with Kerry Oldfield taking second place in 1:51:57.
The Cross Bay Challenge event has raised over quarter of a million pounds to date for CancerCare, whose free support services include professional counselling and a children & young people's service.