15 May

Gladiators, Are You Ready?

Gelt GladiatorrunABC north contributor Sarah Briggs tells us about her preparations for this Saturday’s Gelt Gladiator: A tough trail run that will see her tackle gladiators, 30 obstacles and a tough trail run through Cumbria’s Gelt Woods. 


Mud, obstacles and real gladiators to hinder your progress… the ultimate in endurance challenges arrives in Gelt Woods In north east Cumbria this weekend.  Local runners know what a joy it is to run through these woods, and how challenging the terrain can be: now an official event is going to test runners to their limits.

Gelt Woods are near Brampton, an old market town ten miles to the east of Carlisle and close to Hadrian’s Wall.  In addition to the woods lining the river Gelt, participants will see – and run past – the remains of a Roman quarry (with Roman graffiti and chisel markings still visible), take on obstacles such as river tunnels, ‘Scafell Pike’ and ‘Hadrian’s Wall’ and zig zag up the Low Gelt motocross course.  Not only does this wet part of the UK provide plenty of mud but real live gladiators (Carlisle Rugby Union players) will be strategically positioned to provide extra challenge.

Already over 2000 participants have signed up to take part in races which range from one mile to a 5 or 10k course.  Don’t go thinking if you can run a road 10 km race in 35 minutes that the same will hold true here – what with the underfoot terrain, the obstacles and the gladiators – and did I mention the mud? -  this race will not be over quickly. 

As Mike James, the mastermind behind the event, points out, this is about challenging yourself and having fun with your friends rather than being competitive purely in terms of a time.  It’s perhaps the ‘fun’ element rather than the purely competitive which means that the race has, unusually, attracted 51% female contestants as well as plenty of teams.

More information on the event is available here. Look out for our race report next week!