Two UK trail running powerhouses, both forged in the Lake District, have struck a new multi-year deal.
Lakeland Trails, which attracted 12,500 trail runners of all abilities to its events in 2019, has agreed a contract that will see running brand inov-8 remain as lead sponsor for 2020 and beyond.
Phil Blaylock, event director for Lakeland Trails, which each year draws runners from all over the world and delivers a £3m boost to the Lake District economy, said: “We are very excited to be going into 2020, our 17th year, working alongside inov-8 to continue to provide inspiring races throughout the beautiful Lake District National Park.
“With events ranging in distance from 5K to 100K, it’s fantastic that inov-8, as another local business which shares our passion for trail running, will bring their wealth of experience to support our runners with fantastic footwear, clothing and advice, and prepare them for the varied terrain and weather they will encounter.”
Lakeland Trails will stage nine events during its 2020 series, starting with Cartmel (March 21), then heading to Hawkshead (April 18), Staveley (May 9), Coniston (June 7), Ambleside (July 11), Keswick (September 5) and Coniston again (October 3) before finishing with a weekend double-header in Glenridding (November 7-8).
This year will also see Lakeland Trails introduce compostable cups as an alternative to plastic, which runners can drink from at on-course water stations and the finish line.
Phil Blaylock added: “Switching to compostable cups is one of the ways we are looking to reduce our environmental impact.
“Another initiative we’d like to implement this year is giving runners the option to have a tree planted rather than receiving an event T-shirt. Any unused T-shirts are currently given to children in Tanzania so they can wear matching kit when competing in team sports.”
The partnership between Lakeland Trails and inov-8 was first formed in 2017. The running brand has its head office in Staveley, Lake District and, although it trades in more than 60 countries, remains close to its roots.
Michael Price, inov-8 COO, said: “We’re thrilled to be taking our partnership into the new decade, sharing with Lakeland Trails a passion for encouraging runners of all abilities to push their boundaries in our back garden.
“These are the first events I put in my own race calendar every year. I love the atmosphere and getting to grips with the challenging courses. As a brand we have seen the number of inov-8 shoes, particularly those with Graphene-Grip, being worn at Lakeland Trails events rocket in the last few years. I can’t wait for the 2020 series to start in the infamous mud at Cartmel!”
Image courtesy of James Kirby Photography