Many of us will be familiar with the hesitation which surrounds New Year’s resolutions — “do I, don’t I, will I keep it up?”. Those of us who abandon all good intentions come January 2nd will also be familiar with how easy it is to brush any guilt off. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had if you are the one person in the office who keeps to their plans — and if it is a fitness-related resolution then it’s practically a double whammy! Instead of signing your happiness over to the terms of a fad diet, why not consider tackling a serious challenge? It can be something that both encourages you to get fit and also gives you a real sense of achievement. We’ve put together some of the most stamina building, pride solidifying events for you to sign up to as your New Year’s resolution, with something for all abilities!
EpicMan Windermere, Sunday 31st May 2020
If you want something that will truly push your abilities, and also burn off all of those pigs in blankets you enjoyed during the height of the festivities, then this could be the event for you! The EpicMan Windermere event is a middle-distance course, over which you’ll swim, cycle and run your way to the finish line, all amidst the beautiful backdrop of Lake Windermere. You’ll plunge into the clear waters first, with a single lap to begin with. Then, you’ll loop around the roads of the Southern Lake District, zooming by spectators as you dismount and complete a half marathon at the YMCA Lakeside.
The event is pretty intense, and unless you’re experienced then it’ll require a substantial deal of preparation. However, why not use your commitment to signing up as motivation to get training started and use this event as your New Year’s resolution? There’re options too! You could choose the nine-kilometer swim, 90-kilometer bike ride, and 21-kilometer run. Or, you might sign up for the 1,500-metre swim, 40-kilometer bike ride, and 10-kilometer run. If you’re looking for a challenge, this is the perfect option and both distances will be set to leave you feeling accomplished when you reach the finish line — and a bit tired, too! Sign up and be prepared to give it to you’re all!
The Carlisle Half Marathon, March 15th, 2020
We’re always looking to get the perfect Instagram post, but what about upload of yourself in the immediate aftermath of completing a grueling half marathon? Runners will descend on Carlisle, the city of the Lakes, and take on a course that loops through the historic area. The circuit begins and ends at Carlisle United’s home football ground. Training for a half marathon will require slightly more than a bi-monthly cardio session — the 13.5-mile race will be the ultimate achievement, and the satisfaction will be even more impressive if you can rope a few of your friends or colleagues into signing up too. Make a group resolution and bring some healthy competitive spirit to the challenge! It’ll keep you motivated for training sessions when you know that others are in it with you and you can support each other along. Fancy it? Propose it to your colleagues and commit to the event before January 1st!
Gelt Gladiator, June 13th-14th 2020
Our best advice for anyone who makes this event their New Year’s resolution is not to wear anything that you’d hate to see coated in mud on the day… During this event, you’ll be submerged into the dirt and a long bath will be on the cards afterward.
Taking place near the village of Brampton, Gelt Gladiator is a trail run with muddy obstacles throughout, covering either three kilometers, six kilometers, 10 kilometers — or 10 miles if you’re feeling bold! Be at one with the Roman soldiers who’d once have ruled these parts along Hadrian’s Wall.
Entries are open to kids from six upwards but they must have an accompanying adult — meaning you could be roped into your child’s New Year’s Resolution if they catch wind of it! It’s a huge event, with over 9,000 people signing up for the past four annual Gladiator events. The course is designed to meet Royal Marine Personal Standards, so don’t expect to breeze through this one, and prepare to arrive at the finish line bathed in the mud!
The Fred Whitton Challenge, 7th June 2020
If you’re a keen sportive cyclist, then take on the Fred Whitton Challenge. The event honors Fred Whitton, a celebrated member of the Lakes Road Club who passed away in 1998, and it began the year after his death as a way for his family, friends, and fellow riders to commemorate his proud legacy. The event has taken off ever since, becoming widely regarded as the hardest one-day cycling event in Britain.
The event has raised over £200,000 for charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, the North West Air Ambulance, and the Great North Air Ambulance. Registration opens in mid-December, and there are only 2,500 places available — but in past events, up to 5,000 people have applied! So if you are keen to get out on your bike for an excellent cause, then make your New Year’s resolution a commitment to this wonderful event for a range of worthwhile causes.
It’s a grueling course, beginning at Grasmere and climbing through the likes of Kirkstone, Honister, Whinlatter, Wrynose, and Blea Tarn passes. Recorded completion times can be anything between six and 11 hours, and you’ll cover 98 miles at a 30% gradient in places — an uphill climb that will warrant a leisurely stay or a pint of one of the local ales afterward at one of the nearby hotels in Ambleside, Lake District. If you’re looking for a sportive cycle like no other, then resolve to sign up to the Fred Whitton Challenge in 2020, a unique event with a proud history.
Go the extra mile in 2020 (literally!) and take on one of these challenges and make your New Year’s resolution a huge personal milestone.