Cumbria Crack

World’s best head to Ambleside Sports

Runners set off in the Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round

A new world championship will be staged this year at Ambleside Sports.  The junior under-15 Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling contest has been chosen as this year’s world championship event by the organising body, and cash prizes will be available for the winning youngsters.

Female juniors Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling

The traditional sporting spectacle, on July 25, is also certain to see a new record for the famous guides’ race, no matter who wins. The record for the short, steep and fierce senior guides’ race has been unbroken since 1976 when Fred Reeves ran the event in 13 minutes 13 seconds.

But over the years there have been amendments to the route, due to new fencing on the hillside, and the race today is now longer than it was back then. So this year a new course record will be established. Last year’s race was won by Simon Bailey in 14.09.

There are also junior guides’ races in a tradition which dates back to the 18th century, with a prize for runners as young as under-9 offered by Elterwater Independent Hostel.

Ambleside Sports, the longest-established and biggest of the Lakeland traditional sporting events, opens as usual just after noon with the start of the Rydal Round, a nine mile circuit of the Fairfield Horseshoe which will be tackled by some of the country’s leading fell-runners.

There will be grass track cycling, track races, hound trails, wrestling for all ages, and children’s races along with a host of stalls and happenings in the field and marquees. There will be food and drink and local crafts, along with entertainment for all the family.

Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling

Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling is a remarkable feature of the Sports, and has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to volunteers from the Ambleside organising team who go into local schools for training days.

Back in1809, the main prize was a Silver Wrestling Belt and 5 guineas.

To see the full schedule of events on the day and book tickets see