Hundreds Battle the Bay for CancerCare

on Monday, 08 August 2016. Tags CancerCare, cancersupport, Cross Bay Challenge, Cumbria, Fat Bikes, Half marathon, Kendal, Lancaster, Morecambe Bay, northlancashire, southlakeland

Nearly 500 competitors battled sea, sand and high winds on Sunday in a unique race across Morecambe Bay to raise thousands of pounds for CancerCare!

CancerCare’s 11th annual Cross Bay Challenge offered three different events including a Half Marathon, Family Friendly Walk and a ‘Fat Bike’ Cycle Race, crossing the sands from Silverdale in Lancashire to Flookburgh, Cumbria.

13938408 326707974336564 5688998626288920486 nThe course certainly lived up to its reputation as being one of the toughest in the country with challenging conditions for runners, walkers and cyclists this year who endured a ferocious headwind, often gale force at times, and waist deep channels of cold icy water.

The only known tidal race in the world, the Cross Bay Half Marathon drew over 200 runners from across the UK.

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This year’s winners were 37 year old Lewis Banton from Clowne in Derbyshire who completed the course in an awesome 01:37:17 followed by local lad Paul Singleton aged 42 from Haverwaithe with a time of 01:40:38.

Paul Singleton 1st place male over 40s from Haverwaithe

Ladies winner Vikki Murphy aged 46 from Bramhall running club in Stockport (pictured below) finished in 02:06:31 with Louise Nash aged 46 taking the second place spot in 02:15:15. Vikki Murphy 1st overall and 1st vet Female

Half marathon competitor Ian Waddingham, aged 39 from Preston said, “It was a great but tough run. The wind was determined to blow us back to the shore. Thanks for putting such a brilliant event, I will remember it for a long time!”

CBC 8Craig Mobes aged 46 from East Kilbride in Scotland to take part in the half marathon in his kilt  and said; “It’s been a great experience and all for a really good cause.” 

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Running Clubs taking part included the Saltaire Striders from Yorkshire and Stainland Lions from Halifax 

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The Manchester Front Runners entered the largest team on the day with 15 members taking part including 2nd placed winner in the veteran category James Mole and James Fox who came 3rd for the under 40’s James Mole 2nd place vet left

A group of 200 walkers also took on the bay completing a shorter (but just as wild!)  7 mile crossing from Silverdale, led by our team of expert Bay guides.

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Six members of staff from Morecambe Bay Partnership took part together including Louise Martin who tweeted this pic above saying, “It was very windy but that didn’t put us off. There’s only word to describe crossing the Kent Channel - exhilarating! Walking waist deep in water is strangely enjoyable.”

Morecambe Bay Partnership Team

Sarah Henry aged 51 from Lancaster (pictured below) who works for M & S also joined the walkers; “We had a brilliant day raising money for CancerCare, our store charity of the year, with colleagues, friends and family.”

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Another team of walkers from Silverdale said “We take part in a group every year and enjoy it every time. We have friends up staying with us just now who came up from Edinburgh & Hampshire especially to take part. We’ll definitely be back next year!”

Family and Friends group from Silverdale Edinburgh and Hampshire 6th event together

Windswept competitors enjoyed a post event bacon buttie and warm cup of tea at the finish, thanks to Ribble Valley Catering Group. Runners could also take advantage of a sports massage provided by students at University of Central Lancashire. Everyone who took part also received a Cross Bay Challenge medal.

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The Cross Bay Challenge event has raised over quarter of a million pounds to date for CancerCare who work to support families affected by cancer living in North Lancashire & South Lakeland.

CancerCare’s Head of Income Generation Christine Wardle said:

“We don't call it a challenge for nothing! Without doubt our hardest and windiest Cross Bay Challenge to date by far. A huge thank you to all the brave runners, walkers and cyclists who battled the conditions for CancerCare - we were literally blown away by your efforts! Sponsor money is still coming in but we hope to smash our fundraising target of £15,000".Fat Bikes with Ghyllside Cycles

"It really is such a unique event. One of our runners described the event as ‘a mini Marathon Des Sables’ but with water. Yet despite the harsh conditions, everyone I spoke to had a great time and can’t wait to take on the bay again next year. "

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"A special thank you must go out to our amazing volunteers, Bay Guides, and Ulverston Inshore Rescue for helping to keep everyone safe out on the sands today. They did an absolute sterling job."

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“And also to all our event sponsors including Ghyllside Cycles, Reid Hamilton Insurance, Redrow, Peter Bland Sports, the Co-Op and Fletcher’s Fruit & Veg and event supporters including Cark Airfield, SCS Logistics, Amy & James from Gibraltar Farm Campsite, Holker Estate, and The Rotary Clubs of Grange over Sands and Carnforth. We couldn’t stage this amazing event without all of these people. We can’t thank them enough!” 

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Our fabulous photos are courtesy of Gavin Howarth Photography (check out his blog with some more great snaps here) and Jason Bellinger.  Thanks to everyone who shared their online pics with us via #CrossBayChallenge!


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Download the Cross Bay Challenge 2016 Half Marathon Results here>>

Download the Cross Bay Challenge 2016 Fat Bike Results here>>

To see a selection of event photos please our Facebook page click here >>