The race involves a 45-mile circuit of Windermere. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The race involves a 45-mile circuit of Windermere. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Organisers are gearing up for the inaugural race round England’s largest natural lake.

The Lap is an off-road circuit of Windermere that will take place in September.

The event is aimed at runners and walkers and involves a 72km (45-mile) anti-clockwise circuit of the lake on mainly low-level rights of way.

Competitors will have 24 hours to complete the circumnavigation of Windermere, starting at Lakeside YMCA.

The trail race is the brainchild of Davy Newell. He said: “The Lap will make a great introduction to longer races or a fast, low-level option for experienced competitors.

“It all started with an old map filled with crossings outs and notes. From this, the route was born. We set out to create the most beautiful race we could on trails we love.

“We didn’t care about distance or ascent, we just wanted a route we would want to do ourselves – and I think we’ve achieved that.”

Organisers are limiting numbers of entrants to 300 to control ecological impact and congestion.

After organising triathlons and trail races and co-ordinating the Seven Marathons In Seven Days event for charity, Newell said he took a step back from sporting events to concentrate on other projects and starting a family but, since finding the map, together with friend and colleague James Gray, he has launched the new challenge for local runners and walkers. The event is also already attracting international attention and will be a qualifying event for the Ultra-Tour du Mont Blanc.

Gray said: “Since our launch at the start of April, we have seen a really great reaction from the long-distance community and we’ve had sign-ups every day which is really encouraging.”

Davy Newell said: “This is a low-level route and so is an ideal introduction to off-road distance running and also means we can go ahead, whatever the weather, which here in Cumbria means a lot.”

Local brewery Bowness Bay Brewing is offering a £400 cash prize for the first woman and first man over the line. Lakes-based nutrition brand Mountain Fuel will be keeping competitors going by supporting the five feed stations around the route.

The Lap has also attracted support from Tyrolean trail running and mountain sports brand Dynafit.

The event starts at 6am on Saturday 7 September. More details are on The Lap website.

  • Grough is partnering with The Lap to provide mapping services.

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