The Grasmere Showground
Some interesting facts about our Start and Finish arena at Grasmere Showground.
The first recorded official sports event in Grasmere (at a different spot than the showground) was held over two days in 1852. The main event was the legendary Cumbrian Wrestling, but they also had a Dog Trail, Foot Steeplechase, High Leap, Horse Steeplechase and Pony and Horse Flat Races. The Foot Steeplechase was won by James Fleming from Grasmere, and the prize money was 15/-
Through the years other sporting events seen at Grasmere Sports include a Boat Race, Wheelbarrow race, Hound trails, Pole Leap, Long Leap, High Leap, The Famous Guides race (Fell Race), Cycling Grass Track, Mountain Biking, Tug of War, and Track Running Races for all ages.
The Arena that The Fred Whitton Starts and Finishes in is steeped in History, and it is the Finish line for the Famous ‘Guides race’. A short race, it climbs to the top of Butter Craggs and back, and all the way is in view from the arena. On sports day there will be around 10,000 people watching. Keeping to tradition it is the last event of the day, and as the first runner returns, the band plays ‘Hail the Conquering Hero Comes’.
It is not the first time that the Show ground has witnessed a lot of cyclists, records from 1911 show it was the preferred choice at the turn of the last Century for such events.
The record time for completing The 112 miles Fred Whitton Challenge from both Coniston and Grasmere is held by Rob Jebb who rides for Hope Factory Racing. Rob is also part of the great history of Grasmere Sports, having won the Guides race an amazing total of nine times running for Bingley Harriers. As well as these achievement’s Rob has represented Great Britain at both Mountain Running and Cyclo Cross, and won the famous Three Peaks Cyclo Cross 11 times!
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