About The Fred Whitton
The Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge is a gruelling 112 mile sportive challenge ride for charity around the Lake District, run in memory of Fred Whitton. From 2014 it starts & finishes in Grasmere, and the route includes the climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose passes.
Until his untimely death at the age of 50 in 1998, Fred Whitton was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club. In his capacity as club secretary he was full of enthusiasm for the club and ran it practically single handedly. He was the organiser of the Lakes Road Club Easter 3-day each year which attracted many of the UK’s top riders.
Not only was Fred the main instigator behind all the clubs activities, he was always there on the club runs and training weekends, cracking a joke, having a laugh and generally enjoying the sport to the full. Amongst all this, Fred also managed to find the time to be the Lakes & Lancs Division Road Race secretary and was well known and liked throughout North West cycling circles.
Our annual event is run each year on the Sunday after the May Day bank holiday Monday. The event is run by the Lakes Road Club, and their lead organiser for the event works tirelessly all year round making it happen in memory of their dear friend. Paul Loftus MBE, known affectionately as ‘Lord Lofty’ has been lead organiser of the Fred Whitton Challenge for almost two decades.
The event is strictly a non-profit making venture, with proceeds going to MacMillan, Air Ambulance and Mountain and Rescue.
We are the biggest single benefactor to MacMillan in Cumbria. Over the years we have donated about £839,000 and supported local businesses in the process.
Reports and reviews about ‘The Fred’ over the years
Plenty of riders who have ridden the Fred Whitton Challenge have taken the time to record their exploits & publish them on the internet. These always make for interesting reading, whether you’ve ridden the event yourself or thinking of taking it on for the first time, so here’s a selection.
The Fred 2013 – A Grand Day Out – The photographer, Steve Fleming’s view of his day, with some great photos of the riders.
Reet hard! – Graham Carrick’s report of his ride in the 2013 event
Recounting the Fred Whitton Challenge -Ian Phillips’ report of his ride in the 2013 event
YouTube film of 2011 ride – Film by Paul Crosby, Neil Lawrence & Ivan Scrase of their ride in the 2011 event
road.cc reviewPain in the rain (and no fun in the sun)
Bike BIZ review When the going gets tough, the tough get going race-pace.net review A Beginners Guide to The Fred Whitton Challenge the Bike list review Fred Whitton Challenge 2011 News and Star report West Cumbria newspaper report on the event North West Evening Mail report South Cumbria newspaper report on the event
2008 – Sahara conditions Richyboy’s cracking write-up of the melting pot that 2008’s ride turned out to be. Big Simon & friends 2007 The 2007 event, by Big Simon. (Need to log onto cyclosport.org to read this.) Riders smash record for cycle challenge Tony Greenbank’s report of the 2007 event in the News & Star local paper Of nerves – 2006 A report from 2006, by Andrew Crooks of Stewartry Wheelers Tandem 2006 Local boys Allan & Konrad ride the 2006 ‘Fred’ on a tandem Route preview 2006 A recce of the route in April 06 by Allan Nelson including some great images Thames Velo 2008 Thames Velo 2007 Thames Velo 2006 Thames Velo 2005 Thames Velo 2004 Thames Velo 2003))) Accounts by the ever present Thames Velo lads))) Southport CC 2003 A personal account of the 2003 challenge by Mark Wilson Motorbike 2004 A report on the 2004 event from a motorcyclist’s point of view