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Fred Whitton Charity Entries Now Open

by Holly Blades

With only 2,500 places allocated in a lottery, the iconic Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge is the most highly coveted amateur cycling event in the UK. Famed for its difficulty, this 112mile sportive (with 3950m of climbing), is hugely oversubscribed every year.

Recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the event takes place on Sunday 13 May 2018 from Grasmere in the Lake District. Taking in all of the major Lakeland passes; Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose, the route includes a 30% gradient at 98 miles. Top riders complete the route in just under six hours, but eleven hours and over is not uncommon for the average sportive rider.


Hopeful riders try their luck through the ballot entry system, which opens for the 19th annual Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge on 3 January 2018. Those fortunate enough to be successful, tackle one of the UK’s most brutal yet well-loved cycling events. But not everyone gets the chance!

There is only one way to 100% guarantee your place ahead of the ballot.

It is possible to secure a place between 1 December 2017 – 2 January 2018 by signing up to ride for the charity partners of The Fred; The Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team, The North West Air Ambulance and The Great North Air Ambulance.


Purchase a charity entry for £60 plus a donation of £250* to fix your place in this bucket-list ride, whilst supporting fantastic national and local causes.

 Additionally, all riders are encouraged to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Care. The Fred Whitton Challenge has now raised £1,138,000 for Macmillan and local charities.

Paul Loftus, the Chairman of the Fred Whitton Challenge Steering Group, says; “This event was first established to encourage people to appreciate the challenge of cycling in The Lakes, and to raise money for worthy causes. People love this event, which makes this charity entry window a really exciting opportunity for people to get involved and fundraising.”

Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race, days; “This is the most loved, and most gruelling event that we have the privilege of delivering. The hard work that the riders put in make it a real challenge, worthy of serious sponsorship.”


The event is in honour of Fred Whitton. Fred, who died aged just 50 in 1998, was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club and a lynchpin in the cycling community of Cumbria.

Charity entries can be purchased from 1 December 2017 – 2 January 2018. The ballot for general entries will open on 3 January – 15 January 2018. 

Visit http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.co.uk/2018-entry/ to secure your charity entry now.

* If a charity rider raises an additional £250 on the Fred Whitton Just Giving page for one of our special charities then the initial £250 donation will be refunded by The Fred Whitton.





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