The opening Karrimor Great Trail Challenge looks set to be a competitive affair with elite contestants from England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland pitted against each other in a four nation international match. Sunday's event will see the international stars tackle a testing 10 km course in Keswick, which is regarded as one of the world's most picturesque spots amongst fell and mountain runners. British internationals Steve Vernon and Andi Jones are leading names that have committed to the Challenge, where they are expected to lead the English squad.
Vernon is a former English National Cross Country champion and last June won the UK Mountain Running Challenge and European trial, which was staged in Keswick, before a month later taking 13th position at the Euro Championships in Turkey. Jones has previously placed fourth at the World Marathon Running Championships and has a seventh finish under his belt in the 2011 European Mountain Running Championships.
Elite athlete manager for the event, Peter Riley, commented: "Many athletes will be using this as a run out before competing for Great Britain at the European Mountain Running Championships three weeks later in Turkey."
While the presence of elite athletes will see them fully test themselves in the competitive element of the Karrimor Great Trail Challenge, it will also cater for runners and walkers of all abilities over the age of 15. The event also incorporates a marathon, half marathon and 10k distances around a course where ascents will reach a height of 399 metres and offer fantastic views of Keswick and its surrounding areas.