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The Fred Whitton is widely regarded as the toughest sportive in the UK and right up there with European events such as the Marmotte, Maratona dles Dolomites and the Etape du Tour.
The Fred Whitton route changes a little from year-to-year but the 2018 edition was 113 miles (182km) and 3,900 metres of climbiing. Starting and finishing in Grasmere, in the middle of the Lake District, the route takes in plenty of the iconic climbs of the area but crucially has the Hardknott pass 99 miles into the ride, which finishes off many riders who end up walking the final section. The very best riders finish in just under six hours but many riders take eleven hours or longer.
Entry for the ballot to the 2020 Fred Whitton Challenge is likely to open in January 2020 and usually closes in mid January. On our estimates, you have about a 40% chance of getting a place via the ballot. More details about dates for entries will be available in December 2019. You can bag a guaranteed place now by choosing to ride for one of the event's charities. Visit the event website for more details.
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 & Lanc’s Division Road Race Secretary and was well known and liked throughout North West cycling circles.
The Fred Whitton has raised millions of pounds for charity in the past two decades and the main charity is currently Macmillan Cancer Support.
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