Mountain Run
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About us

Mountain Run is for runners who want to run faster, stronger and safer over extreme terrain. If you’ve got your sights set on a new mountain running challenge, whether it’s your first mountain run, your first sky race or even a Bob Graham Round, you’ve come to the right place.

From big days in the hills to a well-earned pint in our Lake District local, our skills weekends, guiding services and route recce trips get right to the heart of what mountain running is all about. Meet like-minded mountain lovers, gain skills and experience, and take your running to the next level.

Meet the team

Mountain Run was founded by Charlie Sproson, course planner and race director of some of the Lake District's toughest and most iconic trail races including Scafell Sky Race & Lakes Sky Ultra: see the full list of his upcoming races here. He is supported by a team of experts who share his commitment to delivering mountain running experiences for trail, sky and ultra runners of all abilities.

Charlie Sproson: the main man

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Charlie at home in the fells of Glenridding during a classic winters day

Charlie created Mountain Run to share his love and experience of running in the mountains. A qualified Mountain Leader, Charlie’s mountain running CV includes a number of mountain marathon podiums, two Bob Graham rounds, a Lakeland Classic Rock Round and an on- sight Ramsay Round in the Scottish Highlands and the round in Wales. Charlie has also completed the Dragons Back Race in 2012, finishing in 12th position.

Through Mountain Run, Charlie has coached countless runners to run more confidently and safely over extreme terrain. He specialises in all aspects of trail, sky and ultra running, including running with poles, and has also supported and enabled a growing number of safe and successful Bob Graham rounds: his current count stands at around 20+, including the 5th fastest Bob Graham Round ever recorded (completed in summer 2017), the 3rd fastest Winter Round (January 2017), fastest Ladies Winter Round (December 2018) and Winter Record Round with Kim Collison [another Mountain Run Guide] (December 2019).

When he isn’t running in the mountains, you will find him planning races: Charlie is the creator of Scafell Sky Race and Lake District Sky Ultra, and the Race Director of Keswick Mountain Festival Trail Races. His course planning CV includes many of the Lake District’s most popular and iconic races – think Great Lakeland 3 Day, Marmot Dark Mountains, Rab Mountain Marathon, Keswick Mountain Festival Trail Races, Pinnacle Ridge Extreme and more. See the full list of Charlie's upcoming races here.

Rob Brown: Guided Running Adventures, Bob Graham Guiding, Navigation and Skyrunning Coach

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Rob Brown enjoying the Lakeland Fells under a cloak of snow

Rob loves adventure in the mountains, be this running, scrambling, climbing or biking or a mixture of all 4. He has been sharing his passion for wild places as an outdoor instructor for the last 15 years and has led folk on exped’s in New Zealand, the US, Borneo and more recently the English Lake District.

Rob loves all types of running and is very skilled across the disciplines of fell, trail, mountain and roads. His highlights include summer and winter Bob Graham Rounds, both Sub 22hrs, winning his first fell race last year, taking 2nd place in the epic Marmot Dark Mountains A Class twice in a row (2016 and 2017). He is no slouch either, with a marathon time at London of 2:34:00.

Recently Rob competed in the PTL [UTMB] from Chamonix with MR Guide, Sam Hill, which is a mere 186 miles with only 82000ft of ascent [121h56m49s] . He also won the ELS2900 in Andorra [7 peaks above 2900m] with his good friend and MR Guide, Kim Collison

Rob loves nothing more than dreaming up new challenges to share with friends and clients in the mountains moving fast, light and free.

Kim Collison: Running Guide, Bob Graham Expert and Running Coach

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Kim hitting the summit on a European Sky Race

Kim has twice represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at World Trail Championships; winning a team Bronze in 2015. Prior to this he was part of a Great British team at three Adventure racing world championships; achieving 6th place in Ecuador 2014.

From 2014 Kim has achieved a win at the Lakeland 50, he was also the British Trail Running Champion and went on to set a number of ultra records at the Hardmoors 55, Lakeland Trails 110km, Lakes in a Day and this year the Montane Cheviot Goat (2018).

Oversea's, Kim has taken a top 10 finish in the Skyrunning World Champs, won the Falcotrail Ultra in Spain, completed the CCC, TDS and UTMB based in Chamonix

Kim is also a keen Fell Runner, winning a British Champs race, taken second in an English Champs race and wins in both Elite and Long Score categories at the OMM. He has also twice won the epic MDM (Marmot Dark Mountains) in the Elite Class. On top of this Kim has completed the Bob Graham round in summer and winter, both in very respectable times.

Kim is now the record holder, in a time of 15:47, for the Winter Bob Graham Round, supported by his friends, many who are also Mountain Run guides.

Kim also won the ELS2900 last year (2019) with Rob Brown in the Andorran Alps.

After spending a decade empowering young people to believe in themselves through the power and magic of adventures in the Lake District, Kim enjoys sharing his wealth of experience, passion and knowledge for endurance running to coach and supporting others.

Julie Carter: Guided Running, Poetry Expert and Navigation Sessions

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Julie racing hard at Pendle Hill Fell Race

Julie is a woman with many strings to her bow and she loves nothing better than sharing her passion for the mountains with others, be that through running, or through her writing and speaking. She completed the 42 summits of the Bob Graham at age 42 and in 2019 at age 55 she did an anticlockwise Bob Graham with 13 extra summits, making her the first ever woman to complete the '55@55'. In her early 50's she won both British and English fell running championships in her age group. Her favourite races are the 'Lakeland Classics' and she is one of the few woman to complete all of these races in one season. Although Julie has competed on the road with a veteran marathon time of 3 hours 4 minutes her true love is fell running.

Well qualified to teach in the mountains she holds both Mountain Instructor Award [MIA] and Winter Mountain Leader certificate. Most of Julie's professional life has been spent as a medical doctor and she is a qualified Human Givens psychology practitioner and uses relaxation and guided imagery techniques to help people achieve their potential. Because Julie is somewhat disabled by a congenital spinal disease she understands that we all have our personal challenges and limitations but that we can work those to enjoy life to the full.

Her author and publishing business is called Mindfell and you read some of her work at www.mindfell.co.uk.

Luke Armitage: Running Guide, Skyrunning Coach, Bob Graham Guide and Navigation Trainer with First Aid skills and knowledge

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Luke Armitage enjoying time with his dog in the Cumbrian Fells

Although being brought up in the midlands he has been coming to the Lake District all his life and has lived here for 12 years.
Long distance running has always been a passion starting at school running 1500m to county level.
Ever since living in the Lake District, Luke has rock climbed, which has taken him all over the world. As a climber he is not afraid of the rough and steep terrain of the Cumbrian fells and completed the Bob Graham in 2015.

His current training is focused on completing the Charlie Ramsay Round and some of the long classic races in the UK.
With a degree in outdoor leadership, Luke brings different aspect to running from geomorphology and weather systems to anatomy and physiology.
Luke other work is as a first aid trainer and is a volunteer for one of the local mountain rescue teams.

Sean Bolland: Running Guide, Mountain Leader, Navigation Coach, Bob Graham Guide

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Sean Bolland running well in the Buttermere Sailbeck 2016 Fell Race ©www.granddayoutphotography.co.uk

Sean has over 30 years mountain running experience. Growing up, Sean was involved in British Orienteering which helped develop his navigation skills.

As an accomplished fell runner, Sean has placed well in British and English Fell Championships. With his interest and success in fell running and navigation, an obvious next step was to compete in mountain marathons. Sean is a previous OMM Elite class winner.

As a cyclist, particularly mountain biking, Sean has competed in numerous Polaris Mountain Bike Challenges (now The OMM Bike), even winning a few!

As well as a running guide, Sean delivers navigation coaching to runners and hikers alike.

Matt Stapley: Skyrunning/Sc-run-bling* Coach, Navigation Coach, Winter Skills Coach, Bob Graham and Running Guide

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Matt working his way through the awesome 'Lakes in a Day' event

Matt loves to be out exploring in the mountains in any way, running, biking, climbing, scrambling. He's been guiding folk out into the mountains for 17 years now. He loves the buzz of sharing his hard earned skills and knowledge with clients and friends and feels complete to have done so.

Matt mainly work in the Lake District in Spring, Summer and Autumn and during the winter heads up to Scotland for the Winter Climbing season, but has lead expeditions up big mountains in European Alps, South America, Africa and the Himalayas.

When a passion for long distance triathlons led to a love of running in the mountains, Matt turned to Fell Running and Mountain Marathons as his main styles of choice of poison but with more and more mountain ultra distance races and events over the past few years.

Races of note to Matt's quiver:

  • Dark Mountains for the last 4 years. 2nd in C class 2018+2019
  • Lakes in a day 3 times
  • Bob graham 22:38
  • South downs way 100 19:54
  • Multiple OMM’s
  • Multiple Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathons

There is nothing Matt would rather do than spend hours on end in the mountains and he has supported countless friends summer, and winter, Bob Graham Rounds including Kim Collison's very recent Winter BG record breaking round.

Matt says; "I've done just loads of multi day personal adventure with friends finding out what it's possible to do.... if it sounds like a daft idea I’m usually the first to volunteer!"

* Sc-run-bling - to combine running with scrambling [skyrunning]

Sam Hill: European Guided Adventures, Running Skills and Running with Pole Skills.

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Sam at home in the snow mountains of the Lakes

Having grown up in The Lake District, Sam has been adventuring in the mountains from a young age. His love of the mountains led him into a career in the outdoors which has taken him all over the world. As well as spending many years guiding in the mountains in the UK, he has led expeditions to such places as Costa Rica, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Morocco. Sam now lives in the Swiss Alps, where for the past 5 years, he has been running, climbing, and skiing his way to the top of as many mountains as he can!

Sam loves long endurance challenges in the mountains. He has completed the Bob Graham Round in both summer and winter and most recently completed the 350km Petite Trotte a Leon, an extended loop around Mont Blanc, with fellow Mountain Run Guide Rob Brown. Sam also loves racing on skis and completed the classic Swiss ski mountaineering race The Patrouille de Glacier in 2018, starting in Zermatt and finishing in Verbier.

Nic Sproson: Running with Poles

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Nicola fuelling up, Mountain Marathon style, at Grisedale Tarn

A fell and trail runner, Charlie’s wife Nic focuses primarily in on Nordic Walking and is the founder and lead coach at Nic’s Nordic Walks.

She is an expert in the use of poles, contributing to our Ultra Running Skills Weekends and Running with Poles training courses, as well as supporting our Navigation for Runners courses. Now a qualified Mountain Leader with good expereince, Nics is ready to take any and all out to enjoy the fells running or walking, with or without poles.

Nic and Charlie live with their three children in Glenridding, where they spend as much time as possible in the outdoors.

George Foster: Guided Running and Mountain Efficiency

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George fell racing in his home mountains of the Lake Distirct

George knows that there are many ways of moving in the mountains but feels that running is by far the best; moving fast and light. George has run and raced internationally as well as locally in the UK; with top-10 finishes at the Matterhorn Ultraks, The Rut Mountain Run, Pikes Peak Ascent and Glacier 3000. On home turf he has won the Old County Tops (Lakes) and the Lairig Ghru Mountain Marathon (Cairngorms).

George loves the freedom of getting out the door and running in the fells be it up on the technical ridges on the flanks of Blencathra, or around some of the classic race routes in the western valleys. He is drawn to running or racing on any sort of distance, and any sort of surface, though his heart is in the mountains.

Recently he was lucky enough to have been involved in helping support and pace Paul Tierney's epic Wainwright's record and would love to share all the passion and knowledge that he has to enable others to achieve their dreams in the fells, be it a Bob Graham Round, a local fell race, or even a crack at Paul's record!

Joe Mann: Running guide & Bob Graham expert

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Joe running for Ambleside AC in a local fell race.

A runner and climber with a BA in Outdoor Leadership from the University of Cumbria, Joe’s running CV spans international podiums and world firsts. In 2012 he became the youngest person to climb all of Scotland’s Munros in one go, taking 62 days to complete the full round, and went on to become the youngest person to complete the Charlie Ramsay round in Scotland. Race credits include 3rd place in his age category at the CCC in Chamonix.

Now living in Scotland, Joe is ready to take runners on epic adventures in the Mountains of the Cairngorms and surrounds.

Joe loves to support others towards their running goals: since completing the Bob Graham round at the age of 19, he has supported many others to complete theirs, including Nicky Spinks on her record-setting single and double rounds.

Heather Ohly: International Mountain Leader

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Copyright Ben Winston

A climber, hiker and mountain runner, Heather’s race credits include 12th placed female at Tromso Skyrace (2015), 7th placed female at the Eiger Ultra (2014) & 11th placed female at the Marathon de Montcalm (2013).

She is a true mountain all-rounder, with 20 years’ rock climbing experience; numerous mountain marathon finishes to her name; and experience of some wonderful multi-day treks including the Cape Wrath Trail in Scotland and the Drakensburg, South Africa. She’s a regular at fell- and mountain-races in the UK and abroad: find her in the mountains, or at @heatherohly.

Shelley Barlow: Yoga for Runners

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Shelley during a yoga pose at the awesome Wast Water

Shelley is a mountain all-rounder and a qualified yoga teacher, specialising in teaching the posture, flexibility and strength that are so important for mountain runners

A committed skier, a seriously accomplished mountain biker with mixed team Polaris wins under her belt, mountain runner, and the first female to traverse the mountains of New Zealand on skis, her yoga teachings bring an extra dimension to several Mountain Run training weekends.

Damian Hall: Ultra Runner

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Damian Hall is an outdoor journalist, GB trail-ultramarathon runner and inov-8 athlete. He's finished on the podium at the Spine Race, Dragon's Back Race (5th OA) and the most recent (2016) British Athletics Ultra Trail Championships. In 2017 he was the first British finisher and 12th overall at Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Find him at www.damianhall.info and @damo_hall.

Sarah McCormack: Coach

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Sarah has a PhD in Biogeochemistry and MPhil in Chemistry and a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry. Sarah has competed for NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country and Track teams at Michigan State University in her time living in the US. She represented Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships In 2012, winning a team gold medal. She has also represented Ireland at the World and European Mountain Running Championships from 2013 to present, with a top ten finish at the worlds in 2015. She won the Snowdon International mountain race in 2014 and 2015. She has a 5k PB of 15:46 and 33:33 at the 10km distance. Sarah is part of Missing Link Coaching.

Paul Tierney: Coach

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Paul is a winner of the Lakeland 100 (2015) and the former holder of the Wicklow Way speed record, on Ireland’s most popular walking trail. He has represented Team Ireland at the World Ultra Trail Championships in 2011, 2015 and 2017. In 2017 Paul took part in his longest race to date, the Tor des Geants 330km circumnavigation of the Aosta valley in the Alps, placing 25th. He is a Movnat and Functional Movement Screen (FMS) certified Coach and running technique specialist. He also practices Sports Massage From his clinic in Ambleside. Find Paul at Missing Link Coaching.

Image credits: We are grateful to talented photographers Steve Ashworth and James Appleton for the images used throughout this site.

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