My name is Graham Patten, I live in Kendal, in the beautiful English Lake District. I have a life time of trail running experience to share with you stretching back more than 40 years. This blog is about the people, places and events that have helped shaped my approach and thoughts about trail running through the years.
When I founded the Lakeland Trails in 2004, it was with an idea to bring a European model of all inclusive, environmentally sustainable trail running events to the Lake District. Trail running was in it’s infancy in the UK, which is why I own this website. I was the Event Director of Lakeland Trails for 16 years, until handing over the role to Phil Blaylock in December 2019. These events have successfully grown over the years with over 12,000 competitors of all ages and abilities now taking to our trails every year. What pleases me most is we have an equal split of men and women at every event.
I’ve always tried to help inspire others to enjoy the sports I love the most. I sincerely hope my tales of trail running from my own experiences, both past and present, will inspire you to even greater enjoyment during your own trail running adventures.
Almost every single step of my running over the years has been off road, in various disciplines, from orienteering, mountain running, trail running, cross country, fell running, mountain marathons, hashing to more recently, ultra running. The odd time I did step onto tarmac when I was in my twenties I posted PB times of 30.30 for 10km, 50.38 for 10 miles and 67.20 for half marathon. I’ve run three World Mountain Running Championships and one World Cup Orienteering Championship. I’ve been lucky enough to run in International trail running events all over the world, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Nepal, Thailand, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy amongst many others and been on top of the podium in many of them.
In May 2015, aged 52, I completed the classic 68 mile Bob Graham Round in 21hrs 29mins. The following year, 2016, I set a new record for a solo Joss Naylor Challenge of 9hrs 58mins, faster than anyone has run fully supported.
2017 marked my return to the sport of orienteering, culminating in a Silver medal at the British Middle Distance Championships in the M55 category.
2018 highlights include winning a Silver medal in the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Denmark. Winning both Middle and Long French Orienteering Championships, another Silver medal, this time in the British Long Distance Championships
2019 4th in the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Latvia. Silver medals in both the British Long and British Middle Distance Orienteering Championships. Top of my age group in the UK rankings list.
2020 Top again in my age group in the UK rankings list.
My enthusiasm for trail running in all its’ various guises, has burned brightly throughout my life and I am just as keen and motivated today as I was when I started running as a boy. I hope my writing and photos will emulate the Lakeland Trails events, and help inspire others to the joys of the trails.
More people than ever before are taking to the trails and enjoying the simple pleasures that have been a backbone of my whole running life.
This blog is for you.
Graham Patten BSc (hons)
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