Mountain Run is headed by Charles Sproson and has a number of other qualified Mountain Leaders to call on
The main man
Charles Sproson is the head of Mountain Run, the man behind the concept and organisation. Charles has been running in the mountains since 2001 when he returned from living in London, at the start of the terrible Foot & Mouth ban on the fells.
He has always been active in the mountains, having learned to ski at the ripe old age of 4 in Aviemore on the lawn of the Great Western Hotel. Since then he has skied, climbed, sailed, swam, run, and more all over the Lakes, Scotland and Europe.
Winter is his favourite season, enjoying a mix of running and winter climbing and skiing when possible. Living at the foot of Helvellyn at the head of the Glenridding valley give him a unique opportunity to run, ski and climb when the snow/crags are in condition.
Over the last 15 years, Charles has grown his knowledge and understanding of mountain running. He now competes at an elite level on the Mountain Marathon Circuit, having won the Highlander MM 2011 Score Class, and competed various long distance mountain challenges like the Bob Graham & the Lakeland Classic Rock Challenge. He has also completed a successful Dragons Back Race in September 2012, coming 12th =.
He has also been the course planner for Ourea Events over the last 4 years, planning the Marmot Dark Mountains (2013, 2015 and 2016), Great Lakeland 3 Day Challenge (2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015), Berghaus Trail Chase (2014 & 2015), Rab Mountain Marathon (2014), Marmot 24 (2014). He has also been the planner and race director of the Keswick Mountain Festival Trail Races since 2014.
Most recently he has designed, created and is the race director for the epic Lakes Sky Ultra race.
Our Mountain Leaders
Heather Ohly: Runner & Climber (Day job: Researcher & Registered Nutritionist. PhD student)
Heather moved to the Lakes in 2014 and before that lived in Cornwall and Sheffield. She loves fell and mountain running and regularly competes in local and international races. Highlights from the last few years include Marathon du Montcalm 2013, Eiger Ultra 2014 and Tromso Skyrace 2015. She has completed numerous mountain marathon B courses and really ought to move up a class! She also enjoys walking and has done some wonderful multi-day treks, such as the Cape Wrath Trail in Scotland and in the Drakensburg, South Africa. Heather has been rock climbing for 20 years in the UK and around the world. She qualified with Summer ML in 2014 and is now working towards Internatonal Mountain Leader.
Heathers race results:
Marathon de Montcalm 2013 - 11th woman
Eiger Ultra 2014 - 7th woman
Tromso Skyrace 2015 - 12th woman
Dale Colclough: Bob Graham Expert, Navigation Coach and Running Guide
Running and exploring in the mountains of Britain for over 15 years Dale has used his knowledge and experience to achieve the Mountain Leader qualification. He completed a successful Bob Graham Round in 2006 and since then has been a regular support navigator including well over 60 leg 3 crossings from Dunmail Raise to Wasdale. As well as being a fell runner and Orienteer, Dale loves to take part in Mountain Marathons. He has completed the last 9 OMMs and has also competed in the Great Lakeland 3 Day Challenge , Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon and RAB Mountain Marathon (now re-branded the ROC) over the years. Some of his more notable achievements include; The Bob Graham Round (42 Lakeland summits, 27,000ft of accent and 65 miles in less than 24 hours), The Jos Naylor Challenge (30 Lakeland summits 17,000ft of accent and 48 miles in less than 12 hours), The Cumbria Traverse (A south to north high-level traverse of Lakeland summits, 12,000ft of accent and 35 miles in under 9 hours), The Lakeland 100 mile Ultra Trail race and The Welsh 3,000s (The 15 Welsh 3,000 mountains in under 9 hours).
Dale's expertise lies in the Bob Graham Round, being a specialist support runner, with over 60 Leg 3 supports, Dale has also supported runners on Leg 1, 2, 4 and 5, but Leg 3 remains his favourite.
Dale is also a perfect running guide partner, with vast amounts of knowledge of the Lakeland Fells and further afield, he has plenty to talk about whilst you clock the miles, enjoy his knowledge and experience and let him do the navigation while you just run, checkout the scenery and listen.
He is a seasoned fell runner and has completed the following challenges and races amongst other things:
- Old County Tops 2 occasions
- Borrowdale 2 occassions
- Teenager with Altitude 4 occassions
- Edale Skyline 3 occasions
- Wasdale Triathlon
- Helvellyn Triathlon
- Calderdale Hike 37 miles 2 occasions
- Howarth Hobble 32 miles 2 occasions
- Wilmot wander 32 miles
- Round Rotherham 50 miles
He was a member of Mercia s V50 silver Medal winning teams at the Fell Relay Championships in 2010 & 2011
His PBs for road races as follows
- 5k 16.02
- 5M 26.25
- 10K 33.55
- 10M 55.06
- 1/2M 72.55
- Marathon 2hrs 39.43
He was Potteries Marathon Champion in 1998
British Vets Marathon Championships Silver Medalist 99 & 2000
and part of the Gold medal winning team in those two years
I have been walking, running and exploring in the mountains of Britain for over 15 years and using the knowledge and experience I have acquired, I set out to gain formal qualifications to allow me to help others. As a qualified Mountain Leader I am now looking for opportunities to develop my passion and share my enthusiasm for the great outdoors.
My having climbed the mountains of Cumbria, Wales and many in Scotland, has given me the experience and fitness to help you reach your own goals. I’m also able to share my navigation skills and mountain craft experience which has been cultivated through my participation in fell running, multi-day mountain marathons and orienteering.
Mark Brightwell: Navigation Coach, Bob Graham Support and Guided Runner.
Before becoming a mountain runner Mark was a Captain in The Royal Gurkha Rifles. He served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Borneo, Nepal, Kenya and elsewhere.
He also became a Mountain Leader (ML), planning and leading expeditions on Mt Kinabalu, Mt Kenya and to the remote District of Humla, Nepal. He jumped in at the deep end mountain running in 2015. On the back of 6 months post-earthquake relief work in Nepal, he competed in his first multi day run – an 8 dayer around the Manaslu Circuit that included a punishing Vertical Kilometer to Manaslu Base Camp (4500m). His shots of the race were published in Sidetracked.
Back in the UK Mark found himself not only hosting but guiding Nepali champion mountain runner Mira Rai, as her Salomon team based themselves in the Lakes for a training camp.
Duly inspired, he started competing in UK fell races, including the celebrated Yorkshire 3 Peaks, made two solo unsupported attempts on the Bob Graham Round before travelling to the Alps to pursue alpinism and further mountain running and racing.
Mark has a Masters Degree in Environmental Technology and loves to share his knowledge of the natural environment via his work as an ML, writer/photographer and running guide. He also loves to facilitate personal development and has coached runners from first steps through to multi-day mountain marathons.
Joe Mann - Runner and Climber, specialising in Bob Graham Support and Guided Running.
Originally from the Peak District, Joe moved to the Lakes in 2011 to study Outdoor Leadership (BA Hons) at the University of Cumbria. After graduating in 2014 he decided to stay in the Lakes, trying to get out as much as possible running and climbing. In 2012 he became the youngest person to climb all the Scottish Munro's in one go, taking 62 days and then completed infamous Bob Graham Round shortly after at the age of 19. Since then Joe has also completed a number of long distance challenges including the Charlie Ramsay Round (also the youngest person to complete this and arguably harder than the Bob Graham Round) in Scotland and raced in the CCC in Chamonix, winning a place on the podium for top 3 in his age category. He regularly competes in local fell races in the Lakes and enjoys long days out in the hills with others, supporting many Bob Graham attempts including supporting Nicky Spinks on her previous single and current double record.
As well as running, Joe has climbed extensively around the UK in summer and winter and has had several mountaineering trips abroad climbing mountains in the Alps and Morocco such as Mont Blanc and Mount Toubkal.
David White: Navigation Coach, Fell Runner and Ultra Expert.
David moved to the Lakes in 2001 as he wanted to have the fells on his doorstep and not 300 miles away. He has taken full advantage of this and progressed from fell walking, having 'ticked off' the Wainwrights, to fell running and racing.
David is a very accomplished fell runner with many BG recce's under his belt, plus a successful round completed in 2007 in a time of 22:15 & also a Tranter's Round in Scotland in an approximate time of 17 hours - Solo & unsupported after starting as a 3 and the other 2 dropping out. After being extremely active on the fell running circuit in the Lakes and further afield David then concentrated on ultra distances and completed a Montane 100 in 2011, coming a very respectable 7th place in a time of 25:16.
David is still running avidly and spends his free time on the fells & mountains of England, Scotland and Wales & holidays running in the bigger ranges of Europe.
I much prefer the longer and more committing races, as well as mountain marathons and ultra events. The days that I don't run, I head out on my bike - I feel it a wasted day if I do neither.
I attained my Summer Mountain Leader Award in 2002 and continue to keep this valid by holding a First Aid qualification.
I have completed the 7 LAMM's, 7 OMM's, 8 SLMM's and 4 Highlanders and also 5 ,Great Lakes 3 Day Mountain Marathon (GL3D, now planned by Charlie).
I have run most of the local fell races, including the Classics, the Tour du Helvellyn twice and also completed the Old County Tops three times.
Notable recent achievements include, 7th in the UTLD 100 2011, 1st Mixed Pair in the UTLD 50 2012, 1st in the Kielder Borderer Fell Race 2011.
4th in Class in the Scottish Islands Peaks Race 2013.
Our Nordic Walking Expert
Nicola Sproson is the better half of the Mountain Run partnership and run's her own business called Nics Nordic Walks. Its a full time roll, training people of all ages, fitnesses and creeds the benefits of Nordic Walking.
In her spare time, she backs up the Navigation Courses for Mountain Run and helps on the training weekends where we coach runners to use poles for Ultra Distance Running and more.
Our Yoga Expert
Shelley Barlow has been practising Yoga for the last 15 years, personally. Now she is a fully qualified Yoga Teacher. Shelley is also a totally committed mountain activist. Shelley has been skiing longer than she can remember, is a seriously accomplished mountain biker, with mixed team Polaris wins under her belt, plus out and out wins in mountain bike races against men and women. She has won the Sam Horton Memorial Cycle Race 6 times in a row. She has been mountain running for years and is as passionate about the mountains of the world, more than most people we know. In her 20's she traversed the mountains of New Zealand on foot (by skis) with her partner at the time and we think this was a first. Shelley is also an amazing organiser and every 2 years put on the Staveley Carnival, plus orgainises the Wheel Base Double Loop and much much more.
Shelley has joined Mountain Run in order to teach people what correct posture is, make sure everyones bodies are as flexible as possible and in shape, plus get postures aligned and basically keep us in check. Shelley's skills are combined with many of the Mountain Run courses and we are proud to have her along.
To top off Shelley's skills, she is also a life coach and can be booked independently from Mountain Run in order for you to jump those hurdles that have been stood there for years.