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 Core 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.

Charles Sproson: Mountain Run founder, Creative Ideas/Development and Courses, Guide for Skyrunning, Bob Graham's, Trail Running, Tech Skills and Pole Running Expert

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Charlie racing into 6th place at the British Skimo Champs in Glenshee 2022 ©Mountain Run

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 Paddy Buckley 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.

Note: Charlie is very much into Skimo racing and does it or trains for it, when he can.

Nic Sproson: Guided Running, Navigation Coach and Walking/Running with Poles expert

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Nicola enjoying 'Running with Poles' on Swirral Edge

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

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 experience, 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.

Tony Eastwood: ADMIN and JEDI apprentice

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Tony Eastwood enjoying the calm of the outdoors ©MountainRun

After nearly 35 years in Construction and Sales Tonys passion for the Lake District and the outdoors completely took over his way of life.

In February 2022 he relocated to the lake district working for the YHA and Mountain Run.

Tony is new to fell and Ultra running, but is aiming to have a go at a Bob Graham in 2023 whilst also working towards his Mountain leader qualification.

Tony has joined the team as an admin assistant chasing up and helping organise our events.

Meet The Freelance Guiding Team

Sean Bolland: Mountain Leader, Online and Face to Face Navigation Coach, plus mountain running guide.

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Sean Bolland running well in the Buttermere Sailbeck 2016 Fell Race ©

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.

Louise Greenwood: Trail and Fell Running Guide

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Louise competing in the FRA Fell Relay's 2019

Louise came from a road and trail running background in Portugal, and discovered a love of fell and mountain running on moving to the UK.

She has competed regularly for her club in fell and mountain relays, as well as solo in long mountain races and completed Dragons back in 2019. Just as important as racing is time out in the hills, creating fantastic memories and enjoying adventures with friends.

For Louise running is all about the journey, the joy and living in the moment in our most beautiful places. She loves to share her passion for the fells with other runners, especially those new to the sport, or taking their first steps into exploring the mountains.

Steve Hopwood - Guided Running Expert, Navigation Coach and Tech Skills Coach

Steve Hopwood racing for Ambleside AC

Steve moved to the Lake District to really focus on his climbing but very quickly fell in love with mountain running and started to enjoy longer and longer days out on the fells moving fast.

Ultra distance races and challenges soon became what inspired and motivated Steve to push hard in the fells. A sub 20 hour Bob Graham round, a 5hr 44min Abrahams Tea Round as well as a 4th place at The Lap & 5th at The Grand Tour of Skiddaw are a handful of recent achievements.

Steve has also tried his hand at multi day running challenges including the Cape Wrath Trail & Pennine Way, however 150 miles seems to be the current limit.

He has supported multiple Bob Grahams & currently the only successful winter Steve Parr round.

Steve is also a top level technical skills coach and always ready to help runners move slicker and faster through the fells with more efficiency.

Mark Brightwell: Guided Running Adventures and Bob Graham Guide

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Mark Brightwell

Mark is a Lakes-based guide with a broad life experience that includes a career in the Gurkhas, relief and development work in Nepal, expedition leadership and professional photography.

Mark is Wim Hoff Method trained as a practitioner of breath work and cold water immersion. He has also evolved his own yoga practice and developed expertise in nutrition, navigation, movement and the psychology of performance.

Mark has been involved in mountain running communities in the UK, Alps and Himalaya.

Whilst living in Nepal he raced the Annapurna and Manaslu trail races however, most of all, Mark advocates exploring your backyard, running your home races and working outward: hence The Dragons Back, Glencoe Skyline and Mountain Run’s Lakes Sky Ultra, as well as a host of local fell races and personal challenges.

By qualification Mark is an International Mountain Leader, Winter Mountain Leader, Climbing Instructor and Paddle Sport Coach. He is also a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and holds an MSc in Environmental Technology.

Client review: "When I think about what makes a good guide I think of things like: engaging, fun, easy to talk with, ability to seamlessly manage group dynamics and personalities, ability to make everyone regardless of skill level feel part of the team, ability to build trust, high degree of mastery of his craft, humble yet a great leadership presence and calm under pressure. Mark displayed all of those characteristics with excellence! He is someone I would trust my life with in the mountains as well as a guy I'd want to go to the pub with afterwards!"

Max Wainwirght
Max Wainwright racing in the fells ©Max Wainwright

Max Wainwright: Running guide specialising in Fell, Sky and Mountain Marathons. Navigation tutor, Paddy Buckley Expert, Bob Graham guide.

Max is an Ex Royal Marines Commando now working as a Mountain Leader, running guide and Navigation Tutor. After spending a few years working as a guide in the Westfjords of Iceland hiking, skiing and kayaking he is now based in the Peak District and mostly working in North Wales or The Lake District. Max has guided for events such as Ultra Trail Snowdonia and Snowdon Skyline.
Max has competed in events such as Glen Coe Skyline, Lakes Sky Ultra, Lots of Mountain Marathons including 5 Marmot Dark Mountains, Rab, ROC, OMM, SMM. Favourite fell races include Peris Horseshoe, Teenager With Altitude, Arenig Fawr, Welsh 1000’s and Sedbergh hills.

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.

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.

Joe Kenny: Running Guide and Skills Coach for Sky to Trail Running

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Joe flying on a descent in the Lakes

"Joe has had a passion for adventures in the Mountains from a young age, be this skiing, running or climbing. For the last twelve winters he has worked in the Alps, guiding and coaching people to find the best off piste, and how to ski it well. In the summers he has been working primarily here in the Lake District, taking groups out walking, running and climbing in the Fells.

He has competed in many skimo races in the alps, most notably gaining a top ten finish at the Courchevel X3 race; a 'Mountain triathlon' including a cycle ride, a run and finished off with some ski mountaineering! Last year he ran an elite category time at the Yorkshire 3 peaks race and ran a 2hr40 Marathon in Edinburgh. He recently completed the Bob Graham in sub 18 hours.

Joe loves nothing more than sharing his passion and enthusiasm for the mountains, and his favourite way to enjoy them is by running or skiing amongst them."

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.

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.

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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.

Dale Colclough: Mountain Leader & Bob Graham Expert

Our Team Dale

A true Bob Graham specialist, not only has Dale completed a successful Bob Graham round of his own; he has gone on to support more than 70 others to complete theirs. He knows every leg of the route like the back of his hand, but his absolute favourite is Leg 3: Dunmail Raise to Wasdale.

An accomplished fell runner and mountain marathoner, Dale’s race credits include numerous OMMs, the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, the RAB (now ROC), the Great Lakeland Three Day, and silver team medals (V50) at the Fell Relay Championships 2010 and 2011. He loves a challenge, completing not only the coveted Bob Graham Round, but also the Jos Naylor Challenge (30 summits/17,000ft/48 miles in 12 hours), the Cumbria Traverse (35 miles/12,000ft in 9 hours), the Lakeland 100 mile Ultra Trail and the Welsh 3000s (15 summits of 3,000ft in 9 hours).

Joe Mann: Running guide & Bob Graham expert

Our Team Joe Mann
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.

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.

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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