New Yorkshire Dales Festival for runners and walkers to showcase wonder of God's own county

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Thousands of runners and walkers are expected to head to the stunning Yorkshire Dales this May for a new fantastic trail and walking festival.

The Yorkshire Dales Festival on Sunday, May 31, will give walkers and runners of all abilities the chance to explore the splendour of this breathtaking National Park.

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Centred on Settle, the festival features five mile and 16 mile trail runs along with 5, 16 and 26 mile walks on routes taking in charming villages, outstanding countryside and iconic features such as Ribblehead Viaduct, Malham Cove and Malham Tarn.

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Mike Tomlinson. PIC: Simon HulmeMike Tomlinson. PIC: Simon Hulme
Mike Tomlinson. PIC: Simon Hulme

Organised by Jane Tomlinson's CBE legacy organisation Run For All, the not for profit company behind a series of successful charity road runs including the Yorkshire Marathon, the festival is being organised to encourage people to take on new challenges in 2020 whilst exploring some of the region’s most stunning scenery.

Tristan Batley-Kyle, head of events said: “We wanted to get people out enjoying the Yorkshire Dales, promote active lifestyles and encourage an appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds us – all whilst raising funds for a number of amazing causes.

“The festival has been designed to ensure anyone and everyone can take part, from experienced runners and ramblers, to complete beginners, individuals, friendship groups and families looking for a new adventure.

“We’ve worked closely with the local community to make this an event they can be a part of and feel really proud of – so we hope they’re as excited as we are for what is set to be a fantastic festival!”

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Mike Tomlinson, Jane’s husband and Run For All CEO said: “Growing up in Settle I was lucky to be surrounded by such a fantastic landscape to explore. So when looking to host a trail run and walking festival it was any easy decision when it came to location.

“Jane and I often used to escape the city and jump on the train out to Settle for the day to enjoy a day of exploring. As a family, we have a real soft spot for the area so this will continue to be a very special addition to our calendar and we hope the festival will be something that other families can enjoy together.

“Whether people are first time trail runners or regular visitors to the area, we hope that the weekend encourages everyone to take on a challenge whether that be a trail-run or a walk with family and friends.”

Like all events that Run For All host, the events will be open to entrants to fundraise for any charity of their choice but the official partner charity for this years event will be the Jane Tomlinson Appeal with funds going towards the charities OWLS Bereavement service.

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Nicole Greenwood, Bereavement Service co-ordinator, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the Yorkshire Dales Festival. Supporting bereaved children aged 4-11 in the Leeds area, OWLS provides practical and emotional support to families following the death of a loved one. Your fundraising will support OWLS in maintaining its Lending Library of resources for bereaved children and their families, fund peer support activity days where children can meet other bereaved youngsters and - crucially - have some fun, as well as fund 1-to-1 therapy for children most severely affected by their grief.”