Rod Berry Unveils Plaque

Rocket Rod's Legacy

The legendary Rocket Rod has been honoured for his role in creating Langdale Road Races...

​​​​​​It’s been 35 years since Cumbria's Langdale Road Races were created by Rod Berry and so to honour his commitment and vision, New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and Brathay Running have presented him with a plaque to mark the home of the races. Rod unveiled the plaque with his wife Dorothy at the end of April.

Originally from Manchester, Rod developed the Langdale Road Races after the original Windermere Marathon disbanded. Wanting to keep a challenging road race in the area and attract competitive runners, Rod worked tirelessly to develop a series of events in the unique and stunning Langdale Valley.

First came the Christmas Pudding 10K in 1988, which initially only attracted 38 runners and included a giant plywood Christmas Pudding finish line arch. Rod recalls: "We carefully covered the ‘hole’ in paper, ready for the winner to run through. Instead of breaking through the paper arch, the guy ran straight into the plywood frame!" This event has since developed into a festive-time favourite, attracting 1000 runners at its peak. 

Brathay Trust, took over the events in 2018, keeping a close relationship with Rod to carry forward his vision for the events. The Langdale Marathon has gained a reputation as the toughest road marathon in the UK, featuring a two lap course and 3,300ft of elevation . It’s also the race that claims the highest rate of DNFs of any UK road marathon, not for the faint of heart or ill-prepared!

Rod is thrilled to have received the recognition for his race, saying: "I didn’t think they were much thought of by anyone. It’s incredibly thoughtful, I’m thrilled that the races mean so much to so many runners."

Robert Tudgey of the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel said: "We have been working in partnership with the Langdale Road Races since they started and it’s always a pleasure to see Rod and Dorothy. We hope to continue to support these races for many years to come."

Scott Umpleby of Langdale Road races said: "We are happy to honour Rod’s commitment to the runners and it was a special moment to be with him when the plaque was unveiled, he was quite emotional. The races wouldn’t be the success they are without Rod’s vision, planning and commitment to the runners."

If you'd like to know more visit the Brathay Challenges website.

Image: Brathay Running

Previous & Next News