Fred Whitton & The Challenge
The Challenge has been raising money for charity since it began in 1999, but who is Fred Whitton – and why is it named after him? Until his untimely death in 1998 at the age of 50, Fred Whitton was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club. Not only was Fred the main instigator behind all the clubs’ activities, but he was also always there on the club runs and training weekends.
Living near all the big Lake District steep climbs, Fred would have known them all, so the year following his death we decided to cycle the route in his honour and use it as an opportunity to raise a bit of money for charity.
Twenty years later that ‘bit’ for charity has now surpassed the £2,000,000 mark!
In recent years the event has given MacMillan Nurses an average of just over £100,000 each year. Along with this, the event has shared the donation of £608,000 to the two Air Ambulances in Cumbria, The Mountain Rescue and Various youth Cycling projects.
We like to stop and think of Fred’s reaction to the event on the day and wonder what he would have made of it all!
Serving the Community Since 1999
The Wheelbase Fred Whitton Challenge was the first Cycle Sportive in the UK and is now regarded as the hardest one-day cycling event in the British Isles, it also has the title of The Daddy of Them All. What started off as a club ride for a friend, has grown to be one of the most famous cycling events in Europe, never in our wildest dreams did we think the event would be still running after 24 years and would generate such a fantastic amount of donations for our Special Charities.
After 15 years Starting and Finishing in Coniston, the event moved to the Grasmere Sports Ground and has proved extremely popular, with over 5,000 riders applying for just over 2,500 places. The ride has participants from Holland, Norway, Spain, Belgium, France, Russia, Switzerland, and two riders made the trip all the way from Australia especially to ride in the event.
Dates for your Diary
May 12th 2024 – The next Wheelbase Fred Whitton Challenge
Special Charity Entries
1st November 2023
1st November 2023
General Entries (ballot)
1st December 2023
Ballot announcement 14th December 2023
Want to get involved?
It takes over 350 registered volunteers to keep the Wheelbase Fred Whitton Challenge going. If you’d like to help out at the event jobs for volunteers vary depending on location, time of day and skills. Please register your interest before the event. All volunteers are guaranteed a place on the following years' ride.
Or you can donate to any of our chosen charities. All donations are well received and go to helping fund these fantastic services in the community.