Tourism and conservation working in partnership.

Local business owner celebrates milestone birthday with the world’s toughest triathlon

Ursula Brendling, personal trainer at her company Workout Warriors, will be celebrating her 50th birthday and fundraising for the local environment at the same time by taking part in Triathlon X, the world's toughest Ultra Distance Triathlon on Saturday 25th June 2016. It will be her first ever triathlon.

She will be swimming 2.4miles (3.8km) around the head of Windermere before tackling a 112 mile bike ride which includes over 12,000 ft (3,700m) of ascent – making it the hardest bike section of any 'iron man' event in the world. The final phase of the triathlon is a 26 mile (42km) marathon run from YHA Ambleside to the top of Scafell Pike and back. The route climbs over 5,000 ft (1,400m) and includes Scafell Pike, England's highest point.

As she swims, rides and runs, Ursula will be raising money for Fix the Fells, a project which repairs the damage done to mountain paths in the Lake District from the millions of walkers who visit the area. A team of dedicated Fix the Fells volunteers do much of the work to protect footpaths and surrounding areas from damaging erosion, which can have bad knock on effects on streams and lakes. Work done to fix the famous Striding Edge footpath recently has reduced the amount of soil being washed into Red Tarn, which was changing the acidity levels and playing havoc with the plants and wildlife within the tarn.

Ursula says: ‘I’m probably a bit mad to make my first ever triathlon such a difficult one, but I hope I can inspire people to take care of their health and fitness and at the same time understand that we need to take care of the Lake District too. I’d love to raise £1,000 for Fix the Fells and hope people will sponsor me. The flooding in December damaged lots of paths which really need fixing’.

Ursula says "I had always planned to do an Ironman one day as I love fitness and the outdoors and I am so excited about taking part in Triathlon X. It is the first ever Ironman distance to start from Ambleside, the village and community I love, and in the same month that I reach my 50th birthday. I have learnt so much in the last year and hope to use this amazing experience to train others to achieve their goals in my job as Personal Trainer. I believe everyone benefits from being in the outdoors, especially in the Lakes. I am lucky I have the health to do this. I want to give back to the landscape that gives us all so much in return".

Karen Mitchell, Nurture Lakeland Director says: “Ursula is amazing. She already helps to take care of the fells as after each training session with Workout Warriors, she asks her clients to make a small donation to Fix the Fells, and has raised over £700. We’ll be cheering her on”

To sponsor Ursula, visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ursulabrendling1. Her donation page will be open until 25th September 2016.