The Joe Brown Shops (Est 1966) and The Climbers Shop (Est 1959)

With over 100 years of retail heritage our shops are incredibly proud to offer a huge choice of clothing and equipment for climbers, mountaineers, hillwalkers and trail runners. Our story was begun by pioneers back in the days when hemp ropes were all the rage. Today, our team are equally passionate about sharing their experience of the products we stock so you don’t have to experience the hard lessons they have already learned. To read about our journey and where we are heading click below….

admin23/03/2010 15:48:58

Capel Curig Betws-Y-Coed LL24 0EN

Wow! What a Weekend! Workshops, an Evening with Mr Joss Naylor and a 60k run!

   Words by tcsh

   on 11/09/2019 09:49:40


Wow! WHAT a weekend!

If seeing so many of our valued regular customers popping into register for the Ambleside Trail 60 on Saturday wasn’t fun enough – we got to welcome a whole gang of new customers too!!

Once runners had collected their complimentary folding cup and made arguably the most crucial decision of the race (what colour Rab Beanie to choose) there was a host of knowledge to be gained at the £5 workshops running throughout the day from local running specialists including running efficiency, navigation, 5k & 10k shake out runs, running with poles, physio, flexibility and strength. All of the companies gave their time for free in support of Brathay and their Young Minds Matter Appeal with some runners being so impressed with the workshops they have booked on to full blown courses as a result!




Saturday night saw over 100 people head across to Ambleside University for an evening of entertainment and almost unbelievable stories of running hardship from Lakeland Fell Running Legend: Joss Naylor MBE. Questions and banter from runner and author Steve Chilton led to some simply jaw dropping race stories from Joss as he recounted being driven by Climbers Shop founder Frank Davies at rally speed between Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon on his unbreakable Three Peaks record, being tossed around at sea as part of the Three Peaks yacht race, completing fell races with a bit of sheep's fleece stuffed into his running shoes (from a soft fleece breed – not a Herdwick mind!) and how, in his early 80’s, a nip of cider vinegar in a bit of “watter” every morning helps to keep his joints working. It’s fair to say that both Joss and the audience had a great evening rounded off with a presentation of a beautiful framed set of Lakeland Pounds as a memento of the evening with serial numbers all pertinent to years that he had run a major race.




It was a dawn start for the Brathay logistics team down on Rothay Park as comms, medics, flags and tents were all put in position ready to cheer off the lucky runners of our inaugural Ambleside Trail 60 race. Ben Davies travelled all the way from his home in Columbia to start the race by waving a flag bearing the name of the shop his Father had founded 60 years before just as the sun crested over Wansfell bathing the runners in sunlight as they set off. When we had planned the route earlier in the year the brief had been to include as many stunning Lakeland views as possible – mercifully the notorious Lakeland Weather was at it’s absolute best with runners enjoying not just sunshine and views but stunning temperature inversions too as they skipped 60k around the trails. Our friends from the Ambleside Salutation Hotel were resplendent in their chef’s whites at Checkpoint 1, Tarn Hows offering an inspired “Cumbrian Full Breakfast” including melon, cold sausage, a Haribo fried egg and Granola bar! Then runners headed off to Coniston, Blea Tarn and Langdale to build up even more of an appetite ready for a fantastic spread from Chesters by The River. Langdale Campsite. There really aren’t many races where you hear runners discussing the benefits of Frittata over Pizza at a checkpoint!! The long haul up Stake Pass led to whoop quality views down Langstrath with a water station and emergency jam sandwiches ready for the loooooooong climb up Greenup. It was a beast followed by boggy ground across the fell before cruising along to Gibson Knot with glorious views down to Grasmere where Rattle Ghyll energy balls were waiting to be consumed with electrolyte drink on hand to help those tired leg muscles along the final section along beautiful Rydal water and Under Loughrigg road to the end. Every runner across the line was presented with a bottle opener hung with a message from Joss himself: “Well done, yan must be knackered!” to open their celebratory bottle of Hawkshead Brewery beer: Trail 60 Pale brewed especially for the race and our 60th anniversary.




There were, as always at these races some amazing stories from runners taking part; one couple were running after climbing Scafell the day before then driving home to London the following day to move house, another was running 60k on her 60th birthday, another was celebrating 18 months post Breast Cancer surgery. Inspiring and humbling across the board. But just to prove that you can’t write anything more crazy than real life we have to share the story of runner Billy Burns who stopped off to register at the shop half way through a 45 mile race around Windermere! After completing that he lined up on the Ambleside Trail 60 start line and completed that too!!!! Race Director Scott Umpleby from Brathay asked him as he crossed the line if he was training for something to which Billy replied: “No, I'm just recovering from injury and thought it was a good idea. I broke a rib 6 weeks ago and could only carry water in one chest pouch of my pack cos it hurts so much.”

We gave him a special prize of a Rab Duffel for being such a legend!




A massive THANK YOU to everyone who joined us across the weekend to help raise money for the Brathay Young Minds Matter Appeal and also Fix The Fells, as 5% of all runners fees will be donated to help preserve the magnificent views we enjoy today for the walkers, runners and climbers of the future. Our zero waste policy throughout the event meant that there was very little plastic used and it was fantastic to see so many runners and families wandering into town from the park to support local shops.

Finally, a huge and heartfelt thank you to our key sponsors Rab and La Sportiva. They have supported us from the very beginning and along with Ultimate Direction provided all of the key prizes worth in excess of £1500! Thank you too to our friends at Leki, OMM and Inov-8 who collectively donated over 30 spot prizes for the race and items for our raffle to add to the total monies raised across the weekend.

Well done to all runners on completing a wonderful, challenging course and thank you so much for all of your positive feedback – we really appreciate it. You are all AMAZING!

Race pictures are available to download for free here

Full results are available here

If you would like to support the fantastic work of the Brathay Trust you can donate here


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