Covid-19 may have temporarily suspended events on the West Cumbrian coast for those who don’t live nearby, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be explored virtually.

A new long-distance virtual running challenge is being launched this May showcasing the coastlines of Whitehaven and St Bees along its route.

Run the Edge, a virtual fitness challenge, is part of the Connecting Cumbria’s Hidden Coast project, which highlights everything that coasts have to offer and hopes to attract more Lake District visitors to explore nearby beaches, bays, paths and cliffs in the Copeland area.

Along the way, runners will be able to uncover tranquil beaches, Roman ruins, cliffs, rivers and sweeping valleys all leading up to England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike.

Originally planned as a mass-participation event, runners can complete the Run the Edge route by running (or walking) on a treadmill in their own local area or on the actual route if they are living or staying nearby.

Throughout May, ‘Run the Edge’ will give participants the chance to take a 10K challenge, a half marathon and finally a full marathon. Highlights along the way include St Bees Head, historic Whitehaven, Ravenglass, Silecroft beach and Millom.

From Saturday May 1, each participant will receive a weekly email with the challenge instructions that will test their endurance over a variety of distances, describing that week’s route and key points along the way.

Our readers got in touch about the news of the marathon.

Brian Walker said: “This is a great idea. At least it allows people who can’t travel or don’t feel safe around people to get fit and maybe learn somethings about the area.”

Kelly Edwards simply said: “A great opportunity.”

Sheila Woods, said: “One of the great things about these virtual events is there will hardly be any litter left over.”