THE Great Cumbrian Run is one of the biggest regional events in the running calender - and this year it’s going to be bigger than ever.

The popular half-marathon will return to Carlisle, but this time there will be an event village, which will see local businesses join together to offer runners and spectators something different.

As with previous years, runners will have the choice of either the Great Cumbrian Family Fun Run or the Great Cumbrian Run to take part in on October 6.

Entries for both runs are now open.

CFM Cash For Kids, Kendal Mint Company, Story and Bruce & Luke are joining together to support the event, of which the News & Star is media partner.

Among those at the launch at the Sheepmount Athletics Stadium, was the winner of the last three Cumbrian Runs, Marc Brown of Whitehaven.

He said: “I took part for the first time in 2014.”

The first win was a special moment for Mr Brown.

“Obviously it meant a lot because it is an event everybody knows around here and, obviously, your family are aware of it.

“My dad did it a few years ago. It is one I have always wanted to win and in 2016 I managed that for the first time.”

The 28-year-old is hoping he can be fit and raring to go come October.

“Hopefully,” he said of his prospects. “I’ve had a few injury problems this year unfortunately.

“In the last six/seven weeks I’ve barely ran. I’ve had a bit of a knee problem after coming back from warm weather training in Portugal.

“I’m trying to build back up now and hopefully when the event comes round in October I’ll be raring to go again.”

Running the event in aid of Cash for Kids are Gareth Lee and Dan Norman, who both work at the Dutch Uncle in Carlisle.

Mr Lee, who is 41 and lives on Warwick Road, said: “It is just a way of giving something back. We do the run through work. Cash For Kids resonates with a lot of people at work.”

Twenty-two-year-old Dan Norman added: “It is a challenge, especially if you are not the fittest person, but if you challenge yourself you can make it easier.”

One half of local coffee giants Bruce and Luke, Luke Jackson, is excited to be involved with the run.

Twenty-nine-year-old Luke said: “It’s people getting together.

“Locally we are a strong brand. We want to create energy, we want to lift the spirit of people in this race.”

Marie Whitehead, head of marketing at Story Group, added: “It is important to remember your roots. It is important that we work together for the benefit of each other.”

Jack Barker, 24 and director at Kendal Mint Company, said: “For us it is a huge opportunity to be matched with such an acknowledged brand.

“Kendal Mint is already a well loved brand across the world.”

Charity manager for CFM, Katie Jones, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to be included in such an established event.”