A Cumbrian runner is continuing to conquer fell races and change perceptions after completing the Coledale Horseshoe shortly after turning 75.

Lesley Malarkey never expected to be still running and racing at 75 but on March 30 she took on the 13.7km ascent race a day after celebrating her birthday. 

Keswick Athletic Club, with whom Lesley has been a member since moving to Cumbria after retiring, treated her to a bottle of wine at the finish line. 

Speaking to the News & Star, Lesley explained how she first got into running and why it continues to be a huge part of her life at 75. 

She said: "I have been running since my late 20s.  I had put on a lot of weight and wanted to lose it. Living ‘out in the sticks’, running seemed the easiest way. I had never been a runner though I enjoyed sport generally."

Bronchial illness as a child means that Lesley's lung capacity is 'exceptionally poor', but she doesn't let that stop her when running.

She added: "My family encouraged me to take my fell running a little more seriously and I was assured KAC was a very friendly club. They were indeed and very tolerant of a little old lady with zero running talent. With much encouragement I entered my first race, Causey Pike, at the age of 62.

"I loved the buzz of it all and the fact that racing makes you push yourself much harder. In no time at all I was racing regularly and taking part in big races plus the English Fell Championships which I even managed to win once."

Lesley is the only fell runner male or female to complete all the long Lakeland classic fell races at post 70, something she is 'very proud' of. 

Although she does have a weakness for chocolate and cake, her determination keeps her fit and eager to keep challenging herself. 

She concluded: "I never expected to be still running and racing at 75. It just creeps up on you. I hope to keep running though for a few more years yet."