Rock + Run was established in Ambleside, May 1983. We didn't know much about running a business in those early days but we did know that the technical equipment needs of climbers, runners and mountaineers were poorly catered for in the Lake District at that time. We thought about our customers and our own activities in the hills. By the end of the first year we came up with a slogan which attempted to encapsulate who we are and, the customers we were trying to reach.
"Specialist Equipment for Mountain Enthusiasts"
The same slogan still rings true for us today and is as relevant as was 30 years ago.
We've been involved in lots of creative projects in the mountains both personally and as a business. Individually, over the years, Rock + Run employees have climbed lots of new routes in the UK, made early repeats in Europe and USA, forced desperate boulder problems, broken mountain running records and generally been fully engaged with rocks, ice and mountains.
As a business we have been lucky enough to have been involved with several projects that are now firmly established as part of British climbing and mountaineering culture.
In 1986 we devised a new format for mountain marathons. Frustrated by unimaginative course planning, lack of technical navigation and over used competition areas, the ‘Rock + Run Mountain Marathon’ set a new format for a more challenging and interesting two day event using new areas in Scotland. The event exists today as the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon.
In 1996 we helped Adam Greenwood get the first version of UK Climbing up and running. When Adam moved on we set up UKC under its own domain. Along with Rockfax we developed UKC into one of the busiest climbing web sites in the world and a valuable resource for the climbing community.
We're also very proud to have been associated with the following:
- Setting up the first Lakes Bolt Fund for equipping the slate and limestone.
- Helping Wilf launch his first cafe above Rock + Run in Ambleside which became the nationally famous Wilf's Cafe in Staveley.
- Developing (as far as we know) the first bumbag with side compression straps, The Hipsac, which was and is today widely used in long Fell Races.
- Helping with design and development of fell running shoes for Reebok, ETA and Inov8.
So there you have it; a general overview of who we are and what we do. The names and faces have changed over the years as people move on in life but the enthusiasm lives on in the brand. Long may it do so!