The Noor grabs Borrowdale

Posted in At the Races by Matt Ward on Sat 06 Aug '11

© Flithich

Abdelnoor way back in 2008

After winning Wasdale and placing third in the 3 Peaks earlier in the year, Ambleside’s Ben Abdelnoor showed that he is a man for the long ones as he won today’s Borrowdale Fell Race…

His performances in the shorter stuff haven’t been too shabby either, so good in fact that he is looking good for a medal in the English Championships this year too, with just Sedbergh to go in a couple of weeks time. He also earned his first England vest at the World LDMRC in Slovenia after his 3 Peaks effort, and went on to place 12th in those World Champs – it really has been a breakthrough year for Ben.

© Andy Holden

Ben Abdelnoor at Mearley Clough 2011

Reports from the course (on this FRA thread) state that Abdelnoor must have been cruising at a point on this tough 17 mile race that takes in 7000ft of climbing, as when he encountered Borrowdale record holder Billy Bland whilst coming over Honister he winked at him!

His win today was a close-run thing though, winning by just a handful of seconds from a resurgent Ricky Lightfoot, who is returning to form after a long lay-off due to an achilles injury. His second place today comes after a win at the recent Rydal Round and Ricky is looking good as he heads off to the States in a couple of weeks for the Trans Rockies stage race, partnering Tom Owens.

Third today was Carl Bell. The Howgill Harrier had an excellent run and was closing on the leading two by the finish, with barely a minute separating the first three runners. Borrowdale stalwarts Jim Davies and Ben Bardsley were in 4th and 5th.

Speaking after the race Ben told MST:

“Was a very close race. With a large group containing Simon Booth, Ben Bardsley, Pete Vale, me, Carl Bell, Jim Davies and Ricky Lightfoot all reaching Scafell summit together. Ben (Bardsley) and Ricky had opened up a minute or two gap skirting Glaramara but then must have gone off route as they joined in behind us as we headed towards Esk Hause!

Simon Booth descended to the corridor route at an unbelievable pace, and by the time we reached Gable it was down to Simon Booth, me, Ricky Lightfoot and Carl Bell. I pulled a gap on the run in and the last mile or so involved me running scared with Ricky breathing down my neck and Carl not far behind!”

Ricky Lightfoot added:

“I felt really strong today, and a took a couple of bad route choices, I was chasing Ben at the end and just sort of ran out of race – but that’s fell racing! I’m feeling better with each week that passes now and I am looking forward to a good last part of the season if I can keep injury-free.”

Andrea Rowlands made the long trip from North Wales very worthwhile, taking the women’s race in comfortable fashion. The Eryri Harrier is another runner who is flourishing this year on the longer races, after a strong run at the 3 Peaks and a win at the Welsh 1000m she went on to finish a fantastic 5th at the World Long Distance champs in Slovenia.

© Al Tye /

Andrea Rowlands

Heather Marshall was second, with long-distance specialist Nicky Spinks in third.

Images here courtesy of (thanks to Scott Baistow for the heads up!) and full results are over at the Borrowdale site here

Mens top 5
1 02:52:37 Ben Abdelnoor Ambleside Athletic Club
2 02:52:56 Ricky Lightfoot Ellenborough Athletic Club
3 02:53:43 Carl Bell Howgill Harriers
4 02:58:28 Jim Davies Borrowdale Fell Runners
5 03:00:38 Ben Bardsley Borrowdale Fell Runners

Women’s top 3
1 03:47:43 Andrea Rowlands Eryri Harriers
2 03:59:03 Heather Marshall Unattached
3 04:08:06 Nicky Spinks Dark Peak Fell Runners

Reactions so far
  1. Neil Aug 8, 07:26 AM

    Good report Matt
    I put a link to it from

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