Meaty wins for Donnelly and Maddams are just champion
Morgan Donnelly and Pippa Maddams yesterday underlined their superiority in this year British Fell Running Championships by each taking final round wins at the Devil’s Beeftub race in Scotland…
Pippa and Morgan would not be crowned king and queen of the fells before negotiating two stiff miles and a severe wet and craggy descent. Testimony therefore to their championship dominance this year as they managed it with aplomb, with Donnelly outgunning Lloyd Taggart in a close race and Maddams winning the women’s race by a street!
Lost and found
In the men’s race Donnelly and Taggart hit the front early, as they raced to the top of the 750ft Beeftub and the memorial turn-point. Donnelly led at the ‘summit’ with Martin Mikkelsen-Barron in behind, and Taggart in third. They in turn were followed by a select group containing Andy Davies, John Heneghan, Prasad Prasad (returning from a long injury lay off) and Carnethy’s Sam Hesling.
From here on things are a little ‘misty’ but the reports from a few of those involved were that a group of 10 or so runners deviated from the course.
Not involved in the drama were Donnelly and Taggart as they both plummeted back to the start / finish area, leaving the course record in tatters. Morgan’s time of 19.45 a mere 12 seconds up on the fast finishing Taggart.
Such was the damage behind that soaked spectators had to wait another two minutes for the third placed runner, Al Anthony of Ochil. The ‘of-coursers’ littered the also rans, with Prasad and Heneghan just scraping into the top 30!
All of this was of course incidental. Donnelly was crowned winner and deserved 2011 champion, his conversation with MST back in July proving prophetic as his perfectly-timed efforts bagged the Borrowdale man one of the most coveted crowns in the sport.
As with the men’s championship, the title was Pippa Maddams’ to lose. Such was her dominance in the 2011 series that she could have finished pretty lowly on the day and still won the title.
No such luck for her rivals, as she not only won the race, but won by two and a half minutes – that in a 25 minute race – from Mercia’s Mel Price, who topped off a fine 2011 campaign with a silver medal in the Championship. Jackie Lee finished third.
The weather perhaps didn’t befit the occasion, and stories of a large group of men going off-course are still to be confirmed, however these things will be consigned to story books as the history books will record a first title for Donnelly and a third for Maddams – two worthy champions from Cumbria.
A great on-location report from Fell Running Briefs can be found here with more to follow.
Men’s results are over at Scottish Hill Racing here with women’s here, and some nice images by Chris Upson here and here, with a full and final Championship round-up to come on MST in the coming weeks. It’s been a great season!