A range of weather conditions faced runners this weekend across the UK, from the snow and blizzards of the Winter Hill race, to the mud and bogs of the Wadsworth Trog and the Long Mynd Valleys…
Ricky Lightfoot sprinted away in the last few hundred metres to take the win at Winter Hill, ahead of a much-improved Tim Ellis and former British fell champ Rob Hope. Jo Waites took the women’s win in convincing style, ahead of Lindsey Brindle and Kirsty Seddon.
Course record holder Hope told us:
Ran Winter Hill today in the usual hellish conditions of mist, rain and blizzards and actually raced in tights which has happened maybe half a dozen times ever. The race ended up being a stroll round and a chat most of the way and a bit of sneaky time trying to lose Ricky and Tim Ellis and Tom Brunt in the mist on a few climbs!
It ended up being a bit of a wind up at the finish and Ricky and Tim both had me at the end, but it was a good Sunday run with plenty of climbing/descending which I’m somewhat lacking at the moment. Tim was impressive in holding his own on the climbs and has improved massively since last year, and I think he could be a real contender this year in the Champs races.
At another tough one on the early season calendar, Steve Cale prevailed over Pete Vale, at the Long Mynd Valleys race on the Shropshire borders. The Mercia men were separated by two and half minutes at the end of the 17 miler, with DPFR man Stephen Pyke in third.
Mel Price won the ladies race to make it a Mercia double, with Eryri’s Jackie Lee in second and Laura Gibson from Totley in third.
The day before Mercia had also hosted the Titterstone Clee race (part of the LMV double-header weekend). The wins went to Paul Jones and Jackie Lee, with full results here and images once again by Al Tye here.
On Saturday another large field hit the hills above Hebden Bridge for 20 miles of mud and fun at the Calder Valley promoted Wadsworth Trog race.
CVFR man Karl Gray was way out on his own as he took yet another win at the Trog in 2:49:11, almost 20 mins up on Mark Ollerenshaw, with Ian Symington a further 8 minutes back in third.
Valley Strider Kim Threadgall was first lady, ahead of Dark Peak’s Nicky Spinks. Jan Smith from Ilkley was third. Some great images by Tom Rattray here with full results via the Calder Valley site here.
Over in Wales it was the classic Tarren Hendre race, which went of in wet, claggy and cold conditions. Still, there was a strong entry of over 75 hardy fell runners, with Eryri vet Martin Cliffe coming out on top. Cliffe has improved once again this winter and is now amongst Wales’ best vets, taking the win by over 3 minutes from Chester Tri man Rob Grantham and local club Meirionnydd runner Dave Fletcher in third.
2102 British and English women’s fell champion Lauren Jeska stretched her legs for the first time in 2013 with a convincing win in the ladies race, ahead Helsby’s Joy Jayne and Aberystwyth club-mate Lou Barker.
Results and links to Es Richards’ race images are now online at the WFRA page here.
We are still waiting for the results and images from the South West at the Sidmouth 4 Trigs race, so keep an eye on their race page for news.
Finally, up in Scotland at the Devil’s Burdens Relay event it was to be a double for the Carnethy men’s and women’s teams. With SHR reporting:
Carnethy men had a convincing victory from Ochils with Bellahouston RR third, while Carnethy Women won the ladies race from HBT.