Some glorious weather out there at times this weekend, with others racing beneath leaden skies and getting lost in the clagg! Wins for man-of-the-moment Ricky Lightfoot, Tim Davies and Helen Fines amongst others…
There was a very high quality field at the Black Combe race on Saturday, as Cumbrian Ricky Lightfoot romped away from a top notch line-up to win this excellent race from Silecroft nr. Millom.
The Ellenborough runner won by a clear minute from Rob Jebb, with Tim Ellis in third. With the likes of Ben Bardsley (coming off his skimo season), Jim Davies, Gavin Bland and Simon Booth filling the next 4 places this one was a quality affair.
Adding to that quality was Helen Fines, taking the women’s race, ahead of GB mountain internationals Lizzie Adams and Anna Lupton. High class indeed!
Over in Wales there were two excellent events in the north and the south. Saturday saw the Pipedream event, which is no ordinary fell race! This one starts in the village of Dolgarrog and quickly ascends hundreds of concrete steps alongside a mountainous pipeline, and then becomes more of a traditional fell run with moorland and a sharp descent back to the village.
Kent AC runner Russel Bentley made light work of it all finishing just 4 seconds outside of Ifan Richard’s course record in 35:07. His time was good enough for a 2 minute plus win, ahead of John Parkinson and Aled Edwards. Former England international Becky Taylor won the women’s race.
Report, images (by Fell Running Pictures) and results online at the WFRA site here.
Meanwhile in South Wales it was the Tour of Tonpantau, round one of the WFRA Open Welsh Fell Running Championships. 4th placer and first vet Martin Cliffe was on-hand for a write-up:
Very cool conditions, ice underfoot [slippy descents] and low claggy cloud, which caused many nav problems! Tim Davies won in1.04.08 with 2nd Hugh Aggleton 1.04.08 and 3rd Peter Ryder 1.04.09, though the top 3 came in together after running pretty much the whole route as a unit. Mercia’s Paul Jones was with them til the return run but got caught out in the pea souper and unforunatley found himself misplaced and way down the field.
I came in 4th 1.06.52 ,the 1st 4 came in under the old course record and was 1st v40]. Mercia’s Mel Price got caught out in the cloud with several runners claiming faulty compasses!! So, 1st lady was Louise Barker of Aberystwyth in 1.26.59.
Images by Al Tye on FRP are here.
Over near Congleton the excellent Cloud 9 race attracted a massive 421 runners, for this lovely 9 miler. 2011 winner Jack Ross was back, but wasnt quite good enough to unseat multiple British and English fell champion (and former Cloud 9 winner) Simon Bailey. The Mercia runner was shy of his own course record in 54:54, a little under a minute up on Ross (55:46). Staffs Moorlands runner Kerry Marchant won the women’s race in 1:06:50.
Steve Webb reports:
A sunny and dry day for the 26th Cloud 9 Hill Race which attracted a record number of entries. Simon Bailey of Mercia FR returned to claim his sixth win in 54:54 but was closely followed in by Jack Ross of SMAC, the Young Pretender and last year’s winner, in 55:46.
Third was the ever improving Julian Goodwin of Boalloy RC in 56:55. With regular Olivia Walwyn resting in preparation for next week’s Inter-Counties, the ladies race was fairly wide open. Kerry Marchant of SMAC prevailed in 66:50,with birthday girl Sharon Johnstone of Wilmslow RC in second place and first V40 in 67:42. Late entrant Diane McVey of Wilmslow was third in 68:36.
Results now online via the Congleton Harriers site here.
Images via Race Photos here
Details and reactions from Bishop Hill and Glaisdale Rigg to follow…