inov-8 athlete Tom Addison recorded one of the biggest wins of his young career when beating a stellar international field at the Middle Fell Race in the Lake District. The 23-year-old turned the summit in fifth place…
…but a fearless descent over steep terrain followed by a fast return to Nether Wasdale saw him overhaul four inov-8 teammates and claim the victory in the 6.6-mile / 1700ft race. One-time leader Orlando Edwards had looked set to repeat his recent big win at the Carnethy 5 Hill Race, but he missed a crucial turn in the last two miles and that allowed the chasing pack through.
Going stride-for-stride with top sky and mountain runners Aritz Egea (Basque), Eirik Haugsnes (Norway) and David Schneider (Switzerland), for all of whom it was a first taste of British fell running, Addison pushed himself right to the limit and reaped the rewards with a standout win.
Kendal-based Addison, who trains with Helm Hill Runners, said:
“I was fifth at the top but still felt I had a chance, so I committed absolutely everything to the descent. I took a few risks but it paid off, as suddenly the guys in front were getting nearer.
“As we hit the road in the valley the pace was seriously hot. Orlando was out in front but he missed a turn-off. We called him back but he couldn’t hear us. Then, over the final few fields, Aritz shot off. He opened up a gap, which I worked hard to close down. With about 800m to go we drew level and I just went for it. I’ve never felt an adrenalin rush like it. I kicked as hard as I could and didn’t dare look back!
“It was a brilliant race and the win has given me real confidence going into Pendle (the first 2014 English Fell Championships counter on April 5).
Addison wore inov-8’s X-Talon 190 shoe for the first time to win at Middle Fell, adding:
“It was really lightweight, a really fast racing shoe. The grip was brilliant and gave me lots of confidence to nail the descent the way I did.”
Egea finished second, just 12 seconds behind Addison, with Haugsnes third a further eight seconds back.
inov-8, who held their latest UK and European athlete retreat at nearby Eskdale on the same weekend, filled the top seven places in the men’s race.
Helm Hill’s Sharon Taylor took top honours in the ladies’ race, from Ambleside’s Hazel Robinson, with Judt Franch in third.