After the Blisco Dash race a couple of weeks before, there was barely time for English Championship fell runners to catch their breath as the next round (five) took place on Saturday at the 10-mile Turner Landscape race in Seathwaite…
Simon Bailey and Helen Fines cemented themselves as not only winners on the day, but also favourites for the 2013 English Fell Championships. With five races down Fines’ lead is unassailable, with 3 wins and 2 second place finishes.
Prior to Saturday’s race Bailey was lying in 14th in the Championship standings, mainly down to the fact that he hadn’t competed in a medium or long race. However, with the Turner Landscape win the Mercia runner now just needs a good position in the Edale Skyline ‘long’ race at the end of September to secure another English crown.
Of course, the likes of Turner runner-up Rob Hope, Rob Jebb, Morgan Donnelly and Lloyd Taggart are all still in the mix, as with a long distance fell race at that time of the year weather conditions and navigation skills could play their part and there could be a few twists and turns before the 2013 title is decided.
As far as the Turner Landscape men’s race was concerned, second place man Rob Hope gives us his take:
Simon got a lead, I caught him at Dow Crag, we ran together for a while and then he got away on the descent to the finish. My back’s not keen on pushing the descents too often!
Felt pretty good though overall and enjoyed the run. It’s a cracking newish course with a really tough climb up Grey Friars, down and then up Swirl How and then great ridge running over to Coniston and up Dow Crag before another ridge/traverse to White Pike. Duddon’s a great part of the Lakes especially when it’s sunny.
Simon’s in pole position now with 3 wins but all to play for Edale on 29 Sept and a bit of a lottery if the weather’s bad. Over that distance anything could happen and therefore there are several still in with a shout.
Behind Bailey (1:22:52) and Hope (1:23:23), Dark Peak’s Lloyd Taggart (1:25:24) finished third.
In the women’s race Fines (1:38:52) was all on her own, as she finished nearly 4 minutes mins up on second placed Judith Jepson (1:42:44), with Ambleside’s Jane Reedy (1:43:07) just behind in third. After a couple of years of going close in the British and English women’s championships, the Calder Valley runner really has been a class apart in women’s fell running this year.
Women’s Championship standings (before Turner Landscape)
Men’s Championship standings (before Turner Landscape)