Former winner Jez Bragg embarked on another tilt at the classic Fellsman race last weekend, but after some nav issues on route had to settle for third place this year at one of the UK’s original ultra races…
383 Competitors toed the line of the 52nd Fellsman in windy and wet conditions which improved over the course of the day. Adam Perry and Kim Collinson set the early pace and went on to jointly win the event, the first time this had happened in many years.
Jez ran his usual race, starting conservatively and then pushing on and was making his way through the field with only Collinson and Perry in front when he experienced difficulty locating the Middle Tongue checkpoint, which was not in position, wasting valuable time, making the front runners lead unassailable.
“As always The Fellsman was a great adventure and a memorable day out on the hills. I was happy with my race until the missing checkpoint scenario, and being on my own at that point, took longer to search the area and come to the decision to move on having not found it. Unfortunately it had been setup in the wrong location, so whilst it didn’t compromise my completion of the event, it did impact the racing aspect.”
“These things happen in off road events of this nature but the leader’s gap went from 15 minutes to over 30, at which point I knew I wouldn’t be able to reel them in. There was a nagging head wind all day which made the pace slower than usual, but I was pleased with how I felt throughout, and should provide a positive stepping stone towards Western States at the end of June. My focus is on getting back to racking form in the big events after a lengthy recovery spell from the Te Araroa Expedition”.
Jez has two major races on the horizon with the Western States 100 in California at the end of June followed by The North Face® Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc® in August.