SHR navigation course

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Thu 28 Jul ’11

© www.runsnowdonia.co.uk

Following the success of the navigation courses held in 2010 and continuing interest shown by members, SHR are organising another course for hill runners on the weekend of 15th/16th October based in Fort William…

The closing date for applications is 15th September 2011. Places are limited and acceptance will be based on a first come first served basis.

Further details and an application form here

A fell race with a difference…

Posted in At the Races on Thu 28 Jul ’11

© team.inov-8.eu

The wedding party

Last week we reported that top UK fell runner Chris Steele was to get married at the weekend – and then have a fell race up Melbreak hill in Cumbria! Some top fellow Borrowdale lads and lasses were also there to celebrate…

Most of Borrowdale fell runners were in attendance including many former and current fell champions including Mark Roberts, Jim Davies, Simon Booth, Keith Anderson and several more. The field also included current team inov-8 and in form runners such as Morgan Donelly, Ben Bardsley and Mike Fanning. All these guys along with lots of other runners were all up for a fell race so it became part of the celebration!

Full story over at the team inov8 blog

© team.inov-8.eu

The happy couple

Brits battle at WMRA Grand Prix Rd 3

Posted in At the Races on Tue 26 Jul ’11

© Dan Sims

Lauren Jeska

Lauren Jeska, Orlando Edwards and Adam Osbourne put in some great performances at a weather-hit third round od the 2011 WMRA Grand Prix in Slovenia. After some pretty big storms the route was shortened from 9.6 to around 6.5km…

No one was to get anywhere near four-time European MR champ Ahmet Arslan as he took the win by over 90 seconds from David Schneider, who also now has a good lead in the series. Edwards ran to a very strong 5th in a top international field, with Osbourne in 8th.

In the women’s race GP leader Emma Clayton was absent so it was up to Slovenian Lucija Krkoc to take the win and the overall lead in the series. Jeska had an excellent run in 3rd on the day and now moves up to 3rd in the overall standings.

Kamnik, Slovenia – The weather forecast for Sunday’s (24) 13th running of the Grintovec Mountain Running race was not a promising one: heavy rain with thundering and stormy winds above 1500m, and snow limit at about 2000m. Organising a mountain running race with the finish at 2500m above sea level, with no lodging facilities close to the finish, would be more than hazardous.

Full IAAF report by Tomo Sarf here

© Gerry Brady / imra

Ahmet Arslan takes number 4

Snowdon 2011: Jones takes five, as it’s third time lucky for Maddams

Posted in At the Races on Mon 25 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk

AndI Jones blasts up Allt Moses

The 2011 International Snowdon Race / Ras-yr-Wyddfa produced one of the closest finishes in the race’s history yesterday, as England’s Andi Jones took his fifth title on this famous mountain, from a valiant Murray Strain.

Having summited with a clear lead Jones was reeled in by Strain, and going into the last mile such was the Scot’s descent that he headed the Englishman by a handful of seconds, in the end he was unable to hold off the marauding Jones as he sprinted to an unprecedented fifth win.

It was to be double delight for the English, as reigning World Long Distance Mountain Running champion Pippa Maddams reversed the positions of 2010 as she took the women’s race ahead of Scots youngster Catriona Buchanan, making it third time lucky after also finishing runner-up in 2009.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictires.co.uk

Pippa Maddams

The runners were assembled for the customary 2pm start and were drenched in warm sunshine, a stark contrast to the high winds and lashing rain of 2010. In fact many runners returned to Llanberis with tales of extreme heat and dryness on parts of this historic mountain which requires an ascent of over 1000m / 3500ft over its 10 mile route.

Cae’r Ddol, the location for the race start, was described as one of the most colourful and best presented ever and the glorious weather conditions produced one of the biggest crowds for many years.

2011 was also significant in the race’s history as it now has status as a trial race in the Skyrunner World Series adding to the International flavour, and Welsh Assembly Member Alun Ffred Jones got the runners underway at bang on two o’clock.

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

The crowd were reminded of why this race is known as the International Snowdon race with the first 30 runners a sea of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Northern Irish and Italian vests.

Salford man Andi Jones immediately set the pace leading the 458 starters onto the mountain, as has become his trademark in the race over the last 6 years, establishing a sizeable lead by halfway with the Scottish team giving chase, as Strain and team mates Jethro Lennox and 2010 winner Robbie Simpson followed some 35 seconds back.

As they hit the very steepest part of the course named Allt Moses, Jones extended his lead still further, and onto Allt Goch to the summit his gap was over 50 seconds as he hit the summit turn in 41 mins 21 secs. Murray Strain, having just returned from a ‘training holiday’ in the Alps was looking strong in second, and with his descending prowess must have fancied his chances as they plummeted back to Llanberis.

What was to unfold was one of the greatest two-man battles this mountain has ever seen, as Strain caught Jones just past prior to the Halfway House check-point. Speaking after the race Jones said:

“It was a case of Murray taking it on over the technical stuff, and me pulling him back and pushing on over the flatter, faster sections.”

And so it transpired, as they descended past Hebron and onto the super-steep tarmac run in. Indeed post-race images show Strain with a 5 second gap over Jones with as little as 800m to the finish line.

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

And TV highlights showed just how great a race this was as the lead changed hands 5 times over the course of the descent. However, 4-time winner wasn’t to be denied and the tenacious GB international used his greater basic speed to haul in Strain over the last 400m to win by 7 seconds as he crossed the line in front of a crowd of thousands – the great conditions and fast-route producing a fast time of 1.05.57, Jones’ second best time ever at Snowdon.

© Es Richards

Scot Strain had to settle for a close second (adding to his third place of 2009), no mean feat against a man who knows this mountain well and had been targeting the event once again this year after missing the race in 2010.

Jones added:

“I’m really pleased, it was a great race and it means a lot to me to come here and with a fifth title. I’ve got some very good form at the moment too, after finishing 7th at the Europeans a couple of weeks ago.”

Jones’ previous wins had all been solo efforts, building very big leads at the summit, never to be caught, however when asked about what it felt like to have some company on his return to Llanberis he said:

“Yeah it was good actually, of course I would have preferred to

Hernando and Mirò revel in Dolomites snow

Posted in At the Races on Mon 25 Jul ’11

© www.dolomiteskyrace.com

Mireia Mirò

The weather in the Italian Dolomites this weekend was, let’s say, unexpected. Dolomites SkyRace® winners Luis Hernando and Mireia Mirò weren’t, however all competitors had snow and mud to contend with making racing very interesting..

Event release

Spaniards Luis Hernando and Mireia Mirò win the Dolomites SkyRace® while Italians Mikhail Mamleev and Emanuela Brizio maintain the World Series ranking leadership.

Champion skyrunners show their worth whatever the weather and Sunday’s third leg of the Series in the freezing Italian Dolomites was no exception with 609 out of the 700 entrants shivering on the start line.

© www.dolomiteskyrace.com

The original 22 km course to the summit of the Piz Boè was abandoned due to snow at 1,800m altitude and driving rain in Canazei. The alternative course, one kilometre longer, was designed to mimic the original although falling short by 450 m vertical climb. The maximum altitude reached was 2,300m at the Pordoi Pass, well above the snow line, but missing the steep rocky features and tricky technical descent of the original course.

© www.dolomiteskyrace.com

Luis Hernando

Hernando led from the start, followed closely by fellow countryman Miguel Caballero and Italians Larger, Tavernaro and ranking leader Mamleev. Tofol Castañer, reigning world champion, struggled to fifth after recovering from injury.

Spaniards Mirò and Oihana Kortazar together with American Brandy Erholtz led the women’s pack and reached the finish in that order with Russian Zhanna Vokueva fourth and standing world champion Emanuela Brizio, who with a fifth, managed to retain her ranking leadership.

The previous day’s World Series Trial in Wales with the Snowdon International Race had more luck weather-wise with England’s Andi Jones taking his fifth title and Pippa Maddams winning the women’s category.

The Series moves on to the Spanish Pyrenees on July 3rd with a Trial at the Ribagorça Romanica SkyMarathon® followed by the Course de Sierre Zinal, a classic all-time great on August 14 in Switzerland where the world’s top runners will compete.

Dolomites SkyRace® results here

Reactions so far

Big Preview: Jones goes for no. 5 on Snowdon

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Jul ’11

© Dave Pinnington

Andi Jones in 2009

The International Snowdon Race / Ras yr Wyddfa this Saturday (July 23) sees an international line-up that is one of the strongest for many years, and sees Englishman Andi Jones aiming for an unprecedented 5th win on this famous mountain…

With the event already set to be one of the greatest ever to grace the area, teams from across Europe will pit battle on the famous mountain in an effort to put their names alongside the former winners that include names such as Kenny Stuart (still the course record holder after 26 years), Angela Mudge, Tim Davies and Carol Greenwood.

© Gareth Llewelyn

Kenny Stuart at his 1985 record run

This year’s Snowdon event will also be a ‘new’ race on the 2011 ISF (International Skyrunning Federation) calendar, replacing The Ben Nevis Race as the UK’s Skyrunner® World Series Trial race, offering national and international competitors the chance to gain valuable ranking points.

© www.skyrunning.com

Winners of the International Snowdon Race are guaranteed their place in history. To be one of the men and women that have won one of the 35 races held since 1976 takes tenacity, talent and qualities that only the elite mountain runners possess. To be one of those athletes who have won the race more than once assures almost legendary status.

© Mark Croasdale

Andi Jones at the recent EMRC in Turkey

Andi Jones is one such runner, and returns to one of his favourite races after his absence in 2010. Winner of the race in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Andi was unable to take part due to the European Marathon Champs in 2010, but returns full of vigour in 2011.

The 32 year-old school teacher enters this year’s race in great form, fresh from a superb 7th place in the European Mountain Running Championships in Turkey last weekend.

Looking to take his second win, and prevent Jones from taking his 5th, is young Scot Robbie Simpson. The GB international returns to the place of his historic triumph in 2010, where he became the youngest ever winner of the race at juts 18 years old. Mountain running legend, and three-time winner of the race, Ian Holmes also returns this year, after finishing runner-up to Andi Jones in 2009 and placing 3rd in 2010.

© Neale Lewis-Jones

Robbie Simpson

Wilson Chemweno blazed a trail for Kenya in 2010, by becoming the first elite Kenyan runner to run the event and there is a possibility that two fellow countrymen and one woman will travel from the Eldoret area to race in 2011. This is to be confirmed, news will appear on the race website www.snowdonrace.co.uk.

One open event competitor to look out for is Englishmen Lloyd Taggart, who has shown strong from in recent weeks and has a pedigree of performing at the highest level.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Lloyd Taggart at Cader Idris 2011

In the women’s race 2010 winner Catriona Buchanan return to defend her title. The Scots youngster will face strong opposition, most notably from 2010 runner up Pippa Maddams. Having been defeated by Buchanan last year the Keswick athlete will look to add this great race to her career wins which have seen British Fell Running titles in 2009 and 2010 and a superb world title winning run at the recent World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia.

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Catriona Buchanan at Snowdon 2010

Another very interesting open entry also comes in the form of Katie Ingram. The 2009 winner has been part of the GB triathlon set-up in recent years, however Ingram is returning to the source this weekend, and after a fair hiatus from mountain racing it will be interesting to see how the GB international performs.

© Dave Woodhead

Katie Ingram

With the Home Countries and Irish teams having been announced the team races should be very competitive in 2011, with Scotland in particular looking to wrestle the team title from the English grip that has been present for many years.

“We have concentrated this year on attracting some high-quality international runners to the event”, says race committee member Jayne Lloyd. As the head of international teams at the race Jayne is excited at the prospect of some high-quality racing at this year’s event. “The Home Countries will once again a chance to prove themselves against the best of European competition.”

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

The Welsh team is also strong with the likes of Mathew and Richard Roberts, and Andrea Rowlands taking to the start line.

Another significant aspect of the race – and an underlining of its heritage and sporting significance in Wales – is the TV coverage that the event enjoys. S4C has been

Fells and bells…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 22 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Chris Steele

It will be a case of something old, something new, something Borrowdale and something blue on Saturday, as top English fell runner Chris Steele is getting hitched. But it’s not any old wedding this one…

Chris will be tying the knot at Dean Church before heading to Loweswater where there will be afternoon tea. All sounds very conventional and very pleasant. From then on it takes a rather different route, as Chris explains:

At around 3.30 we are having a 3.5 mile race up Melbreak. As most of the Borrowdale team will be in attendance it should be a pretty hot race, with many ex and current British champions there – Mark Roberts, Keith Anderson, Simon Booth, Pippa Maddams, Jim and Phil Davies, Morgan Donnelly, Ben Bardsley, me, the list goes on.

As many of the guests are fell runners I am hoping approximately 40 people will take part. Its a pity I will miss Snowdon this year but ! think this will be more fun!

© www.lakedistrict.gov.uk

Loweswater

“A very technical trail, it’s perfect” – Julien Chorier

Posted in Through the Lens on Thu 21 Jul ’11

© www.salomonrunning.com

This film is five minutes of what the Hardrock 100 is all about. US runner Joe Grant talks about the event and course being designed to be less targeted at competition, and more about just challenging the runner

The toughest 100 in the US for sure, and possibly the worlds most incredible ultra-trail race, you decide…

© www.salomonrunning.com
© www.salomonrunning.com

Weekend results…

Posted in At the Races on Wed 20 Jul ’11

© mylittlewalshes

Max Wharton (centre) winner of the under 16’s

Rob Jebb reversed his recent Brit Champs defeat at the hands of Morgan Donnelly as he won the Kentmere race on Sunday. Other racing saw wins for Mark Palmer at the Great Lakes Run, Simon Harding and Helen Berry at Holme Moss, and Lloyd Taggart at Ingleborough…

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Jebby at Yr Aran

There was a great turn-out for the English Junior Uphill-Only Champs at Sedbergh too, with almost 150 youngsters taking part across the age groups, with Jebby on hand for the prize giving. Full results here, and images here.

Weekend results, courtesy of the FRA:

Kentmere
Holme Moss
Oldfield
Oxenhope
The Ingleborough link doesn’t seem to work at the moment

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk

Holme Moss 2011 early on…

Weekend images…

Posted in Through the Lens on Mon 18 Jul ’11

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk

The leaders early on at Holme Moss

It was a case of fell runners in the mist at Kentmere and wet n wild at Holme Moss yesterday, but the inclement weather this weekend didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the fell crowd to once again turn up in numbers…

Looked a bit drier at Fan y Big in South Wales, the second part of the Pen y Fan weekend in the Brecon Beacons.

Results not out yet, but you can still feast your eyes on some great shots courtesy of SportSunday, Fell Running Pictures and Flaming Photography. Well done all!

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Helen Fines at Fan y Big

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk
© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Taggart and Adams at Ingleborough

Posted in At the Races on Sun 17 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Lloyd Taggart

Lloyd Taggart (running at the Snowdon International as an open runner next weekend) warmed-up by winning yesterday’s fast Ingleborough race, part of the Ingelton Gala in North Yorkshire.

Lizzie Adams won the women’s race on the straight forward out and back course which, is only steep and technical for the highest third of the race – the rest of the course fast running on wide tracks.

Full results and further details to follow as part this weekend’s round up later in the week.

© www.settleharriers.org

Lizzie Adams

Palmer can’t quite keep up with the Jones’

Posted in At the Races on Sun 17 Jul ’11

© www.breconfans.org.uk

Andres and Filipe Jones at Pen y Fan

The classic dash, up one of South Wales’ classic mountains, that is the Pan y Fan race, escaped the worst of this weekend’s weather as it went off in clear and dry conditions yesterday

Jones brothers Andres and Filipe warmed up for their Welsh vests at Snowdon next week with a one-two ahead of Mynydd Du’s Mark Palmer. Helen Fines bounced back from her 5th place at last week’s British champs race in North Wales to turn-in an easy win in the women’s race.

To be fair the 3.5mile sprint to the Pan y Fan table-top was probably a little short for Palmer, whose recent exploits have seen him win the Brecon 40 and run a fantastic 14.59 Bob Graham Round, however the Jones boys have been in pretty hot form of late too.

After leading handsomely at summit Andres was reeled in by Filipe and the even faster descending Palmer, on the super-fast descent once described by Keith Anderson (course record holder at an amazing 30 minutes dead!) as giving the runner “the feeling of flying”. However, Andres held of his Aberystwyth team-mate by one second in 35 mins 30 secs, with Palmer in third 25 seconds back.

Note: The fastest descent of the day was an amazing 9 mins 12 secs by Stuart Bellamy of Mercia!

© www.breconfans.org.uk

Helen Fines

Running for Vegan Runners Helen Fines was also swift on the descent, clocking an impressive 10.07, leaving her 7 minutes up on second placed Helen Bennett from MDC.

Full results over at the Pen Y Fan site here with some nice images on the gallery page here and cracking report here.

This weekend…

Posted in At the Races on Fri 15 Jul ’11

© www.edenvalleymessenger.com

The excellent Holme Moss is part of a great fell and mountain line-up this weekend, which also see the next generation take to the hills at the FRA Junior Uphill Only Championship Race in Sedbergh…

© www.flamingphotography.co.uk

Lloyd Taggart leads em at Holme Moss 2010

As usual all of the info on the above is online at the WFRA, FRA and the SHR sites.

Have a good one!

The Fellrunner is out

Posted in The Sweat on Fri 15 Jul ’11

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

It landed with a thud on the mat today, all 140 pages of it. For those of you who aren’t members and don’t receive the quaterly FRA publication The Fellrunner, then I will try and put into words what this magazine represents…

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Once again the Spring issue delivers emotive imagery, top quality reporting from people under the skin of the sport of fell running, articles written by the likes of Denise Park, Yiannis Tidimas, Mark Hartell and a highly detailed results section. Photography comes from legendary fell togs such as Pete Hartley too, with a great ‘All of our Yesterdays’ feature on the 1989 Ben Nevis race, convincingly won by Keith Anderson.

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

This magazine isnt packed with adverts, it doesnt seem to bow down to any particular brand. It is there for, and answerable to its FRA readership. It serves them pretty damn well I would say and does a great service to the sport, through honest, captivating and credible writing.

So, if you want a great read, that takes you to the heart of a sport like no other publication in the UK can, join the FRA!

Reactions so far
  1. Rob Sanderson
    Jul 15, 08:16 PM

    I would love to read that article on Keith he is one of the great character of the sport I meet him about ten years ago & we have been friends ever since then.

  2. Shyla Lee
    Jul 17, 06:12 PM

    Was pleased to see our film “The Bedlamites” mentioned in this issue of the Fell Runner Magazine. The film won an award at “The Peddler” short film competition in London on 15th of July.

    http://www.networkreleasing.com/microsite/the-peddler/the-contest

Weekend round-up…

Posted in At the Races on Tue 12 Jul ’11

© www.hillrunningscotland.co.uk

The grind up Glamaig Hill on Skye

With so much going on around the world and the British champs race at Yr Aran, keeping up with the rest of the UK’s fell and mountain running has been a proper task this weekend!

So we’ve selected a few races which perfectly capture the highs and lows of what was another busy weekend of racing:

The James Coulson Laxey Fell Race went ahead on the Isle of Man, and saw Manx Fell Runner Simon Skillicorn take a big win by over 5mins. Rebecca Wallace won the women’s event. Results are here, with some smashing images by Nicholas Bradley here.

© Nicholas Bradley

Ambleside’s Ben Abdelnoor continued his great 2011 season by winning at Wasdale in style. His time of 3.46 was almost 20 minutes up on Es Tressider, no slouch on the long stuff! Carl Bell was third. Results were not available at the time of writing

© Creaky on the FRA

Wasdale 2011 start

Brian Marshall won the Glamaig Hil race on Skye for an amazing 9th time on Saturday, Amanda Blackhall was first female. Results on the Carnethy site here, with a nice report on Hill Running Scotland here

View from the back

Posted in Dishing the Dirt on Tue 12 Jul ’11

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Fiona Glen recently got in touch with me about the MST coverage. As much as she likes the site, Fiona felt that we concentrated a lot on the front-end of the races, which is true, and that we needed a view from the back now and again…

Fiona has a point, so from now on she will provide a regular round-up of races from, lets say, the middle of the pack. What’s more Fiona will be happy to bring us stories from around the country and is encouraging you ‘midfielders’ to get in touch at the email address below…

Read on:

June views by Fiona Glen

There are a number of us hardened fell runners that never see the front of the pack during a race. Through rain, snow and sometimes sun we struggle on, the only glory coming from those dedicated marshals that clap us on and shout encouragement.

For those of you out there who share these moments, this monthly article is for you; to celebrate your achievements.

Forty years of WEETS saw a smaller than usual race, probably because of the move to a Saturday, nevertheless, the years have obviously been kind for some. Well done to Wharfedale’s John Thompson and Lynn Whittaker for knocking about 8 minutes off their 2007 times.

Paddy’s pole saw a good turn out this month. For Jan Atkins from Chorley Harriers this race was part of her quest to complete 66 races in her 67th year, she is obviously on good form winning the ladies V60 category. Good luck to her.

Moving further afield, Run Wales Open Forums is offering the chance to attend a number of events around Wales to talk about challenges when organising endurance events. See the Welsh Athletics site for more details.

As this is the first article it is a bit short. So for anyone that has some interesting “back of the pack” news please send it too:

fglen1@hotmail.com

Reactions so far
  1. Jason Kehoe
    Jul 13, 11:22 AM

    Well done Fiona on this new aspect of reporting on MST. Cant wait to hear the stories / reports from the ‘experienced’ mid pack runners.

The stile of Aran

Posted in Through the Lens on Tue 12 Jul ’11

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Ben Bardsley in full flight

More great shots emerging from this weekend’s British Champs race at Yr Aran race, as Sport Pictures Cymru were on the lower slopes of the race at a significant stile crossing, which made for some excellent images…

Those Welsh runners are a lucky bunch, what with SPC and Al Tye’s Fell Running Pictures.

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Mel Price

Gwynfor James captures some brilliant in-flight shots where grace and beauty is left behind in prefernce for getting over the thing as fast as possible! Some nice groups shots at the start of the acsent are on the Picsaweb set too – view ‘em here

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

© Gwynfor James / sportpicturescymru.co.uk

Jones and Clayton lead the way for GB at EMRC

Posted in At the Races on Mon 11 Jul ’11

© Mark Croasdale

Andi Jones

Seniors Andi Jones and Emma Clayton led the way at a sweltering European Mountain Running Championships this weekend, with top 10 finishes. In searing heat amidst top European competition their finishes were the highlights of a satisfactory overall performance from the GB squads…

Full UKA release

The 10th running of the European Mountain Running Championships took place today in Bursa, Turkey on Sunday. The event programme began with the Junior Ladies who raced over 3.5k and climbed 405metres. The junior men followed. Their race was 8.5k with 865m climb.

The senior ladies then ran the same course. The final event of the day was the senior men’s race over 12k with a climb of 1245m. The men’s race started in Bursa and finished on Uludag mountain summit. All races finished on top of Uludag mountain and started at various points along the mountain path. The weather was hot and sunny with temperatures around 30 degrees in Bursa and a slightly cooler 24 degrees at the top.

Great Britain sent 15 athletes, 9 of whom were making their international debut for Great Britain.

The junior women’s race was won by Denisa Lonela Dragomi (21:43) , from Romania. She was followed home by two athletes from the host nation: Yasemine Can (22:08) and Sevilay Eytemis (22:16). The British team was made up of debutants Ffion Price 14th (24:54) and Scout Adkin 15th (25:10) who worked well together and Beckie Taylor who ran well for 22nd (26:21). Turkey took the team honours and Great Britain were a credible 6th.

© Mark Croasdale

The junior men’s team

Turkey have become regulars on the podium over the last few years and today they took all the podium places in the junior men’s race. Nuri Komur was first across the line (43:08) with his team mate Sonmez Dag close behind (43:12).Turkey’s third counter was Murai Orak just a little off the pace (43:40). Like the GB junior women, the GB junior men’s team was made up of first-timers. Garry Rankin was delighted to make the top twenty. He finished in 18th place (48:27). After the race he said

“I was glad that much of the course was through the forest as it was tough in the heat when we were out of the shade. I didn’t expect so many flat bits on an uphill course but it was good for me because I caught quite a few so I’m looking forward to trying to make the team for the World’s now as that’s an up and down course.”

© Mark Croasdale

Junior men get underway

He was followed home by Jack Ross in 22nd (49:22), Joe Johnston in 29th (50:45) and Dominic Mahoney in 45th (54:50). Turkey again took the team honours and Great Britain again finished 6th.

The senior women’s race was the only race where Turkey didn’t win a podium place. This race was won by Martina Strahl of Switzerland (48:44). She was followed by Antonella Confortola of Italy (49:09) and Lucija Krkoc of Slovenia (49:24). Emma Clayton ran on this mountain in 2006 when she represented England in the World Trophy as a junior.

She led the team home then with an 11th place finish and today she bettered that by leading the British senior team home and she finished in 10th place (50:53). As she crossed the line she said

“This is my first senior vest and I really didn’t expect to come back and race as well as this! I had been told not to go off hard and I’m glad I listened because it enabled me to push harder on the downs and the flats. I then continued to pick people off on the steep climb towards the finish. I thought I was going to be 11th again but I managed to pass one more in the last 200m!

It’s great to compete against top class Europeans. I’ve been doing the Grand Prix in Europe so I’m learning how to compete with them.”

© Mark Croasdale

Senior women

Clare Whitehead was delighted to finish 26th on her debut (53:02). Victoria Wilkinson was disappointed with 28th (53:19) but glad to be back in European competition after injury and a virus. She said:

“You have to respect the European competition. If you lose 30 seconds you lose 10 places.”

© Mark Croasdale

Victoria Wilkinson gets in the zone

Nicola Meekin also made an excellent debut finishing just outside the top 30 in 31st (54:08). Italy won the team competition and Great Britain got another 6th place to their name.

The senior men’s race was won by Ahmet Arslan from Turkey in 58:08. He was followed by Gabriele Abate from Italy (58:40) and Jose Gaspar from Portugal (59:05).

French double at the World Trail Champs

Posted in At the Races on Mon 11 Jul ’11

© www.runconnemara.com

Erik Clavery

It was double delight for the French team at this weekend’s World Trail Running Championships in Connemara as Erik Clavery and Maud Gobert took the individual titles on a tough course that produced a true champion…

© www.runconnemara.com

The start at Kylemore

With 125 starters this was one of the biggest fields assembled for the championships and at the end of 70km just over 1 minute separated Clavery and Canada’s Jason Loutitt. Patrick Bringer of France completed the podium as the Frenchmen easily won the team prize.

It was a diffeent story in the women’s race with Gobert winning handsomely, well over 8 minutes up on pre-race favourite Cecilia Mora from Italy. Great Britain’s Lucy Colquhoun ran brilliantly for bronze. Again it was the French women who were too strong in the women’s team event, taking first, fourth and sixth places.

Full results now online here

© www.runconnemara.com

Lucy Colquhoun

Morgan’s season starts here…

Posted in At the Races on Sun 10 Jul ’11

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Donnelly crests Yr Aran

Borrowdale runner Morgan Donnelly returned from a long-term lay off to win round two of the 2011 British Fell Running Championships in emphatic style at the Welsh Yr Aran race yesterday.

Having struggled with an achilles injury in the early season, and more latterly with a twisted ankle, it’s clear that Donnelly’s season starts here. Speaking to MST after the race he was well aware that though he missed the round one Mourne Peaks race in Northern Ireland, he would be very much in the running for the title with Sedbergh (Long) and Devils Beeftub (Short) still to come.

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Morgan Donnelly

“This is where it starts for me really, with the next three that count in the championship, here, Sedbergh and Scotland (Devils Beeftub). I haven’t raced too much this year, and apart from the injuries I am feeling pretty fit.”

Speaking about his injury problems Morgan continued:

“I wouldn’t say I was fully fit at the moment. I had physio last night (Friday), and I still have achilles pain when I run, and I turned my ankle recently as well, so that’s what was really worrying me, and that was the other strategy for going out fast, as I didn’t want to be pushed too much on the descent – but it held up okay.”

“Well I am not very good at coming down, so the only chance I stood really was to get as much of a lead as I could and hopefully stay in front!”

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Donnelly heads back to Llanuwchllyn

200 starters got underway a little after 1pm, after overnight storms had given way to a beautiful summer’s day in Llanuwchllyn, just outside of Bala, and it was Donnelly who signaled his intent from the start as he raced into a lead. His strategy of getting away and building a big lead at the summit was obviously working, with runner up Tim Davies stating afterwards that he felt they shouldn’t have let him build such a lead.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

The Davies brothers: Tim leads Andy

Coming to the summit Donnelly led, from Rob Jebb, with Davies in third. Brother Andy (who was to finish an eventual fourth) admitted to going out a little too hard on the ascent and was in a group of 8 containing Lloyd Taggart, Steve Hebblethwaite, Graham Pearce, Rob and Danny Hope, Darren Kay and Eryri’s Richard Roberts, as they headed back down the rugged Aran descent.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Taggart leads the charge

Apart from Tim Davies catching Jebb on the descent the top 3 were pretty much assured, with Davies gradually reeling Donnelly back in and later saying “I ran out of race!”.

But the Borrowdale man was not to be denied and scored a super win of over a minute at the finish, breaking Tim Davies’ record to boot in 1:22:55.

© www.mudsweatandtears.co.uk

Morgan is well clear at Yr Aran

The women’s race was also a tale of one runner taking it out early and adding pressure for a resounding victory. There was no surprise in that the runner in question was Pippa Maddams – a women who has pretty much dominated British women’s fell running for the last three years.

She told us:

“I had been to recce the route and pretty much knew what to expect. It was still pretty tough though, and I went out hard to build a lead. Though at around halfway up I looked round and saw Jo (Buckley) so thought ‘get your head down you’re here to run!’ and pushed really hard to the summit”.

© Al Tye / www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk

Pippa Maddams

Similar to Donnelly, Pippa then built on this lead still further as she flew back to Llanuwchllyn for a 3 minute plus win, and sliced over 2 minutes off the course record into the bargain.

Calder Valley runner Buckley finished a comfortable second ahead of revelation Mel Price, who has been having a great season in Wales and Borders races. Lauren Jeska was fourth with Helen Fines in fifth.

Fines’ relatively (by her very high standards) low scoring position means that Maddams now has a commanding lead going in to the last two rounds and only needs to score well at the short Devil’s Beeftub race in Scotland in September to secure her third successive British title. Few would bet against it.

Some superb images as ever from Al Tye over at Fell Running Pictures now.

Men’s top 10
1 1:22:55 DONNELLY, – Morgan Borrowdale
2 1:24:05 DAVIES, Tim – Mercia Fell Runners
3 1:24:34 JEBB, Rob – Bingley Harriers
4 1:24:57 DAVIS, Andrew –