A reposting of a previous 3 Peaks article, but we think it’s still a relevant piece to be pushing out there this week, and is always a nice refresher for those who may have read it before – for those who haven’t it’s a nice history lesson from those who have won the mighty 3Ps…
The Three Peaks Race is all about the runners. Tales are told that become folk lore down the years, however it’s generally the winners that are remembered – here a few snippets from those who have experienced that joy of winning…
What it feels like to win the Three Peaks Race
(With kind permission of David Hodgson www.threepeaksrace.org.uk)
Only a select few have experienced winning the Three Peaks race . We asked some previous winners to say just how they felt after winning and here is a selection of their comments.
Harry Walker – Winner 1978, 1979,1981.
After seven attempts to win I finally fulfiled my ambition. I felt extremely proud, and still do. I have many happy memories and some very bad ones. After struggling to do 21 races I have great respect for the runners at the back of the field.
Wendy Dodds – Joint Ladies Winner 1983. Completion of most races by a woman.
I fell over several times on the descent from Ingleborough and was helped up by other runners. Carol (Walkington) and I passed each other several times during the descent, until a mile or so from the end we agreed to finish together. I had always hoped to do 21 races and after about ten races I kept thinking can I do another 11, 10 etc. but when it was decided to give women ‘the picture’ after 15 races it took the pressure off. It has become psychologically easier to think of reaching 21”. Wendy is attempting her 21st race this year.
Jeff Norman – Winner 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975.
From the age of 18 when I first read about this race, I couldn’t wait for my 21st birthday, when I would be old enough to compete. Completing the race that first year probably gave me more satisfaction than some later wins, but after two “down the field” finishes, followed by a 3rd, then a 2nd, my first win was very special – an ambition fulfilled.
Hugh Symonds – Winner 1984,1985,1987.
The sensation of crossing the line, as winner at Horton is one of the best feelings in fell racing only rivalled by the atmosphere on winning the Ben Nevis. However, after my first win in 1984, feelings of euphoria transformed to shame within two hours, because post race celebrations in the pub meant that I completely forgot to attend the presentation. I wasn’t there to receive the magnificent carved trophy! Looking at it on the wall afterwards was a constant reminder of my stupidity and made me determined to win the race again. (He did – twice more)
Vanessa Peacock (Brindle) – Ladies Winner 1987, 1988, 1989.
Winning the Three Peaks Race gave me a greater satisfaction and sense of achievement than winning any other race. The demanding course, the spectator involvement, and the special history of the event all create a great sense of occasion. It’s the fell equivalent of the London Marathon.
Ian Ferguson – Winner 1991, 1992.
Most folks have heard of the Three Peaks so to win you are a hero. The only race that brought tears to my eyes whilst running the last 500 metres.
Gary Devine – Winner 1990.
I’ve come to realise that it was quite an achievement and that I am proud to have won it. I can still recall most of the race, mainly because of the tussle I had with Shaun Livesey.
Sarah Rowell – Ladies Winner 1991,1992,1994. Ladies record holder.
The Peaks was always a special race for me, one that I focused my training on during the winter. The emotions attached to winning depended how the race had gone – a real high when all went well, more a feeling of relief when it had been a struggle.
Gavin Bland – Winner 1993.
I ran for three hours without a thought of winning but caught Mark Croasdale close to the finish and had a little bit left for a sprint finish. A very unexpected Peaks win that just goes to show: Never give up!
Jean Rawlinson – Ladies Winner 1995.
I remember the conditions were very good and I set off steadily. I climbed Whernside with Kath Drake but overtook her at the summit and from