Vic peaks in Yorkshire, as Coniston beckons

Posted in The Sweat on Fri 02 May ’14

© Mick Kenyon /

Vic Wilkinson driving on at the 3 Peaks

The second race in the 2014 English Fell Champs takes place on the summits above Coniston tomorrow, and once again inov-8 and Bingley AC athlete Victoria Wilkinson will be the one to beat in the ladies’ race…

In her latest inov-8 blog, Victoria reflects on her superb win at last weekend’s 3 Peaks Race when she posted one of the fastest ever times by a woman over the classic 37km course.


“To win the Three Peaks Race was always one of my big targets for 2014. It is both iconic and tough in equal measures – a true test of fitness and strength with no hiding places. Plus, me being a Yorkshire girl, it makes it a really special race.

“I felt strong going into the event, knowing that since Christmas I had trained specifically with the Three Peaks in mind. I also carried with me the confidence that came from winning the opening English Fell Championships race at Pendle. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t looked at previous times and records. In truth, I focus a lot of my own expectations and performances around the times and records of previous female race winners.

“Although the Three Peaks has been adapted over the years – some faster and some slower bits included – the times posted by the likes of Sarah Rowell and Angela Mudge, plus the record of 3:14:43 set by Anna Pichtrova in 2008, gave me a good guide. My plan was to run sub 3:30, knowing the key to this was getting the pace right from the start. I set my sights on Bingley Harriers’ teammates Andy Jebb and Andy Brown, thinking they would hit the pace I was looking for.

“The first bit of the race – going up Pen-y-ghent lane – was the worst section of the entire 37km for me. I just wanted that bit to be over and done with. I found it hard to get the right pace. Once over the summit of Pen-y-ghent I started to settle down a bit and run with good fluency on long section to Ribblehead.

“Next came the slog of a climb up Whernside. I took the opportunity to get some fuel in, knowing there was still a long way to go. Cheered on by my parents, I pushed hard up the climb, dropping Andy Brown by the summit.

© Mick Kenyon /

Vic Wilkinson at the 2014 3 Peaks

“I lost time on Andy Jebb on the initial part of the descent but then gained it back again on the section to Hill Inn. ‘If only I hadn’t lost it in the first place!’ I thought to myself. With my inov-8 x-talon 212 shoes feeling fast and grippy, I really put the hammer down on the bit between Hill Inn and the summit of Ingleborough. Bounding over the steps and boards, I felt great. Then on the steep, rocky section I started passing some of the men in front of me (always a nice feeling!)

“Three Peaks is one of those races…..when you reach the third and final summit of Ingleborough you kind of think it’s all over. Far from it – there is still seven miles of running to go back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale! Still alongside Andy Jebb, we toiled into the headwind, counting down the miles, until we finally reached the valley bottom again. I crossed the finish line in a time of 3:21:32, for first place and 17th overall. I was really happy with my time and performance.

“Next up is the Coniston Fell Race tomorrow, the second counter in the English Fell Championships. Bring it on!”

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