English Championship Fell Running – Fairfield Horseshoe

The third race in the English fell running championship took place on Saturday 19 May at the 40th Anniversary of the classic Fairfield Horseshoe race. The race is a 10 mile circuit, with 3000´ of climbing, starting and finishing at Rydal Hall. The race follows much of the classic walkers route.  Heavy showers and strong winds preceded the race, but the weather broke about ten minutes before the start and the race was run in clear and dry conditions.The race was won by Rob Hope of Pudsey and Bramley in a time of 1.15.13, two seconds outside the course record held by Mark Roberts. Second home was Bingley´s Rob Jebb in 1.15.22 with Simon Bailey of Mercia third in 1.15.33. Rob Hope ran well to overhall Jebb on the long descent from Fairfield summit where Jebb held a 40 second lead. Times to the summit were generally quite quick this year due to a strong wind pushing runners up the hill. In the womens race first home was Olivia Walwyn of Altrincham in a time of 1.30.54. Olivia was followed home by Janet McIver of Dark Peak in 1.31.14. Olivia and Janet were neck and neck at the final checkpoint but on the fast, half mile long track into the finish Olivia put her cross-country speed to good use in opening a 20 second gap. Third place in the womens race was taken by Candice Leah of Clayton-Le-Moors in 1.32.30. As well as a championship event the Fairfield Horseshoe also doubled as a selection race for the Snowdon International race, with the first two men and women home earning automatic selection.  Full race results, including checkpoint splits, can be found on the Ambleside AC website.