Bell and Collison in impressive form at Wasdale Horseshoe race
TWO runners from Eden put in outstanding performances to finish second and third in one of the toughest fell races in the UK, the 21-mile, 9,000ft Wasdale Horseshoe.
The race, which took place on Saturday, takes in such Lakeland “giants” as Great Gable, and was won by Ricky Lightfoot, of Ellenborough Harriers,followed by Howgill Harrier Carl Bell, of Brough, and Eden Runners member Kim Collison, of Penrith.
Lightfoot, who repeated his win of 2007, crossed the line in three hours, 44minutes, 40 seconds the fastest time since 1990. The record, set by Billy Bland in 1982, is 3.25.21.
Bell’s time was 3.57.42, with Collison finishing in 4.03.59. Another member of Eden Runners, Sam Ware, was eighth in 4.19.39.
In fifth place and first veteran over-40 was Borrowdale Fell Runner Steve Birkinshaw in 4.12.27.
First woman home was Jasmin Paris, of Carnethy HR, who was 12th overall in 4.30.51.
Lightfoot’s victory underlined the fact that when fit and he is among the best fell runners in the country.
So far this year, Bell has won the Upper Eden Yomp Mountain Challenge and set a new record on his way to victory in the Dufton-based High Cup Nick race.Third placed Collison said: “I was pretty pleased with the result, but a little disappointed not to go under the four-hourbarrier, missing it by four minutes.
“The route is probably one of my favourites. Being often described as the hardest classic fell race, it is both physically andmentally challenging. The views are among some of the best in the Lake District and you certainly pack them in on the21-mile, 9,000ft route.
“The weather was good, with high cloud keeping temperatures down, but the ground was fairly boggy early on due to the amount of recent rain.
“I got pulled into a fast start by Ricky Lightfoot which would prove to affect the last quarter of my race. I was with Ricky and Carl until the start of Seatallen, then started to lose ground, but I found Carl again on Pillar. I tried to force the pace to try and shake Carl, but I couldn’t quite lose him, andeventually, by Esk Hause, I had hit the wall andstruggled over Scafell Pike back to the finish, losing seven minutes on him. However I’m still delighted with a 12-minute personal best, but I would love to win a Lakeland classic race in the future.”