Weather forecast forces change of route for Ennerdale Horseshoe

Date: Friday 13th June 2014
Lee Newton, from Keswick AC, is chased by Sam Ware, of Eden Runners, and Chris Knowles, from Ellenborough
Lee Newton, from Keswick AC, is chased by Sam Ware, of Eden Runners, and Chris Knowles, from Ellenborough

THE famous Ennerdale Horseshoe fell race, which usually stretches 24 miles with 7,500ft of ascent, took place on Saturday.

It is a very tough race and one for which many runners put in a lot of preparation. This year it was also scheduled as a race in both the British and English fell running championships.

Heavy rainfall with thunder and lightning was forecast, and because of this the route was changedsignificantly to keep marshals and runners on less exposed ground, but with a view to maintaining the race’s category in terms of distance and the minimum allowable ascent.

The race was therefore reduced to 22 miles and 3,500ft of ascent,changing its whole character.

Probably due to the forecast, only 290 runners attended out of the 460 who had registered.

The British Fell Running Championship is now wide open and more unpredictable than ever. After the mayhem in the mist of the Northern Ireland race in which many runners were disorientated by appalling visibility, followed by this radically altered event which favoured the good flat runners rather than the ascenders and descenders who traditionally do well at Ennerdale, it is anyone’s guess who will come out on top in many of the age groups.

The race was won by Pudsey and Bramley’s Rob Hope (V40), in 2hr 52min 16sec, followed by Karl Gray, of Calder Valley Fell Runners (V40) and Oliver Johnson, of Dark Peak. Fourth was Borrowdale Fell Runners’ Kim Collison, withclubmate Morgan Donnelly (V40) seventh

Jackie Lee, of Eryri Harriers, won the ladies’ race in 3.18.26,followed by Bingley Harrier Victoria Wilkinson.

There was an excellent result for Keswick AC’s Julie Carter who, despite suffering tremendous back pain during the race, won the V50 category, putting her joint leader of the British championship with the Scottish and Welsh components still to come.

Other Keswick runners who took part included Phil Winskill, who is having an excellent season and won the Blencathra race three daysearlier; David Loan, who tooksecond place in the V60 section; Rob Jones; and Donald Ferguson.

In the ladies’ race Keswick was represented by Catherine Spurden who ran well, Lesley Malarkey, who won the V65 category, and Siobhan Brewer.