BRITAIN’S leading fell-runners were in action in the sport’s spiritual home – the high fells of the Lake District.
For many of the Holmfirth Harriers contingent this was their first race on the bigger hills for several months.
The Coledale Horseshoe race run from Braithwaite near Keswick featured an 8.5-mile route with about 3,300ft of climbing.
This year’s race was a counter in the English Championships, the British Championships and a world mountain running grand prix, which meant top quality runners were milling around rather nervously in the starting field for both the men’s and women’s races.
Cold but clear conditions suggested that fast times were on the cards and the course records were shattered in both the men’s and women’s races.
Among the Holmfirth contingent Helen Berry maintained her strong challenge in the English championships finishing seventh in the race and was the fourth English runner.
Lucy Needham had another excellent race finishing in 24th place and claiming several notable scalps.
For the men, Tom Brunt climbed strongly up to Grisedale Pike and Eel Crags but lost a few places on the very fast descent, eventually finishing 31st.
Of the remaining Holmfirth contingent Andy Hauser and Bill Wade both came fourth in their respective age categories (V55 and V70).
The next two English championship races stay in the Lakes with the two long races – Great Lakes and Borrowdale – over the toughest fells in England, although many of the club’s fell-runners will be in action closer to home shortly in the Three Peaks Race in the Dales.
Results (Holmfirth unless stated otherwise): Men: 1 Joe Symonds (Kendal, 1-07.45); 31 Tom Brunt (1-15.02); 144 Andy Hauser (1-28.44); 179 Andy Shaw (1-32.15); 367 Bill Wade (2-11.40); 368 Jim Sommerville (2-12.12)
Women: 1 Lauren Jeska (Todmorden, 1-22.40); 7 Helen Berry (1-28.16); 24 Lucy Needham (1-36.12).