Ian Holmes (Bingley Harriers) finished a hard-earned third in the Borrowdale Fell Race.

This Lakeland classic starts in Rosthwaite and covers 17 miles and 6,500ft of ascent, visiting Bessyboot, Esk Hause, Scafell Pike, Styhead Tarn, Great Gable and Dalehead.

Borrowdale’s own Ben Bardsley led the field of over 350 runners towards the misty initial summit of Bessyboot, with club-mate Simon Booth, Holmes, Pete Vale (Mercia FR) and Cockermouth’s Chris Steele in tow.

Indecision by the chasing group meant Bardsley quickly opened a gap towards Esk Hause. Booth and Steele gave chase and caught Bardsley on the boggy trods behind Glaramara.

The trio stuck together, knowing Booth would be choosing optimum lines in what were trying conditions.

The conditions and visibility were causing problems throughout the field, with many tales of runners taking unfamiliar routes.

Once through the Esk Hause checkpoint, and over the slippery and rocky ground towards Scafell Pike, Booth started to apply pressure.

He and Steele broke clear with Steele struggling to stay alongside over tough terrain. On the steep drop into the Corridor from Scafell Pike, Booth opened a gap on Steele and the chasing group.

He had a comfortable lead by Styhead Tarn and, by Great Gable, was out of sight. Steele, who was forced to use own navigational skills, went astray and out of the race.

Booth extended his lead to win the race for the 12th time, in 2hr 52min 42sec, 11 minutes ahead of Bardsley, with Holmes, from Keighley, three minutes adrift in third.

Two dozen local runners completed the course. Richard Pattinson (Pudsey & Bramley) was eighth, with team-mate Brian Stevenson 26th. Wharfedale’s Colin Moses was 34th, while Andrew Jebb was next Bingley runner in 43rd, and Keighley & Craven’s Stephen Brock in 66th.

Otley’s Renee Saxton was 13th woman home in 4hr 38min exactly, ahead of Ilkley’s Nicky Jaquiery in 21st. The overall woman’s winner was the Phillipa Maddams (Keswick) in 3hr 19min 42sec.