Running log

Runners from Australia, Finland and other far-flung places descended on Horton-in-Ribblesdale for Saturday’s Three Peaks Race.

But it was the Scottish pairing of Joe Symonds and Sarah O’Neil – from Edinburgh’s suitably-named Hunters Bog Trotters – who ran away with the prizes.

The local micro-climate served up a cold morning of high winds and squally showers as 750 runners headed off. Some only planned to run a few stages on the 23-mile course, while others were timed-out at the intermediate points at Pen-y-Ghent, Ribblehead, Whernside, Hill Inn and Ingleborough.

Interim times were tracked on the internet, for followers in Cumbria and other fell-running hot-spots.

The showers relented but the punishing headwinds tested runners traversing the valley from Pen-y-Ghent to Ribblehead and even more cruelly on the long final descent from the summit of Ingleborough back into Horton.

Rob Baker (Dark Peak Fell Runners) claimed the Yorkshire Fell Championships trophy in third place overall (2hr 58min 01sec). It was his first attempt at the race, which made breaking the three-hour barrier even more impressive.

So too was second-placed Carl Bell (Howgill Harriers), who was nip-and-tuck with Baker the whole race. Symonds’ winning time was 2:55:58.

Performance of the day was Karl Gray’s fifth place and first over-40 (3:01:19). The Calder Valley runner has been fighting knee injuries over the last couple of years.

Two first-timers from Baildon Runners put in excellent performances, with new recruit Sue Brown 16th lady (4:10:58) and Quentin Lewis 31st overall (3:26:59).

He was in a cluster alongside local rivals Ben Mounsey (Calder Valley, 26th), who was in the top 15 until suffering in the final leg, Mark McGoldrick (Wharfedale, 28th), Andrew Jebb (Bingley, 29th) and Sam Watson (Wharfedale, 30th).

Nearer the front, Rob Jebb of Bingley was seventh, while Pudsey & Bramley trio Graham Pearce, Richard Pattinson and Matthew Lockyer were tenth, 17th and 20th respectively.

Among the women, Bingley’s Aly Raw was sixth in 3:55:17, with Ilkley’s Jann Smith 13th and Pudsey & Bramley’s Claire Green 17th. Wharfedale’s Emma Dodds was first under-25 finisher in 4:44:57.

* The race website is There is also a series of race videos on YouTube – and then