When it comes to challenging surprises, the best was definitely saved till last at this year’s Muker Show fell race. The race is the last one in a series of races over the August Bank Holiday, where there are more races than days for those with hardy legs and speedy means of transport. However, this was no deterrent as 71 seniors and 71 juniors crossed the start line.
The weather over this bank holiday has been mixed but has included a large volume of water falling on the Yorkshire fells. This water has then meandered its way to the River Swale as it crosses the fell race course, to make it far deeper and faster flowing than normal and borderline dangerous for smaller runners. Indeed the U12 course was altered due to the high river levels. For the seniors and older juniors, it merely added to the fun and challenge of the race. In the interests of safety, ropes were strung across the river, for runners to cling onto as they waded across the now deep, fast running water course.
Once runners have crossed the start and launched themselves at the swollen river, they are treated to a steep, calf burning climb over 2 peaks to the summit and turn. The course then takes a diagonal line down the fell, crossing the river again and the final sting in the tail of an uphill finish.
Race winner was Barlick Fell Runners’ Jimmy Craig (11:56), who approached the deep river crossing with fearless determination. 2nd man was Borrowdale’s Oscar Meanwell (12:05), repeating his position of 2014. 3rd place went to Wharfedale’s Ted Mason (12:13). 1st lady was Wetherby Runners Caroline Lambert (14:14), who was one of the younger runners in the senior race. 2nd place was also taken by a younger runner, in the form of Helm Hill’s Hannah Russell (15:38). 3rd lady was Caitlin Pearson (16:59).
The U17 race, including river crossing, was won by Wharfedale’s Thomas Nelson (12:14), chalking himself up an epic 5th win in 5 races over 5 days. 2nd and 3rd places went to Kendal’s George Purcel (13:21) and Helm Hill’s Jake Wren (13:37). 1st girl across the line was Helm Hill’s Georgia Stevens (15:57), her 2nd win in this busy week of races. 2nd girl was team mate Katie Russell (18:31).
The U14 race was won by Keighley and Craven’s Joe Hudson (6:28) marking his 4th win of the extended weekend. 2nd and 3rd places went to Eden Runners’ Sam Almond (6:35) and Keighley and Craven’s Louis Hudson (6:55). 1st girl was Helm Hill’s Katie Thurlow (8:11) and 2nd girl was Mary Stones (10:48).
The U12 race was essentially a cross country run due to the necessary route changes. However, this didn’t prevent another win by Wharfedale’s Sam Smith (8:54); his 4th win over 5 days. 2nd and 3rd boys were Keighley and Craven’s Harvey Lewis (8:56) and Ilkley Harriers’ Lewis Carr (9:52). 1st girl was Keighley and Craven’s Mia Petrucci (10:43), followed by Richmond & Zetland’s Alana Teasdale (11:13) and Keighley and Craven’s Emma Peel, 3rd (11:18).