Sedbergh Gala Fell Race Results
Saturday 7th May 2017
Race ReportThe 2017 BOFRA season opened in fine style at Sedbergh this weekend. In a change with long tradition, there was no accompanying gala and the race took place a fortnight earlier than in previous years. However, that was the end of the changes as the race still set off and finished in the “show field” and followed the familiar route up and down Winder Fell.
The weather gods saw fit to bless the race as Sedbergh and the Howgills were bathed in bright May sunshine. A prolonged dry spell ensured that the ground was particularly hard underfoot, making it both fast and challenging in a way only fell races can be.
Familiar though the route might be, to seasoned runners, it is no less difficult. The race sets off from the well maintained sports field before it crosses Long Lane to a rubble track. The terrain again changes to lush fields and then rocky, technical footpaths. A sharp left turn through a gate marks entry to the fell at the base of Winder Fell itself. Runners are treated to a short relatively flat chase along the fell base before they commence the seemingly endless, calf burning, lung busting, hand over fist climb to the summit of Winder. To add to the joy of the ascent, there are 3 false summits lulling competitors into a false sense of security before the actual summit marked by the trig and cairn is reached. Runners round the cairn before launching themselves into a thigh wrecking long, steep descent back to the show field and welcome finish line. The descent is steep enough in parts that bum-sliding is the most efficient form of motion, and this year some runners made use of this mode of descent on the very dry, dusty grass.
The altered date did not deter runners as 82 senior and 96 juniors toed the line waiting for the starter’s gun.
Before the senior race was started. Ken Shuttleworth, who gave many years of service to BOFRA, was remembered with a minute’s silence. His son-in-law, Alastair Dunn is a former BOFRA Champion.
This year’s senior race was won by England and GB mountain running great, Ben Mounsey (Calder Valley) in 19.48, in front of club mate Darren Kay (19.55). 3rd place went to Wharfedale Harriers’ Jack Smith (20.14).
The winner of the ladies race was no less prestigious. Wharfedale’s Kirsty Hall is no stranger to the world stage and both England and GB vests. However, today it was her more local Wharfedale vest that was first across the line in the ladies race in 23.25, followed by Georgina Boyd-Moss 2nd (27.01) and Wharfedale’s Pippa Barrett in 3rd place (27.56).
The U17 race follows a similar outward route to the senior race but turns just before the summit to return by the outward route to the finish line. Race winner was Settle Harriers’ Sebastian Segger-Staveley (20.01) ahead of club mate Thomas Marshall 2nd (20.13), and Keighley and Craven’s Eric Beaumont 3rd (20.59). The girls’ race was won by Clayton-le-Moors Briony Holt (23.45), ahead of Rossendale Harriers’ Lauryn Gregg (26.18) and Helm Hill’s Miya Doherty (30.19).
The U14 race is shorter than the U17 race, and again has an out and back route. This year’s winner was Rossendale Harriers Joel Taylor (11.57), from Wharfedale duo Sam Smith 2nd (12.11), and Alex Thompson 3rd (12.43). 1st girl was Wharfedale’s Alice Jones (13.42), followed by Keighley’s Lilli Carr 2nd (14.09), and Halifax Harriers’ Iris Palmer 3rd (14.36).
U12 race winner was Calder Valley’s William Hall (7.41), from Keighley’s Sam Conroy 2nd (7.42), and Blackburn Harriers Dexta Thompson (8.00). Leven Valley’s Olesia Winder won the girls race (8.17) ahead of club mate Bethan Saunders 2nd (9.23), and Keighley’s Scarlett Metcalfe, 3rd (9.31).
The U9 race winner was Helm Hill’s Simon Rigby (5.17) in front of Settle’s Jack Sanderson 2nd (5.22), and Howgill Harriers’ Charlie Cotton 3rd (6.01). Keighley’s Millie Timbers won the girls’ race (6.04), followed by Settle’s Lucy Bagot 2nd (7.03) and Holly Nichols 3rd (7.27).