With a strong finish at Cautley Horseshoe, the Bingley Fell ladies hit their 2018 target of getting a team of 3 to at least 4 of the 6 English Fell Championship (EFC ) races and to feature in the results, ending the season as 9th Women’s Open and 7th V40 team in the EFC. A fantastic result. Several of the ladies also feature in the individual EFC results. More on that later.
The team target was ambitious. The first race was a Long (Edale) in early March so few ready for that, the other Long was Buttermere (at 22miles very long!) and one race was in the Isle of Man so an extra long way to go. Also we started the year with a limited number of regular fell runners and a couple focussed on other national events (Vic Wilkinson on Mountain Running and Lesley Watson on 5k, 10k and Masters Cross Country) so less available. But with some younger runners just hitting the senior ranks and some ladies interested to give the fells a go it still felt achievable.
Cautley Horseshoe was the last EFC race and the ladies fell team were looking for another score. Denise Wright, Becky Weight, Jo Henry and Eliza Findlay were pre-entered but with Becky no longer able to run due to an injury, fingers were crossed that the rest would make the team of 3. Unusually for an EFC race entries were available right up to the day and on the Thursday before Shona Stone found, with someone to collect Elliot (10), her son, from a school entry test, Becky to look after Emily (5) while she ran, and a lift on offer, she could squeeze the race in. This was also the last chance for extra bonus points for the Harriers Fell Championship and would push Shona to the top of the table above Simon Jones and Becky Weight. Whatever the driver it was a good result as it ensured the ‘team’ was safe and we had a car full for the journey.
Cautley Horseshoe is a challenging race with over 2600’ of ascent in under 5 miles. The climbs and descents are very steep and, as the Howgills are generally grassy, everyone was hoping for a dry day as steep, wet, grass isn’t great for up or down! An extra surprise was the thigh deep river crossing finish. The rope was a concession, frowned on by regulars, to it being a championship race.
Eliza, Denise, Jo and Shona – still smiling.
Gathering for the start of the Ladies race, with the first part of the ascent up the side of the screes onto Yarlside, in the background.
River crossing followed by a sprint across a field to the finish.
The steep long ascents and descents are where regular running in the Lakes or Howgills really comes into play. Denise’s time spent on Lakeland recces and races came to the fore bringing her in as our first finisher. Eliza was next in, despite a tumble on the way down and pulling up for a short while to recover. Shona and Jo followed, all buzzing with the race and talk of ‘hands and feet’ climbing, steep descending and, of course, the river. Shona was our only one to try ‘swimming’ – sorry I didn’t catch it on camera.
Our results (position and time) in the ladies race, won by Hannah Horsborough of Keswick in 51.07, were :
Denise Wright 52 1.12.17
Eliza Findlay 60 1.14.33
Shona Stone 63 1.15.21
Joanne Henry 76 1.33.13
Well done ladies – individually and as members of our Open and F40 Ladies teams for the EFC
The English Fell Championship – full results at https://fellrunner.org.uk/championships.php
Bingley team results in the 2018 EFC :
Women’s Open team 9th
Women’s V40 team 7th
The ladies who were part of these team results were :
Anna Macmillan Becky Weight
Denise Wright Eleanor Brown
Eliza Findlay Jo Henry
Kate Farley Michelle Garbutt
Nicola Jones Shona Stone
Sue Fulton Victoria Wilkinson
A number of other ladies were entered but health or other life had to take priority. Thankyou to all.
Bingley individual results in the 2018 EFC :
Vic Wilkinson 29th in Women’s Open (from her record breaking win at Edale, only one race entered as focus was on Mountain Running this year)
Eliza Findlay 5th in Women’s U23
Becky, Shona and Denise all feature in the Women’s V40 and V45 championship results
Becky was 9th V50, 3rd V55, and equal first V60 despite missing the last two races with an injured foot. Very chuffed.
As Ladies Fell team Manager I would like to say a huge thank you to all the ladies who helped with the these fantastic team results and all their ‘support’, and how proud I am of everyone’s achievement’s – from first Lakeland fell races to breaking records. The team doesn’t happen without runners and runners don’t get there without support of one sort or another. In the same way, all the support and companionship is a large part my individual success. Thank you.
Becky Weight , Ladies Fell Team Manager