The Isle of Jura fell race is well-known as one of the most notorious races in the UK. Covering 16 miles with almost 8,000 feet of climb, the difficulty of the terrain is shown in the fact that all men who complete the race in under 4 hours, and all ladies who complete in under 4 hours 45minutes, receive a whisky glass from the Jura Distillery, who are the generous sponsors of the race. However, the challenge and unique atmosphere of the race is such that people go back to it time and again.
This year saw five local runners take on the challenge of the Bheinns of Jura; Steve Halsall, Rachel Findlay-Robinson and Vic Haworth of Keswick AC, and Ted Ferguson and Brian Horn of Borrowdale Fellrunners. Race day conditions were excellent, with good visibility but some cloud cover keeping temperatures to a manageable level. Ted Ferguson faced a drawn-out battle with Helm Hill’s Josh Jardine and Alasdair Anthony of Ochil Hill Runners, but emerged victorious to take first place over three minutes ahead of Josh in 3.19.30, with Alasdair coming in third. In the ladies’ race, record holder and new mother Jasmin Paris of Carnethy showed an excellent return to racing form, coming in 15th overall and over twenty minutes clear of second-placed lady, Annie Roberts of Todmorden Harriers. Anwen Darlington of Dundee Road Runners took over fifteen minutes off her personal best to come 3rd. Steve Halsall had a strong run to come in 7th overall, cruising easily to possession of a coveted whisky glass. Further down the field, Rachel Findlay-Robinson and Vic Haworth overcame lingering aches from the 37 mile Old County Tops fell race completed the weekend prior to put in solid performances, finishing slightly ahead of Brian Horn in 5.19.54, 5.27.42 and 5.30.41 respectively.
Photos: Ted Ferguson crossing the finish line, by Angela Champion
Keswick AC: L-R Steve Halsall, Rachel Findlay-Robinson and Vic Haworth, with the Bheinns of Jura in the background.