Keswick AC’s Carl Bell has become British Fell Running champion for the second time in three years after just doing enough in Scotland at the Creag Dhubh Hill Race to win the series overall over the weekend. Saturday’s race was a short counter which doesn’t suit Carl’s strengths, but after finishing 8th, he came out with just enough points to win the Championship. Carl said on his win, “It’s been an interesting season as I didn’t intend doing the British championships but after a good result in Wales and winning Great Lakes fell race I had to go for it. Leading up to the Scottish race it’s been a bit of a whirlwind with massive highs getting married to extreme lows as I lost my Uncle in tragic circumstances. Since my Uncles death he’s been in my thoughts a lot even when out running. And that’s why I felt even more pressure as I wanted to win the Championship in his memory”. Keswick AC’s Mark Lamb finished in third place in the Championship after playing to his own strengths and finishing a strong 4th in Scotland and winning the race in Ireland earlier in the year. Keswick AC men won the team prize and that made it 3 British team championship titles in a row which is something for the club to be really proud of. Eight runners have counted in the championship which include Mark Lamb, Calum Tinnion, John Battrick, Steve Hebblethwaite, Harry Greenbank, Carl Bell, Brennan Townsend and Sam Stead. Other team members have travelled and helped out along the way and special mention must go to Steve Angus and Steve Jones who counted for the team in Wales.
Also at the weekend, it was the challenging Borrowdale fell race! And a different Keswick men’s team managed to win this too. This is always a very popular race and this year was no exception in spite of the British Championship race being on the same day with 282 runners setting out in Borrowdale. It was hot and humid and nearly all the runners struggled in these conditions. From the start at the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite, the runners went out on the stony track to Stonethwaite and up on to Bessy Boot. The route then rolls endlessly round the flanks of Glaramara, skims the other side of Allen Crags to reach Esk Hause before a slow haul to Scafell Pike. A mad but careful dash along the corridor route follows, cutting across to Styhead Pass and the leg sapping grind up Great Gable. Carefully down to Windy Gap, round green Gable, onwards and round Brandreth to the relief of a grassy downhill dash to Honister Pass. Just up and over Dale Head and it’s all over! 17miles and 6,500 feet of climbing in total! The race was won for the seventh time by Ricky Lightfoot, quickly followed by Keswick’s Brennan Townshend who has had an amazing season of running. The ladies winner was Majka Kunicka from Dark Peak Fell Runners. Dan Mills and Steve Halsall coming in 4th and 7th ensured a Keswick win. Both Tom Day and Steve Jones both had magnificent performances, going from strength to strength this season. The Keswick women sadly didn’t manage the team prize but still ran well coming in: Lucy Burnett 9th, Rachel Findlay-Robinson 13th and Lesley Malarkey in 21st out of 27 women runners who completed the race.
Other great results for the athletic club over the weekend included Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn and Charlie Bradshaw taking first and second places at the Peak Skyline in Derbyshire. Also in the recent Lakeland 100: Rob Allen finished 13th and Andy Slattery completed the race for the 4th time with very wet conditions for much of the time. Completing the Lakeland 50 for Keswick were Craig Marsh and Sarah Mellodew.