Last Saturday saw one of the most challenging races in the FRA calendar and this year a counter for the British and English Fell running championships:  the Darren Holloway Memorial race also known as the Buttermere Skyline.  At 35.5 km (24 miles) and with 2515m of ascent, this is a fabulous race starting above the Kirkstile Inn and running across to Whiteside, Grassmoor, Whitelass Pike, Newlands Hause, skirting Robinson and Hindscarth to Dale Head and down to Honister.  Take a deep breath and head up to Inominate Tarn (with a welcome dip for some), round Haystacks, the dreaded staircase to High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike running off towards Scale Force before a final leg sapping climb of Melbreak and off the back, down the lane and an uphill finish to the village hall.  That’s a very tough route but fortunately there was cloud cover for most of the route and excellent visibility making the dry conditions close to perfect.  Hence a new record for Carl Bell coming home in 3.45.20 taking eight minutes off his previous record.  As Carl said ‘I made sure I knew where I was going this time!’

Keswick’s men’s team took first place with able support for Carl from Dan Haworth (10th), James Appleton (17th), Steve Halsall (22nd), Sam Stead (29th). Mark Lamb (81st) and excellent performances from Tobias Barthelmes and Simon Newing.

The ladies also did well with the team coming third.  An outstanding performance from Suzy Brett (8th) supported by Vic Haworth, Kerry Cornforth, Zoe Webber, Cat Spurden and Helen Winskill.  Lesley Malarkey also managed to knock 3 minutes off her V65 record for the course.

All in all an excellent day for the Keswick runners.  New members always welcome: email

Photo credit: Stephen Wilson