3 local lads are celebrating their amazing success in the British Athletics Hill and Fell Running Championships and the English Senior Fell Running Championships 2018.  MACs Billy Cartwright, Dan Haworth of Keswick AC (runs 2nd claim for MAC) and Harry Holmes of Pudsey & Bramley (who has recently joined MAC as 2nd claim) competed in the Men’s Open championships.    The races take place from March through to September and are some of the toughest in the Country against runners from the best British Fell Running Clubs some of whom are Internationally renowned.

In the English Championships there are 6 races - the races this year were the Don Morrison Edale Skyline (34k/1,373m), Clough Head, Lake District (8k/580m), Darren Holloway Memorial Race Buttermere Horseshoe, Lake District (35.5k/2,515m), Kate Burge From Sea to Summit, Isle of Man (14.5k/1,129m), Turner Landscape, Lake District (17k/910m) and Cautley Horseshoe, Lake District (7.54k/805m).   Billy finished in 7th place overall, Dan 5th and Harry equal 8th.  The overall winner was Carl Bell of Keswick AC.

Billy reports on the Don Morrison Edale Skyline which was the first counter in the English Championships. “I was curious as to how everyone’s Winter training had gone and who was in contention for the top spots.

My goal at the start of the year was to finish in the top 10 overall in either the English or British Championships. I knew the elusive top 10 would be a real challenge especially when a group of around 12 elite runners set off extremely fast.

Another runner and myself set off a little more cautiously and tried to keep the leaders in sight. The two of us worked well and as we snaked around the windy and undulating route around Edsale we began reeling in casualties from the rapid pace of the lead group.

I began to break away from the class Yorkshire athlete who I had been running with until ¾ of the race, when I pushed on along up Win Hill.

I was now in the top 10 and did not want to throw it away by getting lose on the final section of Kinder Scout (infamously known as the UK’s Bermuda Triangle), but as I descended the final rocky slopes of Ringing Roger, I could see the finish and knew I was going to finish in 8th place: my first top 10 finish in the prestigious English Championships. Now off to the Nag’s Head!”

Dan remarked in his recent Me!Me!Me! Footprint of a Runner interview that this year’s British and English Fell Running Championships have been amongst his most rewarding running challenges and that he particularly enjoyed Clough Head and Darren Holloway Memorial Race Buttermere Horseshoe and he is happy to have had some good runs and end up higher than would have been expected.

In the British Championships the races this year were The Mourne Highline, Northern Ireland (15.3k/1,300m), Tal Y Mignedd, Wales (6.7k/520m), Darren Holloway Memorial Buttermere Horseshoe, Lake District (35.5k/2,515m) and Ben Nevis, Scotland (14k/1,347m). Billy finished in 12th place overall, Dan finished in 8th place and Harry in equal 10th place.  The overall winner was Sam Tosh of Rossendale Harriers & AC.

Harry reports on the Darren Holloway Memorial Buttermere Horseshoe. “The running on the first half of the route, from the start along the road to the descent from Dale Head to the Honister Slate Mine is all on good paths. From here the terrain gets more technical with very rocky sections leading to Red Pike. I spent much of the race in the top 5 until the rocky sections. The first 20 miles of the race passed with me starting to suffer more and more in the heat, but the real excitement was saved for the last 2 miles after an unfortunate detour on my way to the final hill, Mellbreak. This deviation from the optimum route allowed Dan and Billy to catch up. From the top of Mellbreak I ran with them, following a fast trod, which they had found on a recce earlier in the year. Part way along the trod I fell head first into a gorse bush making my hands resemble a hedgehog (I was still picking splinters out weeks later). The ground became more runnable as we approached the last mile, and the pace started picking up. By the time we hit the road we were at a proper sprint and I did all that I could to stay ahead. In the end it finished with me (9th), Dan (10th) and Billy (11th).” 

Billy had 4 top 10 finishes out of 6 with 2 8th places being the highest positions.  Billy, Dan and Harry are hoping to train together over the Winter to push each other further and maybe even better the positions next year.

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