Winner Morgan Donnelly
Sunday's Sedbergh Hills race at 16miles and 6500ft was the last counter in the 2011 English Championships. On the start line were championship hopefuls Ben Abdlelnoor, Chris Steele and last year's champion Rob Hope. Rob Jebb and Ian Homes were not on the start line.
Also toeing the line was fellrunning's own Manx Missile Lloyd Taggart who missed the Duddon Long Counter so a top 8 finish today could gift him the English title. The race was also a counter in the British Championships, so attracting a larger field and particularly Morgan Donnelly who led the ascent of the first climb CP1 Arant Haw with only Lloyd able to pick up the gauntlet.
After CP2 Castley Knotts, the 'Brothers of Mercia' Andrew and Tim Davies along with Eryri's Richie Roberts chased the two leaders along the 3mile undulating path to CP3 the appropriately vague sounding 'Stream Junction'.
CP3 is where the route divergences started, with the teams working in units: Pudsey and Bramley's Darren Kay and Graham Pearce with Ambleside's Ben Abdelnoor in tow, took the low route with a sharp climb to the col; the welsh contingent (Davies brothers with Richie R) taking a sharp right climb; the Borrowdale lads (Jim, Ben B, Chris Steele and Mike Fanning) taking the same route but with a sharper descent. Pudsey and Bramley's route proved best until they dropped too quickly, losing their advantage.......meanwhile, no-one could catch the Siamese twins Morgz and Lloyd.
The next challenge was the significant but runnable climb of The Calf. Here Morgz kicked and consolidated his lead to almost two minutes over Lloyd. But today was a 'Tale of Two Winners' 2nd place for Lloyd meant he had won the English Championship!
1. Morgan Donnelly - Borrowdale - 2:02:44
2. Lloyd Taggart - Dark Peak - 2:04:29
3. Darren Kay - Pudsey and Bramley - 2:08:45
4. Ben Abdelnoor - Ambleside - 2:08:51
5. Andrew Davies - Mercia - 2:08:59
6. Carl Bell - Howgill - 2:09:00
7. Mike Fanning - Borrowdale - 2:10:35
8. Tim Davies - Mercia - 2:10:47
9. Graham Pearce - P&B - 2:10:58
10. Karl Gray - Calder Valley - 2:11:50
Man of the Match
This has to go to Darren Kay for winning the messy fight for 3rd over The Calf and beyond (as 1st and 2nd were decided before Arant Haw) and for modestly saying "I was lucky".
Darren 'the future's so bright' Kay pictured with groupie Mike Fanning.
Combative Award (joint)
To Andrew Davies and Carl Bell (who won the Weasdale race the day before) for the descent of The Calf, clawing back 5th and 6th place respectively.
Carl Bell winner of today's Combative Award
Post Race Ramblings
"Mark Palmer took me the wrong way!" John Heneghan
"You need to run more to run better!" Ben Bardsley
"Just jogged it to claim bronze in V45 but all my success is down to my fantastic wife." Mark Roberts
"Dark Peak had a fantastic battle for 18th place!" Dave Taylor about his run in with Stuart Bond
"In was 1st in the 5 x 4000m peaks in the last 3 weeks club!" Mike Robinson
"My bees have made 17litres - Want a jar of honey?" Chris Steele
Open - 1st Lloyd, 2nd Rob Jebb and 3rd Ian Holmes.
MV40s - 1st Lloyd, 2nd Ian Holmes and 3rd Darren Kay.
Lloyd Taggert (winner of the open men's and the V40's English Championship) with Jackie Lee (winner of the Sedbergh ladies race)Sedbergh Ladies
Jackie Lee led the ladies home from Anna Bartlett and Cumbrian superstar Lou Roberts in 3rd.
Has anyone else won the English Open (Mens) and V40 Championships in the same year?