English Fell Championship race: Sedbergh Hills

Neck and neck against closest rivals

Neck and neck against closest rivals

The Howgills was the setting for the fifth English Championship Fell race on Sunday 17 August, when nearly 270 athletes descended on the town of Sedbergh.  The Sedbergh Hills race may only be 14 miles, but with 6000 feet of climb it is deceptively tough.

The weather was wet, cold and windy, with poor visibility on the top Arrant Haw and Calf, the highest of the summits visited on the route, making the going even harder.  

Helen Berry Sedbergh Hills

Helen acheives a 12 minute
course PB

Holmfirth Harrier Helen Berry made the trip to north to continue her bid to win the English Vet 40 Championship and came away with a strong chance of a greater achievement; a medal in the Open Championship.  She was neck and neck for most of the route with her closest rival in the Vets Championship, Mel Price of Mercia, but found the strength in the final mile to take the lead.  She beat Mel by 26 seconds in a time of 2:33:28, over 12 minutes faster than her previous best on this course last year. 

Having finished top Vet 40 in four of the five Championship races that she’s competed in, the title cannot be won by anyone else, however Helen must score at the final race at Hodder Valley next month to seal the Championship.   Whilst the Vet 40 title was her goal, Helen finished 2nd lady overall on Sunday which has boosted her points even further in the Women’s Open Championship, following her race win at Kentmere last month.

The men’s race was won by Rob Hope of Pudsey & Bramley, and the women’s by Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley, who smashed the record by 5 minutes. 

Sedburgh Hill results


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