Eskdale Elevation; 13 miles/4471 feet; AL; Saturday 2nd April 2016    Results

After three days of awful weather the inaugural Eskdale Elevation took place in constant rain and mist and involved a relatively small but thoroughly competent field of 43 runners – I suspect that with better weather this might have been a somewhat larger field but the race proved to be very competitive and needed not just speed but sound route choice and navigational accuracy. There were plenty of alternative choices utilised, some better than others, but Rhys Findlay-Robinson, despite having a rapidly disintegrating map from Scafell onwards, clearly made some good decisions and came home a clear winner from Richard McGrath , with Muir Morton taking a very clever line off Scafell which gained him five places and put him in third place.

The Ladies' race was very close indeed, with the Keswick pair of Catherine Evans and Jo Gillyon crossing the line together to claim joint first place a mere four seconds in front of Sue Richmond in third.

As far as the Vets' categories were concerned all four of the male places were, to my intense delight, taken by Pennine runners, as was the Men's Team, so unashamedly biased congratulations to Muir, Ian, Dave Bowen, Roger and Dave Ward.

For the Ladies, Jo Gillyon claimed the FV40 as well as joint first place; Kathleen Aubrey got the FV50 and the irrepressible Wendy Dodds got the FV60, while Helm Hill won the Ladies' Team.

Joe Blackett somehow managed to take a fall on the way up to the first checkpoint damaged his leg to the extent that he gave the first Elevation the dubious distinction of having to call on the Mountain Rescue Service but it was almost worth it to see him at A&E in the delightfully vivid sea-green paper pyjamas thoughtfully provided by Whitehaven Hospital !! He insisted on driving himself back to the north-east on Sunday morning, probably with a trail of blood seeping out of his car. Unfortunately his mishap also caused Rick Houghton, who stopped to assist him, to get so cold that he felt it wisest to retire. A veil of mystery and discretion will be drawn over what happened to Tim and Phil but apparently the Woolpack featured significantly.

I must give heartfelt thanks to all my friends, clubmates and family who served valiantly in their various capacities as marshals and officials – Scafell summit for nearly seven hours in the rain is just one example. Without them the race simply couldn't have gone ahead, as similarly it couldn't without the support and good offices of the local farmers, the Brook House Inn, Eskdale Campsite and the National Trust – all were amazingly positive and helpful and I'm most grateful to them.

Everyone who competed and officiated seemed to enjoy themselves and there were many complimentary comments about the route, so there's every possibility that it will be repeated next year and, hopefully, for some time after that.      Dave Jones