LONGTOWN FELL RACE 28 JAN 2012        Results

The South Wales Winter League made its regular sortie over the border into Herefordshire for another running of Hanneke van der Werf’s Longtown race. The midpoint of the race is right on the Anglo-Cymru border on the Offa’s Dyke path atop the crest of the easternmost ridge of the Black Mountains.
A small bunch contested the first mile of hilly road to the wooden staircase leading to the open mountain. From the top of the staircase Hugh Aggleton slipped the bunch’s bonds and led the charge thereafter. There was serious mud most of the way, and although the route had been copiously flagged, there were quite a few diversions off the straight and narrow on the descent, presumably caused by eyes cast down and concentrating on safe footfall.
Series leader Matt Collins tried vainly to recover Hugh’s lead, but he and third-placer Sean Taylor could make no impression. With two wins apiece in the first four races of the series, Sally Wilder and Emma Hitchens continued their rivalry. Emma led the way to the summit, but had to yield to Sally’s sharper descending skills. Vanessa Lawson eventually separated them further down the descent. “Sally usually outruns me coming down,” explained Emma, “and I didn’t help myself by missing a flag and putting in some more distance before the finish.”