Victoria Wilkinson hobbles over the line with a suspected broken leg to win the ladies race
When Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley Harriers crossed the line to take first place in this English Championship race, she was limping badly and obviously in a great deal of pain. She was attended to by the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue, who suspected that she might have a broken leg. However, an x-ray later revealed that no bones were in fact broken, but her leg is very swollen and she cannot walk without the aid of crutches. Victoria ran a sterling race and was obviously going all out for victory on the descent where she was enjoying a good lead. On the final steep descent towards the beck, she adopted a cautious approach and descended very steadily, but she went over on her ankle and despite the pain, she ran on with grim determination that she was not going to let victory escape from her grasp.
Helen Finnes looked to be going well in the race, but on the day, she could not match the pace of Victoria Wilkinson and had to settle for second place. Judith Jepson of Dark Peak took third place and was first FV40.
A great performance by Emma Gould of West Bromwich Harriers, saw her finish fifth and first U23 and a quite amazing performance by the in form Gill Myers of Wharfedale saw her finish 10th overall and first Vet 50.
In the men's race, Morgan Donnelly and Rob Jebb attacked the steep first field and were neck and neck at the stile halfway up the climb. The race then becomes more runnable and with Simon Bailey only 20 yards behind, it was turning into a classic battle at the front. Of the locals, Sam Watson of Wharfedale was leading the way with Mark McgGldrick in close contention. As the first runners came into view after the summit, Morgan Donnelly and Simon Bailey were neck and neck with Donnelly holding a slender advantage back at the stile. Bailey attacked as soon as the descent became more severe and took the honours. Rob Hope and Lloyd Taggert caught Bingley's Rob Jebb on the descent. Donnelly took first V40. Sam Tosh, last year's winner was first under 23 with a time that was nearly two minutes quicker, showing the class of this year's field. A youngster who did stand out was Max Wharton, who is only 16 years old and yet he finished in 12th position overall. A very bright prospect for the future. Ian Holmes was first V45 and 13th overall. First vet 50 went to Mark Roberts of Borrowdale. All in all, it was as you'd expect for an English Championship race - very competitive.