So, after more than 80 miles and 17,000ft of climbing across 10 different races, we have our winners. The 2019 Fell Race Championship concluded with a beast of a bang at the Roaches in November. Only 6 Striders made it but it was crucial to one title race.
We had 115 runners compete across the Championships and some superb performances throughout the year. Well done to all who ran and especially to our winners.
Leader Fran Cummins chose to sit out the final race, preferring Disney on Ice to the bogs of the Roaches, meaning there was a theoretical chance Gillian Armstrong could have taken the title. Gillian had a fantastic run to finish in the top 10 ladies and dip below 3 hours, and although she closed the gap to Fran it wasn’t quite enough. Rosa also finished well to consolidate her third place finish. So Fran takes the crown for another year with Gillian a worthy runner up. This category is stacked with top runners so we are looking forward to the 2020 champs title race already.
|3||Rosa Sampson Geroski||457||5|
Vet 40 Women
With no women in this category racing at the Roaches, there were no changes in the standings. However, we already knew the result, with Lucy Broom powering to the title with a mid-year blitz and Sallyann Winslow showing that perseverance gets its reward as runner up.
Again nobody from this category raced the final event. This year was a real head to head, but Nicola Rafferty led from start to finish and ends up a strong winner. She was pushed hard by Jill Davies who finishes runner up after some excellent performances.
Dot was our sole representative here, appearing just once – at Grindleford – so no titles will be awarded for 2019. The question is: can Dot be tempted away from all those road, track and XC medal winning opportunies for long enough in 2020 to add yet another title to her collection?
This category seemed wide open early in the season, but Paul Middlemas pulled away with a strong of fine results over the summer. Although he didn’t race in the autumn, he built up enough of a lead to hold off Joseph Mallinshaw, who finishes runner up for 2019. Plenty of possible contenders dipped thier toes in fell racing waters this year. Should they make a more concerted effort next year, we might see a less familiar fell racing name added to the honours board.
Another closely fought category, featuring a high turnout at most events. Nigel Barnes ran excellently at the Roaches but it wasn’t quite enough to break into the top two. Jason Brannan holds on to the runners up spot after a very solid year, with Louis Wood finishing off as category winner following another fast time at the Roaches. With plenty of competition lining up at each event, expect this category to be hotly contested in 2020.
The only category to see a change at the top following the Roaches. Mark Platton ending his season-long epic tussle by edging out Paul Stuart for the crown. A shame Paul wasn’t fit enough to run the Roaches as it would have been a classic. Still, hats off to both for some fantastic performances in 2019.
Andy Buck couldn’t make it to the Roaches in the end, but still managed to finish top V60 for 2019. As he didn’t complete enough events there will be no prize this year, but with all the other stuff he’s won, that’s probably no bad thing. Hopefully Paul Shelton or another V60 can give him a challenge in 2020.
As ever, you can see the full breakdown of race scores and results on the Fell Race Championships 2019 spreadsheet.
You can also whet your appetite for next year by checking out the list of races for the 2020 Fell Race Championships, starting with Mickleden Straddle on 2 Feb.