Five Harriers Complete the
World Long Distance Mountain
Running Challenge

26th April 2008

Leary, Leak, Mayall and Eames survive the 24 miles/5000ft of 3P, shaken but not stirred
Photo by Lorraine Leary

Rochdale Photo Gallery and good pics here (lower down page) some general pics here and  here and here and here.   

TOP MOUNTAIN runners from around the world descended on the Yorkshire Dales last weekend to compete in one
of the biggest events in fell running.   This year the 54th Three Peaks race hosted the World Long Distance Mountain
Running Challenge.  As a result our UK athletes were pitched against some of the finest runners on the planet.

Early signs were that the title would go to an overseas athlete.  Coming down the first mountain, most of the front
ten runners were foreign.  However as the race developed the UK athletes, who are experienced at running at pace on
trippy and dangerous surfaces, moved to the fore.  In the final counting nine of the top ten finishers were British,
including winner Jethro Lennox from Scotland.

Four members of Rochdale Harriers took part in this gruelling event, all completing the 24 miles and 5000ft ascent
in under 5 hours. 

Mayall commented This is the hardest race I have ever done.  Like many of the runners I cramped badly after
the ascent of Whernside and it took every ounce of strength just to keep going.  The support along the way was
fantastic, especially from the Rochdale ladies

First home was Paul Leary, technically a 'novice' on this event, completing the course in an impressive 4 hr 15 min 57 sec.  
Next home was veteran Norman Eames, clocking 4hr 37 min 46 sec.  John Mayall was delighted to beat his personal best
time by 15 minutes to finish in 4 hr 49 min 55sec.  Stephen Leak defied the cramps and exhaustion to finish under the
magic 5 hour marker, posting 4 hr 59 min 14 sec.

Full results here and photo gallery, thanks to Lorraine Leary with assistance from Jackie Leak.   

Here is an interesting press report on the race.

Details of future international mountain racing events are available in the WMRA Calendar.


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