Report from Tom Lynch:
The interesting weather in the week leading up to the 62nd Three Peaks Race meant that all 3 Peaks had a dusting of snow at the start of the race on Saturday. Conditions were pretty chilly, but the sun was out for the start, and it seemed like it was going to be perfect running weather, however the forecast indicated it was going to turn grim around midday. Otley’s team consisted of me and Ed Davies, although I didn’t actually manage to catch Ed at any point before, during or after the race.
I had a good start and felt comfortable on the climb and descent of Pen-y-Ghent with the fresh snow actually providing better descending conditions than slippery mud. On the run over to High Birkwith/Ribblehead I developed a bit of stitch, but kept going on a sub-4hr pace, with the hope of it easing. By the time I reached the foot of Whernside and after I had taken on some food, I realised the stitch really wasn’t going anywhere and I was going to have to manage it as best I could. The climb of Whernside is tough, not made any easier by the snow, nevertheless I still felt OK coming over the top. The weather turned to sideways hail/snow on the top of Whernside, and the slush and poor visibility made descending difficult, although I managed to take back a few of the places I had lost on the way up. I only realised afterwards but this is the closest I came to catching Ed, coming within a minute or two of him on the descent, although it was a long way from his best performance as he was struggling with feeling a bit under the weather. On the way down I saw the mountain rescue ambulances heading up with flashing lights, hopefully everyone was OK, I haven’t heard of any incidents.
I was still feeling OK at Hill Inn, but after I had left, on the early slopes going up to Ingleborough I really started to feel out of energy, having had trouble eating much. I pretty much crawled up the first steep face of Ingleborough, and by the top was wondering how I was going to carry on with the second extra climb to the actual summit still to come. As is tradition Andrew Robertshaw was waiting with some Jelly Babies at this point, and I think these pretty much salvaged my race, the effect was almost instant and I summoned the energy to carry on to the summit check point. Andrew told me that at this point Ed had about 8 minutes lead on me. I wasn’t feeling great on the descent back into Horton, but I don’t think anyone ever is, and with another handful of Jelly Babies collected on the way back from the check point I managed to make relatively good time back to the finish.
The winner of the race was Marc Lauenstein (Team Salomon) in a time of 2:48:58, with a 1-2-3 for the Salomon team, and the women’s winner was Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) in 3:26:47, Ed came in at 4:02:54, and I followed around 8 minutes back in 4:10:53. The race was also the 2016 Yorkshire Fell Championships, the Men’s was won by Karl Gray (Calder Valley), 2nd Jack Wood (Ilkley) and Otley resident Adam Osborne (Leeds City) 3rd. Victoria Wilkinson was 1st for the women, followed by Helen Berry (Holmfirth) and Julie Briscoe (Wakefield).
Full (provisional) results here:
And lots of free photos here: