SEAA Fell Racing Championships

We had another succesful trip to the Isle of Wight, winning the male and female individual and team trophies in all three races and the series championship.

A record 55 or so Serpies travelled to the Isle of Wight this weekend to compete in the SEAA Fell Racing championships: a series of three races in two days. It seems that most clubs in the region (and that's every county south of a line from Cornwall to Norfolk) have forgotten about fell racing as we made up almost half the athletes in each race! Having said that, our team lists were headed by a "who's who" of our fastest runners so we would have been tough to beat whatever the competition.

Race 1 - St. Boniface Fell - 3 Miles,  775 feet ascent,  FRA class AS

This one goes straight up the fell from the seafront and back down again. Huw Lobb won in a new course record of 18:42, closely followed by Hugh Torry (18:56) then Richard Phillips (20:07). The women's race was won by Kate Laforet in 23:17, followed by Holly Wilkinson (23:45) and Fiona Alexander (24:18).

Race 2 - Ventnor Horseshoe - 7 Miles,  1500 feet ascent,  FRA class BM

Held less than 4 hours after race 1, this is the tough one. Starting on the seafront again, it goes straight up the fell again via a different route, down the other side and after a shortish flat section climbs back up to the top and down again. The steep climb with the steps at mile 5 sees many athletes resorting to pulling themselves up the hill hand-over-hand using the handrail! Huw Lobb set another course record wining this in 52:45, again followed by Hugh Torry (54:15) and Richard Phillips (57:47). Becky Glover won the women's race in 1:06:48, closely followed by Holly Wilkinson (1:07:03) then Fiona Alexander (1:09:19).

Race 3 - Wroxall Round - 13 Miles,  1500 feet ascent,  FRA class CL

I don't know whether it was the Saturday night in the pub or the effects of two fell races in 5 hours during the day, but there were a few less Serpies racing the third race on Sunday morning. This one starts with a couple of miles of undulating coastal path before heading up the fellside. After several miles of 'undulating' running it then loops back to join the route from Saturday afternoon's race  - including the steps! Huw Lobb continued his record-breaking form and won this one in a new course record of 1:19:58, followed by Hugh Torry (1:25:34) and the first non-Serpie to break into a top-3 Stuart Spencer of barrow Runners in 1:25:34. Richard Phillips was fourth (1:32:40). Sylvie Lloyd, with fresh legs having not raced on Saturday, broke the women's course record in a blistering 1:34:31, with Holly Wilkinson 2nd (1:40:06) and Victoria Crawford 3rd (1:41:44).

Congratulations to Huw Lobb and Holly Wilkinson who won the overall series and are the 2010 SEAA fell racing champions.

In the team results, we won at least the top three team positions in all three races as well as top three overall in the series (both men's and women's teams).

Full results are here, and the Serpie results are on the website here:

Ian Hodge


Submitted: 20 September 2010