Organised by Ambleside AC on 27 December each year, Wansfell is short, sharp and steep. Mum and I have been running this race for a few years, accompanied each year by a motley crew of extras.

As you’d expect for a race covering 1329ft in 2.1 miles, the race begins with a steep climb, which is followed by a steep descent. The climb follows a road, then a rocky path leads to the summit check-point. From there, you can pick your line and no-one ever seems to take the path. Once you’re down, there’s a cattle-grid and a sprint finish and it’s all over for another year – apart from the traditional Wansfell DOMS which ruin any joy you might wish to take from further running over the festive period.

I had a distressing time at this race last year – recording my slowest time despite having swapped the pavements of Clapham for a year of Westie Hill Running – so I tried very hard this year, and managed to knock 3 minutes of my race PB. I am so delighted about this I have probably told you in person already. I didn’t try quite hard enough to avoid a last minute overtake by a girl from Ambleside AC who jumped a cattle-grid as I was tip-toeing carefully across. I’ll get practicing for next year.

My mum came 2nd V50 (she’s injured but stubborn) and my little brother knocked 5 minutes of his PB and came away needing zero stitches (not always a given). I’m not sure my step-brother will ever forgive us for persuading him to enter.


Results (154 ran)

1            Josh Boyle           Ribble Valley     19:34

20          Kelli Roberts      Helm Hill           24:16

77          Jenn Ruddick     Westerlands      29:59

82          Michael Graham                            30:28

98          Iain Ruddick                                   31:55

127        Isobel Graham  Westerlands       34:44

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