The first Swaledale Runners Fell Championship got off to a fine start with the Swaledale Marathon. Although more a trail race than a genuine fell race it’s always popular with club members and so was an obvious choice as the first long counter. Stuart Smith was first home for the club and top points scorer, although the race also saw an unfortunate injury to Neil Bowmer, putting him out of the series. Next up was a medium – the Ingleborough Mountain Race. Four club members made the trip, with Jackie Keavney first back (just ahead of Jim Coldwell) and top points scorer (a situation that was to become familiar!). Mike and Jackie Keavney and Jim Coldwell made the long journey to the South Lakes in August to take part in the Turner Landscape fell race, a testing medium around the back of the Coniston fells made even harder due to the heat. Jackie finished well ahead of Mike and Jim. The end of August brought Reeth Show, the first short counter and another popular club race with eleven Swaledalers present. Robbie Kelly was first home for the club, but finished behind Jackie Keavney and Caitlin Pearson on points due to the 15% ladies allowance. September’s Viking Chase saw the championship move to the North Yorkshire Moors and a top finish for Martin Randall in his second race of the series. Mike Keavney missed this race due to an injury that was to end his championship hopes. Later in the month Jackie Keavney, Robbie Kelly and Jim Coldwell were in the heart of the Lake District for the next long counter, the formidable Langdale Horseshoe. The team-mates were well spread out with Robbie fist back (and Jackie again picking up the most points). Jim was more than happy to get a Lakeland Classic under his belt! November brought the final short counter – Great Whernside at Kettlewell. Jim Coldwell was yet another injury victim, failing to finish after twisting his ankle on the descent. The race also saw Michael Rosher completing the required number of races (and of course Jackie picking up the most points!). Jackie Keavney was also the only club member to manage the trip to Lancashire for Tour of Pendle. Four runners completed the series (Ros Blackmore falling short of one race and injuries spoiling the plans of others). Jackie Keavney finished as Fell Champion, ahead of Robbie Kelly, Jim Coldwell and Michael Rosher. This championship is certainly accessible to many club members – if you are capable of completing the Swaledale Marathon and Reeth Show then you should be more than capable of completing the required four races. This year’s Championship will consist of nine new races spread throughout the year and around the North of England. Details to follow soon!