The Fellsman is a notoriously tough 62 mile hilly off road Ultra event featuring involving the summits of Ingleborough and Great Whernside, difficult navigation over rough ground,and night time running. Five Swaledale runners took part in this years event starting on April 29th. Neil Bowmer finished in a fantastic 81st place out of 374 starters in 16h27m. Ian Oldham was next club finisher in 17h31m. Stu Clarkson knocked 4 hours of his previous time to finish in 22h39m, with Ros Blackmore in 22h43m and Mike Rosher in 24h27m.
Most runners would take it easy for several weeeks after such a tough event, but astonishingly Ian Oldham completed an even longer ultra race just one week after the Fellsman. The Hardmoors 110 follows the Cleveland way from Filey to Helmsley and Ian came 30th out of 84 finishers in an impressive time of 29.58.43.
Compared to the Fellsman, the Fairfield Horseshoe (9 miles, 3000 feet climbing) is child's play. Six club members turned up on May 13th for the latest race in the club fell championship. Tim Grimwood came 61st of 371 finishers in 1.44.18, with Derek Parrington and Martin Randall also breaking the 2 hour barrier, recording 1.54.36 and 1.58.21 respectively. Jim Coldwell, Oonagh Bathgate and Michael Keavney traded places for much of the race, with the two men finally pulling clear on the descent. Jim appeared poised to ease ahead of Michael with about a mile to go, when Michael stopped to provide medical assistance to an injured runner. Jim finished in 2.06.17 with Oonagh in 2.07.39, Michael finally jogged home in 2.18.17.
The following day, Andrew Fletcher ran in the Ripon 10mile road race, finishing 43rd out of 384 runners in 1.13.40. Finally, a belated mention must go to Mark Sowerby, who set an excellent personal best of 3.08.34 in this year's London Marathon.