Tuesday, 1 May 2018

#CountryKids at the Three Peaks Race on Pen Y Ghent

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

This weekend my son and I headed off to Horton in Ribblesdale in Yorkshire to film one of the most iconic fell races the Three Peaks Race. It is known as the marathon with mountains:
The Three Peaks Race traverses the famous Yorkshire Dales mountains of Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside is one of the oldest, most famous and best organised fell races in Britain. 
First run in 1954, the Race covers 37.4 kilometres with 1608 metres of ascent and descent over the most rugged and spectacular countryside in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, taking competitors to a height of 723 metres above sea level. 
The men's course record is held by English international Andy Peace of Bingley Harriers, who completed this gruelling challenge in 2 hours 46 min. 03 sec in the 1996 race. 
The women's record of 3 hours 9 min 19 sec is held by English international Victoria Wilkinson in the 2017 race.
After about a 50 minute drive we arrived at the race start:


As soon as we arrived we met another fell running family from Kendal who were also planning on watching the race from the side of Pen Y Ghent. This was great for my son as the 2 other boys were only a year younger than him. We set off along the well trodden Pennine Way. For folks hiking the 3 Peaks Challenge they were being sent a slightly different way to make it a circular walk:


It was a beautiful day to be walking between dry stone walls on undulating terrain. We were glad we weren't running along it like the racers would be: 



After about 45 minutes we reached the crossroads where the runners would at first turn right to climb Pen Y Ghent and then take the left fork to head towards the Ribblehead viaduct:


We turned right to start our ascent of the mountain:


It seemed to take a long while to walk along the well maintained path with Pen Y Ghent rising ahead of us:


It was quite a hike:


My son was quite relieved that we weren't going right to the summit but instead settled at a marshal point where there would be runners passing us both going up and down. We could see runners winding their way across the landscape for quite some time before they came into camera shot:


At this point we were just under 5 km from the start so all the runners were still in race as they ran or walked past us:


I filmed with both a static camera (pointing up the hill) and my main camera on the mono pod which was angle down. My son was lower down with the wide angle action camera. This meant that we could capture all the runners at least twice if not more between us:


I did my best to workout where the action on the 3 cameras interlinked but I did eventually give up! Here is the full video, please have a look at some of it:



Once the runners had all gone back past us we headed back to the finish line. This time my son and I ran some of it to get back quicker:



My son's reward for helping out were some bargain new Inov8 shoes from Pete Bland Sports:


Then whilst my son played in the playground with the other waiting children I set myself up to record the finish of the race:


The first 3 men home were well ahead of the field:


I filmed all the runners crossing the line whether it was ecstasy or agony:



One day I may have done enough fell running to qualify for entry but meanwhile I rest in awe of those that completed the race within the cut off times!


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