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Yorkshire 3 Peaks Ultra

27/10/2018

Saturday 20th October saw the third running of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Ultra – essentially the Yorkshire 3 peaks route with a run-in and out from Hawes.  

The course is 70 km (just under 44 miles) in length, with over 2,000 m climb, and follows well marked footpaths, much of it on the Pennine Way.

Seb Pflanz was the only Dumfries runner in the 55 strong field.  The weather was good, with the cloud base just below summit height, but otherwise fine visibility.  The wind picked up during the day but it was in the runners’ back on the return leg.  Seb set off at a reasonably brisk pace and reached the summit of Whernside, Yorkshire’s highest peak, in just under 3 hours.  After a steep and fairly technical descent, followed by a run-out  on a minor road, the climb up towards Ingleborough was considerably tougher, especially the very steep scramble to the summit plateau.  Another technical descent led to spectacular limestone formations – like a giant pavement – requiring a lot of concentration not to trip on rocky outcrops.  The route then passed through picturesque Horton-in-Ribblesdale, for a final fuel and water stop before the climb up Pen-y-Ghent.  Tired legs meant a much slower climb than on the previous hills.  After descending and returning onto the Pennine Way it was a case of digging in and running as much as possible of the undulating section towards Cam End.  The final gradual climb past Dodd Fell was then rewarded by a wonderful descent across soft moorland back into Hawes.  Seb was delighted with a finishing time of 9 hours 6 minutes, and 13th place (3rd Vet 50).  The race was won jointly, in a new course record time of 7 hours 31 minutes, by Giles Ruck from Hunters Bog Trotters (also fastest Vet 50) and first lady Sabrina Verjee (unaffiliated).

The race is organised and supported by Ranger Ultras, a friendly but extremely professional group of mountain guides and instructors.  As well as being a great race in its own right it gives an opportunity to prepare for longer events such as the Spine Race.

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