The Three Peaks race is one of those races that is on a fell runner’s ‘must do’ list, and represents a true fell running classic.
The first known circuits undertaken by athletes, as distinct from walkers, were not made until the winter of 1948/49. Three Leeds climbers, Des Birch, Jack Bloor and Arthur Dolphin, who were also members of Harehills Harriers, completed the course in times varying from 4hrs 27mins to 5hrs 20mins, with Des Birch setting the first record at 4:27. The first race was organised by Preston Harriers and took place in 1954 and it was thought that there was a good chance of Des Birch's time being beaten. The conditions for the race were reasonably good but with a strong easterly wind making it feel cold. The start was at the Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale, with six runners taking part. Ingleborough was climbed first, where the competitors were bunched together after twenty-seven minutes, followed by Pen-y-ghent which was reached by the leader Fred Bagley in 1:48, one minute ahead of Stan Bradshaw. At the summit of the final peak, Whernside, Bagley's time of 3:28 gave him a lead of twelve minutes over Bradshaw, and the former returned to the Hill Inn with a total time of 3:48. Bradshaw finished in 4:06 and the third finisher was Alf Case in 5:02.The race has got its fair-share of legends amongst its role call of winners – Jeff Norman, Ian Holmes, Hugh Symonds, Gavin Bland, Kenny Stuart, Andy Peace, Rob Jebb, Angela Mudge, Carol Greenwood, list goes on and on. However, all is history as the 1000 (entrants) take to the start line at Horton-in-Ribblesdale this Saturday at 10 o’clock sharp.
Pete Bland Sports
Pete Bland Sports opened in 1981 and is now one of the leading running specialists in the UK. Pete and Anne Bland were the brains and motivation behind the dream and are largely responsible for its continuing success. Pete and Anne's son Matthew has handled the day to day running of the business for the last 12 years. We feel we offer the most comprehensive range of fell, trail and road shoes for both men and women, complimented by a selection of racing shoes and track spikes.www.peteblandsports.co.uk/