High Cup Nick Fell Race, 23 Feb
By Kate Mansell
Shorts and vests were the order of the day at the High Cup Nick Fell Race on Saturday. In warm February conditions, a competitive field set off from the scenic village of Dufton in the North Pennines to complete the 9.4 mile fell race (450m ascent). High Cup Nick is a deep chasm in the Pennine hills; the race takes runners along the valley floor before scrambling up rocks at the head of the valley for a fast technical run back to Dufton via the Pennine Way where tea and a vast array of homemade cakes awaited. The women’s race was won by Helm Hill’s Sharon Taylor in 1.11 and 12th overall. In her first race of the weekend, Todmorden Annie Roberts had a strong race to finish in 3rd (1.18). Coming in as 4th V40, Rebecca Patrick finished in 1.24 (113th). Kate Mansell (1.33/213th) and Sue Roberts (result awaited) also ran. In the men’s race, Nick Swinburn of Northumberland Runners set a new course record in 59.12, beating Ricky Lightfoot and Carl Bell. For the Toddies, Graeme Brown put in another good performance to finish 12th overall (3rd V40) in 1.08. Close behind in 23rd was new club member Al Rees (1.12), showing a promising return to fell racing after a five-year break.