Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay

5 October 2014 – 24.9 miles / 8038 ft of climb

This has got to be my favourite relay. It comprises of 4 different legs run in pairs over spectacular Lakeland scenery. Usually run in the classic clockwise direction, but with the added bonus of inclement Autumnal weather and the perennial search for the best running lines, it manages to feel different every year.

For the last couple of years we have entered a mixed team and come away with some decent prize winning performances. This year, enter Mr Nixon as captain, and an upgrade to 2 teams.

After a bit… well rather a lot… in fact really loads… of last minute reshuffles, we finally sorted our teams and in a grand display of P&B camaraderie we endeavoured to enjoy a spirited day’s running despite some slightly mismatched pairs!

Open Team

Leg 1: Ian Nixon & Shane Green
Leg2: Charlie McIntosh & Joe Baxter
Leg 3: Niall Bourke & Graham Pilling
Leg 4: Graham Pearce & David Alcock

Mixed Team

Leg 1: Suzy Sharman & Jess Nixon
Leg 2: Rachel Pilling & Claire Green
Leg 3: Caroline Harding & Anna Anderson
Leg 4: Alex Jones & Pete Hill

We hit the start line with seemingly no real chances of any glory however P&B record/firsts were achieved consistently throughout the day:

  • Nobody got lost – almost unheard of.
  • Shane Green turned up on the correct day & ran the correct leg – never happened before.
  • Graham Pearce modelled a Cuban missile crisis cap – hopefully never happens again.
  • Rachel Pilling received the vote for best post race home made cake – please continue every year.

Other prizes, which I don’t think are officially awarded just as yet, fall to more P & B top athletes:

  • Best at just about everything – Team Nixon – Ian  marshalling the troops as team captain, then running leg 1 for the men, whilst Jess ran leg 1 for the mixed .
  • Most dedicated male runner – Alex Jones – 4hr early morning dash plus his car breaking down, a brush with the law & then having to put up with Pete Hill’s bobble hat.
  • Most dedicated female runner – Suzy Sharman – a quick tumble and fall around leg 1 with Jess and then back to Leeds to watch Ryan Noon run the Horsfoth 10K in the afternoon.

In the race itself, Borrowdale won again for the 304th year in a row. Will they ever be beaten? We have been very close in the past (just ask Ian Nixon & Gary Devine) but they really do seem to have a strangle hold on it.

For us, new signing Joe seemed to fit in perfectly, happily admitting to just following the man ahead for most of the way and having no idea where he was at any given moment.

And relative newcomer Anna had a great run on leg 3 with Caroline picking up 8 places in the process.


Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay

Cake & smiles for everyone!

Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay Leg 3

Caroline & Anna finishing Leg 3 – photo by Scott Leach

Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay

Niall & Graham – Leg 3 – Despite mishaps in the mist, no places lost! – Photo by Claire

Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay

Pete & Alex – last minute volunteers and Mixed Team saviours. Photo by Claire


Well done all that took part in what was a most enjoyable day, and extra thanks to those that stepped in last-minute – as well as organisers, marshalls, spectators, friendly dog-walkers, etc.

The men’s open team finished 22nd overall and the mixed team 61st.

Full results & splits are available here.

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