29/04/2017 – Yorkshire Three Peaks – 23.2 miles / 5276 ft
The 63rd running of the Three Peaks Race took place on 29th April, with arguably the driest conditions seen in recent years. The weather forecast leading up to the race threatened various levels of blizzards, and/or hail, fire, and brimstone but it actually turned out to be a beautiful, clear Spring day – if anything a tad too warm for some.
Despite having a few dropouts in the lead up due to injury/fitness, we had a strong and determined group of P&B out on the day.
For the ladies, Rachel Pilling, on her 5th ‘Peaks appearance, had a great run to finish 19th lady and 4:04:12, narrowly missing out on a sub-4 hr time but showing it’s pretty much in the bag for next time.
Karen Pickles had her first ‘Peaks run in a P&B vest, looking strong throughout finishing 4:22:37 and Steph Wilson made her Three Peaks debut after having run some marathon or other down south somewhere the previous weekend, a great effort finishing in 5:04:25.
For the chaps, we had a very strong presence at the sharp end of the race, with all 4 team counters coming within the top 20 finishers, to bring home a very definitive Men’s 1st Team Prize.
Rob Hope led the charge with an 8th (and 2nd MV40) place finish in 3:01:48. Captain Matt Lockyer had a superb run finishing in 10th in 3:06:13, with new signing Harry Holmes only seconds behind in 3:06:20. Graham Pearce merrily trotted in 18th and 3:11:26 to secure team victory.
The all important 5th counter was Neil Wallace, who, if he felt any pressure certainly didn’t show it, running strong throughout and knocking a cracking 16 mins off his previous best, with a time of 4:30:35. It was also his first Peaks outing in the claret & gold vest, which of course cannot possibly be mere coincidence, the speed bonus provided by a P&B vest having been proved in tests by a team of top scientists (who may, or may not, also run for P&B).
Neil has written up an account of his training and race-day experience on his blog here, which is an enjoyable read.
The Three Peaks is something of a polarising race, but even for those that don’t enjoy running it, it’s a top day out supporting, offering out drinks, sweets, and the odd friendly heckle, and we had a great club presence at various points throughout the race and socialising in the marquee afterwards.
The overall winner was Murray Strain of HBT, who took advantage of a nav error on the part of Tom Owens (who must subsequently be gutted, as it looked like he was on for the record), and the ladies’ winner was, of course, Vic Wilkinson who absolutely smashed the ladies’ record. Awesome and inspirational running.
Thanks to all involved in the organisation & running of the race for a triumph of logistics and planning, and for sacrificing enough road-runners to summon the good weather. And of course, well done to all that raced or came out to lend support to what turned out to be a most enjoyable day, with some great, dramatic racing, and a superb set of results for the club.
Rob Hope 8th (2nd MV40) 3:01:48. Matt Lockyer 10th 3:06:13. Harry Holmes 11th 3:06:20. Graham Pearce 18th 3:11:26. Rachel Pilling 207th 4:04:12. Karen Pickles 337th 4:22:37. Neil Wallace 395th 4:30:35. Steph Wilson 607th 5:04:25. — First Men’s Team Prize (Rob, Matt, & Harry) (FULL RESULTS)
Many thanks to Dave Woodhead c/o Woodentops for photos and continued support!