Runners from as far away as Australia are in the Yorkshire Dales this morning (Saturday, April 28) taking part in the 58th staging of the Three Peaks Race. The event, which is described as the 'Marathon with Mountains', has once again reached its maximum quota of 1,000 entrants.
Beginning at Horton-in Ribblesdale, near Settle, the race takes competitors over a 23 mile course with 5,270 feet of ascent, including the summits of Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough - Yorkshire's Three Peaks.
The 1,000 participants include Andy Peace, of Bingley Harriers, who set the race record of 2hrs 46mins 3sec in 1996 and has won the event in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2004. Bingley's dominance was continued by Rob Jebb, who has finished top of the pile on four separate occasions.
Despite the presence of Peace and Bingley, however, Scottish runners Jethro Lennox and Thomas Owens - both of Shettleston Harriers in Glasgow- are regarded as strong favourites for the event. Great Britain international mountain runner Anna Lupton, of Radcliffe Athletic Club, who was the ladies' winner of the Three Peaks in 2009 and 2010, heads a strong women's field.
Including the runner from Australia, this year's Three Peaks event boasts competitors from as far afield as Finland and Malta. Experienced participants Dave Scott, of Clayton Harriers, and Bill Wade of Holmfirth Harriers, will be looking to complete the race for the 45th and 42nd time respectively.