Murray Strain clinched first place while his fellow countryman Tom Owens took second to ensure double delight for Scotland at the Three Peaks Race in the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday (29 April). Strain, of Hunters Bog Trotters, clocked a time of 2:49:38 on his way to victory.
Owens (Team Salomon) finished almost five minutes later (2:54:00) while Chris Holdsworth (Clayton-le-Moors Harriers) was third in a time of 2:54:49.
In the women’s race, Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley Harriers & AC) claimed a £500 bonus prize for breaking the ladies’ record across the mountains of the Yorkshire Dales. The 38-year-old’s time of 3:09:19 was over five minutes quicker than the time set by Anna Pichrtova of the Czech Republic back in 2008. The women's podium was completed by Nichola Jackson of Preston Harriers (3:26:17) and another Scot, Charlotte Morgan (3:33:19) of Carnethy Hill Racing Club.
Strain’s shock victory came a year after finishing seventh. On this occasion, though, he was able to capitalise on a mistake by Owens, who made a vital navigation error costing him the lead.
“I knew I was a bit fitter this year. I had a strong winter. After running it last year it was always the plan to come back and have a good one. And then when form started to come together I thought maybe I might get a place,” Strain reflected on his win.
“Then Tom shot himself in the foot. He missed the turning off Whernside. He was a minute ahead of me on the top. I did not know he had gone wrong. I thought he was away and gone. It was only half way up Ingleborough that people were shouting that I had a massive lead. I thought ok, alright, where’s Tom? I knew I had a chance of winning, so I pushed hard.”
For a full list of results, check our race listings page.
Image courtesy David Belshaw