Park Planner Wins Mega Dales Race

A member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's planning team is celebrating this week after beating 401 other runners to win a gruelling 61-mile fell marathon at the weekend.

Adam Perry, 76 kb
Adam Perry
© Image courtesy of Grough

Adam Perry, who is a senior planning officer with the Authority, took just 10 hours and 34 minutes to complete the 51st Fellsman race from Ingleton to Threshfield.

The route has a total ascent of more than 11,000ft and covers Ingleborough, Whernside, Great Coum, Blea Moor, Snaizeholme Fell, Dodd Fell, Fleet Moss, Buckden Pike, and Great Whernside.

Adam, 25, from Sedbergh, said: 'It was a bit of a surprise to come in first – but I was very pleased.'

'I do a lot of hill and mountain running and I've run this one a few times in the past so I was familiar with the route and the conditions. But it's a hard, very demanding race.'

Adam was part of a six-man team that also included Ian Phillips, who came in a very close second.

'Ian and I ran a lot of it from Fleet Moss together and it was only later we split up and I went ahead' he said.

Another team member was 41-year-old National Park Authority Ranger Matt Neale, who is also no stranger to ultra running having in the past raised more than £7,000 for the breast cancer unit at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital by running the famous 190-mile Coast-to-Coast route from St Bee's Head to Robin Hood's Bay in 61 hours and 13 minutes.

'Taking part in the Fellsman is a good character assessment' he said.

'The route passes across the roof of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, mixing the more popular summits with the less frequented, more remote areas. In most parts the ground is either full of tussocks or bogs or both. Often there is no sign of a path and it requires careful navigation – and that's before it gets dark.'

'Adam had a cracking run, and it helps when everything falls right on the day. Your eating, drinking, navigating, the weather and fitness need to come together and that means you can actually enjoy it – or parts of it. The runners and walkers out there for 20 hours plus are the ones who are really putting the effort in. At the end of the day, if you finished, you're a winner.'

The event is run by Keighley Scout Service Team and sponsored by The North Face.

On Saturday the Yorkshire Dales National Park was also the venue for the 59th annual Three Peaks Race, which this year used a new section of path from Pen-y-ghent to Ribblehead. The section was created to avoid the badly-eroded Horton Moor and Black Dubb Moss area, using funding that the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust raised from the European Outdoor Conservation Association.

Joe Symonds, 29, who won the race for the second time in succession, said of the new route: 'It was a joy to run. It is a really fast track. I know it is probably a little bit longer, but I am sure it is quicker and it is a lot easier underfoot.'

Three Peaks Race Director Paul Dennison added: 'It was soft underfoot and there was a cool wind, but conditions were near perfect.'

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