All runners were heading to the 15km Buttermere Sailbeck race last weekend, which as one of the best races in the calendar. The race starts in the village of Buttermere with first checkpoint on Ard Crags. Runners then lose all of their height descending off towards Rigg Beck before facing one of the classic fell racing climbs – the huge climb up to the top of Causey Pike. For those without the winter miles in their legs the next section to Crag Hill is a long way, but for those still fresh this is a glorious ridge run, before the drop to the last checkpoint on Whitless pike and one of the best ever finishes to a fell race off the grassy slopes back to the village.The 15 Km course features a total of 1200m if climb and was won this year by Keswick AC runner Brennan Townshend in an impressive one hour 29 minutes.

The ever-present Robb Jebb from Helm Hill, just pipped Cockermouth athlete Calum Tinnion, who also runs for Keswick AC, into third. The ladies’ race was won by Sharon Taylor from Helm Hill, in a time of one hour 46 minutes.

The race was one of Cumberland Fell Runners’ championship races and a good proportion of the starting field were wearing the blue and white vest. First back and in a glorious fourth place was Mario Yeomans, just three minutes off the lead. Mario’s main focus this year is the English championships where he is currently lying 12th.

The ladies team prize went to the Cumberland Ladies – the team of Rosie Watson, Heather Marshall and Hannah Bradley all finishing in the top 10 of the ladies’ race and all just over the two hour mark.

Mike Harrison now leads the club championships after another great race, he really is having a tremendous season. He had an epic battle with Jim Masters, the leading vet 40 with only four seconds between them at the end.

Peter Crompton took another vet 60 prize home with him, finishing in 43rd place from the 134 starters, just over the two-hour mark.

Jack King took the over 70 prize – a tremendous achievement for the former organiser of this race.

The club’s ladies championship is currently being led by Jennie Chatterley, who finished seventh in the very competitive over-40 class. Ann Cummings seems to have recovered well from her Yorkshire 3 peaks race and claimed second-place prize in the over 50s ladies, with Amanda Graham third.

There were two good performance by two young local runners, both still under 20, and both from an orienteering background, as active members of West Cumberland Orienteers. A race of this length and climb is a big ask for that age group. Daniel Spencer, who races on the fells in Keswick AC colours, had an impressive eighth place overall, in 1:39. CFR’s Ben Breeze finished just over the two-hour mark in 60th place.

Further afield, Sophin Noon represented Cumbria at the inter-county fell running championships. She had a great race to finish inside the top 15 and helped Cumbria to finish third.

The next local race is on Wednesday, May 22 – the Latterbarrow Loop, organised by CFR, starting at the forest gate at Lowther Park on the Cold Fell road. Featuring prizes for the first man and lady to get out of the stream before the pull up to Latterbarrow on the side of Lank Rigg. The race starts at 7pm with registration closing twenty minutes before the start. This short race is only 4.8 Km with 250m of climb and is an ideal race for those looking for a fell race to try, but take note that in mist even this short race has seen runners lose the course. There are also a range of junior races starting before the senior races – the first of these is at 6pm.