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Report: Grasmere Sports & Show 2011
Buy this photo » CHAMPION: Fell race winner Morgan Donnelly celebrates his victory
IT WAS a comfortable victory for Morgan Donnelly in today's men's fell race as the Borrowdale runner destroyed his rivals at Grasmere Sports.
A deluge of rain just before the race, which attracted a record-breaking 152 entries, made conditions extremely tricky for the runners. Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, described the descent in particular as 'treacherous'.
But despite going the wrong way as he neared the finish, Donnelly, cruised to the title, beating last year's winner Rob Hope by about a minute.
"At the beginning of the race when I crossed the road I was 20th - I couldn't believe how quick everybody started," said the current leader of the British Fell Running Championships, who took a tumble during the race.
"I'd heard about the race at Grasmere Sports because it's famous. The last race of the British Fell Running Championships is over two miles so I thought it would be great preparation to run here."
Pippa Maddams claimed her third successive women's title in the race.
She said: "This is such a well-supported race and when you line up you know that you're a part of history because Grasmere Sports has been going for ages. You get that nostalgic feeling with it."
And there was extra reason to cheer with the return of two Grasmere Sports favourites to the event.
Tommy Sedgwick, new bellman at Grasmere Sports, and Fred Reeves were there to cheer on the runners. Sedgwick and Reeves won the race 10 times between them during the 1970s, with Reeves winning six times, and Sedgwick four.
It was the first time Reeves has been back to Grasmere since 2000, coming from his Wisconsin home to see how his friend and former rival Sedgwick would cope with his new duties.
He said: "It's great being back and it's nice looking up the hill knowing that I don't have to do it again!"
Elsewhere, Thomas Brocklebank kept it in the family by winning the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling heavyweight trophy.
His father Wilf presented him with his prize, which has also been won by Thomas's grandfather and great-grandfather.
"It's grand, and Grasmere's always a great win," said Thomas.
The Warton wrestler beat Joseph Robson of Grayrigg in a closely fought contest 2-1.
Robson struck first blood, but Brocklebank levelled with a throw off the right hip. In a tense final encounter, Brocklebank came out on top in a match which could have gone either way.
There was a similar war of attrition in the lady's event, with Connie Hodgson prevailing after an epic final contest.
There was also a display from the Mountain Bike Aerial Display (MAD) team, which included Mike Singleton demonstrating tricks without the front wheel of his BMX attached.
But the daredevil said he did not suffer from nerves despite the high-risk nature of the tricks.
"I've been on the team for about three years and doing shows for about eight years, so I've practiced these tricks over and over.
"It's my first time here and it's a really good event - the atmosphere is great."
A mountain bike race could be coming back to Grasmere Sports next year after a two-year hiatus, according to the show's sports manager George Gale.
"It's a possibility but we need people to help organise things like first aid and safety concerns.
"It's gone very well today and the car parks are full so there are a lot of people who have been here.
"We decided to take a step back this year to try to make Grasmere Sports what it was 15 or so years ago by introducing track racing, and that's been a great success."
As well as the sporting events, there were plenty of other activities for visitors to enjoy, such as a bouncy castle for children and plenty of food and arts stalls for people to shop in.
Sports Results: Senior Fell Race.
Winners: Mens: 1 M Donnelly; 2 R Hope; 3 M Mikkelsen. Ladies: 1 Pippa Maddams; 2 S Curtis; 3 M Hyder. Under 17s: Boys: 1 M Wharton. Girls: 1 R Flanagan. Under 14s: Boys: 1 C Richards. Girls: 1 K Sunman. Under 12s: Boys: 1 C Lowrie. Girls: 1 S Atkinson. Under 9s: Boys: 1 R Done. Girls: 1 L Dalton.
Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling.
Mens winners: 11 Stone: A Carlisle. 12 stone: A Carlisle. 13 stone: G Brocklebank. 14 stone: R Fox. All weights: T Brocklebank. Ladies: 10 Stone: J LeB. All weights: C Hodgson.
Winners: Boys: Jack Brown; Girls: Alice Beswick. Mens: R Fox. Ladies: D Thompson.
Judge: L Jackson.
Terrier Puppy (bitch): 1 Bonnie, shown by Craig. 2 Roxy, shown by Andrea. 3 Tess, shown by Helen.
Adult Terrier: Dogs: Judge L. Jackson. Winners: 1 P. Charters; 2 Sue Witts; 3 Zoe from Scarisbrick.
Judge: Mrs A Tams.
1 Shelley from Kendal; 2 P Charters; 3 Kirsty from Scarisbbrick.
Best Terrier in the show: Ruffie.
Judge: L. Jackson.
1 Harry, shown by Janette from York; 2 Cormac, shown by Anne Wagner; 3 Charlie, shown by T Wagner.
Judge: R Gifford.
1 Lola, shown by Paula from Barnsley; 2 Thisbe, shown by Cicci and Roo from Kirkby Lonsdale; 3 Daisy, shown by Mrs Hill.
Best Puppy in show.
Judge: L Jackson.
1 Shep, shown by Georgia from Washington; 2 Jack, shown by Jasmin from Egremont; 3 Fitz shown by Laura of Clifton.
Judge: R. Gifford.
1 Darcy, shown by Dawn from Kendal; 2 Molly, shown by Ray from Carlisle; 3 Roxy, shown by Shelley from Kendal.