KENDAL fell runner Tom Addison put in a scintillating performance to finish just 18 seconds behind Olympic bronze medallist Jonny Brownlee in the Auld Lang Syne fell race on the outskirts of Haworth, in Yorkshire.
It marked a superb Christmas for Addison, who reigned supreme in the Wansfell fell race on Boxing Day.
Tom’s cousin Mark Addison also finished third in an Auld Lang Syne race ran in howling wind and driving rain by 376 competitors. Jonny’s brother Alistair, who won the race last year, missed out to rest a troublesome knee injury.
Jonny, 23, said: “This is the first Woodentops race I've ever won, which is very satisfying as I've competed in these races since I was 10 years old.
“I was always confident of winning, but the weather made it very interesting.
“The descent to the river crossing was standing water on a sloping hillside, which isn't my forte, and how Tom Addison managed to catch me there was astonishing.
“Once across the river the final climb was testing but I managed to get the gap, but Tom never gave up chasing.”
Tom, the current English U23 fells champion, finished in 43.28, with Mark clocking 44.27.
“I am well happy with that result,” said Tom. “He (Jonny) was miles ahead at the start with Adam Peers his training partner and Ian Holmes.”
“I was battling all the way to the summit with Mark (Addison). I managed to get away from Mark and I thought: ‘If I really go for it, I can catch him. He is not that far ahead. I was proper kicking and really pulling him in.’
“By the time we reached the beck for the return crossing we were together neck and neck. But he just pulled away on the last real big climb. But I gave him a good run for his money.”
Meanwhile in the Wansfell race, Tom and Mark provided a thrilling finish as they battled to the line.
The festive race, held each year in Ambleside, sees competitors race the 2.1-mile route up to the top of Wansfell and back.
Tom finished just three seconds ahead of Mark to win in 20.06, finishing just over a minute behind Kenny Stuart’s 1984 record of 18.56. In the ladies race it was a comfortable victory for Moorfoot runner Sarah McCormack. She took 24.4 to complete the course, finishing more than a minute ahead of Ambleside AC’s Jane Reedy.