IT WAS a double-victory for Keswick AC at the Two Riggs fell race from St John’s in the Vale.

Keswick’s Jenn Mattinson won the ladies race in a time of 51 minutes 21 seconds, with her fiance Carl Bell winning the mens race in 40-55. Starting and finishing from Bram Crag Farm and taking in High Rigg and Low Rigg the race has been resurrected by Kong Adventure’s Paul Cornforth. The race was run as a mid-week event until 2010. This is the third running of the event in it’s new format with 1165 feet of climbing over 6 miles.

Mattinson finished 27th overall, and some two minutes ahead of Keswick team-mate Katie Kaars Sljpestejin (53-12). Mattinson said she was surprised to take the win, although Sljpestejin does prefer longer events, having set a new course record at the 50-mile ultra, Lakes in a Day, earlier this year. Rosie Hodgson, now living in London but who’s family home is in St John’s in the Vale, took third place and first U23 in a time of 53-29.

After the race Carl Bell admitted he’d been pushed to the end. “It was closer than I would have liked at the finish, and a group of five us were battling it out as we headed up towards High Rigg.” At the top of High Rigg Bell led Borrowdale Fell Runners’ Phil Davies by 13 seconds, closely chased by Steve Hebblethwaite (Keswick AC) and Mario Yeomans (Cumberland Fell Runners). By the finish Davies had been over-hauled by both Hebblethwaite (41-26) and Yeomans (41-32), as well as Keswick AC’s third counter, Sam Stead (41-35).

Fifth place for Davies (41-38) still secured him first V40 and first V50 ahead of Brian Taylor of Netherhall AC (45-53). Joshua Liddle of Eden Runners was the first U23 (44-32) and 7th overall with team-mate George Sidaway second U23 (45-43) and 12th overall.

Karen Bridge (55-22) of Eden Runners was first V40 with Nina Walkingshaw (57-20) of Howgill Harriers second. Lynn Thompson of Keswick AC was first V50 and V60 in a very creditable (61-13).

Two Riggs fell race was the first of the Kong Winter Series. The second race in the series is S.O.B. (Stile End, Outerside, Barrow) from the Coledale Inn at Braithwaite, starting at 11am on Saturday 15th December.