MORE than 500 runners competed in the annual 15km High Cup Nick race on Saturday.

The route follows along the North Pennines with the half way point ascending the mighty High Cup Nick waterfall before returning on the western ridge back towards Dufton.

The race starts on the green at Dufton and has become a major fundraiser for the village hall.

The first South Lakeland runner to return home was Ambleside’s Michael Barron (01-08-48) who came in 11th place. Close behind was Helm Hill’s Tim Cowin (01-09-50) who was the fourth V40 to cross the line and finished in 16th place overall. The race was won by Nick Swinburn, of Northumberland Fell Runners, in a record time of 59-12.

Helm Hill’s Sharon Taylor (01-11-59) was the first lady to complete the race and came home in 22nd place.

On Sunday runners faced the seventh race in the Kendal Winter League Series, which was held at Sedbergh School. Unattached Charlie Ing (25-27) was the first to finish the four-mile race followed closely by Ambleside veteran Jon Rylance (25-54) and Helm Hill’s Rob Jebb (26-29).

Helm Hill’s Hannah Russell (29-12) was the first lady back finishing in 10th place, followed by her team mate Emma Johnston (32-18) and the unattached Celia Powell (32-22) hot-on-her-heels.

The winners of the other categories were: MU21, Matthew Knowles (27-04), Lancaster & Morecambe; MV50, David Griffin (31-03), Helm Hill; MV60, Graham Schofield (31-19), Horwich; M70, John Hodgson (41-42), Dallam; LU21, Maia Doherty (39-38), Helm Hill; LV40, Bianca Dyer (33-33), Helm Hill; LV50, Carol Evans, Settle; LV60 Wendy Dodds (40-00), Clayton.

Ambleside achieved a one, two three at the front end of the U15 boys’ race through James Bowen (09-36), Harry Bowen (09-48) and Thomas Brailsford (10-02). First U15 girl was Levens Valley Jessica Bailey (10-18) with Helm Hill Sarah Smith (10-22) following close behind in second and Ambleside’s Sophie Rylance (11-10) coming in third.

Helm Hill’s Jacob Smith (16-40) was the first U17 boy back with Helm Hill’s Alex Tallon (17-49) in third. Helm Hill Georgia Heath (20-40) finished second U17 girl.