NEARLY 200 students ran over the fells in a 10 mile race that has been described as 'the most arduous and complex school race in Great Britain.' 

Sedbergh School hosted its annual Wilson Run on March 19, which was won by Dan Dean and Hannah Francis in one hour, 20 minutes and 27 seconds and one hour, 41 minutes and two seconds respectively. 

Dan, who finished second last year, adapted his strategy by setting off a bit quicker and then holding the lead throughout the rest of the race, finishing four minutes clear of the next runner. 

The girls race was much closer, with Hannah only finishing a second ahead of her first-place rival Maddie Burnside. Impressively, Maddie improved on her 2023 time by over 30 minutes. 

It was arguably the worst course that the race director Richard Wells had ever seen due to 'unprecedented rainfall' over the weeks prior. He said that Baugh Fell, one of the main obstacles on the route, was 'completely saturated.' 

The conditions made the course more challenging to run and more brutal on runners' legs, of which there were 189 on the day. There were 100 marshals stationed throughout the run, as well as sweepers at the back of the course and medical and safety staff on standby. 

Headmaster Dan Harrison called it 'one of the best days of the school calendar.' He said: "We should all have a sense of pride. It’s fantastic that we’ve got 191 runners out there in fairly testing conditions. The race’s legacy comes down to different things for different people but primarily the race endures because pupils remember it fondly due to the enormous sense of achievement they feel after finishing the race.”

The Wilson Run has been raced over almost the same route since 1881, and has only been cancelled on four occasions. The current course record stands at one hour, seven minutes and five seconds, which was set in 2022 by Fraser Sproul.