HELM Hill took the ladies' title in Sunday's Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay.

The eight girls, who run in pairs over four legs, completed the 36.2 kilometre fell circuit in 4-38-36.

Lucy Spain and Marie Robson (49-03) laid the foundations for the win on leg one from Patterdale to Hartsop (6.7km/440m). Handing over to Hannah Russell and Bianca Dyer they were lying fourth behind Dark Peak (45-38), Ambleside (Jo Simpson and Steph Jones, 48-27) and Keswick (48-34).

Hannah and Bianca (1-27-50) ran hard and clawed back two places overhauling Keswick and Dark Peak ladies on the 11-kilometre second leg (890 metres of climbing) which takes in High Street, Caudale Moor and Raven's Crag.

Ambleside had a commanding lead at this point after Annie Conway and Beth Hanson (1-16-29) posted a devastatingly fast time on the second leg.

But Jo Rycroft and Janie Oates (1-02-07) posted the fastest time on leg three (7.5km/570 metres) - Kirkstone to Sykeside Caravan Park at Brotherswater over Red Screes - to make inroads into Ambleside's lead. Astrid Gibbs and Jane Reedy (1-05-19) still led the Ambleside team home with minutes to spare.

But the turning point came on leg four - Sykeside to Patterdale (11km/900m) taking in Hart Crag and St Sunday Crag - where Kelli Roberts and Sharon Taylor came home in 1-19-36 well clear of Ambleside's Hazel Robinson and Lou Roberts (1-32-37). The Ambleside pairing had been nine minutes clear at the start of the leg but were overtaken by Sharon and Kelli on the top of St Sunday Crag.

"It is the first time a Helm Hill team has won at the Hodgson Relays and is the perfect end to the season after winning the senior ladies and V40 ladies team titles in the British and English fell championships," said Sharon.

Ambleside (3-35-35) also had to settle for a second place finish in the senior men's race which was won by Keswick in 3-30-23. The Ambleside team was made up of Joe Mann and Jonny Malley; Ben Abdelnoor and Pete Bray; John Helme and Tom Simpson and Matthew Elkington and Jack Wright.

Calder Valley (3-39-18) were third while Helm Hill (3-42-31) finished fourth with a team comprising Kieran Hodgson and Ben Procter; Mark Addison and Michael Ainsworth; Paul Aitken and Adam Perry and Rob Jebb and Joshua Jardine.

But Ambleside (4-05-19) enjoyed success in the veteran's race when they overcame Dark Peak (4-06-40) and Keswick (4-25-35). The team was made up of James Byrne and Chris Robinson; Tom Gibbs and Jon Deegan; Paul Cornforth and Simon Stainer and Jon Rylance and Matt Reedy.