STAVELEY'S Rob Jebb turned in a terrific performance to finish a surprise second in the Howgills English championship race at Sedbergh on Saturday.

A "brutal" 13-mile circuit of the fells (7,000ft of climb) combined with a warm day took its toll on the runners with ten per cent of the field of 415 retiring or being timed out.

But Jebb paced his race perfectly and was not caught out by the fast start and pulled through the field, picking athletes off one-by-one and eventually catching Keswick's Carl Bell and Mark Lamb up on Sickers.

"I had 49 seconds on them at the top of the last hill but I was struggling with cramp," said Jebb, who runs for Helm Hill. "It was a hot day and I had not eaten and drunk enough. Coming off Winder I was also losing my toe nails as well."

Bell closed the gap and as the pair passed through Lockbank Farm there were only four seconds between them. Bell was the stronger at the finish and outsprinted Jebb on the final road section to win in 2-28-05 - 21 seconds ahead.

Bingley's Victoria Wilkinson won the ladies' race and finish 21st overall in 2-44-56 and was followed over the line by Ribble Valley's Nichola Jackson (2-50-01) and Helm Hill's Sharon Taylor (2-51-34).

Borrowdale's Mark Roberts (2-53-12), who lives in Kendal, was first MV55 in 42nd while Helm Hill's Billy Procter (3-22-22) headed the MV60s in 116th, just in front of Helm Hill's Hannah Russell (3-22-27) who was first WU23.

There was a large field of 313 runners for the Coledale Horseshoe Race which was won by Ellenborough's Ricky Lightfoot (1-13-03) from Keswick's Brennan Townsend (1-13-42). Pudsey and Bramley's Katie Walshaw (1-27-31) was the first woman in 24th position overall.