WITH good conditions on the day and the sort of form Sarah McCormack has been in, you might sense the women's record in the Nine Standards Fell Race was in danger.

And so it proved as the Irish international and Ambleside AC runner took full advantage of the calm weather and firm ground to smash the previous record by an incredible two and a half minutes.

The existing best time, which was set just two years ago by Bingley's Vicky Williams, was easily eclipsed by McCormack, who has carried all before her this season.

She continued her red hot streak in the New Year's Day event by coming home in a time of 56 minutes and 19 seconds in the testing race, which takes place around Hartley Fell, which is topped by Nine Standards Rigg, on the border between Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

The race covers eight miles and involves a challenging 1,700 feet of climb, but it proved no problem for McCormack, who in addition to her standard prize money also won the traditional £50 cash bonus offered by event organiser Paul Brittleton for any record breaker in one of his races.

McCormack's time was enough to clinch sixth spot overall, behind overall winner Sam Stead, the Keswick AC man leading the field home in 52 minutes, 50 seconds.

That gave him a 90 second winning margin over second placed Ben Riddell of Black Combe Runners with Stead's Keswick team mate Rib Brown in third and Helm Hill's Michael Ainsworth fourth.

Mr Brittleton thanked race sponsor Pete Bland Sports and also the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue team for their attendance, and he also thanked volunteers Stephen and Pauline Mossat and Terry Roache for their assistance.

He is already organising his next event, the Tebay fell race, on June 22, which is an entry on the day event, and entries are now open for the Kentmere Horseshoe fell race on July 22 which you can enter online at kentmerehorseshoe.org.uk.