THIRLMERE farmer Gavin Bland spectacularly returned to fell running action by winning the opening race of the British Championship at Silent Valley in Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains.

The 41-year-old former British champion held off Finlay Wild, Karl Grey and double British champion from Staveley Rob Jebb to win in 1.43.00.

He had a close battle with Wild in the second section of the race but a sprint finish allowed him a sensational victory.

The win helped his Borrowdale side win the team event, with Morgan Donnelly and Jim Davies also finishing in the top 10 to cement team victory.

Tom Gibbs finished ninth and Ben Abdelnoor finished 15th in the race, which meant Ambleside AC came home as the third best male team. Their women’s team finished fifth.

UNSTOPPABLE Carl Bell won yet another fell race as he finished half a minute ahead of Helm Hill duo Tom and Mark Addison at Loughrigg.

Bell triumphed in 26.49, with Tom Addison out-doing Mark by 14 seconds in the battle for third.

But Mark’s week got a whole lot better when he reigned supreme in the Boulsworth Hill Fell Race from the hamlet of Wycoller on Sunday, winning in 57.02.

Ambleside’s Gary Greenhow and John Brown made up the top five.

Lizzie Adams of Black Combe was first of the ladies in 33.37, with Ambleside’s Annie Conway and Helm Hill runner Lauren Munro-Bennett making up the top three.

THE last ever Great Langdale Daffodil 10k road race took place at the New Dungeon Ghyll.

Saturday’s race saw Clayton-le-Moor duo Tom Brewster and Breton Holdsworth complete the one-two, with Border Harrier Stuart Robinson third.

The unattached Jonathan Purslow, from Kendal, finished fourth in 36.42, with Kendal AAC’s Matt Wilson seventh.

Bingley Harrier Anne Buckley was first female home on Saturday.

Rob Hodgson from Carlisle Tri Club won Sunday’s race in 35.37, while the unattached Heather Halliday was the first female home.