SEDBERGH runner Jo Symonds made it back-to-back Three Peaks victories as he looks to beat his father Hugh’s achievements of winning the race in 1984, 1985 and 1987.

Symonds, who has been concentrating on marathons to secure a place in the Scottish team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, took two hours, 54 minutes and 39 seconds to reign supreme, which was just over a minute quicker than last year.

Carl Bell, 30, of Keswick Athletic Club, replicated his debut run of last year when he finsihed second, nearly three minutes behind Symonds, although he only edged out Karl Gray, 43, of Calder Valley Fell Runners, by six seconds.

Fourth this year was Staveley’s Rob Jebb, of Bingley Harriers, who won the race in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. His time was 3hrs 1min 46secs in a race containing 745 runners.

The runner for Solomon, the sportswear company which was the main sponsor of the event, said he wants to beat the successes of his father, who used to run for Kendal Athletic Club.

Symonds, who lives in Inverness, but was brought up at Sedbergh, said: “I would love to beat my father’s achievement. It is an addictive race and there is something about it.”

Last year Symonds’ father was in New Zealand using the Internet to following his progress round the 23-mile course, which has 5,279ft of ascent over Pen y ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. On Saturday his father and mother, who set off in September to cycle to China, were on a boat crossing the Caspian Sea.

“They have no Internet access on this boat, which is taking them from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan. There will be a bit of a delay before I am able to tell them that I have won, but I am sure Dad will be as chuffed as ever.

”I will be back with a clear intent next year. I love this race - it is very close to what was my home and these are iconic mountains.

“I was brought up in Sedbergh so I know these mountains, especially Whernside. It is kind of on the edge of the land of my up-bringing, so I will definitely be back.

“We were quick from the start. I knew we would be because Carl Bell was there and that’s his approach to racing. No matter how long the race may be, he will go off hard, so I knew I had to be setting off quickly.

“We shared the lead until about halfway up Pen-y-ghent and then Carl and the Spaniard, Tofol Castanyer, dropped back a bit and I found myself on my own.

“It was a long, lonely run from there on.”

Castanyer, 40, another member of the Salomon International Team, finished ninth in 3hrs 10mins 35secs.

The ladies winner was Three Peaks first timer, Jasmin Paris, of Carnethy Hill Running Club in Scotland, in 3hrs 33mins 4secs, who was 42nd overall.

She caught and passed her rival Oihana Kortazar Aranzeta, 28, a Spanish member of the Salomon International Team, on the descent from Swine Tail off Ingleborough summit.

Oihana had led the women over Pen-y-ghent and Whernside and stayed ahead up the steep face of the last of the Three Peaks.

Oihana finished second in the ladies’ category, in a time of 3hrs 36mins 29secs, but was later taken to Airedale General Hospital with a suspected broken arm after taking a tumble during the race.

Third lady was Helen Bonsor, of Carnethy HRC in 3 hrs 39ins 7secs.

After two days of hail and heavy rain, which left the start area deep in mud, the mountain tops had a thin covering of fresh snow early on race day. But by the 10am start the snow was gone.

Race director Paul Dennison said: “It was soft underfoot and there was a cool wind, but conditions were near perfect.”

Team Results


1: Dark Peak Fell Runners (Score 52) - Oli Johnson (6th), Tom Brunt (10th), John Hunt (17th) and Will Boothman (19th); 2: Calder Valley Fell Runners (Score 131) – Karl Gray (3rd), Alex Whittem (23rd), Andy Thorpe (46th) and Graeme Browne (59th); 2: Wharfedale Harriers (Score 131) – Spencer Riley (15th), Nicholas Charlesworth (16th), Sam Watson (21st) and James Craig (79th).


1: Carnethy Hill RC (Score 181) – Jasmin Paris (42nd), Helen Bonsor (57th) and Jill Mykura (82nd); 2: Settle Harriers (Score 743) – Carol Evans (156th), Sharon McDonald (225th) and Jill Eccleston (362nd); 3: Ilkley Harriers AC (Score 864) – Jann Smith (188th), Rebecca Mon-Williams (316th) and Kate Archer (360th).

MORE than 1,000 trail runners conquered the infamous, mile long killer climb of the "Coffin Tail" at Hawkshead on Saturday.

The eighth year for the Lakeland Trails event at Hawkshead included runners from all over the UK, along with overseas visitors from Australia, Japan, USA, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France and Ireland.

The trail course, which has been described by Runnerworld magazine as the most scenic race in Britain, took in a circuit through Beatrix Potter country on the hills above Hawkshead village.

Oldest competitors were 80 year old Malcolm Ball from Norfolk and 72 year old Charm Robson from St Bees.

The men's blue riband Hawkshead Trail Race 16km, was won by GB International Adam Peers in 62.25.

Runner-up was Adam Lloyd, Bromsgrove and Redditch, in 66.15, and Eden runner John French was third.

The women's race was won by Jo Gascoigne-Owens, Alnwick Harriers in 73.46, with Candice Heys, Clayton-le-Moors Harriers runner-up in 76.22 and Edinburgh's Katherine Brownlee making the podium in third with 79.06.

The morning's Hawkshead Trail Run (11.6km), mens race was won by Helm Hill runner Will Jackson in 47.46, six minutes ahead of second placed Tony Ward, from Team Trisports in 54.20, with Ian Cooper from Wirral in 54.51.

The women's race was won by Emma Essex-Crosby, Preston Harriers in 62.04, with Suzanne Toppin, Penrith in second and Kath Woodley, Ulverston in 3rd.

Meanwhile there are only a few places left for the next Lakeland Trails event in Staveley on Saturday June 1, in the Kentmere Trail 10km and 17km.

More information and full results are available from