TWO ‘elite’ women runners from South Lakeland clubs turned in outstanding performances in the inaugural Karrimor Great Trail Challenge.

Some of the top names in international mountain running from the home countries were in Keswick on Sunday for the race around the lower slopes of Latrigg.

Helm Hill’s Mel Hyder, of Bolton-le-Sands, showed the junior women’s field a clean pair of heels as she scampered home to lead England to team gold.

Hyder (20-47) was a commanding one minute and 20 seconds clear of her team mate Lucy Crookes (22-07).

Kendal’s Rebecca Robinson (36-47) turned in an equally impressive performance to lead home Ireland’s Sarah McCormack (36-58) in the elite women’s race. Emma Clayton was third in 37-01.

Mark Addison (33-02) made a spectacular senior international debut by finishing fifth and second England counter to race winner Steve Vernon (31-57). His strength told on the climb where he moved up a gear to put Ireland’s Brian MacMahon (32-44) and Scotland’s Robbie Simpson (32-49) under pressure. Andi Jones was second in 32-24.

Conditions were extremely challenging for fell runners competing for English championship points in Saturday’s Great Lakes Run (13 miles/7,000ft of climb) from Stool End Farm, Great Langdale.

They braved heavy rain, mist-clouded summits and fast-flowing, swollen rivers as they navigated around one of the toughest courses on the fell running calendar.

Ambleside’s Ben Abdelnoor (2-48-45) was the first to complete the circuit that took in the summits of Bowfell, Scafell and Pike-O-Blisco and is now well placed to win the championship title. Kim Collison (2-49-11), of Eden Runners was second with Dark Peak’s Lloyd Taggart (2-49-37) in third. First lady was Todmorden’s Lauren Jeska (3-28-38) in 40th position overall.

Howgill’s Carl Bell’s (1-11-54) impressive season continued last Wednesday night as he won the eight-mile Tebay Fell Race from Helm Hill’s Alastair Dunn (1-16-11). Bingley’s Sharon Taylor (1-30-01), who lives in Staveley, was first lady in 26th position.

Alastair Dunn (26-45) found consolation in winning the Lakeside-Gummer How race on Saturday from Salford’s John Brown (29-39). The race is one of the more unusual in the calendar as it involves runners rowing across Windermere to run up Gummers How before returning to their boats and finishing on the lawns of the Lakeside Hotel.

“I deliberately set off fast from the start in order to get to the boats first to avoid any collisions,” said Dunn, who has won the race before in the Olympic years 2000 and 2004. “I gave my boat a good push and jumped in before it got too deep, which got me clear of the jetties.

“I knew that John Brown would probably run faster than me, so it was all down to whether he could row well or not. I bet he'll be back next year having practised his rowing!”

Dunn won a weekend break at the Lakeside Hotel. Unattached runner Chris Robinson was third in 30-03.

The team race was narrowly won by The Wee Beasties, who finished second last year, made up of Ulverston’s Richard Watson and Lizzie Adams and Mark Saunders of Lancaster. They rowed home in 31-02 just eight seconds ahead of The Titanic Syncapators - Paul Knowles, Ambleside; Adam Crowe, Rusland and Richard Stevens, Windermere.