Athletes summit Skiddaw to claim England Championship success

The Senior England Mountain Running Championships took place on 19 April at the UK Up Hill Only Mountain Championship and trial for the European Off Road Running Championships.

Many of the UK's best hill runners were joined by experienced road athletes to tackle the 6.4k route which climbed the 905m from Dodd Wood to the summit of one of the UK's most iconic mountains, Skiddaw. 

After a fast uphill start through Dodd, athletes climbed on increasingly steep gradients to Ullock Pike and Long Side before tackling one of the steepest sections of the course on the final climb to the of Skiddaw and the finish line. Conditions were very cold at the highest sections of the course with a strong breeze adding to the challenge the athletes faced.

England Mountain Running champs winners

The women's race saw another stunning victory for Scot Scout Adkin in a time of 42:36. 2nd place overall and the English Championship title went to experienced GB&NI international Sara Willhoit (Mercia Fell) in 45:25. The English silver medal was claimed by Scarlett Dale (Helm Hill Runners) - a previous U20 medallist at the European Mountain Championships in 2018 - in 46:14. Elle Twentyman (Rugby & Northampton) produced a fantastic performance in one of her first ever mountain races to claim the bronze medal in a time of 46:32. 

A closely fought men's race and England Championship was won by Joe Steward (Salford Harriers) in a time of 36:49. Steward finished 16th at the World Mountain and Trail Champs in 2022. 2nd and 3rd overall went to Scotland's Jacob Adkin and Welshman Kris Jones in 37:03 and 37:32 respectively. This left experienced fell runner Finlay Grant (Chesterfield) to claim the English silver medal in a time of 38:29 ahead of Tom Spencer (Buxton AC) who took the bronze in 38:58. 

Race Director Duncan Richards said:

"It was great to once again see some of the UK's best runners tackle this iconic route to the peak of Skiddaw and battle not only for senior GB&NI vests but also the England title. Well done to all those who competed."

Photo of Joe Steward by Stepehen Wilson