Organisers of a new fell race in the Lake District which was due to be trialled tonight have promised it will be staged next year.
It was hoped that, if successful, the Wansfell Two-Step would become a regular fixture on the fellrunning calendar.
The three-mile race up 1600 ft Wansfell Pike from Ambleside was being organised by Wayne Singleton whose Jogging Pals team run coaching sessions and running holidays.
And in the spirit of longer – and longer established – races on the fixture list, such as the Old Counties Tops, Haworth Hobble, and Hodgson Brothers Relay, competitors were to run in pairs.
“But we are aware there have been issues at these events with one runner running faster than the other, and not reaching checkpoints at the same time,” said Wayne. “Runners have even been disqualified as it’s in the rules that they stay together.”
So to overcome the problem, runners in this race would have their legs strapped together. “In effect, it will be a three-legged race,” said Wayne. “It will be a whole new challenge for fell runners.
“We hope to try again once the current crisis has passed. At the moment, the last thing we want is people running close together.”
Wayne (6ft 6 ins) was due to take part strapped to diminutive ultra runner, Ambleside AC’s Jo Kilkenny (5ft 1), who was in training for the now-postponed Celtman triathlon.
“It would have been convenient as my coach had me down to do hill reps that night,” said Jo. “This would have done very nicely instead. And it would be fun to be tied to a man. I’m looking forward to racing this eventually.”
World mountain running champion Sarah McCormack was also due to take part. “I was really looking forward to running with a faster man for a change,” she said. “Now, following government advice, my only permitted training partner is Paul Tierney*.”
The event was to be sponsored by The Climbers’ Shop in Ambleside. Executive Events Director, Cathy Casey, said they were thrilled to be involved in the exciting new venture. “We’re confident that three legged ultra is a great new sector to trail running and have been working with our suppliers to ensure we can have the best running equipment available to them to buy for next year.”
Runners wanting more information are asked to email [email protected]
*Sarah’s partner Paul Tierney last year set a new record of just over six days for running all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District.