The PowerBar Three Peaks Yacht Race

  • UK (GBR)

The Race to be King of the Mountains

Rob Howard / 24.06.2009See All Event Posts Follow Event
While the boats make slow but steady progress northwards the runners will have plenty of time to enjoy some of the most magnificent scenery (when not rowing) ... and to think about the run on Ben Nevis. Although it may seem at times like they will never get there!

This year the running competition has been the best for many years, with strength in depth, close competition and fast times. After two mountain runs, King of the Mountains winner for the past two years, Martin Beale, who is running for EADS Innovation Works with Martin Ingle, is lying third, so it looks like there will be new winners this year.

Leading the way, with the fastest times on both mountains, are Chris Sellen and Allan Smalls. They completed Snowdon in 3.29 and Scafell Pike in an amazing 6.33 and now have a 20 minute lead. Sellen is a former Junior European Orienteering champion and a regular ultra and mountain marathon runner, and he and Smalls seem well matched despite the fact Smalls was a late replacement. (Ed Kelleher, who was due to run, is injured and is helping with the team back up.) It’s the first time they’ve taken part in the race but so far they’ve not put a foot wrong. (Except when they both fell on Snowdon!)

Their closest rivals are Nick Gracie and Warren Bates on Penmaenmawr SC, who set the 4th fastest time on Snowdon, and then a rapid 6.45 on Scafell Pike to give a total after 2 peaks of 10 hours 22 minutes. This pair have competed in adventure races all over the world with team Aberdeen Asset Management, so know each other well and endurance is their strength, but it seems unlikely they can make up the 20 minute deficit. (There is the possibility of the leaders arriving in the dark and the chasers in daylight however, which could make a difference.)

Martin Beale and Martin Ingle are ultra distance runners, and two times winner Beale said at the start he was worried about the competition this year – and he was right! This pair are on EADS Innovation Works and have a total time so far of 10 hours 38 minutes, so have a lot of time to make up on Ben Nevis. They also have a battle to keep their 3rd place in the running competition, as Patrick Wallis and Paul Williams off Topsham Toe in the Water are just 2 minutes behind them.

They may yet however, help EADS clinch the win as their boat is currently leading with Nunatak and it could yet come down to a race on Ben Nevis between these two. If it does then Beale and Ingle have been consistently quicker than Richard Ludlow and John Taylor off Nunatak.

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