A lovely mild sunny spring Tuesday, with drifted snow very much in evidence on the fells and against field boundaries, heralded the start of the 135th Wilson Run. 155 starters of the 165 who qualified, was one of the bigger fields in the race’s history. The course was drying quickly but significant bogs and much sticky mud remained. The wind had dropped almost to nothing in the early afternoon to produce nice running conditions. The crowds were out in force, many having walked the course in the morning. Ben Van Dijk (H) led out to Cautley closely tailed by Jamie MacMillan (SH). Georgina Boyd-Moss (who had sacrificed her captaincy of the hockey nationals to run) led the girls and had a clear lead on Fawcett Bank climb after Thrush Gill. At Cautley the order at the front was Van Dijk (26.32); MacMillan (whose brother was runner-up last year) then George Rigal (W); Rueben Copley (P); Robert Askew (H) and Henry Leeming (E).
Onto Baugh Fell, MacMillan took the lead when Van Dijk stumbled twice between Birksfield Beck and Whinny gill. He extended that lead to over a minute at Hepplewhite, and at the same time Copley closed in on Van Dijk, who was feeling ill. By Danny Bridge, Macmillan had a commanding position with nearly 3 minutes on Van Dijk, and a great prospect for the win, going over the bridge in a fast 57.33. For the rest of the race a clear run brought him home down the Garsdale Road in fine form for an impressive 1:14:51 and a warm reception from the waiting crowds, many of whom were expecting a green vest, not a blue one. Much to the chagrin of his brother, Jamie was a minute faster than his brother’s second place in 2017. Rueben Copley (P), renowned more for his short distance running, pulled into second in descent soon after Danny car park and stayed there for a 1:18 45 second place.
Nearly 4 minutes had elapsed by then, but Van Dijk put up a brave fight and was just 16 seconds later in third. George Rigal (W) next, who retained fourth place since before Hebblethwaite. Then Robert Askew fifth (H) and Henry Leeming in sixth (E) as they had been since Cautley. Georgie Boyd Moss had a similar winning margin coming home in 1:28:31 just four and half minutes outside the girls record, and in a very impressive 15th place overall. She was followed home by last year’s winner Maria Page (R) in 1:32:52: two and a half minutes outside her winning time in 2017 and 33rd overall. Sally Bennett (R) was third in 1:36:56 followed by Amy Slattery (L), Mikaela Crossley (C) and Olivia Murray (L). Only one runner pulled out injured at Cautley. The House cups (based on sum of the ranks of the first ten runners home) went to Evans (204 points) narrowly beating School (242) and for the girls, Robertson (865) who beat Lupton (1010).
A full race image gallery can be viewed here
Race results can be found here