Tag Archives: The Yomp Mountain Challenge

The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 5, 2016

23M / 4,000' (with 11.5M and 6.25M options)

Dougie Nisbet

aka Mallerstang Horseshoe & Nine Standards Yomp

The nice thing about these sort of hybrid walking/running events that have mixed start times is that there’s not a massive queue for the bogs. I sat in the changing rooms in splendid isolation adjusting my dress and thinking I should probably get out there. I wandered out into the brilliant sunshine to see the rather scary vision of Shaun standing, arms astretch, in some sort of weird crucifix like pose. Didn’t Michael Jackson do that on stage once? And things didn’t work out well for him.

But all was ok. Shaun wasn’t trying to annoy Jarvis Cocker, just offering a maximum surface area for Ros to spray him down with SunScreen. Good advice. Wear sunscreen.

Left looks tempting.

Staggered starts are nice but the downside is, as I know from doing orienteering events, is that you can be at a race and not know that your clubmates are also there as you don’t see them. I glimpsed Margaret and Christine who were doing the Half Yomp, and Geoff was there too. And me. Probably more. Who knows.

Shaun and I part company.Off I went on my lonesome to tackle the Full Yomp, something I’d wanted to do for years. I’d been at a wedding the night before, but so had Penny for the Salomon Trail 10K last week and she’d done pretty well, so by that logic, I’d do just fine too. I tootled south through Kirby Stephen in good spirits and deliberately kept my pace down knowing that I “didn’t do hot”, chomping on a Shotblok or two and feeling pretty chirpy. I was expecting to do well. Shaun caught me just in time for us to part company as he took a left for the tantalisingly tempting Yomp-Demi.

Just sheep for company.At the top of Wild Boar Fell (where I have an 11 year old geocacheBTW, really must check it’s ok sometime. Not today though) I was flagging a bit. But onward, and, apparently, ever upward, and I continued to wilt. I decided it was time to check the Garmin. I’d done 17 somethings. That was OK wasn’t it? Oh hang on, I’d changed to Kilometres for some reason. So 17, was er, well a 10K is six miles, so 17 km is er, well less than 12 miles. No that couldn’t be right. Because right now I had that 90% through a race feeling, and according to my Garmin, I was lucky if I’d gone half way.

Still, My Garmin Can’t Lie, so I plodded on. The descents off that hill that Paul mentioned were pretty much as described, but they were the last ones I did with any control. As I crossed the road to push on to the next bit, it was all becoming all a bit functional. I did have the good grace to pause while traversing Hanginstone Scar to admire the view westwards where you see the railway line snaking up towards Kirkby Stephen.

On to High Seat, High Pike Hill, and probably some other fells with ‘High’ in the name somewhere. Then my weariness became apparant. As any fell runner knows, to descend well needs skill, not-sore feet, and, energy. It takes energy to descend fast, it’s not like being on a bike where you just stop peddling and gurn into the wind. So I hobbled down to the road, took a deep breath, then onto the last bit up to Nine Standards Rigg.

Well that was that bit done, then down. Going downhill isn’t fun when you’re stuffed. And your feet are hot and sore and blistered. I arrived back at the school and had a look at my time. Ah ok. A bit pish then. Very pish in fact. No surprises there.

Not a cloud in the sky. Apart from the two you can see.

An interesting day, and a reminder that I’ll probably never stop being naive about races. I did the Wensleydale Wander last month, which is an identical distance. And I was fine after that. So why was today so much harder? Possibly related to the Yomp involving twice as much climbing. I was also intrigued that my feet gave me problems – hot and blistered in my Walshes. This happened to me once in Swaledale, and I put it down to wearing Walshes on a course that has so much hard surfaces. Now I’m not so sure. I’m now thinking it’s not the surfaces, or the shoes, it’s the heat. I was strangely re-assured to get an email from Shaun in the evening asking me how my race had gone as his had been ‘absolutely awful’. Not just me then!

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The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 7, 2015

23M / 4,000' (with 11.5M and 6.25M options)

Paul Evans

Let’s not pretend otherwise: I adore this race. It’s got the lot: entry on the day, indoor changing, unlimited tea before and after, well-marked, hours of fun on the green and empty Howgills and, very importantly, probably my favourite descent in any race I’ve yet done (the death-stumble down from Ringing Roger at the Skyline does not count, as that was relief as much as pleasure). I grant that it is not a race to everyone’s taste but, for the distance runner wanting to try the fells, I would mark this as the long one to go for.

Sunday morning: the sea of purple showed that either I was not alone or that people were out to bag some GP points in this first outing for the Full Yomp in the club championship; a lot of familiar faces were present, though Joan, Camilla, Debs, Anita and Diane were opting for the half course in order to keep their legs fresh for Swaledale six days later. We talked, stretched, taped and lubed whilst drinking hot tea from proper mugs, our numbers augmented by Steph Scott of NFR but slowly falling as Striders headed out in ones and twos to the starting control, runners on the full course having a window of an hour to set off (making it impossible to judge your position in the field). I watched Danny, Juliet, Sue, Maggie, Christine, Ian, Scott and David go, was suddenly having photos taken with the Half Yompers and then bid all goodbye to begin a long few hours.

To all those considering this race next year, an obligatory warning: this race starts easy, with a downhill to the main road, a flat half mile or so to an old railway bridge and then another mile and a half of gently-undulating concrete farm track luring you in to an unsustainable pace. I felt good here, though checked myself slightly as I overtook a handful of runners and a lot of walkers, maintaining a pace at which I could chat if I had anyone to chat with. The gradients became slightly steeper and the track rougher after crossing the Settle and Carlisle railway tracks then, all of a sudden, the tarmac was gone, to be seen again only at a brief water stop before the contour lines got closer together and Greenlaw Rigg beckoned. I climbed this at a slow run, sped up a little then slowed again on the climb to Little Fell, passing Sue, Maggie and Christine who were running as a group at this stage. The Nab followed in this series of ‘climb, flattish bit, climb again’ and forced me into my first walk of the race which gave chance to admire the drop off the crags and the perfect views in the clear, sunny weather, of the other side of the valley – the intimidating back half of the race. Finally Wild Boar Fell was summited, David and Scott passed on the way (both of them happily chatting, a racing activity they profess to disdain ordinarily), a drop to a boggy hollow completed to soak the feet thoroughly and Swarth fell ascended at a semi-traverse, the anticipation building. THE descent was around the corner.

I dibbed at the electronic box, took the offered cup of water from a marshall asking why so many runners from Durham were there today and began: forward-lean, knees never locked out, gravity doing the work and with arms used for balance. That was the idea, anyway, though I suspect video analysis would show there may be a way to go before I challenge the better descenders.

Nevertheless, the mile of grassy hill down to Aisgill was everything I remembered it to be – soft but not boggy, forgiving of the odd slip and encouraging you to lean in and trust the grip of your shoes. It felt fast and without fear, which is not the case on the rockier stuff at times. It felt incredible. Aisgill gained and the railway and minor road crossed for the only taste of tarmac in over a dozen miles I used the portaloo to offload unnecessary fluid weight, took on more water and hit the farm track alongside the steep, rocky Hell Gill, the clear waters very tempting as the day got warmer. Farmland gave way to moor, track to trod and Hugh Seat, gregory Chapel and High Seat were knocked off in succession, each a little tougher than the last but with frequent water stops to reward the effort. Descent to Tailbridge Road was smooth and fairly quick, High Pike Hill the only relatively minor climb to interrupt it and, after dibbing and taking water again at the road crossing, the near-solitude of the last few miles was no more, as we now joined the Half and Mini Yomp courses, the latter starting from the road which participants had been bussed out to (note: the junior Evanses do not yet know they’re probably doing this next year). Despite the fatigue beginning to creep into my legs at this point, this was really enjoyable, the walk-running family groups clearly having a grand day in comparison to the suffering long course runners; actual smiles were seen. They also, in addition to the copious tape markers and the lone Howgill Harriers runner I was chasing down, served to mark the remainder of the course very clearly, the long line of them snaking gradually to the Nine Standards, though the stones themselves remained out of sight until we were almost on top of them.

From the Nine Standards the only way is down – both literally and in terms of terrain, as the lush grass and soft earth was replaced by rocky track until we hit road at Fell House, though this allowed a final burst of speed to be attempted on the curves around Hartley Quarry and the view into Kirkby Stephen showed it appearing closer rapidly when seen through the aromatic sun-heated yellow-flowered gorse. Howgills man dropped me here, his approach to gravity clearly better than mine, though he remained in sight as we entered Hartley village over the beck then took the narrow path to the Eden river and Kirkby Stephen. A final effort along the quiet main road and a left turn up to the school, shouted in by Joan (7th lady in the half), Debs(10th), Camilla(9th), Diane(13th) and Anita(12th), and it was all over – second place (3:24:42) showing on the screen in the school hall. Unfortunately, one cup of tea and a very good shower later, two faster runners had come in after me, relegating me to fourth, which was not entirely a surprise and still left a definite sense of contentment as Diane and I drank yet more tea and watched Scott and Danny (31/32nd), Danny and Juliet (61/62nd), Ian (96th) and Sue (129th) run to the finish and take a deserved rest. As I said at the beginning, I do not attempt to hide my liking for this race but it is always useful to re-visit one’s assumptions and challenge them – re-running the Yomp served to re-affirm to me what a great race this is.


Full Yomp
position name club cat time
1 Charlie Lowther Eden Runners M 03:09:33
25 Heidi Dent Howgill Harriers F 03:35:25
4th Paul Evans M 03:24:42
31st Scott Watson M 04:18:49
61st Juliet Percival F 04:50:50
62nd Danny Lim M 04:50:55
96th Ian Spencer M 05:44:42
129th Sue Jennings F 06:34:19
144th Christine Farnsworth FV60 07:26:23

167 finishers.

Half Yomp
position name club cat time
1 Tom Flynn Howgill Harriers M 01:37:26
25 Elizabeth Leason Glossopdale Harriers F 01:52:59
24th Joan Hanson F 02:16:49
26th Camilla Lauren-Maatta F 02:18:34
27th Debra Goddard F 02:19:12
30th Anita Clementson F 02:24:23
33rd Diane Watson F 02:26:26

137 finishers.

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The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 1, 2014

23M / 4,000' (with 11.5M and 6.25M options)

Paul Evans

aka Mallerstang Horseshoe & Nine Standards Yomp

This 23 miles of little-trodden Howgills running has, over the last three years become deservedly popular with Striders, particularly those for whom speed is of less importance than distance, scenery and a nice sandwich. Shaun wrote the race up well last year and the stage was set for a re-run, with an even-warmer, still day dawning over the fells; a shame that he’s injured and had to pass this year. The start was as low-key as ever, with no mass start and runners instead simply choosing to dib out and set off whenever ready between 0800 and 1000hrs so, a few minutes after Will Horsley, Steph Scott and Geoff Davies (all running for NFR), I set off through the quiet streets of Kirkby Stephen, alone, a little after 0920hrs. A mile or so of tarmac along the main road led to a track of gently-deteriorating concrete slabs running alongside a beck for a short period and then heading gradually upwards to a farmhouse which, crossings of a railway line and road within the next half mile, would be the last built objects we’d see for a long time.

Onwards, upwards, forwards – Moor Pot followed by Little Fell, both runnable, Little Fell followed by the climbup the ridgeline of the Nab to Wild Boar Fell, less so. False summits abounded and it was here that the early signs of fatigue were beinning to take a toll on some of the earlier starters, both runners and walkers, though Maggie Thompson, Sue Jennings and Anita Clementson all looked strong. A checkpoint at the top of Wild Boar Fell provided water and a brief respite, then it was down into the moist, soft saddle and up the other side to Swarth Fell, saying a brief hello to Geoff and Steph their diagonal green stripe/purple background looking far less elegant than the vertical green/white/purple alternative. I pushed hard to the top of this climb, knowing that after checking in with the marshalls there would be a long descent to Aisgill, followed by a fairly gentle section on farm tracks – so it proved, the ground being just soft enough to cause the occasional uncontrolled slide but mostly fast running on a surface that felt pleasantly bouncy.

Water again at the bottom of the valley, almost half the race done and it was onto what I find the hardest section of the race, even if it doesn’t take you quite as high as Wild Boar Fell. Thankfully the marshalls had put out a lot of controls, all with water hauled up in jerrycans by quad, and The Riggs, Gregory Chapel, High Seat and High Pike Hill were all gained over the next 50 minutes or so, much of the time with a clear view to the west back over the valley, scattered cottages and railway line miniscule in the distance, to the climbs encountered an hour or two previously. The running was still relatively good, with the ground mostly firm with boggy patches, although there was no longer between each sighting of another runner in the distance to chase. Coming off High Pike Hill this changed, with another fast descent providing glimpses of the start of the Short Yomp and the point where the Half Yomp converges with the Full at Tailbridge, portaloos, a bus and a cluster of enthusiastic marshalls sunning themselves in a mini-encampment on the side of the road. Another dib, more water and a re-coating with suncream and the wettest section of the race began, the pull up to the Nine Standards taking only 22 minutes but feeling longer, route selection around or through the deeper sections and streams gaining importance in my mind that, in honesty, the meagre amounts of time saved probably didn’t justify, though the same couldn’t be said of the quad driver who’d managed to wedge his vehicle into a grough and was letting children use it as a bridge from one side to the other. The cairns themselves were warm to the touch, standing out against a perfect blue sky, and provided shade for the marshalls marking the final control. The descent itself wasn’t fun – hard running on rocky track and tarmac, the vest coming off when I realised that the red stain on the left upper chest and the discomfort I was feeling in a similar area may be related (hint: I will no longer be buying a particular brand of zinc oxide tape) – but it was a descent, which by this point was a good thing. With no-one to chase, no idea whether I was beating those in front of me or those behind and most of the Short Yompers out for a nice walk only (Camilla and family amongst them), it was a case of racing myself alone past the quarry, through Hartley village and into Kirkby Stephen again for the last little climb to the school. My printout states that I was 3rd of 8 finishers, but podium position didn’t last long for Will or I as faster but later finishers bumped us into 4th and 5th respectively, Will clear of me by 5 minutes.

A shower, tea and food later, as well as a lot of water, we lay on the grass and watched Geoff and the rest of the NFR runners, for whom this was a championship/GP race, finish in varying degrees of fatigue; they seemed to concur that conditions had been a bit warmer than they would have liked but that the organisers had, once again, put on an excellent race – one that deserves another sea of purple next year. With vertical green stripes.

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The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 2, 2013

23M / 4,000' (with 11.5M and 6.25M options)

Shaun Roberts

aka Mallerstang Horseshoe & Nine Standards Yomp

Well, what a difference a year makes. A year ago the marshals were freezing on the hills as the wind tore into their tents. This time round it was bright and sunny, and looked as if it could get seriously hot later in the day, though a bit of a breeze up on the fells made it all very pleasant to run in. Last time around, I’d just done the Half-Yomp, whilst Angela and Sue, as well as our visiting young Turk Yusuf, took on the full thing – about time for me to have a go …

Managed to get over to Kirkby Stephen in time for a nine o’clock start (you choose your own start time, between 8:00 and 10:00), only to see that Angela and John had already set off, as had Paul Evans and Anna Seeley. Off I went, out on the road heading south – before turning off across country, for the long climb up towards the Nab and Wild Boar Fell. The legs felt a tad heavy, and a few small muscles were twinging a bit – something to do with Netball the day before – but within twenty minutes all that had sorted itself out. After three miles or so, Angela and John came into view and we exchanged pleasantries … they were on a 100%-walking strategy, and they were going to stick to it. Onwards and upward … bit of a walk, bit of a scuttle, that sort of thing, gaining height … and Sue Jennings also hove into sight. She was running on her own this time round, and was looking good so far.

Finally it was good to emerge on the flat top of Wild Boar Fell, and I got to the trig point in 1:18. Then a lovely run down to a bit of a ‘saddle’ before another climb up to Swarth Fell, and some more good running to Swarth Fell Pike. Then there was a bit of a knee-knocking descent to get down to the bottom of the Mallerstang valley. Half-way down was Anna, quads suffering a bit from her 31-mile effort the week before … a quick few words, down into the valley, and then up again, in a long series of drags with the occasional flatter section, that took us eventually up via the Riggs to High Seat and High Pike Hill. Three hours in, now, as I came to another steep descent to get to the re-joining with the Half-Yomp route at Tailbridge.

Plenty of climbing on offer ...

So far so good. Felt ok … the usual mix of normal and caffeinated gels was doing the trick for me … so now for the mind games. I started thinking of how fast the descent was from the Nine Standards last time, and was it, perhaps, possible to get back to the finish in under four hours? Why do we do this sort of thing?? A good run would still be a good run whether it’s just under or over some round number, so why do we torment ourselves with this sort of crap?? Especially, in my circumstances, when I’d inconveniently forgotten the considerable climb to get up to the Nine Standards! Met Dougie and Roberta along here – they’d opted for a sensible walk over the Half-Yomp route, and I didn’t blame them – the views were absolutely fantastic in the clear air. So, to the Standards in 3h30, and again, I’m thinking about that round number. It wasn’t going to happen, as it seems that a long four-mile hammer down a hill when the quads have done 19 miles is a completely different proposition to doing it after 7! The hard stony bits felt very hard, and the tarmac seemed to go on for ages.

Good to get back into Kirkby Stephen in four hours and five minutes. I was well-pleased with that, as it’s a similar distance to Swaledale, but way more boggy, and also with more ascent. Saw Paul at the finish – he come fourth, which was a great performance. Unusually, he looked knackered, but explained that his youngest was keeping him awake at night! Sadly, Angela and John were also there, as they’d had to pull out at Aisgill due to Angela’s back giving her problems. Anna came in later on, as did Sue, a good ten minutes faster than her last outing here.

This one is only six days before Swaledale, so I’ll have to see how that one pans out (next year I may have a go at the Howgills Marathon that Dave Robson reported on a week ago). But this is an excellent trip out on the hills, as is the shorter Half-Yomp version. Well worth a go, and you can enter on the day … or not, should the weather be awful.


Full Yomp
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Patrick Hanna Howgill Harriers M 3:13:16
4 Paul Evans M 3:35:20
18 Shaun Roberts M 4:05:22
22 Emma Wood Unattached F 4:09:49
99 Anna Seeley F 5:40:54
131 Sue Jennings F 6:24:35

189 walkers and runners finished, 7 retired.

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The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 3, 2012

23M (with 11.5M and 6.25M options)

Yusuf Kuruner, Shaun Roberts, Jan Young

aka Mallerstang Horseshoe & Nine Standards Yomp

Yusuf Kuruner on the Full Yomp …

Throughout the hard cross country winter season there were great memories for me: coming second last in the British Universities XC Championship in Cardiff, Wales (a funny memory that I will even tell my grandchildren). From a positive aspect, I have finished a University Championship in Great Britain, racing in a very snowy course with uni-athletes, who have probably been training since they were born, and that encouraged me to do more races in England. Suddenly, I found myself in Harrier League racing with “old guys”. Apparently, three races in the Harrier League [Wrekenton, Alnwick, Prudhoe] were all damn hard and bloody fast. [ Again finished all of them in last 10 🙂 ] I have also tried some slow but long races which I felt more comfortable with than cross country races: Dentdale 14M, Coniston 14M, Hull Marathon, Edinburgh Half. … Races were a very good reason for me to travel to new beautiful places in my exchange year, and I could also have a great time with club friends.

The Nine Standards - the last peak on the Full Yomp. You'll have to imagine the wind ... At the end of April, ultra-runner Flip Owen introduced me to a new world: slow races i.e. fell races in which you can even walk and surprisingly hills became suddenly my new love: Hamsterley Forest 17K, Carlton Bank Fell Race, Roseberry Topping, Ossy Oiks … They are all a bit(!) hilly but the important part is you have a good reason to go slow or even walk and you have the opportunity to see perfect scenes during your races. One night I asked Flip to recommend to me a trail long race and his answer was the YOMP. So I registered. Angela and Sue were doing this race this year again and I convinced my sporty friend Francesc from Catalonia who is also doing his exchange year here in Durham.

The day started very, very early: 5:30 wake up for a fast breakfast and by 6:15 Angela and bodybuilder Andrew were there. The weather was very rainy and cold but Andrew was cool with his vest all the way. It was my first race with a bag, that’s why our preparation in school took longer than usual. After a quick chat with the Half-YOMP walkers (Emma and her work friends) and Half-YOMP runners (Shaun and Jan), we left the starting point (school hall) around 9:10-ish. Apparently, my mate Francesc never tested running with a bag and his belly is thinner than bag standards. So, the first 10-15 min were problematic. After running with Jan for the first mile in the village, she turned left to half race and we started to run uphill. After this what I remember for the remaining hours are hills and wind. I have experienced hills in fell races but these were different.Yusuf and Francesc at the finish. There was no end of hills. Once we reached the top, there was again a new hill. Opph … The weather was fine in the village but once we started to climb it became windy, to be honest very, very windy! There were very good scenes throughout the race, unfortunately we were not brave enough to take off our gloves in that wind to take a picture with the Iphone.

The people who were waiting at checkpoints were really friendly and their conditions were surely harder than ours. We tried to have a chat at each checkpoint. One should be really crazy to wait hours on the top of these freezing mountains. After the second last checkpoint it was 5 miles all the way down. We were still powerful and wanted to finish this race as soon as possible. Did a great tempo in the last part and finished it in 5 hours 22 minutes.

The race was well marked so no need for a map or compass. We tried to eat and drink water every 20-30 min and guess this was the most clever thing I did that day: 2.5 liter water, 2 bananas, 5-6 jelly babies, 12 Mars bars. Shower facilities and free refreshments after the race were very important details for this race although I could hardly walk after it. Totally recommend this race to all running freaks but it definitely requires fell running experience.

… and Shaun Roberts on the Half:

I’ve fancied having a go at the Yomp for a while, but love the Swaledale, and haven’t fancied doing both within a week of each other. So when Jan said on the Wednesday that there was a half Yomp option, with entry on the day, I thought that sounded a good idea … and also a last decent runout before Swaledale as well.

To cut a long story short, it’s a lovely race, even in the grey and windy weather we had this time, and despite 1,700′ of climb, not too hard really, walking the steep bits. Great organisation at the start in Kirkby Stephen, and not too picky about kit – i.e. they’re fine with map extracts, and don’t actually inspect your stuff! Lovely fast start, south out of town, then a flat farm road – we only started to ascend after Thringill, at nearly the 3-mile mark. Then the climbing started, but it wasn’t too bad – bit of a walk up a slope, then a bit of a scuttle where it was flattish – that sort of thing up to the road checkpoint at about five miles – actually quite flat, if boggy, round here.

Low cloud at the Nine Standards.

One last climb up to the wierd and atmospheric Nine Standards (1h21m/7.25m) … and then, here we go … over four miles of downhill running all the way back. The surface was soft to start with, then hard bridleway, then quite a stretch of tarmac into town, so I was happy to have chosen the road shoes for this one. Finished 9th of 175 in the end, which is more than a bit flattering, as well over half the field were walking, including Emma’s uni team. Jan had a good run, coming in 27th, and looking in good nick for Swaledale … pity she hasn’t entered it this year, but there you go! 😉 [Stop Press: she now has a number! Good decision … Ed.] Left Kirkby Stephen to go up to Tan Hill for a good lunch, wondering how everyone got on in the full Yomp, and promising myself a go at that next year.

Jan Young adds:

Great day out on the hills and alternative to Swaledale. Organised by Upper Eden Rotary Club as charity fundraiser, this event is for all the family either as walkers or runners. Choice of 23ml/1190′, 11.5ml/1700′, 6.25ml/550′, choice of start time 8-10am, free refreshments, hot showers at end. Brilliant organisation, friendly participants and well organised volunteers. Some runners had made the journey from Essex to compete, running the long event to make it worthwhile. Electronic timing chips provided instant print out at finish of checkpoint times and immediate certificate, huge screen in hall with names, times, positions.

At last check, Nine Standards Rigg, my time was 1.45; thought I’d fly downhill to finish to clock 2 hrs. Ha, ha…. 37 mins later, I staggered through hall door at finish. Now that’s a long descent! Possible to enter on day, if space available, courses marked. [Very, very well-marked. Ed.] Youngsters were out on shorter courses, some trying to beat previous times and so proud to show their certificates. Sharp end runners can do their thing, while families and friends share a slower day together.

Highly recommended to all who love the hills.


Full Yomp
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Carl Bell Howgill Harriers M 2:48:34
20 Adele Roche Howgill Harriers F 4:22:11
67 Yusuf Kuruner M 5:22:41
117 Angela Proctor F 6:35:55
118 Sue Jennings F 6:36:05

185 walkers and runners finished, 11 retired.

Half Yomp
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Paul Brittleton Howgill Harriers M 1:31:47
6 Jenn Mattinson Howgill Harriers F 1:48:23
9 Shaun Roberts M 1:54:31
27 Jan Young F 2:22:25
126 Emma Detchon Teesside University F 4:21:24

175 walkers and runners finished, 4 retired.

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The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sue Jennings

aka Mallerstang Horseshoe & Nine Standards Yomp

Sue and David before the off.

Well we did it – The YOMP – all 23 miles (although my Garmin only recorded the first 9 miles!). Having worried earlier in the week that the weather would be very hot, we needn’t have bothered! It was raining, very windy and cold – at one of the stations they said that it was trying to sleet at one point – I can vouch for that and I am sure it hailed when we were right on the tops. We agreed at the beginning that we would run at our own paces and David did a fantastic time of 4 hours 43 mins and I came in at 6 hours 41 which I was pretty happy with seeing I had on several occasions nearly given up (I was soaked to the skin even though my coat was supposed to be water proof).

And can I say that I will never complain about the hills in Tow Law again – today was like climbing Scafell 6 times over!!!!!!! (5200 feet according to David’s Garmin). And if it had been nice weather, then the views would have been fantastic – highly recommended if you want a very hilly, tough and long fell run – the views on a good day would be superb!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Bell C M 2:43
12 Savage S F 4:16
36 Catterick David M 4:43
47 Gibson David M 4:53
120 Jennings Sue F 6:41

175 finishers, 27 retirees.

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The Yomp Mountain Challenge, Kirkby Stephen, Sunday, June 6, 2010

23 miles

Phil Owen

aka Mallerstang Horseshoe & Nine Standards Yomp

A hill.

I can’t believe I had never heard of this race seeing as it’s been about for 25 years. First held to commemorate Falklands heroes it seems to have (and still does) a few different names. Registration was from 7am with a few different starts on offer. I was signing up on the day so decided to go for the early one as there was a limit on places. The race is very similar to Swaledale—lovely hills and 23 miles. It’s run by the Rotary Club of Upper Eden and has the feel of a LDWA event & only £10.00 to enter.

After a short wind through the village the course takes you up the fells and the first climb up to Wild Boar fell a good 2,300 ft then crosses moorland and paths taking in Swarth Fell Pike, Mallerstang, Aisgill Cottages, The Riggs, High Seat, High Pike Hill, Tailbridge, Nine Standards & Fell Gate.

To say the course was marked well is the understatement of the year. Bamboo poles held bit of red tape and they were everywhere. Checkpoints galore with water were also in abundance and made for a very well run event.

Just over 5 hours to do so much the same as Swaledale taking both easy. Hot tea and sarnie at the finish (free) and another load of dosh raised for this year’s charity, Help for Heroes [and Flourish Foundation, Ed]. I often think the hills to the west of the M6 get neglected a bit as you are almost in the lakes but like the Howgills these hills are well tough but, unlike a lot of the lakes hills where you get stony paths, these are lovely rolling grassy hills (bit like the Cheviots) and great for running.

Wonderful race, will be doing it next year for sure.

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