Running in the colours of Derbyshire fell running club Dark Peak, Rob Baker finished third in the famous Three Peaks race on Saturday. It was a remarkable debut in the event for Baker although he is an experienced fell runner who runs for Hallamshire on the road and country.
Always handily placed, Baker was fourth at the top of Pen-y-Ghent and moved into third place by virtue of a strong run up Whernside. He continued strongly on Ingleborough and back to the finish at Horton in Ribblesdale finishing in 2:58:01. It is rare for a debut runner to beat the three hour barrier in this race, which is almost the marathon distance, and it was a particularly impressive effort considering the gale force winds and very cold conditions although it remained dry and sunny.
Joe Symonds, from the Scottish fell running club Hunters Bog Trotters, won the race in 2:55:58
There was further reward for Baker when he won the Yorkshire title held in conjunction.
Another top Dark Park runner was John Rocke who finished ninth in 3:05:48. Like Baker he also runs for Hallamshire and he picked up the prize for the leading under 25. Oli Johnson, 12th in 3:11:43, was next for Dark Peak who dominated the team race.
Other Dark Peak runners included: 19 J Morgan 3:20:03, 21 J Hunt 3:21:37, 35 R Little 3:28:39, 54 T Beasant 3:41:33, 64 A Thake 3:43:08.
Results: 1 J Symonds (Hunters Bog Trotter) 2:55:58; 2 C Bell (Howgill) 2:57:29; 3 R Baker (Dark Peak) 2:58:01; 4 R Lightfoot (Ellinborough AC) 3:00:21; 5 K Gray (Calder Valley) 3:01:19; 6 A Davies (Mercia FR) 3:02:05; 7 R Jebb (Bingley) 3:02:55; 8 T Owens (Shettleston) 3:04:56; 9 J Rocke (Dark Peak) 3:05:48; 10 G Pearce (Pudsey and Bramley) 3:06:40
Yorkshire Championship: 1 Baker; 2 Jebb; 3 Pearce
Women: 1 S O’Neil (Hunter Bog Trotters) 3:28:43; 2 E Forsberg (Salomon) 3:43:52; 3 S Ridgway (Unattached) 3:45:51; 4 A Bartlett (Shrewsbury) 3:49:22; 5 H Berry (Holmfirth) 3:50:50; 6 A Raw (Bingley) 3:55:17
Yorkshire Championship: 1 Berry; 2 Raw; 3 J Smith (Ilkley) 4:07:19