It’s all downhill for record-breaker Hannah
KESWICK Athletic Club’s Hannah Horsburgh helped Great Britain to a gold medal in the 56th Staffeta Tre Rifugi relay in Italy on her European racing debut.
The 27-year-old, from Braithwaite, won the downhill only third leg in impressive style to secure the team gold in a record-breaking time of 18 minutes, 27 seconds.
The first (uphill) and second (undulating) legs were run by Emma Gould and Heidi Davies.
The relay runs between three mountain huts, starting and finishing in Collina. The 4.5km first leg climbs 739 metres up to Rifugi Lamberenghi Romanin, while the 3.8km second leg runs over to Rif Marinelli and the last leg is 4.7km
Hannah, who is a work rider for Greystoke-based racehorse trainer Nicky Richards, was recommended to the team after one of the original members, who competed last year, sustained an injury.
She is a downhill specialist and ran the fastest women’s leg of the day and the second fastest final leg ever.
“I enjoyed it, but I was surprised at how difficult it was. The high altitude left you really out of breath. I will hopefully get the chance to do it again next year.”
Hannah is enjoying a successful season on the fells and has won all her English championship races, although she will not be able to win the overall championship this year as a family wedding meant she has not competed in a long race — and runners have to do a short, medium and long event to qualify.
However, she is fifth in the standings with one more championship race to go — Cautley Horseshoe on 15th September. She is also part of the Keswick AC women’s team who are second in the team championship.
Next year, however, she says her aim is to win the English championship.
Keswick’s Carl Bell leads the race to win this year’s men’s championship. He is just three points ahead of Mercia Fell Runners’ Simon Bailey with just Cautley Horseshoe still to go.
The Keswick men’s team are on target to win the team title. They have 48 points, with second placed Helm Hill on 33.