Phil celebrates Howgill Series victory

Date: Tuesday 5th September 2017

WINNER of this year’s Howgill Series of fell races was Phil Davies, of Newby, who runs for Borrowdale Fell Runners.

The series comprises Cautley Horseshoe, Tebay, Sedbergh sports, Weasdale Horseshoe and Sedbergh Hills races, with the best four results to count.

Phil said: “It’s a privilege to see my name alongside past winners on the trophy like Rob Jebb and Carl Bell. The Howgills may not be as high as some of the Lakeland fells, but the races certainly pack an equal punch to the legs.

“The Cautley Horseshoe race, for instance, climbs over 2,400ft in just 4.5 miles and it must be one of the steepest climbs of any race in the calendar.”

It was not all plain sailing for 49-year-old Phil, who has been racing since he was seven.

“I had to fight really hard to finish in the top two in three of the five races, with the likes of the young Joshua Boyle showing what a great future he has on the fells by beating me at Sedbergh sports,” he said.

“Then the Tebay race was a British championship counter, which saw the ‘big guns’ come together on a hot day, so I finished just out of the top 10.

“It meant I needed to win Weasdale if I was going to secure the series, and Michael Ainsworth, from Helm Hill, was not going to gift it to me, so I decided to try and run from the front right from the start and just managed to hold him off. I’m expecting that as more fell runners get to hear about the Howgill Series and the great prizes so generously donated by Jim Mattinson, of Ash Hining Holidays, Sedbergh, the series will attract a really quality field in 2018.

“The organisation by Paul Brittleton has been first class throughout and I’d like to thank all the volunteers who give up their free time to make our sport such an enjoyable, accessible and safe pursuit. After all, racing in the Howgills on a summer’s evening life doesn’t get much better.”

For his efforts, Phil received £200 and a trophy from Mr. Mattinson, as did ladies’ series winner Carrie Gibson, of Helm Hill Runners.

The Howgill Series is organised largely by Paul Brittleton, who thanked Terry and Adele Roche for their help with timekeeping in every race, and Frazer Livesey, Steve and Pauline Moffat and Heidi Dent for their help, as well as Kirkby Stephen mountain rescue team for its support in all the races.