Husband and wife win Scafell Sky Race 2018
Jonathan and Henriette Albon triumphed in the Scafell Sky Race 2018 at the weekend. It was a tough event with 46 runners failing to complete the course.
Norway-based Jonathan also broke the course record in the 42km skyrunning race to finish in 04.26:50.
He said: “The Lakes is an amazing place to run. It was a lot of fun, especially the technical sections, when you get into your flow – if you ignore that there’s a drop-off next to you.
“The second half was more runnable, but hotter – more bearable when we had some wind and cloud cover.”
Henriette finished first in the women’s race in 5:59:27. She said: “That was definitely one of the tougher races I’ve done this year.
“There was a lot of undulating, rocky terrain, so you constantly had to be focused. I was surprised by how much time it took.
“I remember looking at my watch 15K in and thinking, ‘Phew, this is going to be a long one!’ I liked the grassy sections at the end because I could get some speed, but I liked the rocky bits too.
“I started slowly and tried to pace it.”
What is the Scafell Sky Race?
The Scafell Sky Race is 42km with 3,000m of ascent over challenging and often technically extreme terrain in the Lake District National Park. It summits England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike (978m).
Skyrunning in the Lake District is a combination of mountain running and mountaineering, which includes low grade rock scrambling. SSR is an introductory-to-intermediate level skyrace and part of the UK Skyrunning Series.
The race is organised by Glenridding-based Mountain Run Events and the course is created by Charles Sproson to showcase the best of the Lakes.
Big names race Scafell Sky Race
The 196 runners who arrived in Ambleside for the race included those from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, USA and Britain.
Numbers were swelled by the SSR being named as a qualifying race for the Skyrunning UK National Team for the Skyrunning World Championships.
Jonathan and his GB team mate Tom Evans were two of the star names. They were part of the GB team that earned a team silver medal at the 2018 IAU Trail World Championships,
GB 100k runner and Dragon’s Back-winner Marcus Scotney also raced, as well as fell running legend Steve Birkinshaw and Lakeland 50 course record-holder Casper Kaars Sijpesteijn.
The women’s field was equally stacked, with GB trail-runner Sally Fawcett facing competition from GB mountain runner Georgia Tindley, experienced ultra-runner Sarah Sheridan, Henriette and Jonathan’s sister Beth, as well as last year’s Lakes Sky Ultra winner Catherine Slater.
Race leaders in Scafell Sky Race
As expected, in the men’s race Tom and Jonathan charged off the front, with Sebastian Batchelor initially keeping in touch.
The GB trail-running stars arrived at Stickle Barn, about halfway into the race, together. Jonathan had a faster transition though and gradually pulled away, to arrive first at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside Campus.
Tom, who finished in 4:39:57, said: “It was an amazing race. It’s different to what I normally do and a course of two halves: The first half was super-technical, and I was way out of my comfort zone, which is great.
“The second half is more runnable and more suited to me, but it got hot and I slightly misjudged my hydration strategy.
“I’m super happy though. It’s my first ever skyrace and it was great to race against Jon.”
Sebastian (GBR) was third in 04.59:50.
In the women’s race,Georgia set the early pace, but dropped out after Harrison Stickle. Catherine, too, was suffering on the big climb out of Langdale. Henriette started conservatively but gradually moved ahead and took the win .
Sally, who was second in 6:26:16, said: “I loved the race, even if I was out of my comfort zone for much of the first half. But I was in my element for the more runnable second half. It was pretty much six hours and 26 minutes of fun!”.”
Catherine dug deep to finish third woman in 6:47:48.
See full results.