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Three Peaks Fell Race  
(54th running of this event in 2008, also hosted the 5th World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge 2008)

Picture of Ingleborough (mountain 3) taken from top of Whernside (mountain 2) 
on Sunday, 17th February 2008. 

Ingleborough webcam NEW

NEW - Three Peaks Fell Race Pictures 2013

Information:

1.      Safety – Essential kit to avoid disqualification
2.      General race summary
3.      2007 Race Summary
4.      2008 Race Summary
5.      Environmental
6.      Altitude Profile
7.      2D Course Map
8.      3D interactive Google Earth map with pictures
9.      Electronic traces of course (.mmo & .gpx format)
10.    Local information & Site seeing
11.    Photographs of 3P course in order:

11.1 Mountain 1 – Horton to Pen-y-ghent
11.2 Pen-y-ghent to Ribblehead Viaduct (just before mountain 2)
11.3 Mountain 2 – Whernside
11.4 Mountain 3 – Hill Inn to Ingleborough
NEW  
11.5 Final 10K – down Ingleborough to Horton
11.6 End


12.    Disclaimer

1.      Safety – Essential kit to avoid disqualification

Weather conditions in the UK can worsen rapidly and unexpectedly.  Sadly athletes have died while running UK fell races, including 3P.   Bad weather carries a high risk of exposure for the unprepared.  For these reasons UK mountain/fell races have strict kit requirements.  If you are found to be missing even 1 piece of essential kit you will be disqualified. 

The essential kit requirements for 3P are
here. 

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2.      General Race Summary

 

Advertised Statistics

Measured Statistics

Distance

24 Miles (39km)

23.4 Miles (38km)

Total Climbs

4,550 ft (1400m)

~4,900 ft (~1500m)

This is one killer race.  The first mountain, Pen-y-Ghent, doesn't seem too bad what with fresh legs. Whernside is agony,  an all fours scramble for several hundred feet up the steepest face.   Then with only fumes left you have the ascent of Ingleborough.  At the top of this third and final mountain you still have 5.5 miles to go, the first two of which are treacherous and difficult to run without tripping.  Oh and the cramp going up Whernside and down the other side ... There are two time-limited checkpoints along the way and if you don't get there in time you are disqualified and not allowed to continue.  This is definitely not a race for beginners.

The event was run extremely well.   There is ample car parking at the start line, lots of loos, a shop with hot drinks, sandwiches hot dogs etc and you could even buy a 99!  Runners have an electronic dibber fixed to their arms before the start and at checkpoints you dib it in a reader.  This transmits the time back to base.  At the end you get a till receipt there and then showing your time, name (easy to forget after this one!), position and splits at the three mountain tops plus Ribblehead, Hill Inn and the finish.

The whole event has a tremendous atmosphere.  The route is popular with walkers, and they cheer you on and offer you drinks along the way. The other runners help each other too, after the inevitable falls.  Tip for cramps - going down Ingleborough a geordie runner gave me some Ibuleve which cleared them up straight away. I passed about 10 runners after that.  Tip for shoes - wear trail shoes, at least if the weather is OK. Tip for drinks - there are bins at the beginning for drinks/bananas etc which are deposited along the route so you don't need to carry them.  

All in all I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a serious challenge and is prepared to put in lots of training.  

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3.      2007 Race Summary

510 starters this year, 51 did not finish. The end was changed slightly (for the better) to avoid the final road section.  Cramps were the biggest enemy, with loads of runners complaining about them.  Possibly the higher temperatures didn't help, plus the ascent up Whernisde is unimaginably steep and long.

4.      2008 Race Summary

This year the 54th 3P race will be run as the World Long Distance Mountain Running challenge, attracting the running elite from round the world, including the mighty 'Dale.

The official race website is here.

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5.      Environmental

The walkers’ route around 3P is about 2 miles (3km) longer than the race route and there is no problem recceing the walkers’ route.  However the race route goes through a environmentally protected area, directly up the steep face of Whernside.  You must not recce here, instead take the slabbed walkers route which is a bit longer but still good training.

6.      Altitude Profile

Here it is in imperial and metric units:

Imperial:

Metric:



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7.      2D Course Map

Pen-y-ghent 3D Map:

Whernside 3D Map (this map does not do it justice - this mountain is INCREDIBLY steep):

Ingleborough 3D Map:


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8.      3D interactive Google Earth map with pictures

First ensure
Google Earth is installed on your PC.  Then click here, open and the 3P course will load in Google Earth (slow to load).  You can zoom in and out and tilt the map.  Click on the coloured dots  for pictures.

Many thanks to Shaun Denham of
Pudsey Pacers for the 2007 Garmin trace used to make this interactive map.

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9.      Electronic traces of course:

.mmo format

.gpx format (might not load)

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10.    Local information & Site seeing

For local site seeing and activities see
the brochure (>1MB, slow to load).

There are only two taxi firms reasonably close to Horton (the start).  One is closed on Sundays and the other has only 1 taxi.  So book early if you want a taxi. Much better to hire a car.

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11.    Photographs of 3P course in order:

11.1 Mountain 1 – Horton to Pen-y-ghent

Page 7 of the brochure shows the trippy ascent up Pen-y-ghent (mountain 1)

The first 6 pictures here shows the trippy path up Pen-y-ghent (mountain 1).   Note the descending runners tend to take the grassy, higher path down (see them to the right). Pictures 10 to 12 show the runners sprinting down the grassy descent to the right (as you descend) down Pen-y-ghent.  I have heard rumour that in 2008 descending runners will not be allowed to take the grassy, higher path down so there may be congestion on the trippy path. The final pictures are obviously the finish line. 

11.2 Pen-y-ghent to Ribblehead Viaduct (just before mountain 2)

More pictures here.  I think these were taken at Ribblehead Viaduct (12 miles/20Km), just before the ascent of Whernside (mountain 2).  At the race start you can deposit your drinks/bananas etc. in bins and they are delivered to various points on the course for you to collect (as shown in pic 12).

1
1.3 Mountain 2 – Whernside

11.4 Mountain 3 – Hill Inn to Ingleborough

New  Here are several pictures of the ascent up Ingleborough.

11.5 Final 10K – down Ingleborough to Horton 

 I think these pictures were taken in the final 8K, after the descent from Ingleborough         (mountain 3).  The trails in this section are pretty good (although the initial descent has a boulder scramble and then about 2K of trippy surface). 

These pictures were also taken on the final 10K. Note the flat top of Whernside in the picture (mountain 2).

11.6 End
A lesser spotted yorkshireman from the genus 't'mushypeaus imbibo maximus':

A winner:


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12.    Disclaimer
Mountain running is dangerous. 

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28 April 2013  
(C) John Mayall 2006 -2009