WHEN it comes to challenging surprises, the best was definitely saved till last at this year’s Muker Show fell race.

It is the last one in a series of races over the August Bank Holiday, where there are more races than days for those with hardy legs and speedy means of transport.

The weather has been mixed and seen a large volume of water falling on the Yorkshire fells. This water has then meandered its way to the River Swale as it crosses the fell race course, to make it far deeper and faster flowing than normal and borderline dangerous for smaller runners.

The under-12 course was altered due to the high river levels. For the seniors and older juniors, it merely added to the fun and challenge of the race.

In the interests of safety, ropes were strung across the river, for runners to cling onto as they waded across the now deep, fast running water course.

The race winner was Barlick Fell Runners’ Jimmy Craig (11min 56sec), who approached the deep river crossing with fearless determination.

Second was Borrowdale’s Oscar Meanwell (12:05), repeating his position of 2014, with Wharfedale’s Ted Mason (12:13) in third place.

The first lady was Wetherby Runners Caroline Lambert (14:14), who was one of the younger runners in the senior race. Second place was also taken by Helm Hill’s Hannah Russell (15:38) with Caitlin Pearson (16:59), in third.

The under-17 race, including river crossing, was won by Wharfedale’s Thomas Nelson (12:14), giving him his fifth win in five races over five days.

Kendal’s George Purcel (13:21) and Helm Hill’s Jake Wren (13:37) were second and third respectively.

The first girl was Helm Hill’s Georgia Stevens (15:57) who held off the challenge of her team-mate Katie Russell (18:31).

The under-14 race was won by Keighley and Craven’s Joe Hudson (6:28) marking his fourth win of the extended weekend. The second and third places went to Eden Runners’ Sam Almond (6:35) and Keighley and Craven’s Louis Hudson (6:55). The first girls was Helm Hill’s Katie Thurlow (8:11).

The under-12 race was essentially a cross country run due to the necessary route changes. However, this didn’t prevent another win by Wharfedale’s Sam Smith (8:54) – his fourth win in five days. Keighley and Craven’s Harvey Lewis (8:56) was second with Ilkley Harriers’ Lewis Carr (9:52) coming third. Keighley and Craven’s Mia Petrucci (10:43) was the first girl, followed by Richmond & Zetland’s Alana Teasdale (11:13) and Keighley and Craven’s Emma Peel (11:18).