FOUR former winners of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks Race – billed as The Marathon with Mountains – are entered for Saturday’s (April 30) 67th race with a £500 bonus prize for anyone who can break the men’s or women’s records.

The race, which has Inov-8, one of the world’s leading sports footwear, clothing and equipment brands as its main sponsor, takes runners on a 37.4km (23 mile) course over the summits of Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

It starts at 10.30am from Horton-in-Ribblesdale playing field.

The men’s record over the current course was set in 1996 and is long overdue to be broken, say organisers.The time of 2hrs 46mins 3secs is held by Andy Peace, of Bingley Harriers and was not broken even when the Three Peaks hosted the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in 2008.

Garry Greenhow, believed to be the first over-40 winner in the race’s history, claimed the £200 first prize in 2021. The event was postponed to October because of Covid. His time was 3hrs 5mins 22secs, but he has an injury and may not be able to take part. Garry beat another first timer, Jonathon Cox, of Eden Runners, by exactly one minute.

Victoria Wilkinson, 43, also of Bingley Harriers, holds the women’s record. The Inov-8 ambassador won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Her record of 3hrs, 9mins 19secs was set in 2017.

Injury prevented Victoria competing in the 2021 Three Peaks, but she had completed her training, including a week at altitude in Tenerife. Victoria, who also holds the over-40 Women’s Veteran record, was looking forward to returning but picked up an injury a week ago and has said she will not start.

Last year Cumbrian firefighter Ricky Lightfoot, who won the race in 2014 and 2015, finished in third place. Greenhow, of Ambleside Athletic Club, now 42; Cox, 31, Lightfoot, 37, and Brennan Townshend, 28, the 2019 winner, of Keswick AC, are among 600 competitors entered for Saturday.

In Victoria Wilkinson’s absence the favourite for the women’s prize could be Jasmin Paris, 38, of Carnethy Hill Racing Club in Edinburgh, who won the 2013 race in a time of 3hrs 33mins 4secs. The former British Fell Running Champion is now best known for ultra-distance competitions.

The small animal vet at Edinburgh University set a new race record in the 2019 Spine Race along the Pennine Way, finishing the 268 miles (431 km) in January weather in 83hrs, 12mins and 23secs.

She was the first woman to win the winter ultra-marathon overall, smashing the previous record of 95hrs 17mins set by Eoin Keith in 2016 and Carol Morgan’s previous female record of 109hrs 54mins in 2017. At the time Jasmin was nursing her second baby.

But those in the know are saying Eleanor Davis, 33, of Stockport Harriers and Athletics Club, is a female runner to watch. She will wear the race number 576. Eleanor is a road marathon runner with an impressive time of 2hrs 33mins, who switched her attention to mountains during the Covid layoff.

The Three Peaks is a selection event for the GB Trail team, which is hoping to qualify for the European Championships in July.

Prizes will be presented by six times winner Geoff Norman, who ran for Altringham and District AC when he won the Three Peaks in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975. His 1974 time of 2hrs 29mins 53secs was a record for the shorter race route which started at the Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale.

Race timings: Start at 10.30am Horton-in-Ribblesdale playing fields, 10.55am first runners on Penyghent summit, 11.40am race leaders arrive at Ribblehead, 12.10pm, leaders on the summit of Whernside, 12.25pm leaders at the Hill Inn, 12.50pm leaders on Ingleborough summit, 13.15pm leaders arrive back at the Horton-in-Ribblesdale finish.

Prize presentation will be as soon as possible after 4pm.