A HEALTHY dose of common sense was put into action at this year’s Muker Fell Race as the River Swale had swollen to the point where crossing it to reach Ivelet side and then the summit of High Kidson was deemed unsafe.

The thrill-seekers among the assembled fell runners, who were keen to take on, bowed to the superior wisdom of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue volunteers who simply shook their heads upon assessing the viability of the river crossing.

Competitors took it on board with their usual good humour and ran the extra quarter mile or so to the safe crossing via a bridge.

The weather was not yet done in challenging these hardy runners as high winds blew across the fell side and then got behind racers as they traversed the undulating, rabbit hole pocked skyline towards the descent turn point at Kidson Scar.

From here, the descent is by individual choice with wind blowing in your face the whole way, making it a thrilling ride down through the bracken to the track and return route via the bridge.

The longer route meant that no records were broken but it certainly didn’t break the men’s winner, Keighley and Craven’s Joe Hudson, who seemed to sprint the whole race to win in 16 minutes and 40 seconds from Calder Valley’s Charlie Ing (16.59) and Barlick’s Jimmy Craig (17.11).

In the ladies race, grit and experience won the day as Wharfedale Harriers’ Jean Powell battled the weather and terrain to win in 24.30 from Gail Hunter (24.38) and Pudsey and Bramley’s Caroline Harding (25.05).

The junior races were largely depleted as many were back at school.

However, Barlick’s Jack Villiers made it to the show to win the under-17 race in 18.30 from Matthew Lambert (20.30) and Wharfedale Harriers’ Benji Grundy (36.34).

Keighley’s Emma Peel (21.01) and Mia Petrucci (22.58) took advantage of an extra day of summer holiday from school to finish first and second, respectively.

Also taking full advantage of an extra day’s holiday was younger sister of the men’s winner, Keighley’s Maggie Hudson, who won the under-14 race outright in 15.54, pushing the boys race winner, Miles Owen (16.20), representing the Swaledale Shepherdess on the podium, into second place overall. Second and third boys were Alfred Atkin (17.13) and Joseph Tranter (21.28).

Josh Dent dashed straight to the race from school and was not disappointed as he won the under-12 race in 11.18 by over two minutes, despite being one of the younger runners. Second and third boys were Dexter Nathan-Thomas (13.23) and Charlie Tranter (14.07).

Harriet Rowland-Hill won the girls’ race in 14.57 from Millie Tranter (16.18), making this a trio of podium finishes for the Tranter siblings. Third girl was Millie Darbyshire (16.47).