The Three Peaks Race is run over three Dales fells. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Three Peaks Race is run over three Dales fells. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Organisers of a historic endurance race in the Yorkshire Dales have postponed this year’s event.

The Three Peaks Race was due to take place in April, but its date has been put back to September because of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year’s race was initially postponed and eventually cancelled due to lockdown restrictions and risks caused by Covid-19.

The race’s committee said it had rescheduled the 2021 race, which starts and ends in Horton in Ribblesdale and is run over Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, to 25 September.

It said it will review its decision in May, and will continue to monitor government guidance.

It said: “The decision has not been made lightly, but to put on this event we have to think about the safety of all the people of Horton in Ribblesdale, marshals, first-aiders, [Cave Rescue Organisation], Raynet, our committee members and all the competitors and supporters.”

Runners who have already secured a place will have their entry fees carried forward to the re-arranged event and refunds will be made to those unable to take part in the September race. Any remaining places will be available from May.

The organisers added: “Can we respectfully remind you not to train over the Three Peaks while this pandemic is ongoing, thank you.”

The Three Peaks Race, first held in 1954, has its start and finish on the playing field in Horton in Ribblesdale, in North Yorkshire. Up to 1,000 entrants register in a large marquee before a mass start takes runners over a 37.4km (23.3-mile) route over the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. They return for a prizegiving and meal in the marquee.

The race record over the current course is held by Andy Peace of Bingley Harriers, who set a time of 2hrs 46mins 3secs in 1996. That record has not been broken even though the Three Peaks hosted the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge in 2008. Bonus prizes of £1,000 are on offer to male and female record breakers.

The women’s record is held by another Bingley Harrier and England international, Victoria Wilkinson, who recorded 3hrs 9mins 19secs in 2017. She knocked five minutes off the time set by the Czech Republic runner Anna Pichrtova at the World Long Distance event in 2008.

Until 2020, the race had only been cancelled once, due to the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Organisers said the event costs £40,000 to stage.

More details are on the Three Peaks Race website.

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