Account of race to be published

The start of 2011's Three Peaks Race

John Burland has written an account to celebrate the event's 60th anniversary this month

First published in Local news

An Otley man has written an account to mark the 60th anniversary of the Three Peaks Race.

This year’s landmark event, which sees runners taking on a gruelling 23 mile route that includes ascents of Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside, takes place on Saturday, April 26.

The race has been run every year since it began on Sunday, April 24, 1954 - with the exception of 2001, when the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak forced its cancellation.

It was started by Lancastrian Fred Bagley, a keen fell-walker and member of the Preston Harriers. Fellow fell-walking enthusiast John Burland, of Otley, didn't want the 60th anniversary to pass unheralded.

In his account of the race's history, just published in the Dalesman magazine, he writes: "it was on Sunday, April 24, 1954 that the first race was started from outside the Hill Inn, Chapel-Le-Dale.

"Over the years the event has grown to become one of the largest, if not the largest, fell race in the country. From an initial entry of six runners in 1954, with three finishing the course, it now has in excess of 900 competitors taking part, whilst turning away double that number of would-be competitors each year."

John meanwhile – who founded The Wainwright Society in honour of legendary fell-walker and guide writer Alfred Wainwright – is due to have his book about 30 walks in the Yorkshire Dales, including one at Pen-y-ghent, published later this year.

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