TWO Denbigh Harriers made the journey to the peak district last month for a short break of fell racing.

It was the culmination of a week of racing for Emma Collins and Mel Morris and began with the Shrigley Stag Fell Race, near Macclesfield, on Saturday, June 26.

This was a challenging course of just over 10K, which, despite nearly 1000ft of accumulative climb felt more like a trail race.

Beautiful scenery and mixed terrain made it really enjoyable despite the scorching temperatures. This was a very competitive field of nearly 200, hosting lots of the big, local fell clubs’ runners.

Emma proved again just how strong and versatile a runner she is; this was her third race of the week and she ran strong, winning her age category (1st W55) and coming in 9th female in a time of 58:32. Mel came in 7th female, also winning her category (1st W45) in a time of 57:47.

The second outing of the weekend for the two was the Combs Fell Race, just over the border into Derbyshire, on June 27.

This was a small local event of 80 runners. Less of a distance, just 2 ½ miles, this race was all about the climb. Nearly a mile climbing up before a beautiful valley descent that included a stream crossing to make it feel like proper cross country running. A fantastic atmosphere and well organised race, ran in 3 waves, that again ended with cake. Mel came in 3rd Female (18th overall) in a time of 20:56. Emma was 4th female (21st overall) in a time of 21:18.

Also racing further afield was Vic Belshaw at the Cribyn - Pen y Fan Fell Race held on June 26. At the start of the race the rain had stopped and the tops were misty, with the sun starting to break through.

After a steep ascent up the Cribyn came a quick descent before the final climb up Pen y Fan. Missing a left fork in the mist on the descent resulted in a costly couple of minutes but Vic still managed to finish in 17th place in an excellent time of 1:13:25, winning the M60 category.

Six years since last competing, Vic Belshaw took on the Blencathra Fell Race, Cumbria, on July 3 as part of the English Fell Running Championships. This race was just ovr 7 miles in distance with over 2600ft of ascent. There are three more races in the series - West Pennines, Shropshire Hills and back to the Lakes. On the day, Vic finished fourth place in his new M60 age category in an excellent time of 1:23:07, missing a podium position by a mere six seconds.

Staying locally, Dan Jones took part in the Moel Siabod Fell Race on July 3. Socially distanced 1 minute interval starts saw each runner head off in humid conditions, although thankfully the lightning forecast stayed away. Visibility near the summit was poor in the mist, but the now blazing sun was out for the bulk fast descent. This was a tough race of 9km in total straight up and back down Moel Siabod with approximately 2296ft of elevation gained. Dan crossed the line in 62:08 minutes finishing 10th overall.

Also staying local, Chris Baldwin competed in Out-Fit’s Hawarden 10K Trail Race on July 4. Despite this being a relatively flat course, it was tricky underfoot with overgrown bilberry on sections and the conditions on the day were very warm. However, Chris had a fantastic race finishing 17th in a time of 61:27.