Tom’s Bransdale Fell Race

A 12km running race dreamt up by Tom Watson, a surveyor for the National Trust, and in whose memory the race is now held and organised by his friends and colleagues. The race is largely off road and involves 400m of climbing. It starts from the Trust’s Bransdale Mill, a charming spot in a charming dale.

The photo was taken ten minutes or so into the race. The runners are still bunched together. The route goes up a ‘green lane’, a Public Bridleway enclosed by traditional dry stone walls in various states of repair. It must be an ancient route onto the high moors. On the extreme right a group of young bullocks are in a panic, careening down the slope and bursting through the trail of runners. The bullocks head off through the bracken on the other side and encounter a more robust wall where they promptly turn around and head back through the runners, the whole encounter lasting just a few seconds. Gladly no damage was done.

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