Keep on running: Charlie Ing, of Barnard Castle
Keep on running: Charlie Ing, of Barnard Castle

A DALE antiques dealer says he has surprised himself by winning a winter fell running league in only his first year in the sport.

Charlie Ing, from Barnard Castle, cruised to victory in the Kendal Winter League by winning three of the ten races, and recording a top five finish in another four.

Mr Ing took up fell running in 2018 and finished fifth in the British Fell Running Championship in the same year.

His performance led to him being invited to join the Calder Valley Fell Runners club by British runner Ben Mounsey.

He said: “They asked me to join and they are quite a good club.

“Last year they won the over 40 championship and they want to get a deeper, stronger team through all the age groups.”

His first races in the Kendal Winter League saw him earn two eighth places and a fifth.

He said: “I showed too much respect [for the other runners].

“In the first three races I was running with the pack and hoping to break off whenever I could.

“From then I decided I was going to run my own race and try to dictate the race.”

The strategy paid off and after coming third and fourth in races at Birkrigg Common and Barbondale, he took his first victory at Sedbergh School, smashing the course record by a minute-and-a-half.

The athlete said: “I am sort of getting to a competition standard. It motivates you to do more.”

Next up is the English Championships this Saturday at Sedbergh, which poses a whole new set of challenges for the fell runner.

He said: “That will be my first race where you have to use a compass and you have to navigate from point to point. But I roughly know my way around that race.”

Next month he will travel to Northern Ireland for the British Championship.