Charlie races to top spot – despite getting lost along the way
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE fell runner is celebrating after climbing to top spot in the British championship in only his second season in the sport.
Charlie Ing moved into first place in the British Open Fell Racers Association (Bofra) championship after winning the Kirkby Gala Fell Race on Saturday – despite getting lost along the way.
The athlete also set a record for the first 1.4 mile section of the four mile course.
Charlie said: “I was just targeting to be in the top five. It was because of the pressure from the guy behind me that I got the record.
“I got lost along the way. He caught up with me and actually showed me the way. I lost about 20 seconds.”
Charlie, who runs for the Calder Valley club, completed the race in 31.04mins, ahead of Black Combe Runners’ Josh Hartley in 31.56.
The win puts him on 343 points in the championship, 43 points ahead of eight-time champion Simon Bailey.
However, with ten races still to go in the season he is not confident about holding on to the top spot because of his relative inexperience.
He said: “I don’t think I can compete this season. I am a long way from that.
“I am still probably three to four years away from competing at that level. My first race was in May last year – these guys having been doing it all their lives.
“To be honest I feel happy, but it just motivates you more.
“When you have some success you want to keep it. You just want to get better and better, and do more training.”
The fell runner currently covers about 40 miles a week, which includes about 4,000ft of climbing.
He said: “I try go up to Middleton a few times a week and go up Kirk Carrion. We have fells in Teesdale that are fantastic.”
He can also be seen running around Flatts Wood, in Barnard Castle, quite frequently.
The next event in the championship is Alva Games Hill Race, in Scotland, on July 13.
The Bofra season consists of 16 races, with runner’s best eight results counting towards the championship.