Top fell runner Victoria Wilkinson is celebrating being the quickest woman in the Three Peaks running race.
In only her second time competing in the event, the Clitheroe sports therapist ran the fourth quickest-ever women’s time of three hours 21 minutes, knocking 16 minutes off her previous time.
The 60th anniversary race started and finished at Horton in Ribblesdale, and the 700 competitors slogged 24 gruelling miles over Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
Victoria (35), known to her friends as Vic, realised she had a good chance of being first woman home when she was near the foot of Ingleborough and heading towards the seven fairly flat miles to the finish line.
She said: “It’s the kind of race where anything can happen. You can think you’re doing well then burn up and lose minutes.
“I was just concentrating on my own race and staying with the men.”
Vic, also a competition-winning cyclist, is now, uniquely, the first woman to win both the Three Peaks cyclo-cross and the Three Peaks running race.
She is the current joint English and British women’s fell running champion, and four weeks ago she won the annual Pendle Fell Race, starting from Barley, which was the season’s first English championship event.
She also added to her achievements in the second championship run, the Coniston Fell Race, in which she smashed the women’s record which had stood for 18 years, by 3mins 40secs.
Vic, who works for Denise Park Physiotherapy in Clitheroe, lives in Skipton and trains with boyfriend, Darren Kay, who is also a leading fell race competitor.
Her training diet includes plenty of carbohydrates and she says: “I always make sure I’m well hydrated, and I don’t eat rubbish...although I do like cake.”