When a friend, who works for Sedbergh School, mentioned she was going to take the opportunity to walk the famous Sedbergh Wilson Run course the morning of the race, we knew we had to join her.
Sedbergh School was established in 1525 and back in 1881 the school held the first 10 mile cross country race that was to become known as The Wilson Run, or Ten Mile. It is a historic tradition for the school and has only ever been cancelled on three occasions. Sixth form pupils who are 16 are given the chance to qualify within a set time to be eligible for the race and the current record of completing this course is 1:08:02 and was set by John Campbell in 2016.
The morning of the Wilson Run, people are allowed to walk, or run the course to experience it for themselves and this was a great opportunity for us, because some of the land is private farm land that we would not normally get to walk across, or view the landscape from.
Setting off at 6:30am, the light moving across the fells was beautiful and to be honest, I am glad to have walked this course for the first time, rather than run it, simply so I could take in the spectacular landscapes. I also have to say, in no way am I currently fit enough to run this course as it is pretty brutal. I have a new admiration for these Sedbergh School pupils who run it and those that choose to run it the morning before the race. We met a lady who has run the course several times as she felt it was only fair she undertook the challenge that her children were taking on. That’s impressive.
The course runs along roads, paths, the fells, streams, marshy bogs and up and down steep banks that you have to scramble at parts. The course also runs across the public footpath that we see from the back of St Marks Stays and in the afternoon we were able to see the runners racing across it from our garden.
This year’s Wilson Run was won by Reuben Copley in 1:13:00, with Alex Duckitt being the first female across the line in 1:28:23. A huge congratulations to everyone that completed this course and a thank you to Gemma, Heather and Damian for their company as we took the gentler option of a walk across those 10 famous miles.
(Thanks and credit also to Gemma and Damian for taking the photos I am in.)