Gavin Bland (born 21 November 1971) is a fell runner who was a British and English champion and represented his country at the World Mountain Running Trophy.
Gavin is a nephew of Billy Bland and several members of his family were active in fell running. As a youth, Gavin took part in races with significant success. Perhaps the most notable performance in the early part of his running career was a second place in the junior race at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1990.He also represented England in senior races at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1991 and 1992.
In 1991, Bland won the English Fell Running Championships and was second to Keith Anderson in the British Championships. In 1999, he won both the British and English Championships. This was despite being a self-acknowledged "lazy trainer", though his work as a shepherd meant that he spent a lot of time on the fells in addition to his specific training.
Throughout the 1990s, Bland was particularly successful at the most prestigious or "classic" long fell races. His wins included the Ben Nevis Race, Borrowdale, the Ennerdale Horseshoe, the Peris Horseshoe, the Three Peaks, Wasdale, the Welsh 1000m Peaks, the Edale Skyline, Duddon Valley, Holme Moss, the Three Shires and the Langdale Horseshoe.
After the interruption of fell running by the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, Bland featured less prominently in races but had occasional returns to good form, winning counters in the English or British Championships series at Langdale in 2003and Silent Valley in 2013. He still holds the race records for the Three Shires, Peris Horseshoe and the Carnethy 5.
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The Borrowdale Fell Race is an annual fell race held in August, starting and finishing in Rosthwaite. It is considered to be one of the "classic" Lakeland races and the route initially heads over Bessyboot before climbing England's highest summit, Scafell Pike. Great Gable is then scaled before a descent to Honister Pass and the final climb up Dale Head. The distance is approximately seventeen miles and the route has around 6,500 feet of ascent.
Simon Booth is an English runner who was twice the British fell running champion and who has represented his country at the World Mountain Running Trophy.
The Wasdale Fell Race is an annual Lake District fell race held in July, starting and finishing at Brackenclose in Wasdale. The course is approximately twenty-one miles long with around 9,000 feet of ascent and takes in checkpoints at Whin Rigg, Seatallan, Pillar, Great Gable, Esk Hause shelter, Scafell Pike and Lingmell nose wall. The route between Pillar and Lingmell is very rough, with steep technical ground and boulder fields. Among long fell races, Wasdale has one of the highest ratios of feet of ascent per mile, and it is often considered to be the toughest of the British races.
The Langdale Horseshoe is an annual Lake District fell race that starts and finishes at the Old Dungeon Ghyll. The course climbs to Stickle Tarn before heading to Thunacar Knott, Esk Hause shelter, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and Pike of Blisco. The route is approximately 21 kilometres (13 mi) in length with 1,450 metres (4,760 ft) of ascent. It includes much rough and rocky ground. On the descent from Crinkle Crags, many runners negotiate the Bad Step, although it can be avoided depending on route choice. The race often presents navigational difficulties, especially in poor visibility.
The Three Shires Fell Race is an annual Lake District fell race held in September, starting and finishing at the Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale. After an initial run along the valley, the route climbs steeply to Wetherlam, then down to Prison Band and up to the summit of Swirl How. The course then drops to the Three Shire Stone at the top of the Wrynose Pass, the meeting point of the historic counties of Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland. An ascent of Pike of Blisco follows, then the route drops to Blea Tarn before the final climb to Lingmoor Fell and descent to the finish.
The Ennerdale Horseshoe Fell Race is an annual Lake District fell race held in June, starting and finishing at the Scout Camp near Ennerdale Water. The route is approximately 36.8 kilometres (22.9 mi) in length with 2,290 metres (7,510 ft) of ascent and takes in checkpoints at Great Borne, Red Pike, Blackbeck Tarn, Green Gable, Kirk Fell, Pillar, Haycock, Iron Crag and Crag Fell.
The Peris Horseshoe is an annual fell running race in Snowdonia. The race starts and finishes in Llanberis and has a distance of approximately 28km. It is usually run in September. The event is organised by Eryri Harriers It was first held in 1987, when it was organised by Arthur Clarke.
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The Coniston Fell Race is an annual Lake District fell race held in April or May, starting and finishing in the village of Coniston. The route is approximately 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) in length with 1,065 metres (3,494 ft) of ascent and takes in checkpoints on the summits of Wetherlam, Swirl How and the Old Man of Coniston.
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