Euan Brennan, ran the race of his life on Sunday to claim the national title of English Schools Fell Running Champion, on home turf in Settle, to the delight of the local crowd and his school.
470 of England’s best runners from 91 schools across the country competed in the prestigious event, hosted by Giggleswick School at North Ribblesdale Rugby Club with the support of Settle Harriers and Wharfedale Harriers. The course provided the perfect challenge for the runners with some extremely testing terrain, beginning in Settle with a brutal climb onto the moors before descending back down to the finish line at North Ribblesdale Rugby Club.
The races included events for the country’s top boys and girls across all senior school age groups from Year 7 up to the Year 12 and 13 race, won by Euan.
Euan said: “I was competing against three other international athletes so I knew I had to make home advantage count. One challenger in particular pushed me the whole way. He was always on my shoulder and it wasn’t until the descent that I managed to establish my lead.”
Headmaster, Mark Turnbull, said “Euan’s achievements in running are outstanding and this well-earned title is down to his real hard work and dedication. It’s such a privilege to see our pupils succeed at a national level and to do it in an event hosted by the School is an added bonus.”
Giggleswick has a long-held tradition of running success and actively encourages interest in individual sports such as running, cycling, triathlon and cyclocross alongside the more traditional team sports like rugby, hockey, cricket and netball.
Fergus Ogilvie, Head of Junior School Sport at Giggleswick and lead organiser, explained: “We are so lucky to be located in such an incredible natural environment here. The mountains, moors and fells around us provide the perfect setting for these sports and really inspires the children to enjoy the challenge of the great outdoors.”
Other runners from Giggleswick School included Tom Humphries, who earned a Top 20 place in the Year 12 and 13 race, Mike O’Shea finished 34th, whilst Eve Hutchinson and Charlotte Morris finished 11th and 12th respectively. In the Year 7 race, Ben Kelt (37), Charlie Barron (47) and Will Scholey (52) all ran fine races. Year 8s, Alfie Lampkin (58), Emily Hutchinson (38) and Katie Wright (52) all did superbly well in a strong Year 8 and 9 competition.
Mr Ogilvie added: “All our runners can be proud of their achievements, to represent the School in a national competition is a huge honour and I’m sure it was made all the more memorable with it being so close to home.”