Picture Post: The loneliness of the long-distance runner

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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IF a week is a long time in politics then so it is, too, with the Great British weather.

The other Sunday it felt as though spring had finally arrived. As temperatures rose people were out and about making the most of the warm sunshine either pottering in their gardens or off enjoying walks in their local park.

We should have known better, of course.

Within a couple of days the mercury had dropped as winter returned for (hopefully) one last shake of its stick.

Snow in March isn’t unusual and it’s only two years since some parts of Yorkshire and Cumbria were hit by 15-foot snowdrifts.

But while the icy conditions often play havoc with our transport systems there are some hardy souls who merely see it as a challenge. Like long distance runner Jane Carpenter, seen here making her way across the moorland above Langcliffe in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales,

Many of you will recognise the familiar outline of a snow-capped Penyghent in the background. At a height of 694 metres (or 2,277 ft) the steep-sided Penyghent looms large over the landscape for miles around.

But as well as being a familiar landmark, it is also one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks along with Whernside (736m) and the flat cap of Ingleborough (723m).

Together they dominate the southern section of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and form part of the Pennine range, encircling the head of the valley of the River Ribble.

They are famous, too, for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which is one the classic walks in the Yorkshire Dales.

It is roughly 23 miles in length, depending on slight route variations, but has to include climbing Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

It is a stern test of endurance and the added challenge for walkers is that many of them aim to complete the walk in under 12 hours.

Over a quarter of a million people visit the Three Peaks every year and it’s easy to see why because, whatever the season, it’s a breathtaking sight.

Technical details: Nikon D3’s, Lens Nikon VR 70-200m, Aperture f/11, Shutter Speed 1/250s, ISO 320.