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A letter to Old Sedberghians about the Wilson Run 2018

February 2018

Dear Old Sedberghians,

The Wilson Run, Tuesday 20th March 2018

The Wilson Run is one of the highlights of the School calendar and we are looking forward to welcoming many of you back to school for the event.  The purpose of this letter is to seek your support for our management of the event.  A course map can be downloaded here.

It is important to note that the event is not universally popular because of the disruption it causes other members of our community and its future depends on us maintaining good local relationships.


The Wilson Run has been raced every year since 1881 and is one of the oldest school races in the country and perhaps the hardest.  The course records are held by John Campbell (1:08:02) set in 2016 and Mel Hyder (1:24:07) set in 2011.

Pupils must qualify to race in the Wilson Run.  The qualifying course uses much of the race route but will finish at Danny Bridge car park to avoid the main road back from Garsdale.  Boys must run the 9 mile course in 1:45 in order to qualify and girls in 2:00.

Walking or Running the Route

Many parents and Old Sedberghians walk or run the route on the morning of race-day.  It is important to stress that this is only through the goodwill of landowners who may be moving livestock off the route in the morning.  Please follow any directions they may issue.

  1. A light breakfast is available in Queens Hall from 8.30-10.00am from where a guided walk will start between 9.00-9.30am.
  2. Informal groups of runners should start outside Lupton between 9.30-10.00am and elite runners at 10.30am.
  3. There will be lunch provided in Queens Hall from 12.00 noon-2.00pm at a cost of £5 per person and Queens Hall will also be open for tea, coffee and sandwiches from 4.00-6.00pm.

Walkers and runners must be self-sufficient and are responsible for their own safety.

Race Day Support

Parking is available for visitors in the yards of all Houses.  Please do not park in prohibited spaces in Sedbergh or private driveways.

We welcome support on race day and there are some excellent vantage points which may be reached by walking.

  1. Green Hill near Mile 2.
  2. Spectators’ Hill near Mile 6 .
  3. Baugh Fell You will remember that this this may be cold and windy, there is intermittent phone coverage. Walkers need to be self-sufficient.
  4. There are two options for Roadside support.
  5. It is possible to watch the Start or at Ten Mile Lane and then at Danny Bridge. If you watch at Danny Bridge, please do not drive back to Sedbergh until 15 minutes after the last runner has passed to avoid passing runners on the road.
  6. It is possible to watch at Cautley and then at the Finish.
  • Please do not drive between the Start, Cautley, Danny Bridge and the Finish whilst the race is taking place. This leads to cars passing tired runners and represents a risk to pupils.
  • Please do not allow dogs off the lead anywhere. Ewes are in lamb and must not be disturbed and we do not wish interference with the runners.
  • It is essential that spectators do not block roads, tracks or gates. We live in a farming community which must continue its work despite our event.  In particular, please do not park on Ten Mile Lane, Foxhole Lane or Dowbiggin Lane.  These lead to working farms and are emergency access routes to the fellside if we need to help an injured runner.
  • Please do not drop litter or climb fences or walls and ensure that all gates are closed behind you whether you find them open or shut.

The Finish and After the Race

The finish along Loftus Hill is very congested.  Please do not bring dogs to this area and ensure that you remain on the pavement as vehicles pass through.

Each House will provide hospitality to parents, Old Sedberghians and visitors.

At 7.30pm, The Wilson Run Concert will take place in Powell Hall.  This is a ticketed event for runner’s parents only.

We hope that you will understand the reason for this lengthy list of instructions.  The Wilson Run is a marvellous event which we want to protect and ensure that it runs smoothly so that we see good competition and can enjoy the day.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you require further information.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Fleck