Pleasing run for Jo @ Ilkley

The Ilkley Moor fell race is a short fast race over 5 miles with 1250 feet of climbing and on a mild day with the ground drying the course records were there for the taking at the 23rd running of this classic race. It starts on a good track just off Wells Road, rising steadily to pass The Tarn and it then crosses Backstone Beck then up between the famous Cow and Calf Rocks. A steep climb up to the Pancake Stone then all that precious height is lost as you plunge downhill on a rough narrow path. It’s a haul back up the hill on the other side of the beck, before swooping down the Rocky Valley on a stony path.
A stiff climb up the side of the Valley to a large cairn is followed by a long stretch along the skyline above Ilkley on rough terrain.
 Some more rough terrain then leads to an easy climb on a path through the bracken followed by a fast traverse, before the final giddy plunge down to the finish!

Local runner Tom Adams of Ilkley Harriers was race winner in a blisteringly fast time but just outside the record. Tom was well clear of second placed Graham Pearce of Pudsey and Bramley Athletic Club who had a similar advantage over third placed Ben Abdelnoor of Ambleside Athletic Club.

Ladies race winner was Emma Clayton of Bingley Harriers smashing the long standing 1996 record in a time of 43.12. In second place was Jo Waites of Calder Valley Fell Runners less than 3 minutes behind. Jo is still making progress after a season of frustrating injuries and if fully fit would have given Emma a much closer race. She was still happy with her run and walked away with the first veteran prize. Third place went to Sally Morley of Ilkely Harriers.


No shortage of grit on icy Trog

Stile photo - Tom Rattray, Wadsworth Local Photography Group

Last week’s frozen rain threatened Saturday’s 20 mile Wadsworth Trog fell race with cancellation, but a slight rerouting of the start to avoid a farm track better suited to luging than running allowed the race to go ahead. Competitors were warned that conditions were treacherous, with every rock, stile and blade of grass on the moor coated in a thick layer of ice, however 135 starters saw the conditions as nothing more than an additional challenge on an already challenging race.

Most runners leaving Old Town proceeded to slip, slide and shuffle their way round the course, however in an incredible show of grit Calder Valley’s James Logue once again romped home in first place, seemingly unaffected by the icy conditions and a full ten minutes ahead of the second place finisher, Todmorden Harriers’ Jon Wright. Wright seemed similarly unphased by his arctic challenge, and rushed off home to start work, unlike Logue who made himself comfortable with a pint of ale while the rest of the competitors completed the race, the final finisher crossing the line more than two and a half hours after Logue.

Among the women there was hot competition, with some star runners on the starting line. Calder Valley’s Anne Johnson was beaten into third place by Bingley’s Aly Raw in second and Dark Peak’s Nicky Spinks in first. In the women’s team competition, retirements left only two teams in the race. In the event Abbey Runners were especially deserving of their first place prize with one of their runners finishing the race despite a fall which left her leggings in tatters. Unperturbed, and with a coat round her waist for modesty, Leanne Hague completed the race and helped her team to victory over local Todmorden Harriers by just one point.

In the men’s team event, Dark Peak narrowly beat Todmorden Harriers into second place, while Calder Valley’s James Logue, Steve Smithies and Simon Bourne took the Vet’s Team prize.

Sunday brought the aptly named Winter Hill fell race, the second club championship race for Calder Valley. Perhaps put off having seen conditions on the Trog the day before, only nine Calder Valley runners turned up for the race, where the course proved to be almost as icy, but with the additional discomforts of low cloud and melt water. Calder Valley’s Karl Gray came in third place overall to secure maximum points in the championship., with Bill Johnson and Graham Hill claiming second and third place championship points. Helen Fines finished only hundredths of a second behind Hill, taking the prize for first woman, with team mate Jo Buckley finishing second woman.


Night Score Event – Results

Night Score – 31st  January

The Northern Lights didn’t appear but 46 runners did!  Wow, this is a fantastic turnout for what could be quite a niche event. The furthest control was only 2km from the community centre. But, enough climb ( this is the ‘international capital of gravity’ after all) and a complex path network on a clear map meant plenty of choice for all exploring the nooks and crannies of the Cragg valley.

Thanks to you all for a really upbeat evening.

Keep navigating everyone. Jon Emberton

Night Score Results 2012