Starters of the At The Double Fell Race, Bronwyn Mayo, Richard Grant, Esther Harrison, Alan Simpson, Lorraine Hiles, Marc Davies, Hilary Coventry, Trudy Morrice, Helen Ashworth, Rosie Gatenby and Rosamund Clay
Prize winning ladies, Helen Ashworth, Hilary Coventry, Trudy Morrice, Rosamund Clay and Rosie Gatenby at the At the Double Fell Race
The cancellation of the latest Club Championship at Reeth on the Saturday because of snow and ice, enabled ten members to take part in the Race 8 of the Winter Fell Race Series the following day, when snow and ice had all but disappeared, to be replaced by plenty of mud! The race was once again hosted by St Helens Church at Carlin How and covered 11k with 400m of ascent – conditions underfoot in places fairly treacherous. The field of almost 100, nearly double last year's entry, were summoned to the start line by the church bells and a quick first kilometre of descent took runners into Skinningrove with an interesting route choice, either up steps or along the beach, where wet feet were an outcome at this early stage. Following the steep steps, the route keeps climbing and following the cliff top for almost 5k via the Warren, the Quarry and the Moon(!) before turning inland and descending back to sea level. The final, leg sapping, stretch involves sand dunes, more steps and a steep ballast slope before the finish is reached.
Once again the ladies were in prize winning form, with Esther Harrison 25th, first club finisher, and 1st Open Lady, in 62.03. Richard Grant was 31st in 63.01, Alan Simpson 36th in 64.34 and Trudy Morrice 38th, and 2nd F50, in 66.00. New member, Rosamund Clay, in her first race for 10 years, and her first ever fell race, came 48th, and 3rd Open Female taking 69.55, with Marc Davies next, 52nd in 71.33 closely followed by Bronwyn Mayo, 53rd in 71.42. Helen Ashworth was 66th, and 1st F55, in 76.50, Hilary Coventry 67th in 77.01 and in 85th place was Rosie Gatenby, 87.47, overjoyed to be in the prizes as 2nd F40! Lorraine Hiles, surely a banker for a prize, had to retire from the race following a slip and injury in the mud at the turn point. What a superb effort by the ladies, as well as several individual prizes (all finishers got a prize) winning the team prize, with their teams also finishing in 3rd and 6th place.
Competitors' entry fees and donations for refreshments resulted in £400 for the church to continue its work, and £500 to the Motor Neurone Disease charity, which was doubled up by host club Loftus and Whitby AC. All in all, a good day out!
Esther Harrison just keeps on winning, and when Parkruns returned the following weekend, was 1st lady at Northallerton, 6th out of 112, in PB 21.34. Superb! Also at Northallerton were Pete Jackson and Diana Williams. Andy Newing was first club finisher at Fountains Abbey, 98th out of 365 in 25.02, with Alan and Tracey Docherty, Paul Adams, Katie Wadsworth, James Harrison, Gillian Crane, Kerry Morgan and Ian and Marian Codling also in the field. Young Thomas Gwillam in the 11-14 age category, continued his good form at Millfield, coming 18th out of 148 in a PB equalling time of 21.41, ahead of Walter Busuttil, Clare Gwillam, Andy Butcher and Rob Lickley. Anna Whitham, Allison Whiteley and Craig Atherton were among the field of 281 at Darlington South Park, Mike Cropper at Wetherby, Sara Hind at Richmond Park, and travelling park runner, Gary Wilkinson trying Roberts Park for the first time, 26th out of 393 in a very creditable 21.52.
Josh Cooper tried his hand, very successfully, at orienteering, running strongly and with accurate navigation through Silton Forest, and encountering mud and forest undergrowth. He came in 2nd, only 3 minutes behind the leader, over the longer,testing, 12k course.