One of the races inaugurated by the ever imaginative Rob Burn during covid was a Virtual Mountain Race round the hills and descents near Sutton Bank, incorporating the White Horse Steps, Kilburn Woods and Hood Hill.  This proved very popular and has continued in its relay form, with teams of 6 runner across the ability range and named after a country. Runners could go when they wished over 4 days, Thursday to Sunday, timing themselves and submitting their results.
Ken Wood, Duncan Fothergill, Bronwyn Mayo, Lyndsey Collins and Ken Evitt, first through the gate on Thursday morning for the Mountain Race
Photo – Rob Burn
Weather was variable, Thursday probably being the best day, and some found themselves running in pouring rain on other days – making the steep descents treacherous at times! There was an incident on Saturday when runners coming to do the course found it was closed at Thieves Hill after a walker was injured in a fall. Police, Mountain Rescue and Air Ambulance were required to get the walker to safety, and we hope he is recovering well. At least 4 members had to alter their arrangements and return once the route was reopened, a couple of hours or so later.
Richard Grant (Australia), cheerful after completing the Mountain Race
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Photo – Richard Grant
This year there were 14 teams of members and a few guests, and though full results are not yet to hand, it has been announced that New Zealand, comprising Andrew Price, Ken Wood, Kirsty Naylor (Captain), Sara Armitage and Bev Davies, are the winning team. It was universally agreed to have been a superb event, fostering both competition and camaraderie.  
Ruth Pollard, (New Zealand), Paul Peacock (Bolivia) and Louise Casson (Australia) after the Mountain Race
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Photo – Ruth Pollard
It being a Bank Holiday weekend, there was a large turnout of 473 for Fountains Abbey parkrun, though only two were Thirsk and Sowerby members, probably because of the aforementioned Mountain Race, for which runners needed to be at full fitness! Others were at Northallerton (3), Millfield (5), Darlington South Park (3) and the well travelled Jason McLaughlin among the 1320 at the home of parkrun, Bushy, where he finished a very creditable 244th in 23.17.