Winter returns to the fells

The start of Gargrave Show's senior fell race

Keighley and Craven Athletics Club runner James Sabin powers across the river in the under-nines' race while Emma Peel falls

First published in Sport by

THE 262 runners in the second leg of the English Fell Championship races faced wintry weather at SEDBERGH HILLS on Sunday.

Horizontal rain and even sleet were on offer but most competitors were layered up, some with hat and gloves, as a wind chill of minus five was predicted at the top of the calf.

Ilkley's Dan Wilkinson spoke of the tough, claggy conditions underfoot, saying: "The steep trods were reduced to slides and the traverses slimy mud.

"Of course, all this made it more fun. On reflection, this was one of the best races I've done."

Pudsey & Bramley's Rob Hope won in 2hr 6min 10sec, ahead of Helm Hill brothers Tom and Mark Addison.

Ted Mason (Wharfedale) was a fine fifth, with Bingley's Ian Holmes first over-45 in 14th. Holmfirth's Helen Berry was first lady in 2hr 33min.

The fell season currently features a number of summer gala races and on Saturday, August 9, 85 runners were at Arncliffe.

The senior race started at a fast pace along a track before climbing steeply onto a ridge and back down into the village.

Bingley's Kirstin Bailey was first over-40, while Emma Hopkinson (Wharfedale) was first lady overall (13min 32sec). Pippa Barrett (Keighley & Craven) was third, as well as first under-23 finisher.

Ruaridh Mon-Williams was first in the under-17 race and fellow Ilkley Harrier Euan Brennan was second under-14. Bingley's Victoria Merrick won the girls' under-17s.

The following Saturday, at Gargrave, Brennan won the under-14s, while Joanne Williamson (Ilkley) won the women's under-17s.

The CROW HILL REVERSE race climbs steeply over 4.2 miles above Mytholmroyd, with 720 feet of ascent, and was the 11th race in the Airedale Athletics Summer Off-Road Series.

Stacey Cleal (Queensbury) finished within 90 seconds of her category winner, while Helen Foster, Sue Coates (Baildon), Abbie Cleal and Zoe Hipwell (Queensbury) all did well to finish within the hour.

Series leader Ian Hartman (Baildon) returned to form, while team-mate Gareth Holme finished strongly in 17th place.

Meanwhile, Jim Goddard's run kept him second in the individual league.

Baildon have a strong team lead, with Saltaire second and Eccleshill still well placed in third.

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