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All-star cast put on a show in Auld Lang Syne Race
The final day of the wettest English year since records began was fittingly marked by The Auld Lang Syne Race, as some of the leading names in fell racing took to the hills above Haworth amidst gale-force winds and driving rain.
The six miles of hills, mud and river crossings comprised nearly 1,000 feet of climbing.
Olympic bronze medallist Jonny Brownlee (Bingley Harriers) crossed swords with English under-23 fell racing champion Tom Addison (Helm Hill) at the head of 376 runners.
An absorbing race saw Brownlee lose his lead on the steep and waterlogged descent to a swollen river crossing a mile from home, before reasserting himself over the final stages to claim victory in 43min 10sec.
Addsion followed 18 seconds behind, with his cousin Mark taking third, nearly a minute later.
Brownlee’s effort was backed up by Ian Holmes, who was first V40 in fourth overall, and Martin Peace, to secure the team prize for Bingley.
Adrian Dixon (FRA) and Norman Bush (Ilkley) picked up V60 and V70 age category prizes.
The quality of the female race also spoke volumes for this event, which is one of several organised by “The Woodentops”.
Three times race winner Olivia Walwyn-Bush (Altrincham) was denied another success by 12 seconds, as 16-year-old Annabel Mason (Wakefield) followed up a recent fifth in the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest to post a winning time of 47:58.
Chevin Chase winner Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) was third in 49:12, two minutes clear of West Yorkshire Cross Country League Champion Katie Walshaw (Holmfirth).
Walwyn-Bush forged an alliance with Seonaid Thompson (Liverpool) and Aiveen Fox (Durham) to take the team prize as Durham University Old Girls.
Gill Myers (Wharfedale) and Aileen Baldwin (Stainland) won the V50 and V60 categories.
Twenty hours later, the three-mile Giants Tooth race at Ogden Water saw Baldwin win her age category again.
Karen Pickles (Pudsey) was first female home, withTilly Melechi (Ilkley), first junior.
Ben Crowther (Halifax) saw off Calder Valley junior, Brad Travis to win overall.
Nick Charlesworth (Wharfedale) was first V40, whilst Peter Hughes (Queensbury V50) and Jim Wheldon (Pudsey V60) were narrowly denied age category wins by Lancashire based rivals.