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Burnsall hosts a Classic race day
One of the world’s oldest races took place at Burnsall on Saturday.
The Classic Fell Race, up 899 feet and over 1.5 miles, dates to 1870 but a sports day of some sort goes back to Elizabethan and possibly medieval times.
The ten-mile road race was followed by a dozen junior fell races. The Classic was then followed by the traditional hymn from the brass band and prize-giving.
Bingley duo Victoria and Matthew Merrick won the girls and boys under-14 races respectively, while Katie Handley of Wharfedale and Keighley & Craven’s Evan Mills won the under-ten equivalents.
In the Classic, Mercia’s Mel Price was first female in 19min 25sec, with Jo Buckley (Calder Valley) fourth. The men’s times were well outside the sub-13-minute course records set in 1910 and improved in the 1977 and 1983 races.
Simon Bailey (Mercia) won in 14:10, seven seconds ahead of Rossendale’s Sam Tosh. Ted Mason of Wharfedale was third in 14:40 and Bingley’s Ian Holmes first over-40 in 15:27.
Colin Moses was second over-40, helping Wharfedale to the men’s team prize.
* In the final Thornes Park 5K Challenge, rising star Tesfaye Debele (Bradford-Airedale) ran 15:29 in what was effectively a glorified training run.
Mark Hall was second in 17:40, another national-level performance by the lkley Harrier over-50s competitor.
* Hall used the Wakefield race as a final sharpener for the Fleetwood Half-Marathon.
He ran 80:57 to finish 18th on the Fylde coast behind Royton’s Ian McBride (70:10). Scott Hamilton of Otley was an impressive second in 74:33 from a field of 543.
* The Northern Track and Field League awaits the promotion play-off into Division One.
Skyrac retained their Division Two status with a hard-fought final day, forcing Morpeth to be relegated.
In Division Three, Bingley finished third in their section but Pudsey & Bramley were tailed off and relegated.
Spenborough and Halifax were both promoted from Division Four, with Longwood and Bradford-Airedale increasingly competitive in a tight section.