Running log

The final leg of the ninth BRADFORD MILLENNIUM WAY RELAY saw a head-to-head battle between top runners from leading fell clubs.

Barely a minute separated Pudsey & Bramley from Keighley & Craven and Bingley at the changeover in Ilkley for the 10.7-mile run to the finish at Beckfoot.

Bingley duo Stephen Broadbent and Andy Brown hauled in Adrian Thomas and Jorge Thomas of Keighley & Craven and reduced the lead to 44 seconds behind Richard Pattinson and Paul Stevenson from eventual winners Pudsey & Bramley.

In a similarly tight fight for fourth place, Wharfedale Harriers held off Abbey Runners and fast-finishing Will Kerr and Gerard Mills for home team Airedale Athletics.

In cold, dry conditions, a record 49 teams had set off from Beckfoot, with Bingley challenging reigning champions P&B from the off.

Bingley’s first-leg pairing of Andy Peace and Chris Edwin were pushed all the way by Abbey Runners duo Andy May and Matt John, prevailing by one second and breaking the leg record by 45 seconds in 1hr 12min 26sec.

Bingley were clearly intent on taking the title for the first time and second pair Jamie Robinson and James Senior opened up a five-minute lead on Keighley & Craven, who moved up from fourth to second with P&B now nine minutes behind.

Leg three saw the holders make their push, with Matt Marsh and Jon Holah reducing the deficit to barely three minutes and moving to third.

By the end of leg four, Ian Nixon and Matt Lockyear took P&B to the front after 37 miles of racing, which they then successfully held.

In the ladies’ category, Keighley & Craven (with four ladies teams entered) led throughout, knocking almost ten minutes off the previous record.

Horsforth Harriers’ vets also led from start to finish in their category, finishing in eighth overall.

Accrington Runners retained their mixed title (one man and one lady on each leg) in 13th place overall, knocking seven minutes off their winning time from last year.