Running log

Ben Mounsey showed some of the pedigree that earned him an England vest during the summer as he set aside a two-month lay-off from training to win the first West Yorkshire Winter League fixture.

A healthy Sunday field of 208 runners from eight clubs tackled the muddy Black Carr Woods course organised by Pudsey Pacers.

Mounsey attacked from the off, leading the field on the rapid bridleway descent from Scholebrook Farm and holding off his pursuers over two laps of the woods before the infamous climb to the finish.

Yet Mounsey’s win and third place for Gav Mulholland proved insufficient for Stainland to be the top men’s team.

Pudsey packed four into the top ten in the shape of James Clarke, Gary Bailey, Nigel Armitage and Paul Gaile and they lead the five-race series by just six points.

Leeds Bradford Triathlon (LBT) were third, led by Rob Bridges in fourth place and managing five runners in the top 15.

Baildon, in fifth, missed a number of their leading runners but were bolstered by junior Will Nottidge, whose 44th place made him the club’s fifth counter and represented a 30-place improvement on his league debut at the same venue last season.

Karen Pickles (Pudsey) has dominated the women’s side of the league in recent years but was missing on Sunday.

But even Pickles may have struggled to overcome Racheal Bamford, racing in LBT colours, who made light of the wet conditions to mark a comfortable victory ahead of team-mate Donna Edmondson-Booker and Margaret Beever (Stainland).

Stainland won the team result on the day, scoring 382 points with LBT just 13 behind and Baildon third. This followed a strong performance from Emma Hinkles, who made a welcome return to action in eighth place and a fine effort by veteran Anna Smith in 21st.

The veterans competition, calculated from the first two men’s over-40 runners and first over-35 woman back from each club, was also led by Stainland, with the pursuing pack of LBT, Pudsey, Baildon and Dewsbury all within a nine-point bracket.