The first weekend of November has been a busy one – here’s a race roundup…
Really Wild Boar – 1st Nov – 5 miles / 1401 ft
First up we have the Really Wild Boar, put on by P&B’s Gary & Debbie Devine. They could have renamed it Really Tame Boar this year, as the weather was delightfully sunny and brisk, as opposed to previous years’ of snow and gale force winds.
We had a nice little group out for this, including new members Joe Baxter and Ed Barber. Joe had an outstanding run so here he is to pick up the Boar’s Tale for us:
Being a newcomer to the world of fell running, and this being my first Wild Boar experience I was still plagued with thoughts of becoming lost and annoying my fellow runners by asking questions such as ‘What’s the start like?’, and ‘how easy is it to get lost on this one?’
However these fears were quickly dispelled by the encouragement and support of my fellow runners who happily answered all my annoying questions.
Fell Running so far has definitely lived up to its reputation of being a race environment where you’ll find a friendly atmosphere, likeminded people and a community feel. Many thanks to Rachel and Graham for providing myself and Ed carriage to and from the event (even more thanks for Rachel’s delicious Lemon cake which made the perfect post race snack!).
My fears of becoming lost banished and with the November sun shining (which I understand to be opposite to what is usually expected at the Wild Boar) I was feeling enthusiastic at the start. My only concern being my inability to use a compass, though after hours of practice I’ve become proficient in the use of the whistle.
The race started at a swift pace, I was able to keep up with the front ten or so runners with the leading three pulling away. As the field strung out I decided to stick with a runner who seemed to know where he was going, though the higher we climbed the stronger the headwind, so not only did I use my fellow competitor as a sat nav, I dropped back a little and snuck behind to shelter from the wind. I must confess that that at one point I took shelter so close that I received a sharp elbow in my shoulder (I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose, but apologised all the same…oops! *drop back a little more*)
Hitting the top we hit a little flat-ish section before arriving at the trig where we were greeted by a smiling marshal who happily shouted ‘You can catch those old buggers!’. My decision to stick with my sharp elbowed friend paid off with him guiding me past various bogs, other runners weren’t so lucky, including Ed who appeared like he’d been for a swim rather than a run at the finish.
The descent was great fun, myself and my new friend (who most likely considered me to be an annoyance) managed to gain good speed. Arriving at the final checkpoint before the finish, the runner who had previously been leading the race by some distance popped up just in front of us, losing two places. My immediate reaction was ‘thank god I followed my new mate’, my new new friend’s immediate reaction was to rib the former leader for taking a longer route!
At this point we hit a flatter section following the route back to the finish. I felt a bit more at home than on the descent and was able to pass my new friend before dropping down to the finish, making myself even more annoying having that he’d just guided me throughout the whole race. Instead of being annoyed, and in the spirit of Fell Running, he was really friendly at the end, we chatted and I was able to grab a few more pointers from him for the next race.
The post race eating Rachel’s cake and having a pint ensued, another part of fell running I wholeheartedly endorse!
The prize giving that followed was fantastic, a great atmosphere and some fantastic prizes to be won such as a trip to the Pyrenees! Whilst none of us left with the week away in the mountains, I left having another great day on the fells.“
Overall winner was Ted Mason of Wharfedale for the gents and Sharon Taylor of Helm Hill for the ladies, with our own Rachel Pilling coming in second lady, and Jo Schreiber coming in as 1st L45. Rest of the P&B rabble had some strong results too – and great to see last year’s winner Danny Hope (recovering from his recent terrifying-looking ankle injury) in the pub afterwards. Lovely atmosphere and a great race.
Joe Baxter 4th. Neil Armitage 11th. Ed Barber 30th. Scott Alder 33rd. Graham Pilling 38th. Rachel Pilling (2nd Lady) 41st. Mike Rees 66th. Jo Schreiber (1st L45) – Full Times and Results to follow…
Shepherd’s Skyline – 1st Nov – 6.2 miles / 1148 ft
On the same day we had the Shepherd’s Skyline race put on by Todmorden Harriers, a popular race taking in the enjoyable views (and descents) around Stoodley Pike.
Caroline Harding and family were present for this one, and it sounds like they enjoyed it – great to see Annie and Eddy getting into their racing too.
The Calder Valley army descended on this race like red & white locusts, promptly devouring all the top spots. Ben Mounsey, in fine form at the moment, was overall winner with Gayle Sugden coming in first for the ladies.
Caroline Harding 160th (4th F40) 65:52.
Under 8s: Annie Wilkinson 9th (3rd girl) 6:13
Under 12s: Edward Wilkinson 11th 8:01
(Full results here)
Helvellyn Trail Race – 1st Nov – 15k
We also had P&B presence on the trails around Helvellyn for the 15k race put on by Lakeland Trails.
Alex Jones had a fantastic run finishing in 9th place, with running partner in crime Martin Landells coming in 3rd V50 and 41st overall.
Overall winners were Carl Avery of Alnwick Harriers and Annie Conway of Ambleside (in an impressive 6th overall).
Alex Jones 9th 1:00:39. Martin Landells 41st 1:07:29 (3rd Vet 50). (Full Results)
Cop Hill – 2nd Nov – 7 miles / 899 ft
The friendly purple & green folk of Meltham AC hosted this one, which also served as the YVAA Fell Championship race.
Gary Devine got a sneaky performance in that almost went unnoticed until an eagle eye’d P&B results scourer spotted it and emailed me. A daily breakfast of croissants and fine Pyrenees white wine can’t be too bad for you, as the legendary Mr Devine was 2nd M45 and 13th overall. The winners were David Watson of Holmfirth and Glossopdale’s Caitlin Rice. Full Results here.
West Yorkshire Cross Country League – 2nd Nov – West Park, Leeds
Race 2 of the fast, furious and muddy WYXC league saw an outstanding team performance from the ladies, who took the 2nd Team prize. New P&B signing Gabriella Moriarty was first Maroon-and-Gold home finishing in 14th, followed by Suzie Sharman, Rachel Pilling, Anna Anderson, and Caroline Harding. Great running all round, especially from Rachel and Caroline who had also raced the previous day.
For the men, Matthew Grieve continues to lead the way with a top-1o finish, followed by strong performances from Kieran Reay, Ashley Palmer, Andrew Smith, Jamie Noon, Robbie Ingham, Jon Holah, Ryan Noon, Neil Armitage, and Mark Fallaize. Continuing their consistant and fine form, the men bagged the 3rd Team prize. (Bonus hat-tip to Neil who also raced twice in one weekend).
Cracking job chaps and a very warm welcome to our new members – hopefully we’ll see you out for the PECO XC events (see info at bottom of the page here).
For the Junior races, we once again had a good sprinkling of young runners throughout the different categories: Luke Storr, Thomas Smith, Natasha Robinson, Mitchell Boocock, Erin Hinchcliffe, Charlotte Davies, Joshua Swatman, and Emma Boocock. Great running all!
Full WYXC results available here: westyorkshireathletics.org.uk
Though we’ve had some typically strong results for the club, I think whatever position our runners have finished in we’ve all just enjoyed getting out there and churning up some mud and hills in the brisk November air. Well run all.