7 February 2015 – 23 miles / 2715 ft
The stride is a local LDWA organised challenge event that starts and finishes in Guisley and takes a scenic route over Baildon Moor, Ilkley Moor, and the Chevin.
LDWA stands for Long Distance Walking Association, and at just shy of 23 miles it is certainly long, but over the years, as well as the walkers, it has been colonised by fell runners looking for some early season distance training.
It’s fairly low key, with refreshments stops along the way, so is perfect for ironing out any winter creases.
In the past P & B’s Graham Pearce has used it as his own personal form guide, regularly being first back, and holding the fastest time of an impressive 2 hours 26 minutes.
However, freshly back from a couple of years down under would the desire & pace still be there in 2015?
From the off the omens were good, Graham and Colin Walker slipping away at the front in a group that would trot round most of the course together. The final steep pull up the Chevin sorted them out with Graham pulling away for the win, and Otley AC’s own French Legionnaire Frank Beresford just pipping Colin for second.
Elsewhere amongst the runners, Rachel Pilling had another strong run for 4th lady (35th overall), finishing not far behind Graham Pilling, enjoying an equally good performance (28th) on one of his longest outings so far.
Along the way many thanks for the support & hi-5’s provided by Adam Speed & son Jackson, gels & drinks by Shane Green, and not forgetting Boff Whalley, randomly appearing out of the bushes on the Chevin with what looked like his instamatic camera.
I may have been there too, and may have had an argument with some ice & a stone stile & then finished somewhere in the pack.
The official results don’t seem to have materialised yet but there is a hazy cameraphone picture floating about online…
(Above: Charlie, Graham, and Rachel all still smiling with a couple of miles to go – Photos by Andrew Hardaker)
Graham Pearce 1st 2:38:38
Colin Walker 3rd 2:39:39
Charlie McIntosh 25th 3:11:50
Graham Pilling 28th 3:15:00
Rachel Pilling 35th (4th lady) 3:19:33