12 May 2015 – Jack Bloor Fell Race – 5.2 miles / 1148 ft
We had fifteen seniors out for this year’s Jack Bloor race, encouraged not only by the promise of an enjoyable evening’s run over Ilkley Moor but also by the lure of shiny Club Champs points…
Compared to last year’s bright sunshine, it was a little on the cloudy side but otherwise nice and cool and perfect running weather as we gathered at the start line.
In the same way you should never say WALK out loud in front of a dog unless your next plan is to head straight out the door, Race Organisers should always be wary of the word GO in front of a crowd of excitable fell runners… And so after an amusing false start, we recomposed ourselves and were at last released off up the hill.
Joe Baxter, Graham Pearce, and Matt Lockyer were each looking strong in the leading pack but couldn’t quite rein in Ilkley’s Jack Wood who took the win, leaving P&B to settle for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and an irrepressible sweep of the Mens’ Team Prize.
Dave Alcock had a storming run to finish 11th; Charlie Mac‘s descending skills took him from 24th to 20th in one fell swoop by allegedly jumping over 3 grown men, with Niall Bourke – powerless to stop the flight of the Charliebird – left claiming 23rd. Neil Armitage had an enjoyable run but wasn’t quite up to his usual form, and came in at 28th with a grumble.
As for me, seeking redeption after a terrible run at Stretton, I took it fairly steady until Checkpoint 5 whereupon I legged it like a madman, rolling and tumbling through bog and heather and taking about 10 places ahead of me to land in a smiling heap in 32nd.
In a great debut performance for the club (not to mention first fell race) Matthew Seddon was not far behind in 38th, with Ed Barber on his coat-tails in 41st.
Claire Green put her climbing skills to good use by getting an early lead and holding on strong for the win. Here’s what she had to say:
Ilkley Moor is one of my favourite places to run so even with Stretton in my legs from the weekend, I was looking forward to a trot around the moor, especially at this time of year with summer just on the horizon and the longer days opening up the trails on an evening. With a hefty troop of fellow P&Bers I lined up on the start line and set off as fast as I could to avoid the inevitable bottlenecks. Pretty much the rest of the race I just tried to hang on and had good battle with my fellow training group. I kept thinking that one of the other ladies was going to pass me, especially on the top flagged section that seemed to go on forever. It wasn’t until I headed down the final steep section and navigated the magical mystery tour past various “grassy knolls” and identical bracken tussocks (should’ve done a reccie) that I realised I had managed to secure the lead. I am really chuffed to have won the ladies trophy, it will be proudly be hanging on my wall for the next year. Thanks to everyone that were involved in putting on such an enjoyable and well organised race – hopefully raising a lot of money for the fantastic Jack Bloor fund.“
Rachel Pilling was delighted and surprised with 2nd place, as she was convinced she was 4th – although does recall seeing a couple of ladies ahead committing the grave error of following a certain P&B vest off into the heather around CP6… Shane Green, Adam Speed, and Steve Woods made up the last of our P&B rabble.
Some cracking P&B results and hard working performances put in all round. Well run all, and cheers to the organisers, marshals and volunteers for organising an enjoyable evening’s racing.
Joe Baxter 2nd 40:55. Graham Pearce 3rd 41:10. Matt Lockyer 4th 42:05. David Alcock 11th 44:20. Charlie McIntosh 20th 45:53. Niall Bourke 23rd 46:01. Neil Armitage 28th 46:55. Graham Pilling 32nd 47:29. Matthew Seddon 38th 47:45. Ed Barber 41st 48:22. Claire Green 42nd (1st Lady) 48:25. Rachel Pilling 51st (2nd Lady) 50:11. Shane Green 57th 50:30. Adam Speed 73rd 51:23. Steve Woods 140th 60:08.
— 1st Mens Team
Top report Graham, redemption achieved.