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Sunday 21st February – Ilkley Moor Fell Race


Report from Adam Baird:

This was the 21st Anniversary of the race (AS / 5 miles / 1,260′ ascent) and ‘a bit of snow’ made things a bit different….the FRA forum makes reference to a number of ‘Torvill and Dean moves’ during the race.

Despite the snow there was a big field with 215 finishers, led home by Graham Pearce (Pudsey & Bramley) in 39:52….two and a half minutes in front of second place.

Second claim member Sharron Smith ran well finishing 70th (54.47) followed by Adam Baird 97th (57:41), Matt Podd 140th (62:46), Colin Best 147th (63:43), Martin Smillie 160th (65:34) and Michael Fryer 192nd (72:47).

DNF for James Sneath and Liam Dunne who unfortunately took a wrong turn somewhere in the snow after being well placed near the front. Malcolm and Huw were spectating and cheering on the Otley.

Report from Sharron Smith:

The snow was falling fast at 7.30am and even the main roads around were covered. Did this mean the race would be cancelled? Of course not, they don’t cancel fell races and so long as you can get there, the race must go on.

The field seemed slightly down on numbers and Dave Woodhead passing comment was “they didn’t forecast this”.

Well, off to a cautious start, a few Otley vests caught my eye but it was eyes down with no opportunity for error. The first climb was steady, followed by a toboggan slide, a descent where most runners hit their butts. Fear not for the best was yet to come, more uphill, softer snowy descents and a ski slope finish.

In less than a hour the mist had started to rise and some of the front runners had descended to the finish too soon. So for the second time in Feburary, following the Rombalds Stride, we are reminded you can get lost on Ilkley Moor!! A good team turnout for the tough Otley men but where were the ladies?

Results and photos from ilkleyharriers.

Race video coverage by Andy Wolfenden on Youtube.

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