…Boxing Day Chevin Chase on my mind, cold north wind, some sunny periods, a big, big field of runners with no. 1 race number going to our own Olympian, Mr Jonathan Brownlee.
“Get back, Get back”, the Starter shouted, “Get behind the flag”. He was going blue in the face but nobody took any notice. “I will count down… 4, 3, 2, 1…” and the charge of 825 runners had begun.
The colours, the costumes and the characters that were running… James Bond, Scrooge, so many fairies, we just needed a Queen and I am sure that I saw one or two!
The atmosphere was electric… a pleasure to be there! The cavalry charge up Carlton Lane… turn left at the top, up the track… the crowds were out in force as we crossed York Gate.
“Come on Otley”, as the mud splashed in my ears, eyes and mouth. Somebody was down in an Otley vest holding his leg on the downwards track. Everybody slipping, sliding, cursing, bumping, crying, as we approached the road to cross over into Danefield.
Then the track that takes you into the Danefield Woods, the long run along Danefield main track, turn sharp left, down the slope to the bottom, sharp left again. “Help! I am not stopping”, and downwards again we go, feeling a silly idiot in the mud, then up we go before we go over the edge and up the slope onto the “switchbacks” and slowly make our way through the mud to the “chain road”.
Sharp left, up the slope to the quarry – goodness another hill – onto the undulating quarry track, through to the Chevin curse, sorry course, and the long slippery, muddy climb to the top where we had some paving stones to get a grip. Onwards and upwards, the crowds were fantastic, they cheered you all the way to the top.
Then we hit the bottleneck for the first stile (a two or three minute chance to get your breath back) before going onto the muddy field, ankle deep in mud, to another hold-up at the second stile. Through there and thick claggy mud, then across the farmyard, turn sharp right onto the track towards Moor Lane, and who’s there taking photos but Julian, “BRILLIANT!”.
Turned sharp left onto Moor Lane, a good downhill half mile to get home and the crowds were still shouting encouragement as we turned a sharp right up the testing slope towards Guiseley Infants School and the finish line!
A brilliant race, very well organized by Airecentre Pacers. Marks out of ten? Definitely a nine.
Great to see so many “Black and Whites” out in force, they were all brilliant – a credit to the club – with some fantastic race results for OAC.
Well done guys and ladies!
There is also a gallery of photos by Andrew Thrippleton here.
For OAC, Liam Dunne finshed seventh (43.30), Andrew Robertshaw eleventh (43.51), Rogan Ashton fifteenth (44.39), Graham Lake 34th (47.09), Richard Smith 41st (47.51), Simon Anderson 45th (48.36), Matt Broughton 134th (52.24), James Kennedy (pictured above in action #228) 137th (52.39) and second-claim member Dan Binks 139th (52.46).
Continuing, Tom Potter 142nd (52.52), Chris Stacey 148th (53.16), Laura Martin 149th (53.17), Ralph Haughton 193rd (55.02), Paul Clifford 201st (55.14), Karen Potter 232nd (56.38), Andy Webster 254th (57.17), Howard Jeffrey 288th (58.45) and Christian Hosker 289th (58.48).
Then Hugh Pearson 342nd (61.38), John Dade 356th (62.12), Matt Podd 423rd (65.44), Tom Hannah 448th (67.03), Billy Rayner 467th (68.10), Laura Taylor 482rd (68.49), Reid Haddow 498th (69.20), Mary Hampshire 526th (71.02), Sara Richard 547th (72.08), Julie Dorling 588th (74.36) and Hannah Mallinson 693rd (82.06).