Running couples across the North of England travelled miles to compete in Wharfedale Harriers inaugural ‘couples‘ relay race for across Ilkley moor from Darwin gardens to Dick Hudsons and back.
The Hon. handicapper and Caron were Otley’s sole representatives on the start line. After a quick briefing from the race organiser, the handicapper moved quickly to the front of the field, closely followed by the host club’s Chris Newman. Despite pushing hard on the initial steep climb past White Wells & the steps by Rocky Valley the ‘old workhorse’ was unable to break clear & it stayed that way for the 3 1/2 miles to the change-over point at Dick Hudsons where we finished in a dead heat.
Could the drama get more intense? On the return leg Chris’s other half Kate Rogan had a quick start to establish an early break on the steady climb back towards the twelve apostle stones. Not to be deterred Caron gradually clawed back the deficit, eventually taking a clear 20-30m lead by the twelve apostles. A direct route back from the top of Backstone beck has a lot more ‘technical‘ fell running than the main ‘motorway’ of the Dick Hudson path.
With the tension growing in a classic movie chase scene, Caron took a heavy fall getting her feet caught up in the heather, but got quickly back to her feet. However on the steepest bit of the descent Kate was now closing the gap rapidly to the extent that with 100m of track back to finish to go there was nothing in it…. Back on solid footing of the track Caron recovered to sprint home to win by just 4 seconds.
A 57 minute truly epic sporting battle !!