Report from Andrew Robertshaw:
A good turn out from Otley at the Woodentops first race of the winter season, the Withins Skyline.
This is a 7 mile race over the muddy moors above Haworth from the Penistone Country Park.
There was a top quality race at the sharp end with Ilkley’s GB international mountain runner, Tom Adams beating this year’s English Fell running champion, Simon Bailey and smashing the course record in the process with a time of 39.26.
Liam Dunne won the battle for Otley’s first finisher in 11th, 45.47 followed in by the hon. handicapper in 15th, 46.29. Sam Stell was next in for Otley, 23rd, 47.49.
& more …, 52nd Shane Ewen, 51.42, 86th Simon Toyne, 55.24, 125th Jim Sneath, 57.58, 141 Matt Broughton, 59.21, 199th Caron Ralph, 66.15, 214th John Cowan, 69.02, 257th & 258th, Laura Hind and Sean O’Halloran 88.10 & 89.06 respectively.
And Thanks for the support from the Sneath family and Mary Hampshire & children.
Full results on Woodentops here.
Sean O’Halloran writes: “Decided I would like to give a fell race ago and today was the Withins Skyline race. Other first timers were Laura and John, and deciding not to challenge for the win today Laura and I decided to use the race as a training run and took it steady.
“The race was approx seven-miles in length with around 980 feet of assent. Laura and I set off at the back leaving the other OAC members (and there were quite a few out) to fight for places before the pinch points.
“The first half of the race was predominately uphill through mud and bogs, some of them were rather deep in places and it was not long before we were covered in mud. We passed two dead sheep in the first half of the race, confirming that the going was tough.
“After about halfway the going underfoot for a little easier but still slippery in places producing some impressive sliding. All was going well until the next challenge, following a steep descent and across a stone bridge we were faced with a scramble/climb up the other side which took its toll on the legs and we were heading for home. The final mile and a bit was on an unmade road followed by a little stretch of moorland and soon the car park was in sight closely followed by the finish.
“I really enjoyed the experience, even if it was hard going at times, and will be doing another one soon. It was so nice to be doing a race and not worry about the pace I was going or the time I took to finish. My target was to complete the race without injury and if I did not come last it would be a bonus (think I was fourth from last). The last challenge of the day was to scrub off the caked on mud.”