Hon. Secretary John Dade reports.
Today I ran the Bronte Trail race (8 miles/1150 feet) – a linear run from Wycoller (in Lancashire) to Haworth (in Yorkshire) along a wild, windswept, and at times very muddy trail.
Keighley and Craven AC laid on a minibus bus service which delivered us to the start in the charming village of Wycoller. This had a beautiful Tudor barn, were we registered, and an interesting selection of historic footbridges. I walked over these quite a few times and as we had been dropped off about an hour before the start.
As the start approached the sky grew darker and the rain grew heavier. This continued for the first 2-3 miles reaching a crescendo with a hail storm that battered us when we reached the moor top. At this point I was pondering why it is I say I really enjoyed a race despite the fact that an hour earlier I’d have happily stopped to flag down a lift home. It wasn’t pleasant, but soon after the rain stopped and we had some fun running a series of narrow undulating tracks through heather and bracken along the edge of a series of reservoirs. At one point I almost made a spectacular fall into a stream but managed to regain my balance only to trip over my own feet minutes later.
The race eventually reached the Pennine Way after 5 miles and after a short raise dropped down to Bronte Falls and territory familiar to me and anyone who has run the Withens Skyline and Auld Lang Syne races. A quick trek over Penistone Hill and a dash up Haworth main street, dodging tourists and Sunday walkers, to finish outside the Fleece pub. My reward a nice bottle of beer and some soup and roll – lovely.Quite happy with my time was 82:17. I didn’t see anyone else from Otley. I think there were 200 or so entries. Tim Ellis of Calder Valley Fell Runners won in 53:11. Full results from host club Keighley & Craven AC here.
As a postscript when I got back to my car I was approached by an old man who I thought was going to tick me off for parking outside his house. He asked about the race – said it wasn’t very far (cheers for that) , and then told me some stories about racing with Bill Teasdale at Kilnsey. After this he insisted on showing me a some of his very nice and rare framed cigarette cards.
A very enjoyable day. I should do this more often.