Graham Lake writes: A glorious evening’s fell racing on Ilkley Moor for the latest Jack Bloor event. Hills, mud, golden sunlight, scrapes, tumbles, good route choices, bad route choices, banter, blood, big smiles and finally beer. Nowt better!
Plenty of Otley vests at the start all looking to stash clothes as the gorgeous weather meant no mandatory kit needed. The start is steep and unforgiving, and I sprinted up the first part to miss the squeeze next to the fence.
Pulling up the climb behind Sam Stell in the top 15 I slowly dropped back to find my rightful place as we dashed down to the Swastika Stone; then it’s another steep climb before levelling out a bit and making the shallow climb to the summit of the moor. I started to feel a bit better and started overtaking a few people who had passed me on the climb.
After the (horrible) slabs the couple of runners ahead of me went too far on and I got a couple more places back. But then the first of two bad route choices lost me a couple more places just before the steep descent started.
After the steps, and after Robin passed me like a kamikaze mountain goat, I took a sharp right to try and cut the corner, but this was a big mistake as I lost about 10 places, slotting back in just behind Shane Green, who I had a nice little tussle with right to the finish flag. This really is a cracking race, and I’m still thinking of where I can improve for next year (not hard!).
The race winner was Ian Nixon of P&B in 41:25 & the first female in 51st position overall was Gill Myers of Wharfedale Harriers in a time of 51:47.
Otley runners included: Sam Stell 18th (45:15), Robin Outtersides 33rd in (49:41), Graham Lake 41st (50:26) Simon Toyne 73rd in 54:12, Steve Robinson 80th (54:58), Tom Lynch 101st (57:42), Hugh Pearson 112th (59:40), Steven Boddy 140th (62:35), Caron Ralph 153rd(63:49), Sarah Fuller 177th(68:48), Liz Fawcett 178th (69:08), Sean O’Halloran 213th(84:34) & Lisa Maughan(85:25)