A bumper field, possibly boosted by the demise of the Wharfedale Marathon, saw 367 runners set off from Threshield in muggy conditions following an earlier downpour.
Graham Lake, desperate to avoid the threatened storms, was first home in an impressive 19th place in 1:42:54, Lisa Maughan was 236th (2:21:23), Richard Hamer 249th (2:22:42 – Garmin track), Sara Richard 282nd (2:28:45), Ged Peacock 290th (2:31:02), Sue Tupling 341st= (2:50:40) and Sean O’Halloran 362nd (3:12:54).
Also there voicing their support were Jack and Kath; while ex-OAC member Sarah McBrinn also took part.
The race was won by Harry Coates (Wallsend Harriers) in 1:26:59 and the first lady in 28th place was Catherine Farrow (Ilkley Harriers) in 1:46:25. Baildon’s Quentin Lewis was third and his next race is Wednesday’s Otley 10. Full results and Jack’s photo on the club Flickr site here.
Richard Hamer writes: Knowing the area well and having recce’d the route I knew there was nothing to fear, but having said that I’m not entirely sure I want or need to do it again.
Before the race the weather – or rather what was about to be thrown at us – was the talk of the HQ. There was a downpour before the start but nothing major.
It was muggy for me all the way to the top of the steep section of Mastiles Lane then fine drizzle started which was perfect for cooling me down after the constant uphill of the previous 1.3-miles. And then at the checkpoint before turning for Bordley House Farm the heavens opened; blustery wind trying to push me back and rain so hard I had to shield my face; in fact there was so much water running down my face it was a constant battle to see.
This continued until about Higher Heights Holes (about 1.7-miles) when it eased to a comfortable level but by then it was only about 3.5-miles to the finish; head up, chest out and motor on through the bogs on Threshfield Moor. And in the last half-mile I was catching a group of nine runners, until I had to stop for the traffic at the end of Skirethorns Lane.
My top tip for future runners is to get as high up in the field as you can in the first half-mile because just after that, when the race leaves the road, there’s a queue to enter a stepped alleyway, which pretty much determines where you’ll finish in the race.
Sean O’Halloran writes:
Deciding to explore more of the off-road delights I decided to enter the Wharfedale Half-Marathon, and glad I did. There were over 450 people on the start line for this race and the half was the only option this year.
Arriving nice and early Lisa and I had plenty for time for the usual pre-race rituals and chance to chat to others (not just from OAC). The race got under way and before we got into a rhythm we came to a bottle neck on some early steps. Once past the steps we picked up the Dales Way path which was a steady climb up to Scott Gate Lane checkpoint. Having touched in with the electronic tag it was a down hill section and some relief for the legs.
Receiving encouragement from Jack and Kath it was not long before we were at the foot of Mastiles Lane and for the challenge to really start. Mastilles Lane is a character building hill of about two-miles which gains about 800 feet in height. Making this hill worse for me was the sideways rain, however, this gave my new jacket a good test (money well spent).
The second check point was at the top of Mastiles Lane, again touching in with the tag we came to an undulating section of the race. However, due to following the people in front we had taken a wrong turn as the flags could not be seen. Realising our mistake we retraced out steps and picked up the route (half a mile extra).
The conditions under foot had become very muddy, due to the heavy rain and other runners ploughing the path, but it was still runnable. After many rises and falls we came to the Higher Heights Checkpoint and the same routine of tagging in. The next section was similar to the last and after checking in at the Boss Moor Checkpoint we were on to the finish section, however, we had a moor to cross first.
As you can expect from a moor there was plenty of mud, bogs, water and peat holes. This section was my favourite part of the race, even if I did slip on my arse. At the end of the moor we were greeted with Tarmac and it was less than a mile to the finish.
This was a fantastic and challenging race, made tougher by poor weather conditions, and one I shall do again. The route was well marked (if you look for the flags) and marshalled all the way around. I think all OACers had a good race.
I managed to complete the race in a time of 3:12:54.