Archive for December, 2014

Sunday 14th November – Peco XC, Nostell Priory

Frank Beresford made a guest appearance at the second Peco XC meeting of the season – and won! Frank finished in 28:41, followed by Joe Baxter of Pudsey and Bramley in 28:56. Results here

Guest appearance by Frank

Guest appearance by Frank


Sunday 14th December – Simonside Cairns Fell Race

Report from the Hon. Handicapper

Thanks to Colin & Judith’s hospitality at their holiday cottage just off the A1, about 5ish miles from Bamburgh I traveled up to Northumberland Saturday afternoon for this 11 miles and 540m fell race from Rothbury.  For a fell race those figures don’t seem too tough in terms of ascent per mile but that doesn’t tell the whole story.  A mid week covering of snow on the local fells  followed by a thaw meant conditions underfoot were extremely wet.  After a couple of miles on tracks, the route gets serious with a loop of 7 ish miles of moorland terrain and forest paths where it was a constant battle against the terrain, slipping and sliding across waterlogged paths.

The highest point of the loop is the summit of Simonside at 429m.  The section before this proved to be the hardest part of the race, through the heather and  an innocuous stream crossing which proved to be anything but, as I sank down, waist deep in the freezing water!  Once the Simonside summit was passed the strong side wind was buffeting you off the narrow path.  Back along the ridge the descents on the eastern side  still had deep snow drifts at least a foot deep.  I was thankful when I reached the end of the loop and could descend the outward journey back to Rothbury.  Did I enjoy it? hmm afterwards perhaps.. it was hard work, so it was good in a masochistic way!

Race headquarters at the Newcastle House Hotel served Wharfebank beer, so it had to be tested to see if it traveled well.

Full results to the NFR site here., 1st David Beech, NFR 1:26:14, 1st Lady Karen Robertson, NFR 1:43:17: myself 7th (2nd v45), 1:33:18,  71st Colin Best 2:14:39.  Photos via the Northumberland FR site here.


Saturday 13th December – Gathering Winter Fools’ Relay

8 merry fools, along with some merry supporters, gathered like a right bunch of wallys on a very cold and frosty morning; icy slopes galore to contend with. Results will appear here

Renee, Sarah and Sean at the start of Leg 3

Renee, Sarah and Sean at the start of Leg 3


Caron and Jackie on Leg 2

Caron and Jackie on Leg 2


Tamara, Renee, Ann and Gemma at the  Leg 3/Leg 4 handover

Tamara, Renee, Ann and Gemma at the Leg 3/Leg 4 handover

Laura and Andy at the start of Leg 2

Laura and Andy at the start of Leg 2


Rich, Sara, Louise and Shane at the start of Leg 1.

Rich, Sara, Louise and Shane at the start of Leg 1.

Team 7 picked up their wooden spoon – and the 2nd mixed team prize – and set off as follows:

Leg 1 – Richard Smith and Shane Ewen

Leg 2- Laura Martin and Andrew Webster

Leg 3 – Renee Saxton and Tamara Weatherhead

Leg 4 – Two Ps in a pod 🙂 – Matt Podd and Hugh Pearson


Team 8 carried their wooden spoon all the way round as:

Leg 1 – Sara Elliott and Louise Riches

Leg 2 – Jackie Acroyd and Caron Ralph

Leg 3 – Ultra Sarah and Sean O’Halloran

Leg 4 – Gemma Harrington and Ann Yeadon



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Saturday 13th December – Park Runs



Gender Position



Run Time

1 1 Harry PATEMAN Unattached 00:17:46
43 1 Ai Lyn TAN Unattached 00:22:01
58 4 Nicola Lee Otley AC 00:22:45






Gender Position



Run Time

1 1 Adam BARLOW Unattached 00:16:44
12 1 Emma JOLLEY Unattached 00:20:17
148 95 Nick HODGKINSON Otley AC 00:36:00


Sunday 7th December – West Yorks. Cross Country – Nunroyd Park

Report from the Hon. handicapper.

A bitterly cold day and mud , now that’s what is called cross country and the final race of the series at Nunroyd Park didn’t disappoint.  After our juniors had run in the morning  the senior ladies set off on their 3 lap, 6k ish course.  2 shorter laps followed by one large one that included the traditional shin deep mud at the end of the extra field.  This time Caron Ralph was joined by Pange Srivastava and both ran well finishing 62nd & 97th respectively in times of 31:13 & 36:29, and particularly good to see Pange back injury free.  Reversing the leading positions from Cliff Castle Alex Bell from Pudsey & Bramley won in 22:17 ahead of Katie Walshaw of Holmfirth.

The senior men’s race was 4 large laps, so the muddiest section had to be negotiated on each lap.  Tom Adams, Ilkley H. was first home in 33:50 23 seconds ahead of Kim Critchley, York Knavesmire.  First for Otley in 17th was Scott Harrington, 37:02, followed by myself 29th, 37:48,  55th Liam Dunne 40:04,  60th Shane Ewen 40:23,  108th Graham Lake 44:19,  and completing the 6 for the team 151st Antonio Cardinale 1:08:42,  Jon Greenwell struggled through 3 laps with a bad blister on his heal before having to call it a day.  Hope it heals quickly.

A much better season throughout finishing a team in all but one race,  finishing 9th team in this one & thanks to the senior Robertshaw’s & Mark Hall for coming along to support,  See full results here & photos on WoodenTops here.  Overall League results give Frank Beresford 2nd in the senior men’s category & a 3rd for myself in the 40-44 category,  thanks to Shane for staying and collecting these shields.


Sunday 7th October – Clywd Half Marathon

Report from our foreign correspondent Richard Smith.

RichardSmithClywdHalfMarationI made an impulsive decision last week to run the Vale of Clwyd Half Marathon, near Denbigh in picturesque North-East Wales. Having not raced this distance for a while, I was plunging myself into the fear of the unknown but fancied a trip out in a part of the UK I’ve not really explored. If my pre-race research serves me right, it was only the second running of the event and followed the perhaps more prestigious Conwy Half Marathon a week earlier. Approx. 125 entrants had registered at the start list so a small field of runners.

Bleary eyed, I made the trek to Llandyrnog, a small village down in the valley (said in my best welsh accent), consisting of only a couple of pubs, a post office, church and school. Thinking its a long way to get lost, I was delighted to see the familiar eye sore of luminous green and an abundance of lycra/combined lunge stretching upon approaching Llandyrnog village.

Having signed up at the race HQ, I made my way to the start which took place in the middle of a football field, and, of course, added to prominent blustery winds, the heavens immediately opened whilst sideways rain transformed into bouncing hailstone. Unquestionably the coldest I’ve been at a race start after Burley Moor 2013.

The first mile was a relatively quick one, but with the elements in full flow, runners had no option but to start steady. Within a quarter mile however, I found myself running alone and experienced the rare novelty of being in 5th position, with a leading pack of 4 gradually edging away into the distance. At around the mile mark, they were completely out of sight and I ran completely alone to the extent that it felt like a training run, albeit with a lot of sheep and strange place names which I couldn’t pronounce.

The whole race was run on tarmac, often bumpy, isolated and undulating country roads. Fortunately the roads were well protected by high hedgerows at either side making conditions more than tolerable after the early onslaught. It was an incredibly scenic route, offering cracking views of the Vale of Clwyd. No ‘killer hills’, but plenty of winding, undulations and two long drags at mile 4, and cruelly, at mile 10-11. It was at this point when I heard the pitter patter of footsteps behind me as a runner from Pocklington came storming past. Booming echoes of Howard Jeffrey’s ‘You shalt not pass!’ turned into a whimper as he passed me with ease. At least he wasn’t Lancastrian.

I clocked in at 1:23:07 (PB)  finishing in 6th place which, given the conditions, course profile and lone running made me feel really satisfied. 1st Paul Wathan, Eryri H 1:15:59, 1st Lady Aimi Hannant, Ruthin Tri. 1:30:26.  Full results here.


Sunday 7th December- Stockport 10

Report from Frank Beresford.

The Stockport 10 mile race takes runners through the streets and paths of Stockport. The race starts and finishes on the athletics track that is home to Stockport Harriers. The course is described as a road race, however there are about two miles of trail on the course and a couple of hefty hills for the runner to enjoy. The weather was cold and during the first two miles it rained heavily with moments of hail, keeping runners refreshed!

At Stockport 10 mile I was the sole runner representing the Black and Whites. I arrived to the race well rested, for a change and ready to run. The race started very fast which can be expected with the quality of runners that where in the field. I kept with the leading group up until the 3rd mile, where I decided to lay of the gas to avoid early burn out. It was a wise decision as I continued to run comfortably yet hard throughout the remainder of the race. I managed to overtake a runner in a sprint finish which I am rarely able to achieve, showing the hard training is paying off. My time was 54.24 minutes which is took off 1 minute 35 seconds of my PB. I feel I can still improve on this further, as I did not feel particularly tired considering I managed to get a PB. For me now a couple days off before I attack the training again, to improve further.

The Stockport 10 mile race was very well organised, well marshalled and the goody bags provided for all the runners where superb. I will be running this race next year and would recommend this race every runner.

1st Andrew Davies, Stockport H 50:25.  1st Lady Ali Lavender, Oswestry 58:12.  Frank Beresford 8th 54:24.  Full results now available here.


Sunday 7th December – Guys 10

Report from Howard Jeffrey: for the Guys 10 & the Leeds Hyde Park run.

Yes it’s time for the weekend supplement from travelling race correspondent ‘Ono Notimagen’

I woke before the lark on Saturday morning and was on the road back from Bath at 3.00am. Got home at 7.00 am and because I had not done all the training planned in the week I decided to get the legs turning over at a Park run. Lovely sunny morning at Hyde Park in Leeds although a bit fresh! Happy enough with 20.30 and only Otley AC participant.

That was the precursor to the Guys 10 near Garstang/Preston. I did it in 2011 and just got under 70 minutes so was aiming for the same today. The weather was foreboding on the way over the Pennines, black clouds and heavy showers with scary gusts of wind. Forecast was for dry with sun and sure enough by the start it was clear because the wind had driven away the clouds!! Obviously needed to average under 7 minute miles to hit the target but went through mile one in 7.15 oops!

A couple of miles in there was a bit of fun with a loose horse that decided to show us all how fast you could run if you had four legs and massive hind quarters. Could have been dodgy and disrupted a few runners who were trying to catch the lead rope but were just scaring it more. Half a ton of horseflesh running scared is a thing to be far far away from; not a confined, crowded, slippery country lane where the rest of the ‘herd’ is running away from an unknown danger!!!

Thankfully he pulled into his home farm yard at about mile 3 no harm done….no staying power!!

The wind in our faces meant at halfway it was 35.36. Not too far adrift and chance of a tailwind so still hopeful. At 7 miles I picked out a couple of targets in front to run down and passed the first one at 9 miles and the second just in front of the line ( he ran round a giant puddle; I went through it!) in …….1.09.57……. (Yes!!) 84th out of 348, 6th in o/60 (it is always tough in Lancashire). The race was won by Gary Pennington of Preston Harriers in 54.46. First Lady Hannah Oldroyd (18th place) in 1.01.11 a UK net runner (is that a club or a website?) Sole B&W at this one. Full results : Garstang Running Club here.


Saturday 6th December – Frostbite Ultra

Neil Charlton reports:

Why is it that after months of injury free running, when a big race comes along, I have the remnants of a cold?

Thinking I could ‘hang on’ for 30 miles of tough Nidderdale trail and fell I turned up for the Frotbite 30 only to be told that due to a course change it was now the Frostbite 34 with an extra fell involved. There was a 10 mile loop south of Patley Bridge and then a 24 mile loop north.

So I started well feeling ok. The weather was clear and crisp with a nice frost hardening the mud to make it fairly easy going. After a steady first 10 I was still feeling ok and went into the big loop feeling strong. I overtook a few runner’s who had powered past me in the opening 10 thinking I might just be able to get a good time.

All was well until Middlesmoor and the biggest climb of the day. The wind started blowing hard and the mist and rain rolled in. So with the hat and gloves and waterproof top on a pressed up the moor. There were plenty of people walking at this point and the elements made it really tough. This weather continued on like this until about 28 miles where my body decided it had had enough of running into the wind and rain. I had nothing left in my legs and it felt like the cold was coming back and then some!

I passed the last checkpoint determined not to pack it in, and I was determined at least to finish and walked the last 6 miles or so. About 30 people must have passed me in this last bit.

I didn’t get a great time compared to some of the other longer races earlier this year, but I’m glad I finished it. I’ll classify this as good training and a nice day out on a beautiful route.

Results not out yet.


Saturday 6th December – Park Runs

A quiet week for Otley at the park runs.  Howard Jeffrey flew the flag at Leeds Hyde Park finishing 40th in a time of 20:30.  Matthew Akpan was first across the finish line in 17:01 and Treena Johnson, Dewsbury RR was first lady with a time of  19:03.

Further afield Sean O’Halloran ran at the Alice Holt event in the South Downs National Park, finishing 75th in 30:55, first here was Laurence Hollom, Haslemere Border AC in 19:52, first lady was Naomi Taylor, Cani-Cross in 22:36.