Archive for November, 2015

Sunday 15th November – Leeds Abbey Dash

Report from Howard Jeffrey:

My Abbey Dash Hell… by Al  Abowtmee

How can I perform at my best when there are 12,000 other entrants jostling for the attention I am expecting.  Also what is left of my hair did not look good in the strong wind and pouring rain either.  Getting to the start dahlings was a nightmare with no-one letting me through.  That is until we got to the VIP start bin where the orange and light blue numbers were being selected.  At last some semblance of order. Many old (!) friends enquiring what time I am expecting.  The anticipated start time placard said 35 minutes… so pretty obvious, although my modesty imposed upon me to suggest between 42 and 45 minutes. The ‘gun’ went exactly on time and….a few chaps at the front set off and for what seemed like forever we just stood there… I ask you!  Finally the throng, for that it had become, slowly edged toward the start line.  Away we went and comfortably got to 2K in less than 8 minutes round a dogleg into the retail estate off Kirkstall lane.  Turning back onto Kirkstall Lane I could feel my left hamstring.  Oh no its going to be a DNF… Moi?  Unheard of!  Eased off a bit and the stiffness slacked off but so did the pace.  Approaching the Abbey and I happened upon a chap who said he had a sore hamstring. Shorten the stride and take short mincing steps I suggested.  What kind of steps he asked.  Mincing… stops the hamstring extending and contracting too much whilst you can still go forward.  We can support each other to the finish he said as he was being sponsored…then promptly had to pull up.  I continued to mince along (in a manly way) to half way which I got to in about 22.30 so slowing drastically.

The rain had stopped at some stage and it was unseasonably warm (15 degrees?) and it was a pleasure for all those others to accompany me back to the Town Hall.  The hamstring held out to the finish but was definitely a bit stiff as I crossed the finish line. 45.26 by my watch so the chip time when it comes will be interesting.

SERIOUSLY. Hats off to Abbey runners for another top event well organised and phenomenally successful. Lots of other Otley vests on show but the results are to follow so I am not sure who they were or who won or whatever.

Results:, please comment if you know of any Otley AC members who’ve been missed from the results.  1st Dan Studley,  Bristol & West 29:43 ,  1st Lady, Charlotte Arter, Cardiff  33:00.

Jamil Parapia, (2nd claim), 31:44,  Frank Beresford,  33:04,  Scott Harrington,  33:39,  Racheal Bamford, (2nd claim), 35:03,  Tom Midgley 36:08,  Jeremy Stewart  37:35,  Graham Lake  38:24,  Steven Robinson,  40:52,  Christian Hosker 43:32,  Cadan Hoare 42:36,  Howard Jeffrey 44:57,  Chris Batley 43:35,  Nicola Lee 46:59,  Sara Elliott 46:18,  Andy Webster 46:35,  Chris Tomlinson 48:14,  Mary Hampshire 48:32,  Andrew Rayner 49:38,  Melvin Hoare 50:28,  Neil Reed 50:58,  Ged Peacock 53:24,  Charlotte Tomlinson 54:30,  Martin Gaskin  54:29,  Jenna Wood 57:41 and a big well done to all of Billy & Sara’s beginners who took part 🙂


Saturday 14th November – Masters Home Countries XC

Report from Liam Dunne:

LiamDunneHomeCountriesIt’s been a busy racing calendar recently with 9 races in as many weeks, with 4 of the last 5 being x- country races in Ireland.
The first was the trials for the Masters Home Countries XC which includes Ireland, Scotland,Wales, England and N. Ireland. The trials were held in the Phoenix Park, Dublin and this event was graced with the presence of two legendary Irish runners, Sonia O’Sullivan and Fionnula Britton.

I was hoping to qualify for the Irish team in the M40 category but with Ireland being the host nation this year it turned out to be a very competitive age group and I could only manage 14th overall in a well packed field. With only 6 being selected for the country in each age category I will have to wait for next year to have another crack at it.
The next trip was the Leinster (Provincial) Masters XC and I finished 21st in this one and 6th M40. The following week it was a trip back to my home county for the Laois Senior XC Champs and this time I finished 11th.
It has to be said that I was a little disappointed with most of the xc courses this year, there was very few hills, and with the dry and mild weather there was a serious lack of mud.

This weekend just gone it was the Masters Home Countries XC event and this brought all the mud required for a traditional xc event. I knew a lot of the guys competing as we had a record 5 individuals from my county competing, with one being from my home club.

Ireland were really strong and won many individual and team gold medals as well as winning the overall competition, narrowly beating England.
I entered the last race of the day the Masters Open XC Race (6K) which was made up of several reserves from the various competing countries.I was happy to finish in 3rd behind the two English M35 reserves. All results of the day can be found on;!race-results/mia2s


Saturday 14th November – Tour of Pendle

Report from Shane Ewen:

Jim Sneath & I made the journey on Saturday to wet & windy Lancashire for the infamous Tour of Pendle fell race in our black n white vests (albeit hidden under our waterproof jackets).

With poor weather forecasted, the RO took the difficult decision to shorten the course, cutting out the final two climbs including the memorable Big End. However, it still clocked in at 14 miles with approx 2,750 ft climb, including the magnificently bonkers descent we call Geronimo (I stayed on my feet too!).

Conditions were never quite as bad as predicted, but it was the right decision. The marshals and other volunteers do a cracking job to keep 420 runners moving safely through the countryside; no reported losses to either the weather or witches!

The course was wonderfully boggy, & I especially enjoyed splashing through muddy puddles before the sprint finish (yes, there was energy left in my legs so obviously not trying hard enough).

Rob Hope won in 1 hr 45 mins 30 secs. Not sure who was second (Clayton I think), but Ian Holmes was third.  Michelle Tenwick, Pudsey Pacers runner took the women’s prize, 2hrs 14 mins. 14 secs.  I took it easy, with eyes on a longer race in a few weeks. No idea where I finished but timed myself at 2 hrs 21mins 13 secs, (117th).  Jim was another 20 minutes behind,  2 hrs 39 mins 55 secs, (242nd), & had a good run, again with the same longer race in mind.

Good to see friendly faces. As usual, this was really well organised. Kieran, the RO, does a tremendous job to organise it every year.

Full results available here:


Saturday 14th November – Autumn Shakespeare Half Marathon

Report from Tom Lynch:

While visiting family I took the chance to get in a half marathon before the end of the year. It was another opportunity to get a PB since I haven’t raced this distance for several years prior to joining the club. The course is a multiple 5k lap course around the former runways of Long Marston airfield near Stratford-Upon-Avon which is now used as a drag racing track. The race combined a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon race. Conditions were fairly good, although with a persistent breeze straight down the long straight to finish which was a bit draining.

The winner of the half was Jonathon Tipper in 1:13:11, first woman was Rachel Wood in 1:26:57 and I came in 25th in a time of 1:31:13 (1:31:02 chip).

Results: here

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Saturday 14th November – Race 3 WYXC League – Keighley

Report from the Hon. Handicapper.

With the alternative attraction of the Abbey Dash tomorrow, we unfortunately didn’t quite manage to finish a team in either of the senior races.  The course next to Cliffe Castle was easily the muddiest so far this season. Each lap included a steep climb, followed by a very tricky adverse camber, a steep muddy downhill and then a short steep bank, which several people struggled to even get up!  The rest was of the lap was a flat, punctuated with several switch backs to disrupt the rhythm.

As usual the ladies were first off for the seniors and there was a tight battle on the first two of the 3 lap course, between the track star Alex Bell, Pudsey & Bramley & Mountain, Fell, Cross Country specialist Katie Walshaw, Holmfirth.  Alex eventually prevailing by 11 seconds in 19:33.  Caron Ralph revelled in the conditions to finish 49th 27:16, followed by Jackie Ackroyd in 63rd, 29:51.

The mens race was 4 large laps & 1 short and Tom Adams, Ilkley H. dominated again but young Emile Cairess from Leeds pushed him a little harder this time, Tom winning in 23:24.  I made a school boy error getting caught unawares on the last lap thinking I had another lap to go,  doh.. finishing 29th 26:49, next was David Cattanach, 127th 45:28, battling with Sean for much of the race who was just behind 128th 45:55, and last but definitely not least was Antonio Cardinale 129th 51:20.

PS. If anyone wants to run at the next one at Nunroyd Park, Yeadon on Sun. 6th Dec. & isn’t already entered in the league.  Please let me know.  It’s not too late to enjoy the thrills & spills of the West Yorks. cross country.


Saturday 14th November – Park Runs

Fountains Abbey:  1st Mark Bryant Unattached 17:34,  1st Lady Suzanne Rickard, Ripon Runners 21:56,  7th Peter Crowder 19:32,  53rd Gilly Wight 25:05.

Keswick:  1st Des Morris Unattached 18:57, 1st Lady Annabel Holmes, Keswick AC 21:25,  51st Joanna Hobson 27:29, (A park run pb by 43 seconds for Joanna).

Wetherby: 1st Jamie Thompson, Wetherby R. 20:33,  1st Lady Gill Boynton, York Acorn RC 26:59,  15th Howard Jeffrey 26:30.

Woodhouse Moor: 1st Daniel Lawton, Stockport H. 16:11,  1st Lady Maxine Thompson, Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton H. & AC 20:35,  41st James Kettleborough 21:17.


Thursday 12th November: todmorden 5k

Report from Tom Lynch

It was a dark and stormy night, so I decided to go for a run in a park in Todmorden, one of the wettest races I’ve had this year! The race is part of a 4 race series of 5k races round a 1 mile lap starting at Todmorden Cricket Club and looping round Centre Vale Park. The race starts at 18:45 and so is run in the dark with headtorches. The course is potentially a good flat PB course, although it has a few sharps turns. However, in the wind, ankle deep puddles and the lashing rain, not to mention the darkness, it didn’t really work out for me. I got round in a time of 19:38 and came 9th, the winner was Rob James in 17:15 and first woman was Kay Welsby in 20:45. The race series is fairly cheap to enter, £22 for 4 races, or £7 per race, and you get chip timing, but they are fairly difficult to get to due to the early start time, I might consider one of the others if the weather looks better. Almost as challenging as the race was the drive home over the tops via Bingley.
Full results at


Sunday 8th November: Harewood 10

Report from Howard:

I have had a bit of a niggling injury since August so my running training has been a bit sporadic. A park run here a race there and the stamina maintained by the swimming and biking. To remedy the injury I have filtered all the conflicting advice from the internet and scheduled the recovery action which I started a couple of weeks ago. It seemed to work as I finished the Guy Fawkes 10 with no ill effect albeit a couple of minutes down on the time I hoped for.
The organisers of the Harewood 10, my second claim club, Valley Striders, have changed the date and moved it into November from October. I have always entered this race and decided not to go to do the Dalby Dash in North Yorkshire which I had entered long since.
The previous few days had seen a lot of rain and about an hour before the start it was tipping it down again. Although there is a lot of made trails and tarmac there is an appreciable distance over fields and unmade paths so fast times were not going to be likely. The start is on grass which was a bit wet and squidgy (the rain had stopped) and this year it continued downhill and back up to join the trail up, up and up alongside the Harrogate road for about a mile. There is then a nice long descent where I made up some ground on one of my age group, John Ward of Abbey Runners. He remained ahead till about 5 miles when I overtook him on the road by Eccup reservoir. That would normally have been job done but today when we went over the fields the wet mud was extremely slippery and likewise the wet leaves through the woods. Normally I just let fly on the descents but I did not want to risk an injury so held back somewhat. John pushed ahead and I thought I would rein him in again on the flat or up the last very steep hill. Lack of speed work has left me without any zip at the moment so although I felt strong and was pushing I made no ground up on the flat. I gained a bit up the last hill but finished 23 seconds adrift 2nd in the age group. Stiff calves and thighs today but no real ill effects I don’t think.
The race was won in a surprisingly quick time of 55.35 by Daniel Jenkin of Durham City Harriers. 1st Lady in 33rd place was Claire Cooper of Keighley and Craven in 69.41. I came in 98th place in 79.20 having shared the experience with Andy Barker who was 123rd in 81.30 and Steven Smale, 156th in 84.58. Tom Potter 160th in 85.41. 319 finished.


Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th November: Lakeland trails dirty double

kirsty tom

Report from Tom Pomfrett:

This weekend Kirsty Pomfrett and I headed over to Glenridding for the Lakeland Trails Dirty Double weekender. The weather forecast looked grim but we decided to brave the elements for what has become a regular fixture in our calendars.

The first race was the 14km Helvellyn trail on Saturday. After the long climb from Glenridding up to Helvellyn Youth Hostel the course turned sharply left and entered technical rocky and muddy ground back towards Linty’s Tarn. My plan was to try and gain a few places on this section which (while successful) resulted in some pretty spectacular bruises as my feet moved faster than my brain. After this we contoured back up to the head of Grisedale valley before the fast finish downhill into Patterdale.

From 256 finishers the results were: Jonathan Cox (Eden Runners) 1st (57:39), Tom Pomfrett 28th (1:07:51), Kirsty Marsden 158th (1:23:46)

Full results for day 1 can be seen here.

Sunday was meant to involve getting a steamer to the far side of Ullswater followed by a 13km run back to Glenridding but due to the high winds and battering rain this was changed to a mass start 9km out and back from the event centre. The course was a mixture a rock, mud and overflowing stream but passed surprising swiftly and we soon found ourselves back where we started attempting to dry out before the drive home.

From 343 finishers the results were: Jonathan Cox (Eden Runners) 1st (37:27), Tom Pomfrett 23rd (43:56), Kirsty Marsden – Result gone missing, the search continues!

Full results for day 2 can be seen here.

All in all a brilliant mud bath of a weekend, thoroughly recommended!


Saturday November 7th: Podium 5k

Report from Mark Hall:

The organisers claim that this is the fastest 5k in the UK and it would be hard to argue with this as it is 5 laps of a totally flat cycle circuit with a super smooth tarmac surface.

However, the evening I decided to do it (18.30 start!) it was raining and very windy, unfortunately, the wind was blowing down the long finishing straight which was not ideal for producing fast times. The event usually runs 2 races for fast and slower runners but due to a reduced entry there was only one race with a very small field. As a result unless you managed to get in a group you were alone for 5k and it was more of a time trial. This was my situation and I ran 5k alone and so was pleased with the result.

Zack Whitehead ran and recorded an excellent time finishing 14th in 16.08, not sure if this is a PB. Looking good for Abbey Dash.

Winner. Phil Sersman Blackheath 14.43
Mark Hall. 17.11 (20th)
Zack Whitehead. 16.08 (14th)
Number runners. 291