Archive for January, 2016

Sunday 31st January – Meltham “Tough” 10k

Report from Phil Robinson: 9.30am, 2oC, drizzly sleet, but conditions much better than last year (a local runner told me) when several competitors were hospitalised with hypothermia. I was glad to have full body cover unlike a rugged few in singlets and skimpy shorts. The route is just a series of climbs and descents, so for me it was into survival mode from the off, trying to avoid black thoughts whilst grinding slowly up the hills. The last exhilarating mile – all downhill – cleared the cobwebs and put a smile back on (almost) everyone’s face. A severe test but great fun – once it was over. The only other runner in my age group was Tim Cock, who finished a few minutes behind.

Results –

1 Matthew Pierson Stainland 34.25

2 Tom Kaye u/a 34.58

3 Philip Eccleston Burnden RR 35.57

160 Phil Robinson Otley 54.50

221 finished.


Saturday 30th January – Northern XC Championships

Report from our XC supremo, Sean O’Halloran: On Saturday I travelled over to Witton Park Outdoor Leisure Centre in Blackburn to keep my run of cross country races going and to take part in the Northern XC Championship race.

During my warmup the heavens opened to a torrent of hail and snow, accompanied with a head in artic gale and I managed to develop brain freeze. At this point I did question myself with “what the hell are you doing, it’s not as if you are going to win!!” I soon dismissed these negative thoughts and took up my position at the back of the gathering pack. There were over 700 senior men on the start line; the line was approx. 30m long and 10 runners deep. The starter’s gun went off and the race got underway with what can only be described as a medieval battle charge down the field to the first bend.

The senior men’s race was 12K race, a 4 lap affair with each lap being approx. 2km. Each lap contained two large climbs, one steep decent and one gradual decent with a few switch backs, total elevation gain was 865ft.  The course had treacle like mud nearly all the way round and was calf deep in places. I wore my 12mm XC spikes and wished I had 15mm as grip and traction was rare. But I have learnt how to control sliding while running and remain upright, only slipped over once. Weather conditions made the going even tougher, with horizontal hail/snow that hurt at times and with the arctic gales that caused further brain freeze but I was not going to stop until the end – I loved it!!!

I appreciate XC running is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a great experience to take part in such an event and I hope more OAC runners will take the plunge next season. Today I witnessed first-hand some awesome running in tough conditions. The front runners are machines and it’s amazing how effortlessly they glide around the course.

I am not the fastest person in the world and my mission in any of these top level races is not to come last. On Saturday I think there were 6 people behind me so I am pleased with that result as I could not have given it anymore and had jelly legs on the last 400m. Senior results are as follows:

 Senior Mens Race 12k
1st Charlie Hulson Sale Harriers Manchester 00:43:16
2nd Peter Huck Barrow & Furness Striders AC 00:43:24
3rd Jack Morris Stockport Harriers & AC 00:42:32
713th Sean O’Halloran Otley AC 01:36:18
Senior Ladies Race 7.7K
1st Claire Duck Leeds City 00:30:21
2nd Sarah Tunstall Kendal Amateur AC 00:30:41
3rd Rosie Smith Durham City Harriers & AC 00:30:44

Full results can be found here



Woodentops Soreen Stanbury Splash – 17th January 2016

Otley AC Juniors bounced out of bed on Sunday morning excited to be running in the snow up at Penistone Hill Country Park near Haworth.

As the car park was closed due to the weather they had a long hike up to the start of the race but managed to amuse themselves with snowball fights!!

The race starts in the quarry and goes out onto the moor, with a final trip into the quarry and back out again….phew those Saturday morning Chevin runs came in very handy on the hill climb out of the quarry for the second time.

In the U12 Boys race Jenson Brogden came 7th and Kieran Green was 14th.

In the U10 Boys race Aston Brogden came 8th and in the U14 Girls race Holly Davey came 2nd.

All finishers received a certificate and a goody bag.  They also did a chocolate throw out at the end so the Juniors took home plenty of sweet treats!!

Full results can be found here:



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Sunday 24th January: PECO xc

Report from Sean:

On Sunday I travelled just up the road to Golden Acre Park to run in the fourth race of this winters PECO series.

The race was approx. 4.2 miles and run within the grounds of Golden Acre park. This was a two lap race consisting energy zapping muddy sections, fast flat sections, short sharpe inclines and declines and some nice long uphill sections.

Being the fourth race in the series you start to recognise people and little battles get formed each race. Today I was strong through the mud and on the long up hill sections and won some of the battles. Even saved something for an impressive sprint finish (video on Facebook).

It was also good to see the usual junior contingent, In their age groups: Aston Brogden finished 15th (B4-6), Bjoern Koerdt finished 6th (B7-9), Jenson Brogden finished 8th (B7-9), Holly Davey finished 9th (G7-9) and Kieran Green finished 22nd (B7-9). Times to be confirmed only placings available at present.

The winner of the men’s race was Terry Forest from Ackworth RR in 25:53 and the ladies winner was Bronwen Jenkinson from Leeds University CC in 30:21

Sean O’Halloran finished in 45:29.

Full results can be found here.

Looking forward now to next weekend’s Northen XC Championships in Blackburn.


Sunday 24th January – East Lancashire Hospice 10k, Great Harwood

Report from Phil Robinson:

Rishton, Great Harwood and East Lancs are three of the former Lancahire League cricket teams I remember watching as a junior member at Nelson in the 1950s when the local professional was Johnny Wardle. So I revisited the Accrington area last weekend to test out my legs and lungs. The course was a mixture – bits of road, canal towpath, old railway line, muddy paths and parkland, with a nasty hill about halfway. My mediocre time was adequate enough to be 1st in age group (out of four). The only familiar face in the crowd of nearly 500 was that of Dave Smart, whom older members will remember as a former Otley runner; he’s just retired from running a pub in Silsden.


1 Danny Collinge Clayton-le-Moors 34.20
2 Philip Eccleston Burden Road Runners 34.50
3 Nick Gaskell Trawden AC 36.04
160 Phil Robinson Otley AC 51.20
279 David Smart Leeds Bradford Tri 58.15

457 finishers.


Sunday 24th January: jolly holly jog

Report from Howard:

According to Matthew, 20.16 ‘So the last will be first and the first will be last’ so it came to pass on the day of our Lord 24 January 2016 that the last race of 2015 the Jolly Holly Jog became the first race (for me anyway) of 2016. If it is not washed out again later this year it will also be the last of 2016! I was actually surprised that the race was possible so soon after the 40 days and 40 nights of rain but we got an email last week to say it was good to go. The day was very mild at 13 degrees and there was little wind so it was a good day for a run. They were able to accept entries on the day and there was a good turn out of 525 finishers and a DNF in position -1!
I did suspect that the ground would be waterlogged and muddy so the choice of shoe was my trusty chunky trail shoes. Sure enough the start across the field was slippery and churned up grass and mud, so a steady away start for most. There are a couple of sections of tarmac, otherwise I think spikes might have been better as the route across the fields was a bit of a quagmire and I saw a shoe or two come off with the suction. Some of the hills felt hard work and the thighs are a bit stiff today but all in all a reasonably solid run after a bit of a rest period to try and shift a persistent cough (since July ! Got a consultant on the case now as well )
The race was won by Tristan Learoyd of New Marske Harriers in 36.34. First Lady Sharon Barlow of Ripon Runners in 11th place in 40.45. I came in 81st in 49.28, Nicola Lee in 126th in 51.45 and Ursula McGouran in 151st in 53.16, all chip times


Saturday 23rd January – Park Runs


Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Sam Clegg Unattached 00:17:22
20 1 Ruby Firth Bingley H&AC 00:20:43
64 7 Sara Elliott Otley AC 00:23:16
103 93 Eriks Zvaigzne Otley AC 00:24:56
130 112 Rob Fearnley Otley AC 00:25:48
131 113 Stephen Small Otley AC 00:25:48
142 122 Andrew Rayner Otley AC 00:26:01
153 24 Ann Yeadon Otley AC 00:26:19

Fountains Abbey:

Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Ben Pease Unattached 00:16:57
25 1 Charlotte Wilton Thirsk & Sowerby H 00:20:58
57 50 Peter Crowder Otley AC 00:22:55
147 42 Milly Fink Otley AC 00:26:55


Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Christopher Russell Unattached 00:18:09
12 1 Myra Jones Valley Striders 00:19:57
117 100 Howard Jeffrey Otley AC 00:24:32

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Saturday 9th to 16th January: The Spine Race (report)

Report from Sarah Fuller:

I’ve sat staring at a blank piece of paper for 2 days now not knowing how to put this story into words. I guess a good story has beginning, middle and end and by now I expect most of you know the little plot twist. The journey started a year ago as I crossed the finish line of the spine challenger race – the 110 mile ‘baby brother’ of the full race and a demanding winter 100 in its own right. As I lay prone on Hawes village hall floor unable to move or string a sentence together I watched the full ‘spiners’ come in and go again to tackle the remaining 150 miles of the Pennine way. I remember uttering something like ‘don’t ever let me do something so silly as enter that’ but deep inside I felt jealous, jealous of the adventures they had still to come. So fast forward a few months and with the blisters healed and the happy memories remaining, I submitted my application for a place on the full race. There’s quite a selection criteria to satisfy but it seemed I fit the bill and was in.

I think its safe to say the race consumed me for the rest of the year, most of my training was geared towards it. I had to do a bit of Kit shopping to upgrade various bits and pieces, not just to satisfy the enormous kit list requirements but to satisfy me that I had the right gear to survive 7 nights on the Pennine Way in winter. I did a good few training weekends with the pack – 3 days round the bob graham round, 3 days round the Lakeland 100 and 3 days on the Pennine way itself for exampe. By Christmas I felt ready both mentally and physically although right up to the last minute lots of doubts remained – could I really do this? Did I really have what it took to carry on on my own in the dark in bad weather? Could I manage myself on the trail? Did I have the right equipment? Was I mentally strong enough to keep on plodding through hours and hours of darkness? What would I find out about myself during the process? The answers to all these questions would soon be laid bare.

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Sunday 17th January – Brass Monkey Half Marathon

Report from Sara Elliott:

The 2016 Brass Monkey half marathon lived up to its name yet again on Sunday in freezing temperatures. Thankfully there was no repeat of last year’s black ice issue, thanks to some great gritting, and it meant conditions were pretty much perfect for this flat, fast course.

It’s notoriously difficult to get a place in this popular race and as a result there was a pretty small group of black and whites-Billy, Mark Hall, Scott, Gemma and me. (Jamil being 2nd claim OAC).

Anyway, some super results with Scott home first for Otley in 1:10:25 (new PB), Mark Hall 1:16:43 (1st V55), Sara Elliott 1:39:35 (PB), Andrew Rayner 1:53:42, Gemma Harrington 1:55:14 (PB).  See full list of results here

Jamil finished 4th in an amazing 1:09:05, Well done everyone!!


Sunday 17th January – Stanbury Splash

Report from Colin Best:

Today’s Stanbury splash was once again changed to the stoop route. Think it would have been no worse to run the proper route shame as was looking forward to wading thorough icy water.  Still had to settle for having to extract myself from bottomless bog instead. Just not cold enough to freeze over.  Still all good fun. Excellent run from Tom Pomfrett. Close packing from Bob Baker Kirsty Pomfrett and myself. Could have been closer if I could learn to tie shoelaces.  Managed to hold of Don Buffham though.

Results: 1st Tom Adams 31.14, 1st Lady Helen Berry 39.03,  68th Tom Pomfrett 42.14,  213th Bob Baker 52.55,  216th Kirsty Pomfrett 53.09,  223rd Colin Best 53.22,  249th Don Buffham 57.20.  Photos and results on Woodentops here.