Tom Lynch writes: This race report could just consist of the word “WINDY”, but I will try and elaborate.
The race was a sell out a few days before, and there were no entries on the day, however the starting/finishing field was well down on this with about 80 people missing from the start line – the weather may have had something to do with this with almost strong winds and some drizzle prior to the start, thankfully the rain held off for the most part.
I wasn’t really expecting much from the race as I optimistically entered whilst I was injured, and I was only just back into fully fit condition, there were about 5 other Otley runners lined up at the start too. The start was the usual scramble to get position for the climb up to the Cow and Calf, where Andrew Robertshaw was waiting there to cheer us on. I got a pretty poor start, but it meant I actually overtook some people later in the race, which is unusual for me in this race, I never seem to have a particularly good time in it. As soon as the climb was over we were immediately exposed to strong winds blowing up the valley, and the race then basically consisted of either running into the strong wind, running downhill in treacherous muddy (even for Ilkley Moor) conditions and/or wind, or running uphill, sometimes into the wind. I felt quite strong this year, overtaking a few of my local rivals, but my watch was telling me another story, despite a good descent section on the final part of the race down from Badger Stone I was several minutes off last years’ time. It became clear after the race that pretty much everyone was at least several minutes down on their expected times due to the wind…….…Did I mention it was windy?
The winner of the race was Tom Adams (Ilkley Harriers) in 39.13, and first lady (and also first FU23) was Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri Harriers) in 51.11. First in for Otley in 75th was Graham Lake in 53.00, then Rogan Ashton 94th 55.12, Tom Lynch 100th 55.27, Gary Johnson 208th 67.01, Andy Webster 225th 68.27 and Caron Ralph 264th 73.12, with 312 finishers. Results at http://www.ilkleyharriers.co.uk/index.php?page=imr
And also from Graham Lake:
Rather muddy and windy this one. Always good fun with some cracking descents, but there was no let-up this year as even on the flat you were teeth-in to a 50 mph gale. I personally found it tough, and was really struggling on the hills. I also managed to fall quite hard on what I thought was soft heather, but turned out to be hard rock.
The race was won by Tom Adams in 39.13 just ahead of last year’s winner Simon Bailey.
1st Lady was Bronwen Jenkinson of Eryri Harriers in 51.11.
For Otley were
Graham Lake 75th in 53.00
Rogan Ashton 94th in 55.12
Tom Lynch 100th in 55.27
Gary Johnson 208th in 67.01
Andy Webster 225th in 68.27
Caron Ralph 264th in 73.12
My time was 7 minutes slower than my course PB, mainly due to the wind, I guess most others found it pretty tricky too. We did get a nice Ilkley Fell Race Buff though.
Results and photos here http://www.ilkleyharriers.org.uk/