Sunday 27th March: Guiseley Gallop

Sunday 27th March: Guiseley Gallop

Report from Howard:
I am writing this report with ice on a slightly swollen ankle. Not, as you might imagine, achieved on the muddy bumps of the race route but walking the dog up the track afterwards! Went over on it, not once but twice, what a dibble! Anyway, as for the race, the route was altered from previous years due to storm damage to the rickety single track suspension bridge over the river. There were two laps, mainly within the woods on, as I have mentioned, quite a lot of wet muddy bumps and trips. The worst for me, was the thought of having to go up a bit of a nightmare hill, not once but twice. Those who know the normal course will also know where I mean and it is one of those where you might walk up pushing your knees, if you’re not a strong uphill runner. Thankfully we went beyond the usual turn off point, in previous years, you approached it from the other direction, so the hill was up to the same elevation but on a far more gradual ascent.
I was pleased that today, I lined up at the start feeling OK and the task for today was to beat, from my age group, the much improved David Wormesley from Hyde Park Harriers. My training is up to about half my normal amount so it was going to be a challenge which I relish. You have to be fairly close to the start in this race, as the first few hundred yards are down a steep stony bank and you need space to see where your feet go. The route then narrows through the woods although there are places to pass if you take a detour or two around trees. David set off a few yards in front but I overtook him going downhill towards the level stretch along the canal. I had expected to pull away but found he had tucked in behind for a while and then, with the confidence of some-one improving and going faster, overtook! Not so fast, I thought and tucked in behind which is always a benefit. The route then went up the hill, previously described and I could sense he was trying to shake me off. Well ha ha, I have not spent hours in a lather on the turbo, to be cut loose that easily. The hill grinds on and up and round before you get the respite of a great downhill stretch. Those familiar with my previous reports will remember I still fancy I can storm downhill. In the words of Woody Allen, it was ‘so long sucker’ and off I shot. At the bottom of the hill you did the same again and I think he was surprised he did not catch me up again on the canal stretch as my race form has been pretty suspect recently (for a known and rectified cause). I kept checking uphill through the woods that the gap was enough and sealed it on the downhill stretch. At the bottom of the descent the route climbs back up quite steeply again to the finish and half way up some-one passed me, no not David but I guessed another in my age group and he was flying compared to me. Never one to miss the opportunity to race, I mustered what strength I had left and held on to the top of the hill about 15 yards adrift. The course then has a short downhill, then turns up to the towards the finish. Made up 5 yards on the downhill, 5 more going up the hill, running out of track so switched up a gear 5 more yards, shoulder to shoulder! He looks up, I think a bit surprised to see me, and damn, he changes up a gear too. Not far to the finish and I can hear the ‘come on Otley’ cries, up on my toes now and it’s ‘so long sucker’ for the second time as I as I leave him in my wake and edge it by 2 seconds at the line. The winner of our age group was a couple of minutes ahead which did not surprise me. What did was that I came second, so not a bad day at the office. The race was won in 36.50 by Chris Miller of Harrogate Harriers and first lady was Emma Clayton of Leeds City in 40.14.



And from Graham:

I think the Guiseley Gallop was the first off-road race I did back in the day, and being walking distance from my house I thought I’d give it another go. Due to the flooding, the footbridge across the Aire was out of action (permanently?) so they’d decided on two laps of Esholt woods instead. This sounded better to me anyway, as the canal bit is pretty boring/painful.

The race started down a fast track through the woods, then a sharp right along by the old water works and along the road. I’d settled into a pace with Ed and Shaun Wilkinson of Keighley and Craven with Emma Clayton (international mountain runner medalist) pulling away a bit. Cutting up-hill for the first time through esholt woods we kept up a decent pace, but it was quite pleasant running through the woods. I’d tried to push on a bit on the descent, but on lap two as we hit the road Ed went in to road-runner mode and quietly slipped away, gaining maybe 20 metres by the woods. I gave up trying to catch him, but had two yellow vests to chase care of Skyrac and Pudsey. I’d been saving myself a bit for the final pull back up to Guiseley, but it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t quite catch the Pudsey vest, finishing in 13th place 40.44. Winner was Chris Miller of Harrogate with Ed finishing a great 8th in 40.10. Emma Clayton was 1st female in 10th, 40.14.

Great results all round. There were plenty of Otley AC guys and gals and the results were out really quickly considering there weren’t electronic timing chips, so here they are:

Pos “”Num “”M “”F “”Name “”Cat “”Cat Pos””Club “”Time 8 427 008 Edward Davies M (005/067) Otley AC 00:40:10 13 201 012 Graham Lake M35 (006/034) Otley AC 00:40:44 20 274 019 Robin Outtersides M35 (007/034) Otley AC 00:42:01 50 183 048 Gary Johnson M (017/067) Otley AC 00:44:51 73 484 070 Steven Robinson M40 (011/032) Otley AC 00:47:27 101 179 092 Howard Jeffrey M60 (002/021) Otley AC 00:49:15 158 449 017 Nicola Lee F35 (004/028) Otley AC 00:53:11 270 34 213 Colin Best M60 (013/021) Otley AC 00:59:13 293 306 224 Philip Robinson M70 (003/003) Otley AC 01:00:45 376 448 252 Sean O’Halloran M35 (033/034) Otley AC 01:08:45 394 7 137 Gloria Jackson F55 (007/009) Otley AC 01:10:59

Rest of results here:

Lots of photos c/o

2 thoughts on “Sunday 27th March: Guiseley Gallop

  1. Well done everyone, nice to catch up with you Howard before the race.
    I really enjoyed the revised route ! Fingers crossed they keep it.
    On the second lap my legs were feeling the half marathon and 10 mile races done in the previous 2 weeks. But a most enjoyable outing and good to be back on the mud.

  2. What fantastic ran Graham , your 40:44 is really impressive . A very good report from Howard and his 49:15 is a strong performance on this not usual two laps race , although in 2001 we did 3 laps inside the Nunroyd Park. Also Nicola L. had a super race with 53:11 that is fast and Gloria J. ran well also with 1:10 . Well done everyone .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.