Monday 26th to Tuesday 27th December – Chevin Chase & Jolly Holly Jog

Monday 26th to Tuesday 27th December – Chevin Chase & Jolly Holly Jog

A Christmas bonanza from Howard:

These two races are normally separated by a day or two and I like to do them both as they are bang in the middle of the holiday period and are a great antidote to all that Yuletide cheer and festive fun. This year they have been one long run, interrupted by a nights rest. I promised myself I would take the CC steady and use it as a training run and then race the JHJ. The CC was a sell out again with 986 finishers so quite a crowded start. I stationed myself well back from the front and it took 15 seconds to get to the chip timing mat. The road is narrow and gradually uphill so the going was slow to the left turn onto a narrow stony track towards the Chevin. Here it was single file and steady with no passing so quite what I had in mind. The route climbs up to the top of an incline and then descends quite dramatically down a rocky rutted gulch which can be quite tricky. Today it was fairly dry so a carefully picked descent takes you to a muddy track back up through the woods. I was still at training pace and had warmed up a bit so was picking off people who were slower but had started in front. There is then a rapid descent through the woods which have been sheltering us all from the tail end of a hurricane force wind. A competitor behind went off the track and it sounded like a charging elephant through the undergrowth crashing and splintering to the exclamations of the crowd experiencing what sounded like a firework display. I just hope they were not hurt. Training pace down the hill so still not tempted to race, so was quite pleased with my self-control. On the next climb up through the woods towards the Otley Road which we cross, I spot two arch rivals in my age category and am quite surprised to be so close. Still not tempted to give chase as I think I am overhauling them at training pace. Sure enough I overtake them both just before the drinks station at 4.5 miles. The route undulates a bit through more woods but you are on the edge and you could feel the wind for the first time in your face. The route turns sharp left and goes what seems like vertically and it is a tough section and slippery underfoot. I am sure some people are going faster uphill whilst walking backwards downhill than I am managing! Plenty of local support for Otley AC including Andrew for the second time and I hear what sounds like ‘and now Pat’ from him so I suspect there is a fellow Otley AC runner not far ahead. No I think to myself , must save it for tomorrow. The route eventually grinds up to the top of the Chevin where it feels a bit like the tour de France. Despite the breeze the sun is out and there is a large crowd at the top squeezing in from both sides. Quite a few people have slowed right down here so, as politely as I can, I excuse and elbow my way past to maintain the pace. At the top the path gives way to a tarmac road (the course is slightly changed from my last memory of it) and it is fairly level into the teeth of a gale. Quite a struggle so I find shelter behind a robust looking character who is powering his way into the wind. He slows down just so I can’t shelter (I am lightweight and o/60 ffs) but I am able to dig in and catch up a group who provide some shelter a bit ahead. One of them is the age group winner from last year and a great rival again struggling. They don’t seem to be going fast enough, so despite the breeze I forge a bit ahead and have the chap who slowed down at my shoulder giving it ‘your powers are weak old man’. We slog through an incredibly wet and muddy track for a few hundred yards ( the water went up to my knees in one spot) but then the road is tarmac again with about a mile of sublime downhill with one minor incline to the finish. I have gone at training pace up to this point but then several things happen. I spot the Otley vest Andrew had mentioned about 300 yards ahead (turned out to be Laura Martin who was also storming down the hill). The erstwhile windbreak wanted to show me how to run downhill and memories and plans are all very well but we live in the here and now and right now I felt good! THIS is how you run downhill and I switched on the afterburners and flew down the long hill to the sharp right up the short hill and kept up the momentum to the finish. Turns out I was 2nd 0/60 by a minute, so a ‘what could have been’ kind of day. I was 243rd in 55.42 chip time in the race which was won by Jonny Brownlee (again!) in 38.27. First lady was Pauline Munro in 63rd position in 48.13. Lots of Otley AC people there and filtered as follows:

1 Robin Outtersides 00:44:48 Results
2 Graham Lake 00:47:08 Results
3 Rogan Ashton 00:47:36 Results
4 Paul Kaiser 00:48:14 Results
5 Gary Johnson 00:49:13 Results
6 Tom Paget 00:51:28 Results
7 Christian Hosker 00:54:56 Results
8 Chris Stacey 00:55:09 Results
9 Howard Jeffrey 00:55:56 Results
10 Laura Martin 00:56:05 Results
11 John Dade 01:01:45 Results
12 Nicola Lee 01:02:18 Results
13 Mary Hampshire 01:02:41 Results
14 John Davis 01:04:42 Results
15 Martin Gaskin 01:07:45 Results
16 Hugh Pearson 01:09:06 Results
17 Sara Richards 01:11:38 Results
18 Rob Fearnley 01:12:49 Results
19 Gloria Jackson 01:17:28 Results
20 Emma Thomson 01:20:45 Results

Photos from Woodentops 1, 2, 3, 4.


Went home for a change of kit and a break and set off the following day for the JHJ.  Conditions ideal as the wind had eased off completely, the sun was out and it was just warm enough to race in a vest. Another sell-out race with 757 finishers. I lined up much closer to the front today and across the field to the country road which rises up to a sharp right turn across a rising field of quite thick wet mud again. I had feared my legs would have been completely sapped from the CC but I maintained a steady reasonable race pace. The order was sorting itself out as you went up the hill and then a descent across a claggy field, through a short wood and across a bridge over the river at Studley lake. There is a tough climb up to mile 3 on grass and then the route alternates between quite muddy field and made up roads and paths. I had settled into a comfortably hard rhythm which Tom Hannah noticed as we passed him twice and he commented it looked like I was in race mode today. There were no real ill effects from yesterday and I finished 4 minutes faster than last year in 90th position in 45.21, 2nd o/60 again but 2 full minutes adrift and going hard today so that was as good as it was going to be. The race was won by Ben Pease of Ripon Runners in 34.51, first lady in a brilliant 6th place in 38.09, Caroline Lambert of Wetherby runners. They did not have my club name in the results so apologies if I miss any fellow B&Ws who also finished but not a bad turn-out with the following in the results :

211 1 Andrew Ackroyd M60 Otley AC 0:51:48.2 0:51:36.7
251 2 Jacqueline Ackroyd F50 Otley AC 0:53:32.4 0:53:22.0
337 932 Liz Yates F40 Otley AC 0:56:26.2 0:55:16.7
347 84 Colin Best M60 Otley AC 0:56:51.3 0:55:43.3
364 849 Chris Tomlinson M30 Otley AC 0:57:31.9 0:56:52.1
371 933 Ann Yeadon F40 Otley AC 0:57:37.6 0:56:29.0
441 423 Laura Hind F30 Otley AC 1:00:09.1 0:59:00.3
485 848 Charlotte Tomlinson F30 Otley AC 1:02:06.1 1:01:25.4



2 thoughts on “Monday 26th to Tuesday 27th December – Chevin Chase & Jolly Holly Jog

  1. I did the Chevin Chase several time in the past , and reading Howard’s report it looked like to me , I was doing the race once again , I could image crossing Otley road with the crowd shouting encouragement to runners or at the top of the Chevin with loads of people around you . Howard J. ran in 55.42 it is a strong performance , also Robin O. had a good day at the races with a super 44.08 ,and Tom P. too ran a fast 7miles in 51.28. Laura M. had a superb race in 56.05 and Gloria J. did well also with a good 1.17 a nice result . All ran well .

  2. For some reason I have never done this Jolly Holly Jog , although the route reminds me of the Ripon handicap race . In the past I have done several times racing twice in 24 hours , but no more since I hit my 60 , just the energy is not there anymore. I just do not know where Howard find the stamina for two very strong days running his 45.21 done after the Chevin Chase, also 4 minutes faster then last year , just fabulous racing . Anna Y. ran well in 56.29 is a nice performance and it is good to see Charlotte T. back on the races result , her 1.01 is an encouraging result. Well done everyone.

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