Archive for April, 2017

Sunday 30th April – European Duathlon Championships Soria, Spain

Report from Howard Jeffrey:

Apparently every year about this time in mid Spain there is an atrocious weekend of weather. You guessed it….the weekend of the race. Arrived in good time on Thursday for all the necessary prep for the race on Sunday, briefings, registration, setting up etc. On Friday, after a minus 4 degree frost in the morning we were able to sit out in the sun. Saturday was variable, breezy and cool with some rain. Come Sunday for the sprint distance in the early morning the weather was like an early March day in the UK so not too bad, although the barriers with adverts had started to blow over. The standard distance for us set off at 11.35 and by that time an ominous weather front had moved in and it started to rain as we set off. For avid readers of my race reports you will recall two years ago the equivalent race, also in Spain, in the mountains over this weekend had been the worst weather imaginable (that race should have been abandoned). This time I was better prepared in terms of gear to wear and had a good selection so could make the decision just prior to the race. My theory is if you have it on you can take it off but if you haven’t you are sunk. It was about 10 degrees so a long sleeved base layer, tri suit and gloves was about the right garb for the race. Not for the pre-race assembly in the town centre then the wait in the starting pens. I stood shivering in a shop doorway as the wind began to whip up quite strongly and the rain lashed down. Had a chat will peers in just before the start and I suggested it was one thing to make the start all we had to do now was make it to the finish. Little did I know what a test THAT was going to be!

The first leg is a 10K run and it was four laps up and down a lovely park which sound a bit boring but it was thankfully nestling in banked grounds and surrounded by trees so was quite sheltered and plenty of spectator support. I set off steadily and let the pack over enthusiastically zoom away up the first hill. I got into the right pace for me and started to pick off people over the next couple of K. Success today was going to be finish in the top 10 in the age group and at least third Brit. That would mean auto qualification for next year. 10 minutes into the run I had established a pace that was quite a bit slower than I was expecting. Maybe pushing it at Stockton last week was not the right call although I did not feel tired, just lacking a bit of zip which no longer comes through as regularly as once it did. Got to transition in 45 minutes and fairly slick change into bike gear and then quite a long run across grass, up a hill in cycling shoes, up to the mount point. A minute or two to settle into your bike rhythm and today we had 43 K to do. That consisted of three laps out onto a very open exposed plateau, on closed motorway, to a distant turn round point (careful not to drop off the road!). I guess the wind was gusting now up to 50mph so on the descent towards joining the motorway out of the town you bike handling skills were put to test. There were a few casualties who were blown off their bikes. There were some quite steep climbs and descents but the hardest aspect was the exposed top 4 K towards the turn point. It was a ferocious and relentless headwind. I was on my TT bike so although it was tough got to the first turn and then of course you have the wind behind and your back towards town. Sporadic showers and the occasional glimpse of the sun meant apart from the wind the conditions were variable. I had taken off my gloves and did not feel it was particularly cold this year (40 hypothermic a couple of years ago). There were a couple of twists and turns round roundabouts to negotiate and the wet white markings did for one of the GB ladies, in second place at the time, came a cropper on the third lap. No broken bones thankfully. I reckon some of the guys got up above 50mph on the motorway back to town and there was the buffeting cross wind in places to contend with.

On the second lap it was a case of digging really deep just to get round and the worst aspect for me at that time was the wind driven rain into our faces meant I could barely see out of my glasses. Oh and the thought we have got to do this again! On the third lap maybe 2K from the final bike turn it was the closest I have ever come to abandoning a race ( bear in mind I have done more than 1000 over the years). I could not see where I was going, I was pretty chilled, my head was actually throbbing and I felt physically sick and pretty much pedalling on the spot! There were quite a number of DNF’s in the end but as ever, the last vestige of Yorkshire grit enabled me to ‘just get to the turn point and you will be blown back home’. I think all my training on the turbo in the spare bedroom means I am not well prepared for winds so I was probably suffering the consequences more than most on the day. In conversations after most people were just hanging on to make it to the finish and as a race it was only amongst the very top competitors in each group. Back to the last 5K which was two laps in the sheltered park again and back in familiar territory of up on my toes again running. Not fast mind but managed to overtake a couple of Spanish guys in my age group who had passed me on the bike. In the end I was 9th in the age group but 4th Brit so not auto qualification and the next one is likely to be popular. Popular because rumour has it that it will be in Ibiza and they are saying in October, which I guess is because of the often poor early season conditions. In 3 weeks there are the European ‘long’ (it is really medium) distance duathlon championships in Germany 10K 60K 10K. It is one thing to make the start, you then gotta finish!


Saturday 29th April – Coniston Fell Race

Report from Graham Lake:

Rather than struggle round the 3 Peaks this year I decided to make a weekend of it over in the Lakes and do the Coniston Fell Race, a real classic by all accounts.
The past 2 years’ races had been cold, snowy and icy, but this year we were greeted by a bit of cloud, not a breath of wind and even a hint of sun. I ditched the helly-hanson and myself and 200+ runners set off from behind the Ruskin Institute and headed up the steep road before hitting the steeper fell. The route is a basic horseshoe, with the ascent taking in Weatherlam, Black Sails and Swirl How without much let-up, before traversing round to the Old Man himself. It was pretty unrelenting, but I found myself having a good chat from time to time with a chap from Derbyshire who was going at the same pace. The views from these southern fells are spectacular with the ominous Scafell massif to the north west and Morecambe bay to the south. I’d only done a few google earth/strava recces, so was quite nervous about the descent, having heard how steep and error-prone it can be. Being so dry it was actually fine, but there were runners going everywhere. I followed a local vest with a few others, and this seemed to give us a good line through the crags and mine-workings. I tried to be clever and kept further right at one point and I ended up down-climbing a small crag, which lost me about 150 metres. Other than that it was ok, and we hit the main track and I ran past my support crew who were playing in the beck. The descent from here was on a good track and fast, so I caught up with the group I’d lost on the steeper section, battling with Ben Grant from Harrogate (V60 I might add) who took a bit of a tumble and a Valley Strider too. Upon finishing cake and coffee was consumed.
I finished 51st in 1.33.30.
The race was won by Tom Addison (Helm Hill/Inov8) in 1.08.13 after a close battle with Sam Tosh. The women’s race was won by Lou Roberts of Ambleside in 1.25.47. There were 229 runners.

Results here



Saturday 29th April – Yorkshire 3 Peaks Fell Race

Report from Stephen Boddy:

In a shameless and undignified attempt to challenge the more deserving Tom Lynch for Runner of the month, I decided to do both the London Marathon and the 3 Peaks Fell Race within the same week.

The marathon ended in a complete shambles for myself and I am always impressed with people who judge them so well. The marathon is a beast I’m yet to properly tame and disappointingly, on my fifth attempt, I felt as far away from an evenly paced run as I was in my first. Just to put in context, after a traffic-filled first two miles, Tom ran the next 24.2 miles all between 6:20 and 6:40min/miles!

So off I trekked to Horton where I knew I would definitely have to complete the course to stand any chance of competing with Tom for the much coveted April 2017 ROM award, nerves were jangling, I could smell the Shiraz already, or was it sheep shit?

We set off up towards Penyghent and my legs immediately felt tired, I exchanged places with Steve Robinson several times up and down the first peak and, as ever, it was good to see a friendly face. John Armitstead’s warning about going too hard between Penyghent and Whernside resonated with me at this point and I settled into a very gentle trot. I was very worried about cramping again after the London debacle so was running well within myself. After a very quick chat with Tom Pomfrett at Ribblehead I set off straight up the face of Whernside where, according to the online results slip, I overtook 100 people before reaching the summit. The descent off Whernside was tough on my quads and the following climb up Ingleborough was tough on my morale. I was deep in a real energy trough when out from the greyness of the rocks popped a jelly baby laden angel in the shape of Andrew Robertshaw.  Just beyond him I passed the eagle eyed Tom Lynch and my morale was soaring again now as I knew it was downhill back to Horton and I was well in touch of the sub 5 hour target I had set myself.
Apart from the very occasional shooting cramps I had a really strong finish and ran my quickest miles of the race at the end which is always a very positive way to finish. It’s a brilliant and horrible event but I’m instantly hooked and will be back again next year with fresher legs.

Haven’t seen the results but I know Steve battled home despite suffering badly from cramp on top of Whernside and I think, from strava, Ed got a good time but it was one he wasn’t too enamoured with. Some fella with a great name won it and another of the leaders got lost coming off Whernside(!!). Ricky Lightfoot, of Northern Monk Brew Co fame, started but had to pull out through injury.


Saturday 29th April – Parkruns

Woodhouse Moor parkrun
A total of 528 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Michael KALLENBERG Carmarthen & District Harriers AC 00:15:53
22 1 Aisling WALL Horsforth Harriers 00:19:16
70 67 James Rawstron Otley AC 00:20:53
325 88 Alice WEBSTER Otley AC 00:28:06
326 238 Andrew Webster Otley AC 00:28:06
Harrogate parkrun
A total of 443 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Mark BRYANT Harrogate Harriers & AC 00:17:51
28 1 Kim SIMPSON Durham City Harriers AC 00:20:16
77 73 Jenson Brogden Otley AC 00:22:03
88 5 Sara Elliott Otley AC 00:22:36
Roundhay parkrun
A total of 410 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Gary David MANN Valley Striders AC 00:18:27
8 1 Susan LEWIS Roundhay Runners 00:19:49
193 144 Peter CROWDER Otley AC 00:27:42
Skipton parkrun
A total of 168 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Tom BREWSTER Clayton-le-Moors Harriers 00:17:51
5 1 Sarah TIPLER Barlick Fell Runners 00:19:51
114 42 Laurel FREAR Otley AC 00:30:23

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Thursday 27th April – Fewston Handicap

On a cool and wet evening it was great to see so many first time handicappers running the Fewston handicap,  with junior Maggie crossing the finish in first place just ahead of Carl and mum Julie.   Gary Johnson recorded the fastest time of the night and is now the 3rd fastest person ever for the Fewston Handicap behind Ian Fisher & Scott Harrington.  Gary also moved to the top of the table on 60 points, one point ahead of Billy and Laura.  See the full Eric Smith Handicap table here.

May’s handicap is at Danefield on the Thursday 11th, followed by a post race BBQ at the cricket club.

Pos Time H’Cap Net Time Points
1 Maggie Oates 41:00 00:00 41:00 34
2 Carl Maughan 41:08 10:00 31:08 33
3 Julie Oates 41:21 00:00 41:21 32
4 Sarah Parker 41:29 04:00 37:29 31
5 Justina Stringer 41:52 05:00 36:52 30
6 Madeleine Delucchi 41:57 05:00 36:57 29
7 Gill Park 42:07 04:00 38:07 28
8 Marah Long 42:39 00:00 42:39 27
9 Amy Jordan 42:45 00:00 42:45 26
10 Carol Armitstead 43:01 11:00 32:01 25
11 Martin Stringer 43:26 15:30 27:56 24
12 Laurel Frear 43:35 04:00 39:35 23
13 Laura Hind 43:38 10:00 33:38 22
14 Richard Hamer 43:42 11:00 32:42 21
15 Mike Hastings 43:49 16:00 27:49 20
16 Antonio Cardinale 43:59 00:00 43:59 19
17 Tom Hannah 44:32 08:00 36:32 18
18 Michael Pickard 44:38 14:00 30:38 17
19 Gary Johnson 44:40 22:00 22:40 16
20 Tom Paget 44:43 19:00 25:43 15
21 Liz Fawcett 44:58 12:00 32:58 14
22 Ged Peacock 45:00 12:00 33:00 13
23 Billy Rayner 45:10 13:30 31:40 12
24 Rebecca Dodsworth 45:14 00:00 45:14 11
25 John Armitstead 45:16 17:00 28:16 10
26 Paul Dodsworth 45:22 00:00 45:22 9
27 Steve Robinson 45:22 19:00 26:22 8
28 Carl Walsh 45:28 14:00 31:28 7
29 Liam Dunne 45:35 22:00 23:35 6
30 Holly Davey 45:38 16:00 29:38 5
31 Rob Fearnley 45:53 13:00 32:53 4
32 Tom Lynch 45:53 20:30 25:23 3
33 Paul Clifford 46:52 14:00 32:52 2
34 Nicola Doherty 49:10 00:00 49:10 1


Thursday 27th April – Dick Hudsons (7 Miles, 1100 ft BM)

Report from Matt Podd:

Some of us who fancied something muddier than the Handicap, went to Ilkley in the Bestmobile to take on an out and back crossing of the mighty (dry) Ilkley Moor. Cool with a few spots of rain, but overall very favourable conditions for the biggest ever field for this race.

Steep  start up onto the moor with a choice of routes available, but all arrived at the slabs for the fast crossing to touch the gate by Dick Hudsons pub. Then back again to plunge down to the finish below White Wells. Very invigourating and good fun.

Adam Osborne and Katie Sijpestijn won in 45.36 & 55.01. Dave Wilby was second – on a bike!

For Otley; Shane (brave heart) Ewan 37 in 56.05: John Dade 81 in 65.40: Matt Podd 86 in 66.50: Caron Ralph 91 in 69.24: Serena Blackburn 95 in 72.39 and Colin Best in 73.32. 115 triumphed by completing this course.

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Saturday 22nd April – Park Runs

Pos. Gender Pos. parkrunner Club Run Time
1 Graham Askew Bingley H. and AC 18:34
41 1 Lorna Hubbard Keighley & Craven AC 21:53
123 106 Eriks Zvaigzne Otley AC 25:03
268 60 Rebecca Keinhorst Otley AC 29:26
1 1 Jack Wood Ilkley Harriers AC 16:11
12 1 Ruth Jones Unattached 18:34
86 6 Elizabeth Yates Otley AC 23:06
145 24 Ann Yeadon Otley AC 25:17
305 206 Charlie Tomlinson Otley AC 29:33
306 100 Charlotte Tomlinson Otley AC 29:34
Hilly Fields
1 1 Callum Rowlinson Sale Harriers Manchester 16:09
20 1 Dee O’Brien Kent AC 20:43
263 99 Victoria Taylor Otley AC 42:46
Fountains Abbey
1 1 Nic Smith Unattached 17:31
24 1 Emma Sorby Ripon Runners 20:31
93 82 Peter Crowder Otley AC 24:13
1 1 Jonny Mccormack Brighton Phoenix 18:03
16 1 Debbie Walker Derwent AC Cockermouth 22:20
74 23 Joanna Hobson Otley AC 27:11
1 1 Michael Vargas Hyde Park Harriers 18:01
15 1 Rachel Pilling Pudsey & Bramley AC 20:05
28 3 Holly Davey Otley AC 22:15
57 52 Howard Jeffrey Otley AC 24:57
71 64 Michael Jeffrey Otley AC 25:46
1 1 Samuel Knibbs Derwent Runners (Derby) 18:23
7 7 Matt Podd Otley AC 22:06
10 1 Monika Lampart Badgers 22:44
.. and last week Saturday 15th April
Pos. Gender Pos. parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Sam Clegg Idle AC 16:39
15 1 Claire Cooper Keighley & Craven AC 20:12
34 32 James Rawstron Otley AC 22:04
213 52 Maggie Oates Otley AC 28:10
258 77 Alice Webster Otley AC 29:48
259 182 Andrew Webster Otley AC 29:48
350 120 Marah Long Otley AC 33:05
1 1 Zeynu Bedru Harrogate Harriers & AC 17:08
13 1 Nicola Timmins Mornington Chasers 19:13
143 13 Elizabeth Yates Otley AC 24:05
248 206 George Chambers Otley AC 27:09
264 50 Charlotte Chambers Otley AC 27:29
346 254 Christopher Tomlinson Otley AC 29:24
347 93 Charlotte Tomlinson Otley AC 29:27
357 260 Oliver Harrington Otley AC 29:36
358 98 Gemma Harrington Otley AC 29:37
1 1 Simon COURTNEY Stadium Runners 00:17
13 1 Ruth MORAN Horsforth Harriers 00:19
64 57 Aston Brogden Otley AC 00:22
80 71 Jenson Brogden Otley AC 00:22
1 1 Paul DARROCH North York Moors AC 17:56
5 5 Graham Lake Otley AC 18:36
33 1 Chelsea MCCLEMENTS Unattached 21:45
1 1 Jon DANCE Salford H. and AC 17:36
3 3 Gary JOHNSON Otley AC 17:46
10 1 Zara BLOWER Leamington C and AC 20:15
Fountains Abbey
1 1 Stephen BROWNE Unattached 16:10
19 1 Donna RIDDLER Ripon Runners 19:53
125 107 Peter CROWDER Otley AC 24:01
1 1 Toby HILLERY Wetherby Runners 16:51
12 1 Stella CROSS Wetherby Runners 19:25
42 37 Howard Jeffrey Otley AC 23:59

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Sunday 23rd April: London Marathon

Report from Tom Lynch:

Stephen Boddy and I were lucky enough to be the recipients of the club places for the London Marathon, and coincidentally found ourselves on the same train heading to London on Saturday afternoon in the company of a large number of other local and not so local northern runners. After a quick catch-up on the train we had agreed to try to meet up on the morning for an ‘Otley AC at the marathon’ photo as we were in the same start area. In my nervous preparation on the day I had packed my phone in my kit bag and forgot to even check it, so I messed that one up, sorry 😀 !

Despite the number of people it’s a very slick operation, and I didn’t really find any problems getting into my start pen and storing my bag etc, other than the fact that they seemed to have used my hilly Halifax Marathon time for my predicted time, so I started, having targeted and trained for a sub 3hr time, in the pen behind the 3hr 45min pacers! The weather on the day was almost perfect for the marathon with patchy sun, lowish temperatures and minimal breeze, the start proceeded on time, and I crossed the start line after only a few minutes, but already with significant slower moving traffic that I was going to have to negotiate. With some prescient advice from Gilly on not panicking when stuck behind people in the first few km’s ringing in my ears, I took it easy and just try to navigate my way through the field while keeping up a reasonable pace. After a couple of km’s it got to the point where I could run more or less at my preferred pace, and I started to enjoy my first London marathon looking at the sights around me. I only managed to spot my mum and sister out on course, but I know the Harringtons were out at several places supporting. I felt comfortable for most of the race, remembering to eat and drink properly, with some new big toe blisters being my main concern, I tried to slowly bring myself back on to schedule. By 40km I knew I was definitely on for a few minutes sub 3hrs, and managed to hold my pace, with a small sprint finish up the mall.

Post race analysis via text with Stephen suggested he’d not had such an enjoyable race and was a bit disappointed, with bad cramping hampering at least the last 4/5 miles of his race, despite this he still managed to complete and PB and get under 3hrs 40 and beat his previous time set on the notoriously quick Edinburgh Marathon, although he had hoped and trained for significantly faster. Unfortunately for you all, in light of this, he suggested I write the report!

The winner of the race was Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya) in 2:05:48, the women’s winner was Mary Keitany (Kenya) in a women’s (only) WR of 2:17:01, Otley results: 1378th Tom Lynch 2:56:24, 8192nd Stephen Boddy 3:39:51 and 13630th Vicky Taylor 6:03:46


Sunday 23rd April: Stockton Standard Duathalon

Report from Howard:

No pressure today as I had already qualified for the events for which this would have been a qualifier. The dilemma was either to take it easy and risk free or go for a rapid sharpener. There were many permutations of races during the day and mine started at 1.00pm. The air was cool but the sky was almost cloudless and even at midday it was not exactly hot, in fact, quite cool for racing at about 7 degrees again although there was heat in the sunshine. I opted for a short sleeved T shirt under the tri suit and it proved to be about the right choice. I had done a park run again yesterday, this time with Mick (remember him?) at Bramley which is quite hilly, as it is in the Leeds race series which I have entered. While warming up at Stockton I felt OK, if a little flat and when the gun went I had decided to go hard but not overly. The route and numbers made for a sensible pace for the start of the 10K which I did in 45.38. I don’t know how accurate the route was measured as I felt it was more like 43 pace. Felt robust enough to maintain the pace back to first transition which I did exactly the same time as last year (as was second transition). This year I had taken the TT bike (road bike last year) and I was straight into a good rhythm. I was trying faster cadence in lower gears to see what effect that would have. There were 6 laps of mildly undulating roads with a few straight bits but quite a few turns to negotiate. There were a couple of stretches of open textured tarmac which made for a bone shaking few minutes each lap and I was also conscious of the breeze along some of the straights. Felt pretty good till lap 6 when it just seemed to be getting a bit tough. I got through the final 5K reasonably well after a few hundred metres of getting back into running mode. 22.30 for the last leg which although a bit slow it was at least consistent pacing and no mishaps prior to next week’s Euro champs in Spain (unlike some other GB team-mates, crashing and sore Achilles etc.). Even finished second in the rather limited age group considering it was a multi qualifier and got a nice shiny trophy.



Sunday 23rd April: Yorkshire Vets Grand Prix Race – Honley

Report from Billy:

I’m sure that me and Sara Elliott are not the only over 35s in the club but we were the only two representatives at Honley. The weather was fine and following a short warm up we took our places on the start line. The race consisted of two laps of the sports field before entering a wooded area and the ascent began! This seemed to go on for an eternity across a variety of terrain (woods, fields, road, more woods, more fields & more roads). At the summit we ran mainly across fields but were hampered on most of the course by the endless amount of stiles. On the tops we also had the additional obstacle of an electric fence to climb over! The final mile and a half was flat or down before doing half a lap of the sports field for the finish. Not a PB course but enjoyable with the added benefit of free food afterwards, all for the princely sum of £5. Let’s hope a few more turn out for the easier course at Kirkstall on 30 May.

I was 131st male finisher in 61:32 and Sara Elliott was 26th female in 54:37. Serena Blackburn (running for 1st claim club Horsforth) was 32nd lady in 57:37.

The race was won by Gavin Mulholland M45 of Stainland Lions in 38:15 and first lady was Margaret Sykes F45 of Holmfirth Harriers in 46:10.