Archive for November, 2017

Even Splits 5k – Race 6

Report from Graham Lake :

After taking a look at the Runner of the Year sheet I realised I’d not done a single road race this year, so a quick google came up with this race. However due to the calibre of the top-end I’m not sure it’ll get me many points!

This race series is held at the Brownlee cycle track and is well organised as you’d expect from Mark Hetherington’s team. Online entry, quick results, fast course, changing/toilets, all very easy. Next year will be a 10 race series which I’m sure will be very popular, so keep a look out.

The race is split in to two heats, but results are combined in to one race.

Sara Elliott went in the ‘B’ heat finishing in 22.33 in 83rd position overall, 10th lady.

I ran in the ‘A’ heat (those under 22mins predicted time I think?) finishing in 18.53 in 22nd place. I was slightly disappointed with my time, but it was particularly windy,  so you can probably take 20 or so seconds off those times, it felt like a fast course.

Winners were Jack Wood of Ilkley Harriers in 16.24 and Susan Lewis of Roundhay Runners in 19.34

As it’s a twisty bike circuit you could watch the front-runners battling it out, with Jack and John Hobbs of Valley Striders having a great battle.

Full results here:



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Sunday 19th November – Wensleydale Wedge

Report from Hannah Lupton

Once again I had the bright idea of doing a Long Distance Walking Association event, what’s not to like about them? Cheap, low key, checkpoints with food and drink and a meal at the end; you’ve just got to complete a hilly 23 mile route, easy! Having completed the Wensleydale Wedge last year with Sarah Fuller in horrible conditions underfoot and in agony with my wrecked ankles I had unfinished business and when I entered earlier this year I was determined to be fit and smash it. Unfortunately, life has got in the way and I’ve barely trained recently so I knew that I was going to struggle but it was a day out in the hills with a couple of mates, Sara Richard and Sarah Fuller, plus a night away in a B&B in Askrigg and a meal in the local pub.

On Sunday morning we woke up to a crisp, clear and gorgeous sunny morning looking forward to a no pressure run / walk in the hills. We carb loaded on a fantastic breakfast at the B&B and waddled to the start to get our numbers. It was busier than the year before as the weather was much kinder and there was a real buzz that it was going to be a grand day out. As is always the case with these events it was a low key start and at 8am off we all went down the road out of Askrigg to head across a network of fields to Semer Water. The conditions under foot compared to last year couldn’t be more different. Last year was a mud fest of one step forward several slides back, plus snow across the top. This year it was lovely and dry and even quite hard underfoot from the early morning frost. My lack of fitness became clear as soon as we hit an incline as I struggled to breath and coughed my way up trailing Sarah and Sara who were happily chatting away. The hills were well worth the effort as the views were stunning, you could see for miles and the sun was shining on the gorgeous autumn colours of the trees and fields.

We made it to Thoralby check point, which was in the village hall, in good time and ready for some refreshments. I think Sarah and Sara had enough fruit cake to sink a ship whereas I favoured the marmite sandwiches and several chunks of cheese. I was feeling fairly tired at this point as we were about 11 miles in, I hadn’t run more than 8 miles since the beginning of Sept and really hadn’t done much training so I took the opportunity to rest my legs for a minute before I got caught by Sarah who told me to get up and get going before I stiffened up. Off we trotted along some narrow back roads before a long uphill drag through some fields to arrive on the road above Aysgarth. My legs were burning and again I was trailing behind, I was determined to keep going and was encouraged by the fact that I felt much better than at this point last year when I wanted to pull out due to ankle pain. I knew the route wasn’t too bad for the next couple of miles and after a very brief check point stop , and more cheese, we followed the path that takes you to the lower falls at Aysgarth before veering off to the left to take another network of fields and bridleways towards Castle Bolton.

Sarah and Sara were still in fine form, chatting away and having a great time. I meanwhile was really fading and for at least a mile had been considering how I was going to tell them that I’d had enough, I was happy with what I’d achieved which was about 15 miles and it’d done me good to get out in the fresh air.  I really could have just laid down in the field and gone to sleep, I was done! As we approached the steep hill up to Castle Bolton I admitted I was really struggling and we decided I’d see how I felt at the check point at the top of the hill, which was definitely a walker. I was of the opinion that if I could get a lift back to the start I would take it but Sarah and Sara were having none of it and said they were happy to walk the 5 miles to the end as they were happy just to be out in the Wensleydale countryside. Sarah also said I could have a nap in the car on the way home so I could be refreshed for our night out in Leeds to see the Killers. I thought I needed more than a nap to be honest but it was an incentive nevertheless.

After a brief refuel, which Sara particularly enjoyed, I pulled up my big girls pants and decided they were right and I’d try to carry on; it was downhill for a while anyway so we could run that and walk when I was tired. Off we went down yet another network of fields talking about last years run when Sarah and I had to negotiate a field which was coming up and which last year had some really frisky cows in it. Guess what, as we approached the next field it had cows in and yes they were frisky. We’d just set foot in the field after climbing the stile when they started fighting with each other and moving too fast for our liking, I was back over that stile in a flash. We decided to do what any self respecting group of women would do and ask the guy that was behind us to let us walk through the field with him for protection….. yes I know, so much for independent women… We took a very wide berth of where the cows were and despite being shattered I probably ran the quickest I had done all day to get through a gate and into a cow free field. It’s amazing how a burst of adrenaline can get you moving again.

Thankfully the rest of the route was uneventful and we enjoyed the undulating scenery, I managed to run more than I thought I could even if it was a slow trot and I even managed to join in some of the conversations again. As we hit the final check point Sarah said we had about a mile to go and she seemed to think we might be able to get under 6 hours. I was dubious we could manage it but as it was all downhill I was game for giving it a try. Running downhill when you are tired isn’t as easy as you think, I don’t know about anyone else but I get clumsy so although I was trying to go quickly I was also trying to stay upright, especially through a short wooded section with pesky tree roots sticking out. Anyway, I managed to stay upright and after a slight delay due to being unsure we were on the right route, which we were, we returned to the hall in Askrigg after 6 hours and 7 minutes having had a great day out. I was completely exhausted.

It’s hard to compare our time with last year as the conditions were really so much better but we beat the time by 20 minutes; it was an improvement so I’ll take that as a positive. Did I get my nap in the car, did I heck, I was just dropping off as we approached Blubberhouses. I did however manage to crawl into bed when I got home and had 20 minutes before meeting Sarah again to go into Leeds for some tea and a great gig from the Killers. I even managed to bust some moves to a few songs. My poor legs are now in need of recovery before I refocus and get my arse out training properly again.

I can’t recommend the LDWA events enough, especially those of you who think you can’t run 23 miles. You really can, it’s not about running the whole way. It’s about running when you can and walking when you need to, enjoying the scenery, having a chat with the lovely people at the check points who feed you up and encourage you on your way, meeting other people who aren’t trying to beat you to the finish but are just having a nice day out too. I’ve already got next years entry in for Rombalds Stride and will no doubt do Blubberhouses 20 and One Foot in the Gargrave again. As for another go at WW, apparently I have no choice, it’s now an annual trip out. HELP!!!


Saturday 18th November – Harriers vs Cyclists fell race

I’m on a good streak with the Full Tour of Pendle fell race; this must be the 8th year in a row I’ve found an excuse not to do it. This year’s excuse was the Harriers vs Cyclists race at Bingley, as I could meet up with my bro and do this hybrid cyclo-cross/fell race of about 5 ½ miles and still be able to walk afterwards.

It’s pretty unique with all cyclists and runners lining up together and battling across muddy fields, up through Shipley Glenn and on to Baildon Moor before the bikes forge past on the fast run back down. I had the unique honour of passing Ian Holmes twice in one race (ok, he did have a bike on his shoulders, and he finished way ahead in the end).

A nice group of Otley AC runners were out (what’s the collective noun for this? A monochrome of OAC runners?), and there was the usual good chat before and after.

Provisional Results:

Winner (overall on a bike) Robb Jebb 34.47

Winner (Man on feet) Joe Baxter P&B 35.06

Winner (Lady on feet) Louisa Powell, Ribble Valley 41.19 18th overall)

For Otley

Tom Lynch 28th 42.34

Graham Lake 41st 43.50

Lizzie Irvine 78th (4th Lady) 47.59

Tom Pomfrett 93rd 49.18

Bob Baker 178th 59.47

Don Buffham 204th 65.34

Antonio Cardinale 218th 84.23

219 took part.

Official results will appear here:

Lots of photos c/o the soon to be semi-retired Dave Woodhead here:

Some specific OAC ones here:


Sunday 19th November – WYXC League Race 3 Cleckheaton

Spenborough AC hosted the third race of the season based on the fields next to their track at Cleckheaton.  Vicky Stainburn and Laura McCabe took to the start line in the senior women’s race.  Vicky having a great top 20 finish, 18th 21:56, followed by Laura in 36th, 22.51.  Under 20 junior, Georgia Rothwell from the City of York club won in a time of 19:50.

Another junior from the City of York club won the senior men’s race, Angus McMillan, 29:32.  Colin Best was first for Otley in 183rd in 46:15,  followed by Antonio Cardinale in 189th, 1:07:48.  See the full set of results here, including some excellent results from the juniors.

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Saturday 18th November – Park Runs

Woodhouse Moor parkrun
A total of 478 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Unknown ATHLETE Unattached 00:16:46
24 24 Tony WALKER Otley AC 00:19:47
30 1 Hayley LLOYD-HENRY Prestwich AC 00:20:01
122 105 Andrew Webster Otley AC 00:23:35
466 200 Elly WARDLE STEAD Otley AC 00:40:57
Bradford parkrun
A total of 394 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Greg HULL Leeds City AC 00:18:01
2 2 Mark Hall Otley AC 00:18:14
12 1 Beth MASSEY Barnsley AC 00:20:45
43 42 James Rawstron Otley AC 00:22:50
45 2 Sara Elliott Otley AC 00:22:57
61 59 Gavin BURTON Otley AC 00:23:56
67 65 Stephen SMALL Otley AC 00:24:23
84 4 Ann YEADON Otley AC 00:25:15
146 27 Joanna Hobson Otley AC 00:27:31
Fountains Abbey parkrun
A total of 349 runners took part.
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Dominic LOCKWOOD Unattached 00:17:59
20 1 Sarah GRAHAM Morpeth Harriers & AC 00:20:06
64 57 Peter CROWDER Otley AC 00:23:02
273 169 Matt Podd Otley AC 00:33:45


Friday 17th November – Fell league result update

Fell league results for all races except the final race

Read the rest of this entry »


Runner of the Month – October

Another close call in the Runner of the Month decision this month means that the ladies award goes to both Rachael Wright and Lizzie Irvine for their performances and participation in the Hodgson Brothers and British Fell Relay Championships. In the Hodgson Relay it was Rachael’s first Lakeland fell race, and she took it on in terrible weather conditions which led to re-routing of the race, and a bit of organisational stress. Similarly Lizzie took on the daunting challenge of the navigation leg on the British fell relays, all on about 2 hours sleep in a campervan after a delayed 4am return from holiday on the same day!

The mens award was a more clear cut decision with a moment of deja-vu, another October and another 3rd in the Yorkshire Marathon for Scott. This would be enough to secure the ROTM in itself, but Scott also took on the very brutal sounding Snowdonia Marathon at the end of October (I had to double check he did 2 marathons in a month), and dug deep to produce an impressive 8th overall finish.



Notices and Forthcoming Events

  Got some news, photos, information or just need an OAC question answering? Email

Our Absolute Beginners group is for anyone wanting to have a go at running, regardless of ability. Find them on their Facebook page or email


It’s subs renewal time, annual membership will remain at £35 for 1st claim members and £15 for 2nd claim members. You should have received an email advising how to pay but please contact Hannah if you need the bank details again, she can be contacted at Please note that if fees not paid by the 30th, you will be automatically resigned from the club and UK Athletics.

Buying something online, check out this easy way of giving the club a bit of extra funds on the Otley AC easyfundraising site here. So far up to 6/11/2017 we’ve managed to raise a fantastic £319.77.

The latest Runner of the Year table for 2017 here and Road Rankings for 2017 here, as at 13th November.

A reminder of other forthcoming events in the near future:

West Yorks. Cross Country League – Provisional Dates: Sat 14th Oct @ Wakefield, Sun 29th Oct @ Nunroyd Pk Leeds, Sun 19th Nov @ Spenborough,  Sat 9th Dec @ Keighley.

Structured training – Please see ‘Training At Otley AC’ page – from there you can access the calendar which is being updated with training sessions (and other useful nuggets). Any suggestions/requests/thoughts on structured training please contact Graham Lake or Sara Elliott.

Tuesday 21st November – Moonlighter away run up Beamsley Beacon, meeting at White Swan in Addingham, groups for all paces, meet 19:30. Hopefully linking up with North Leeds Fell Runners.

Wednesday 22th NovemberEven Splits 5k

Saturday 25th November – The penultimate Eric Smith Handicap race for 2017, the Weeton Handicap 10:45 for 11:00am start. Check Facebook group for event page.

Sunday 26th NovemberBarnsley 10k

Sunday 3rd DecemberWadsworth Half Trog FR

Sunday 17th December – The final race of the 2017 Eric Smith Handicap Trophy.  Will Rob manage to hang on to his current lead?  The 29th Ken Dixon Christmas Handicap, 11:00am start.  Beer, Wine & Chocolates prize giving post race in the Sun Inn. Check Facebook group for event page.

Sunday 24th December – Washburn Valley Social Run starting at the bridge across Lindley reservoir (West end of reservoir) at 9:30. Approximately 6 miles over trail, path and road, likely to be wet. Everyone welcome, pub stop at the end. Check Facebook group for event page.

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Sunday 12th Nov – Run Bolton Abbey

Race Report from Rob Fearnley

A glorious autumn day greeted the 1600 entrants for the inaugural Run Bolton Abbey event on Sunday which was organised by the brilliant folks at Sue Ryder Manorlands hospice. Such was the level of interest that the races were postponed by 15 minutes to allow everyone to get parked up outside the Cavendish Pavilion and collect their numbers.

Following an impeccably observed minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday the 10k evcent finally got under way at 11.15 with Kirsty Pomfret and myself in the mix towards the back. Colin Best was not far behind us in the longer 10m event.

Upon crossing the bridge to the north bank of the Wharfe it became apparent that PB’s were not likely to be in the offing and the frustration of queing to cross the bridge only 100m into the race was sign of things to come. A mere half mile into the race everything came ot a grinding halt as several hundred people queued to cross a sigle file footbridge over the beck running through Posforth Gill leading up towards the Valley of Desolation. A 5 minute wait commenced before finally after a mile runners were able to open their shoulders and stretch out into the Laund Pasture Plantation. The route continued along the lower flanks of Barden Fell before opening into one of the most strikingly beautiful views of Lower Wharfedale you’re ever likely to bear witness to.

And then everything stopped again. The need to cross not one, but TWO stiles into a field at Park Hill caused havoc with the incoming front runners of the 10 mile race choosing to hurdle the wall rather than wait their turn on the stile. Upon joining the Dales Way heading up river the route opened out once more with a sharp left turn over Barden Bridge and a 2 mile dash back along the Strid to the finish point, once again at the Cavendish Pavillion.

Kirsty Pomfrett lead the charge in 124th place with a time of 1.05.41 and me a way behind in 1.19.17 and 313th place. Colin was 86th in the 10 mile race with a time of 2.01.01. You can take a good 15 minutes off all those times for the actual run itself though!

Massive shout out to the Brogden boys who completed an Otley AC one, two in the 2 mile race with George Chambers in an equally creditable 6th position. Jensons time of 14:26 bringing him home a clear 50 seconds ahead of Aston with George a further 87 seconds behind.

Overall a great race for a great cause and admirably the organisers have already held their hands up to a few hiccups that they weren’t expecting. A few tweaks here and there and we could well see this race becoming a staple of the autumn off-road calendar.

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Sun 12th Nov – Tatton Half Marathon

Musings (her words!) from Laura Hind

It was back to the Homeland (Cheshire) for Tatton Half Marathon, one of a few races I’d entered at the start of the summer when running had been going well and I was feeling in fine fettle. Fast forward a few months which had blighted by a few bouts of illness and therefore patchy training – I was not confident that I was going to end my racing year with a good performance. However,  Guy Fawkes 10 last week had gone fairly well, so I knew I was good to at least make it round the course and could just focus on deer spotting and enjoying the lovely surroundings.

I’d agreed to run it with a friend from home, but she had also been ill the previous week, so we soon parted ways, with me running ahead. The race is a two lap course around Tatton Park in Knutsford, with a slight deviation for the middle miles, thankfully meaning we only had to run over the slippery field section once! It was mostly tarmac and there were a couple of switchbacks, so I was able to enjoy the distraction of seeing if there was anyone I recognised and regularly waving to Louise as we passed each other.

As always, I had to give myself a good talking to between miles 5 and 8, but I decided to relax and enjoy being out in the bright Cheshire sunshine after a night of rain and wind. I just needed to get round, although as my first few miles were quite quick (for me!) there was a little voice in my head which kept telling me that I could get a PB if I was able to sustain my form. I hit the 11 mile marker in 1.37 and I knew then that I could slow to 10 min miles if needed and still be within my previous PB. At the 13 mile mark, there was a sign reading ‘Sprint starts here’ which I’d seen on the first lap – whilst I’m normally up for an ‘Asda sprint’, today I just didn’t have it in me – so instead I trotted into the finish. I was pleasantly surprised to read 1.56:24 on my watch, 2 mins 40 faster than last year’s VoY half! Very happy with that, but feeling physically broken, I clapped Louise in and then headed back to the folks’ for a well-earned roast dinner!

The race was well organised, with great support and motivational mantras from the marshals. Nice medal and T-shirt too. Would recommend this to anyone fancying a trip across to the dark side or looking for a PB course.

The race was won by David Alcock (unattached) in 1.12:50 and first lady was Julie Hambleton (unattached) in 1.22:03.