Report from Tom Lynch:
I generally only ever run up hills so that at some point I get to run down them again, so I’d had my eye on the Yorkshire Downhill Time Trail from the start of the year when it was announced. The race is a (net) downhill fell race that runs through Havok mountain bike park near Todmorden, which is a set of trails that runs through some woodland, with jumps, banked turns, technical sections and wooden structures. It was organised as a fundraiser for the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, and was very well organised with a huge group of volunteers. At only a mile long the race is run as a time trial, with each competitor allowed 2 attempts, with timed runs set off at 3 minute intervals – a bit like mountain bike and ski races.
Most in attendance were, I think, hoping for a pure downhill race (and this was the original intention of the organisers), but a quirk in the Fell Runners Association rules mean that all fell races must include a set amount of climb – including downhill races. Therefore the minimum amount of climb had been built into the start of the race, which started on the tussocky moor above the bike park, after a steep descent at the start, followed by a flat, then uphill section before the pure downhill bike park section. The hilly start dented a lot of the hopefuls times I think, it was certainly the case for my runs, but nethertheless I think everyone really enjoyed the course and it got you warmed up. Running down the trails though the trees and round the banked turns was awesome fun and I’ll definitely head back next year.
The winner was Ted Mason (Wharfedale) in 6mins 23 seconds. First woman was Annie Roberts (Todmorden) in 7 mins 53 seconds. I was the only Otley runner and came in 6th in 7 mins 24 seconds.
Photo by Anthony Harrison.