Saturday 5th January – Yorkshire Cross Country

Saturday 5th January – Yorkshire Cross Country

The cross country elite of Yorkshire flew round the farm fields next to the Ultimate roller coaster, thanks in part to the very dry underfoot conditions.  The Black & Whites were represented in 5 of the days races.  An excellent ladies team result, 11th being the highlight of the day, together with great efforts from the juniors.

Report from Howard:

I do cross country about as often as I ski in Holland but I was tempted by the email Andy sent regarding the 3 top events being held relatively close to home. Also it makes you stronger right? You are never too old to learn and before the race taking advice from the juniors opted for my mudclaws (rather than trail or spikes) and they proved to be just the job. The course was basically dry, grassy and a bit soft. The weather was perfect, like a summer’s day in Iceland. Cool (about 5 degrees), bright (the sun came out for the last lap) and barely a whiff of a breeze. I watched the ladies and noted quite a few were breathing hard before then end of the first lap, not the Otley girls it must be said. A timely reminder not to break the golden rule of ‘don’t set off too fast’.

As I warmed up I got the tingling vibes that today I was going to do OK. At The Jolly Holly Jog the week before I had gotten round feeling jaded and one of my rivals from Harrogate, Kevin Murphy, had finished more than a minute and a half ahead there. I have felt good in a couple of parkruns and the test today was whether I could sustain the effort over more than twice the distance over much tougher course and terrain.
I really enjoyed the matter of fact efficiency of the organisation and rolling programme of races and presentations. Readying up for the off I opted for minimalist kit of shorts and vest which would encourage me to get home as quickly as possible. To the numbered starting bins with what seemed like hundreds of the county’s best cross country runners, which it was! The gun went and there was a momentous surge forward across the grass towards the route where we would do some laps, how many er… I didn’t know, neither did I care! Just don’t get swept along with the vortex created by over enthusiasm. The field dropped down and then up and the hill covered in a mass of local colours and athletes in their prime The cool air felt great in my lungs and I count my blessings that I am still able to participate. At the top of the first short hill you take a hard right and are on the race route proper for the laps. There can barely have been 20 athletes behind me. A couple of them had either fallen or been spiked and would overtake pretty soon.

After the first turn the route drops down through a few trees where the roots had been highlighted and then gradually descends past the finish enclave to a tight u-turn and then gently back up the slope then a double back down parallel after a tricky adverse camber on the top turn. By this point I was well into the race and had kept an even pace from the start. Kevin was about 300 yards ahead and moving slowly away. The course goes straight for a while and then up and over a naughty little ditch and dyke and then up a short steep earthy hillock that I managed to attack and once over that a left then right turndown a nice descent. for a couple of hundred yards then a couple of turns back onto the place where we originally joined the route from the start. So far so good. I had started to steadily pass runners another three of these laps to do maybe? I caught Kevin halfway round lap 2 and felt good. Managed to attack the earthy hillock a second time and continued to overtake runners. On the third lap the first three runners (one being Jonny Brownlee) scorched past and then it was quite a while before the next lead runners went past. I can sound a bit like a train when I am breathing hard so as the slower runners gave way to the fast boys I benefitted from them thinking I was one of them as I went past albeit only slightly faster than them.

I caught Chris up on lap 4 and he asked if that was the last lap. I only knew it wasn’t because we were still being lapped by those further up the field to which Chris responded with something that sounded a bit like shucks! I was able to keep the foot on the gas and only really laboured up the last earthy hillock ( even Liam a man of many XC events also said that final climb up there was tough) but once over the top could see Kevin was beaten today and I raced hard to the line against a guy from York. He got a bit of a gap turning in towards the finish but on days like today you have to be good to outkick me at the end (I specifically train for the sprint to the line) so I surged past on my toes to finish er…249th.

A few photos below of the Men’s race, give your running style marks out of 10 for Howard & Jonny Brownlee. . and a few more senior mens photos here.


Under 13 Girls

1 09:14 Imogen Wolf Holmfirth H
44 10:57 Charlotte Chambers Otley AC

Under 13 Boys

1 08:36 Archie Bordewith Ripon R
51 09:58 Aston Brogden Otley AC
56 10:09 George Chambers Otley AC

Under 15 Boys

1 13:50 Alexander Thompson Wharfedale H
40 16:50 Jenson Brogden Otley AC
85 18:45 Zachary Quin Otley AC


1 27:57 Claire Duck Leeds City
34 32:35 Victoria Stainburn Otley AC
42 32:57 Becky Harpur Otley AC
85 35:58 Rachael Wright Otley AC
96 36:59 Sara Elliott Otley AC
130 39:01 Ruth Poole Otley AC


1 32:15 Emile Cairess Leeds City
113 39:37 Liam Dunne Otley AC
249 47:00 Howard Jeffrey Otley AC
270 48:09 Chris Patinios Otley AC
312 55:25 David Fox Otley AC
326 1:17:46 Antonio Cardinale Otley AC

Oh dear Mr Holmes has shoe problems after being spiked..
Chasing down Antonio…

8 thoughts on “Saturday 5th January – Yorkshire Cross Country

  1. I wondered why Ian came flying past me after half a lap!
    Sorry to say I had to step off the track with a lap and a half to go due to a niggly knee.
    Well done all B&Ws, especially the speedy ladies.
    The quality in all races is outstanding and great to watch, with fantastic support on the sidelines.

  2. Well done to all the OAC men & women really good to see OAC so well represented. Especially well done to the future Aston, Jenson, George & Zachery.

  3. I agree with Mark H. that the juniors have got a great future , especially Jenson B. and Aston B. and I agree with Mark as well that the women has got a powerful group , especially the young Ruth P. who did a fabulous cross country finishing in a solid 39.01 , also Sara E. was strong on the day with a brilliant time of 36.59 . Well done everyone . It was an honour for me to be in the same pic as the champion Brownlee .

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