Report from Mark Hall:
Winner: A Grant Harrogate 76.02
5th M Hall, OAC, 1st V55 88.05
55th D Lambert 1.47.44
149th S Richard 2.16.47
Well done to the OAC runners this is such a tough event, advertised as one of the toughest half marathon events in the UK, hard to disagree!
I have noticed that more frequently organisers of events are now ignoring the 5 year veteran bands.(perhaps to avoid giving out less prize money?) I have done the Ripon 10m and now the Burn Valley half this year both organised by Ripon. I have been 1st V55 in both events but on Power 10 for UK ranking I am down as 2nd in both events. This is because the bands are V40-V50, V50- V60 etc not really important, just frustrating, surely it can’t be too complicated for people posting results to get this right.
Report from Dan Lambert:
The Burn Valley Half must be one of the most scenic half marathons. Starting in the picturesque market square in Masham, the first few miles pass through the impressive Swinton Park estate and undulate through sleepy pretty villages, before climbing steadily onto moorland overlooking the valley. A sharp right turn at the high point of the race took us onto rough bridleways, and the beginning of the deceptively hard and lumpy descent to the finish. There are few flat miles on this course and for someone carrying a few more pounds than before my prolonged hiatus running in an Otley vest (which my wife kindly described as ‘a bit snug’), the multitude of hills did not go unnoticed by legs or cardiovascular system. A cheeky little climb at 11 miles preceded a profusely sweating arrival back in the market square, just about putting on a sprint for the vocal crowds enjoying the sunshine and numerous cafes at the finish (including Hannah Lupton, who despite being forced to retire, stayed to cheer finishers home). As always I had utterly unrealistic expectations of my performance, but a pint and bacon butty at the finish felt well-earned.
The race was won by Andy Grant (Harrogate AC) in 1.16, just pipping me by 31 minutes for the M40 prize. First lady home was Heather Tuffs (unattached) in 1.32. Mark Hall was 2nd M50 finisher in 1.28, and Sara Richard completed the Otley AC contingent in 2.16.
Impeccably organized by Ripon Runners, it’s great to see this iconic race firmly back on the calendar after a break of several years. As someone on Strava put it, it’s a ‘naughty race’ – but I love it.