Report from Tamara Weatherhead:
I was not particularly looking forward to my Saturday: 7 hours trudging through the mud in the pouring rain. As it turned out, it only started raining half way round, so that made it so much easier…
The course profile basically goes up, down and repeat 6 times. Up the Chevin, down to the Cookridge railway line; up to the airport – around the airport perimeter, fun but noisy with planes taking off – down through Yeadon, Guiseley to Esholt; up the side Hollins Hill, down to Menston; up to Burley Woodhead, more up to the Cow and Calf, all the way down through Ben Rhydding to the river; up the most horribly drawn-out hill through Denton to Round Hill, down from Timble to Dob Park; up half way to Norwood, down to Lindley reservoir; up to the top of Lindley woods because of dam works, down to Leathley – reverse trout farm!! – and lastly a tiny, but significant by this point, up to get over the fields and head into Pool. Super. Brutal.
When we reccied the route a month ago, the footpaths were streams, well over the ankle. Unfortunately it has dried out a bit since then, so it was a totally gloopy, slippy, slidey mud bath. I’d say I enjoyed the first half marathon and the rest of it not at all!
Anyway, the Punk Panther Ultramarathon series is it’s 3rd year now and is always an extremely well-organised event (by Ryk and Bev Downes), with top-notch marshalls (normally me 😃) and plentiful provisions – plus it’s taped, has a decent route description so it’s pretty hard to go wrong. There’s hot food thrown in at the end, a different coloured tech shirt every time, and a minibus shuttle from Pool back to the Otley station top car park. Easy peasy and right on our doorstep! Punk Panther is also it’s own thriving little (Facebook) community, happily co-existing alongside the hard moors ultras, so lots of chirpy north eastern accents en route, invaluable ultra running advice freely and cheerfully given, and rarely a month without a pain-inducing race to run!
For all my aches and pains, and boy did I grumble about those, I got first old lady plaudits in 7:09hrs. Neil Charlton, having dragged me most of the way round, gallantly let me check-in before him, so his official time was 7:11hrs (it’s not precision timing!) The race was won by Nick Leigh in 4:42hrs and first female was Alice Kershaw in 6:12hrs. Prizes were also presented on the day for the series’ winners and a special memento for Ian Winstanley to be the first to reach 1000 Punk Panther kilometres! Full results http://punkpanther.co.uk/a-short-circuit-2019-results/