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Sunday 24th August – 2014 Weyer ETU Standard Distance Duathlon European Championships

I have not race reported for a while but that is not because I have been inactive… au contraire!

I competed in the English Sprint Triathlon championships at Eton in July and came sixth in my age group. I also did the British Standard Triathlon Championships, in Liverpool in early August, and came sixth in my age group. Pleased with that result as I had a good race all round and it qualified me for the Euro Champs, in Geneva, next year.

Went to Austria to do the European Duathlon Standard Champs, in Weyer last Sunday. Absolute deluge of rain till about two minutes before our start then pretty good conditions. Managed 42:30ish for the first 10k then my trusty Nike Mayfly shoes (supposedly good for 100K, then throw away) finally fell apart coming into first transition (they owe me nought as I have done thousands of K in them!).

I wanted to bury them with ceremony on an Alpine pasture but Jacque would not let me. She said it was in some way toxic pollution of the environment!

Three times up Mont Blanc (so it seemed) was HARD on the bike and was a real lung and heart tester over 40k. The chain came off on the first grade but I only lost a bit of time but no placing in my age group.

During the downhills on the bike I had time to reflect (despite the terrifying hairpins) on how I was going to do the last 5k run without a right shoe on some pretty sharp gravel paths! I had rubber bands in my bag… not robust enough! I had a spare number belt I could tie round… plausible! Eureka… I was wearing calf compression sleeves so I thought I could just slip it down over my shoe and it would hold it together… guess what… it did! (21:23 for the 5k). I thought it would be destroyed by the friction but when I took it off it was barely even dusty!

Not relying on it for next time as I have a spare pair of Mayflys waiting in the wings ready for call-up. With the lost time I may have made one position higher although I doubt it but… guess what… I came sixth! Second UK counter in my age group also prequalified for next year’s European Standard Duathlon at a place to be decided… so a bit like a mystery tour!

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Saturday 30th August – Park Runs

Leeds Hyde Park parkrun
Sara Elliott was 103rd in 23:54. The winner was Rashaad Jorden in 17:16 and the first lady in 21st place was Josie Cram (Uni of Leeds AC) in 19:29.

Southsea parkrun
Nick Hodgkinson was 96th in 26:27. The winner was Stuart Farmer (Serpentine RC) in 17:45 and the first lady in 15th place overall was Natasha Perry in 20:57.

Bradford parkrun
Reid Haddow was 127 in 26:50. The winner was Joe Woodley (Skyrac) in 18:13 and the first lady in 28th place overall was Lucy Miller (Bingley Harriers) in 21:53.

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Tuesday 26th August – Kilnsey Crag Race

Report from Matt Podd:

I went to the show and spectated at the race a few years ago, and thought that this was one not to be missed. It is only 1 mile long, but with a near vertical descent; an Iconic BOFRA race with history and real class. One for the bucket list if you want to call yourself a fell runner.

So I took the afternoon off work and went for a trot. About 70 of us lined up on a nice day, and off we went. The ascent is OK, then 200yrds flat on top and then dive dive dive, over the edge. Wild death potential with rocks whistling past – except for the one that hit me on the back of the leg. Then comes a slight lull before the main event: The vertical gully! This now has a rope down it to assist you – which the old-timers say spoils the fun. Didn’t stop some bloke falling past me.

From there to the finish in the show field is a path.

Ted Mason was second, not sure who won – but it wasn’t me. Well I’m glad I’ve got Yorkshires most dangerous fell race done and survived – if covered in blood.

The show is excellent – a real Dales experience.

Results: 1st Rob Hope, P&B 8:07,  1st Lady Caroline Lambert, Wetherby R 10:55,  64th Matt Podd 13:38.

All the results, including sheep, cattle, walking sticks and adult handicrafts (fnarr fnarr), or just the Crag race on the BOFRA site here & lots of Woodentop photo’s here and Caron’s fell race and dancing sheep photo’s on the club flickr here, they did shortly after these were taken honestly.


Monday 25th August – Spofforth Gala 10k

Results:  1st Tim Midgley, Bingley 33:50, 1st Lady Sarah Attwood, York Knavesmire H. 42:48. Full results on ukresults here.

A slightly earlier than scheduled start caught out some of the Otley runners, busy chatting.. 15th Rogan Ashton 39:46,  117th Jaqueline Ackroyd 50:39,  123rd Colin Best 52:12,  173rd Don Buffham 1:00:32.

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Sunday 24th August – Halton Gill Sports

Report from Graham Lake:

I did the Halton Gill Sports fell race on Sunday. This is a typical BOFRA race, straight up and down to the highest point on the horizon. The gala itself was loads of fun, 3 legged race, welly wanging, blind sheepdog trials, all very low key and so friendly. Halton Gill is in an absolutely idyllic spot, and if you dare look over your shoulder while grasping for tufts of grass on the way up you see gorgeous views back over to Pen-y-Ghent. There was very little actual running, but I kept up with the main ‘chasing pack’, behind the 3 fell-gazelles at the front.

The downhill was rough, rocky, steep and I didn’t exactly fly down. Knowing I’d need my ankles to drive home I took it easy and lost loads of time, but it stopped actually mattering, I was just enjoying the challenge.

It did matter when I heard the leading ladies closing me down, so put in some effort to stay ahead.

Similar feeling to after Roseberry Topping, slightly traumatised but buzzing.

No idea on placing or time, but it was all about the whole day really.

I do know I beat Adam Osbourne though (in the 3 legged race).


Sunday 24th August – West Yorkshire 5

Report from Liam Dunne:

West yorkshire 5 mile_FinishI travelled to Birkenshaw this afternoon with Tom Midgley, his wife Toni and Tilly the dog for the West Yorkshire 5 mile Road Race.

It started at the unusual time of 2pm and, with it being a fairly hot and sunny day, an earlier start would have been a bit more pleasant.

The start of the race was from the fire station in Birkenshaw as this event incorporated the Fire Service Championship. From the start it was an uphill winding loop on the grounds of the fire station before we pounded the local roads of Birkenshaw.

The first two miles were all gradual climb before it flattened out and then a gradual decent to the 3.5 mile mark and again a long gradual climb up to the grounds of fire station and back down to the finish.

Soon after the start it was Kevin Ogden of Spen AC who established an early lead and showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field.

Behind him was a runner from Preston who despite struggling on the hills managed to get a gap and sustain it to the finish. I was next with Tom Midgley in hot pursuit and kept the pressure on all the way.

Tom had a great run despite having a tough week of training in the build up to the Great North Run. He also ran the Leeds Park Run yesterday and achieved his best result for a few years over the distance, so well done Tom.

Overall a tough course but very happy to finish in 3rd place and 1st V40 (only one prize of highest value to each runner) Tom also came away with a massive pb and a prize for 3rd man in the open category. Special thanks to Tom’s wife Toni and the Harringtons dog Tilly, who offered unbiased support during the race.

Results:  1st Kevin Ogden, Spenborough 27:45,  1st Lady Maddy Winzer, Richmond & Z 34:22,  3rd Liam Dunne 28:36,  4th Tom Midgley 28:55.  Full results on RaceBest www here.



Saturday 23rd August – Burnsall 10

Results: 1st Matt Whitfield, Bristol &West, 1st Lady Sarah Cumber, Halifax 1:02:52,     See full results here,  a report to follow?

For Otley 4th & 1st V50 Mark Hall 58:04,  9th Julian Mawson 59:47,  77th John Dade 1:17:21,  141st David Cattanach 1:41:15,  143rd Antonio Cardinale 1:45:31.


Saturday 23rd August – Park Runs

Harrogate: 1st Jamil Parapia 16:31, followed in 2nd by Zack Whitehead in 16:41, 1st lady Sharon Hardcastle 20:45.

Leeds: 1st Stuart King, Heanor RC 16:13, 1st Lady Tanya Ferguson 20:43,  6th Tom Midgley 17:29,  151st, Ann Yeadon 25:15

Sewerby: 1st Tony Murray, Crook & District 18:57, 130th Reid Haddow 39:31


Nairobi Diamond 10k and Running in Kenya

Report by Jamil Parapia: Holidays and Tusker Lager are never good preparation for a race. However, entering the Nairobi 10k and the opportunity to race a few miles from where my Dad grew up and amongst some of the fastest people on earth was an opportunity too good to miss. So along I went to Athletics Kenya headquarters to register, meeting some accomplished athletes in the process, many of whom struggle to raise funds to enter and travel to races. Take Daniel Kinyua for example, who ran the 2008 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in 2 hours 18 minutes and the 2000m+ above sea level Kericho Marathon in 2 hours 22 mins. He is struggling to find enough money to pay the entrance for the Mombasa marathon. Following registration Daniel walked me the two miles through Nairobi to meet the rest of my family at the museum. Over a lunch of ugali and tilapia he explained the difficulty in finding a running agent who can cover the transport costs of travelling to major races abroad. Anyway, as a thanks for escorting me safely through Nairobi, Dad and I made sure his Mombasa entry fee will be slightly easier to find.

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Saturday 16th August – Gargrave Show Fell Race

Report from Shane Ewen:

This was my first race in three months following my collapse at the Austwick Fell Race. A nice low key event, part of the annual Gargrave Show, which includes such delights as Shetland ponies, a gun dog demonstration, and a Puissance (where show jumpers go “higher and higher” until there’s a winner).

The race route is approx 5K and is an out-and-back course starting/ending in the show ground. It involves a stream crossing, various bales of hay that you clamber over, and a wire fence obstacle, which young lads raucously urge you to jump (I did!). It culminates with a steep climb to the top of Sharphaw on Flasby Fell.

I deliberately took it easy, enjoying the course & smiling throughout (including at times through gritted teeth). I finished in a respectable 29.25 in 24th position (out of 90 finishers).

Winner was Jimmy Craig (Barlick) in a speedy 23.04. First Lady was Emma Hopkinson (Wharfedale, 17th overall) in an excellent time of 28.12.

Results at

Photos at Woodentops