Saturday 8th October: Langdale Horseshoe Fell Race (English Champs)

Report from Tom Lynch

Great weather again this year (almost needed sun cream at some points!) for my second Langdale Horseshoe Fell Race, a 21.1 km /1450 m ascent fell race (apparently shorter if you measure it in miles – 12.5 miles /4600 ft), I made it more like just over 19 km. It doesn’t get any easier, but I paced myself better this year and took on food/water properly so didn’t feel on the verge of passing out at the end! Some experience meant I took some better lines, like not losing tonnes of height skirting too low round the start of Crinkle Crags, in the end taking nearly 20 minutes off my time. Always a very busy start to the race due to the number of entrants, this year despite being a championship and a sell-out was actually about the same number of finishers as last year, overall there were 378 finishers (389 started).

An English championship race this year and providing the deciding race in both the men’s and women’s championship. Simon Bailey (Mercia) came in second behind Sam Tosh (Rossendale) to snatch the championship over Sam by a handful of points – 3rd from Simon would have tied the championship. Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) won the women’s race in a record time and also sealed the championship.

Sam Tosh 1st in 1:59:51
Victoria Wilkinson 1st woman in 2:22:50 (breaking 24 yr old record of 2:23:25)
Tom Lynch 181st 2:59:11


Saturday 8th October – Wasdale Show Fell Race

Report by the Hon. Handicapper:


Kirk Fell, steeper than it looks here!

My perfect racing scenario is probably an uphill only, vertical kilometre, (3300ft) climb in about 5 ish miles, however in the UK this is never going to happen, only in the Alps!

The nearest in the UK are the up & down races of Snowden, Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and the much lower key BOFRA, Wasdale Head Show fell race.  The show is a mixture of Herdwick Sheep, Hound trail races, vintage cars, motor bikes and various old steam powered farm machines, plus of course a race up and down the nearest hill…

The phrases, “A photo never lies“, a “A picture is worth a thousand words” and “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics” came to mind in writing the report,  not sure about the first two but the last in definitely wrong in this case.

The picture of the race route doesn’t really do justice to the steepness of the race.  However the race stats. certainly do, 2400ft of ascent in approximately 1.25 miles.  This works out the an average gradient of 36%, taking out the relatively flat start & finish and a bit near the summit, most of the climb must have a gradient in the  40 – 50% range.  The local equivalence would be a mile or so of the steepist bit of the Chevin steps… Added to this a section of scree, which if you get on the wrong bit is like going up a down escalator.  All in all a piece of cake, oh and watched over by the local legend of the fells Joss Naylor MBE.

Some more stats. that tell the story the winner Ted Mason ‘ran‘ the 2.5 mile route in 10 seconds under 40 minutes, I was 12th in spot on 45 minutes, happy to lose just 4 positions on the leg strength testing descent.  Caron admitted to be a bit scared of toppling over on the descent but enjoyed the whole race experience finishing in 58th with a time of 1:19:51 and vows to make a return!

Full results on the BOFRA site here.  Well worth the early October weekend trip to the Lakes and lots of good photos on the appropriately named grand day out photography.


Wednesday 5th October – News from the AGM

Important News from Tuesday’s AGM:

  • After 3 years as President, Matt Podd steps aside to be replaced by Andrew (Billy) Rayner, supported by Sara Elliott.  Treasurer Ian Broadbent expressed the view of all the club members by offering many thanks for Matt’s successful tenure as President.
  • Ian, Hannah and John Dade continue as Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Secretary respectively, although John will be standing down as Secretary next September, after 8 years of service.  So the search for his replacement starts now!
  • Tom Lynch takes on the roll of Men’s Fell Captain, all other captains remain the same.
  • Subscriptions, due to an increase in England Athletics Fees these have be raised to £35.  These are now due.  Please pay up asap, or Hannah will be on your case! & you wouldn’t want that…, see recent email for payment details.

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Sunday 2nd October – Hodgson Brothers Relay


Early rise view of Ullswater

Report from the Hon. Handicapper:

A perfect day for the best fell relay of the year.  This is a paired, four stage race in the Lake District based from the village of Patterdale on the shores of Ullswater.

Caron Ralph and Tamara Weatherhead took up the challenge on the first leg, (6.7k & 440m of ascent).  Starting on the playing fields at Patterdale finishing in the hamlet of Hartsop, passing Angle tarn at the top of the long climb.  They ran well to finish in a time just under the hour, 59.34.

hodgsonbrothersrelay_leg2_ar_liamdI partnered Liam Dunne on the second stage which has a steepish track climb to the northern end of Hayeswater, before a steep walking climb to the path up to the Roman road that takes in the summit of High Street.  Thence onto hodgsonbrothersrelay2016_2laurasThornthwaite Beacon followed by a rocky descent and climb up towards Caudale moor and mostly fast running down to the next changeover at the top of Kirkstone Pass.  We ran well to pass over 20 teamsrecording a time of 1:17:39 for the 11k / 890m route.

The two Laura’s of Martin and Clark set off on the next stage, (7.5k, 570m),with the tough very steep first climb up to the summit of Red Screes, from there it’s navigationally challenging when the mist is down but the fantastic weather made this a little easier, although there’s lots of route choice from the last checkpoint down to the changeover point near hodgsonbrothers_graham_toml_leg4Brotherswater.  I think they had the performance of the day, coming home in a time of 1:14:04, several minutes quicker than the last couple of years.


The finishing sprint for Tom and Graham

Graham Lake and Tom Lynch took the ‘baton’ for the final stage of the day, (11k, 900m),  a tough route taking in the summits of Hart Crag, Fairfield and St Sunday Crag.  Another good performance saw them record a time of 1:37:18 maintaining a 46th position at the finish from 70 starting teams.

Dark Peak FR finally ended the 19 year winning streak of Borrowdale FR, but only with a storming final leg 5 minutes quicker than the next best, Borrowdale, with respective total times of 3:34:50 to 3:39:30.  We were only about an hour and a half behind in 5hrs 8 mins 35 seconds.  Although a total time for Otley of 5:08:35 was our best clockwise time as a mixed team, (our best anti-clockwise being just approx. 2.5 minutes under 5 hours.  So all in all an enjoyable day out in the fells of the eastern lakes.

Comprehensive results on sportident here, Strava Flybys, Leg 1,  Leg 2, Leg 3, Leg 4 to checkout all the route choices, (not good on your phone, try laptop etc.), which are quicker is still hard to tell!


Sunday 2nd October – Chester Marathon


Report from Tom Paget: It’s been nearly 7 years since I last ran a marathon. In the intervening years I’ve made plenty of promises to myself to run another one, but have never managed to muster up the enthusiasm for the training that I knew I’d have to put in if I wanted to run a time that I would be happy with. For whatever reason the motivation seemed a bit stronger this year (perhaps it’s because I’m not getting any younger!) and so I identified the Chester marathon as my goal for the year.

 The training had gone pretty well, with only a minor injury holding me back for a week earlier in the summer, and so I arrived at the start line at Chester Racecourse under perfect weather conditions knowing that this was my chance to run a reasonable time. It is a lovely course. Generally flat (although a horrible hill at 24 miles killed me off) through the Cheshire countryside and villages, with good support and excellent organisation. I can thoroughly recommend it.

 The early miles ticked by very easily, my only concern was that I was running too slow. But taking it steady certainly paid off, as I felt very comfortable and really enjoyed myself right up to 22 miles. The last 4 miles were horrible, but I was delighted to finish in  173rd place out of 2885 in 33.11.14 (chip time) a PB by over 8 minutes. No more marathons for me for a while!

 Andy Webster was also running, and he finished in 3.53.45 in 716th place.

 Full results here.



Sunday 2nd October – Cusworth 10k inc. YVAA 10k Championship

Report from Mark Hall:

Winner: Joe Wilkinson, Lincoln Wellington, 32.26

Mark Hall, 9th, 35.18, 1st V55, Yorkshire Champion.

417 finishers

The race uses Cusworth Hall, South Yorkshire as the race venue. This is the 4th time I have won a Yorkshire vets 10k championship here and it gets no easier. The race is held on an undulating circuit with a long hill in the last half mile, add to this a strong wind, the day was never going to yield fast times. I have not competed for 6 weeks so it was good to race in preparation for the defence of my British veterans half marathon title next weekend near Glasgow.


Sunday 2nd October – Rombalds Romp

Report from Rob Fearnley: I’ll be honest, I only entered this cos an old school pal of mine was entering and said it’d be a laugh. He got a poorly foot though (or so he says) but I turned up anyway expecting to see some friendly faces. In reality I saw plenty of friendly faces……. it’s just that none of them were wearing black and white and it soon became apparent that it was just me representing Otley.

For those of you who’ve taken on the hell-on-earth that is Rombalds Romp you’ll know exactly how horrible the start is. A kilometre plus of unrelenting climb towards the hilariously named Weary Hill, with no respite, before a split of trail and fell runners as the fell lunatics go headlong on to the moor top and the trail runners take the ‘easier’ flank path below High Crag.

To say it was soft underfoot is an understatement and apart from the tarmac climb back up from Bradup and the track down to Grainings Head it was like that all the way round. Once the first climb was out of the way I headed across Shepherds Hill, coughing up one lung and desperately trying to keep the other one down as I got my breath back. The route then heads into the woods at Sike Head, part of which appear to have been cleared by a group of marauding, cider-fuelled, teenage Gruffalos. On into the Harry Potter-esque woods it goes and then down, down, down through a narrow heather track to Bradup.

A that point a kindly marshal points to the left and says ‘a little uphill for you now’. Little??? The road up past Brown Seaves and Whetstone Allotment is Roman straight and unspeakably steep and even harder when mother nature is blowing a hoolie directly into your face! Once up the top though it gives way to a glorious wide track and some less energy-sapping downhill.

As I reached the bottom I was all alone save for a kestrel who’d stopped to hover overhead and take the piss but just as I thought my ordeal was over a very apologetic marshal pointed me left, away from the finish and back into the horrible, thick, brown stuff I’d already negotiated 8km previously. “Nearly there and there’s beer at the finish” said one kindly walker as I plodded onwards. If I’d had the energy, I’d have knocked his cap off!

Finally, the path headed back towards the finish and not a metre too soon as by this point my legs were threatening to detach themselves and file for divorce from the rest of my body. Rombalds Romp is basically an 11km episode of Crackerjack except you get beer at the end instead of a pencil and at no point did I feel like I could ‘crush a grape’. My time? Couldn’t care less. Will I be back next year. Yes, cos I’m an idiot.


Saturday 1st October – Round Ripon Ultra

Little Miss Naughties

Little Miss Naughties

Report from Hannah Lupton: I can’t exactly remember whose idea it was to join Sara Richard and Gilly Wight for my first ever ultra, the Round Ripon Ultra organised by Go Beyond Ultra (awesome organisers and support). What I do remember is starting the year with my impending 40th birthday looming and having a mid life crisis as I’d not done enough challenges in my life and deciding entering an ultra was a great idea.

So with advice from our very own ultra marathon guru, Sarah Fuller, I put together a training plan that I could fit round my busy life (and husband being away when I needed to be out training). I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all of you that joined me on my training runs, it was a huge help and I’ve never felt so supported. A big thank you to Hugh and Sally for dragging me round a 19 miler one Sunday whilst I was hanging out of my behind!!

Both Gilly and I had last minute niggles which threatened to make us pull out but thankfully all three of us turned up at Studley Royal on the 1st October full of excitement for the day ahead. As we were sticking together we’d also decided to wear the same funky Little Miss Naughty running tights which got a lot of attention throughout the day. Including being interviewed for Radio 4 about the recent increase in interest in people completing ultras, why was the big question, because it’s fun and a laugh was our answer?!?!  

What can I say about the route, it literally has a bit of everything. Hills, road, fields, river bank, woods, moor, cows, lots of stiles and more mud and bogs than I was expecting. The route leaves Studley Royal and heads through Ripon up to Masham, mile 16, down to skirt round Kirby Malzeard and back to Studley Royal for an awesome finish turning down the drive at Studley Royal Park to finish at the village hall. 35 miles and it was all over in a near 8 hours and 45 minutes.

I have to admit I had completely underestimated how hard it would be. About mile 12 and after a long stretch through a wood which was very undulating, tree root and mud lined, my legs were sapped and I was surprised to be starting so early with a major wobble. This lasted for most of the run as I started to hurt literally everywhere. Believe it or not, I was fairly quiet for the next 15 miles in my own living hell, telling myself over and over again I could do this and I wasn’t pulling out, not ever. There was the odd interlude where I felt good which was mainly when our supporters popped up, Justina at Masham, Laura, Joanna and Nicky at 25 miles and Neil and Tamara at 29.5 mile. It was a huge boost and I’m very grateful that you came along.

It wasn’t all bad and as both Sara and Gilly kept telling me I’d laugh about it tomorrow. Well it’s tomorrow and I can confirm I’ve laughed about a lot of things: me freaking out at the cows and hiding behind Gilly for protection, making a wrong turn and realising we’d taken 15 other runners with us but making our way back onto the right route, Gilly stuck on a wobbly wall telling Sara it wasn’t funny, listening to Sara and Gilly chatting away but not being able to talk, just smiling to myself. And what about the awesome comments about our tights and the generally lovely people we kept bumping into along the way.

I can even laugh about the stiles!!! Let’s just say I’m not friends with stiles or gates at the moment, after 20 miles they aren’t easy to negotiate!

For anyone contemplating entering an ultra for the first time I can honestly recommend it if you want a challenge and my biggest tip is train hard, and then train harder. Not just physically but mentally. Will I do one again, well as I was hitting the wall (again and again) and trying not to snivel (as I don’t do crying) the answer was most definitely not. Now? Ask me in a week or so’s time when I can walk properly again and I’m less traumatised…. 



Saturday 1st October – Park Runs

Woodhouse Moor parkrun

A total of 539 runners took part.

View full results for Woodhouse Moor parkrun event #475


Gender Position  



Run Time  









Dewsbury Road Runners




Kieran GREEN

Otley AC




Angela Srivastava

Otley AC


Bradford parkrun

A total of 400 runners took part.

View full results for Bradford parkrun event #330


Gender Position  



Run Time  




Saltaire Striders





Airedale Dodgers




James Rawstron

Otley AC




Michael Jeffrey

Otley AC





Otley AC


Fountains Abbey parkrun

A total of 274 runners took part.

View full results for Fountains Abbey parkrun event #133


Gender Position  



Run Time  




Easingwold RC





Otley AC







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Thursday 27th September – The Otley AC Dream Mile

The second track runner of the year produced a superb race.  At the end of first lap a group of Mark, Graham, Tom Midgley and Tom Lynch forged a lead.  Over the next couple, Mark Hall gradually moved out to a 10 or so metre lead, which he kept until the final 150m.  However with a desperate sprint down the home straight Graham and Tom Midgley were closing fast.  The finish line came just in time for Mark, holding on for the win, but only just!  reducing his club v55 record by 5 seconds.

Thanks to Russ Brogden for time keeping duties

1 Mark Hall 05:13
2 Graham Lake 05:13
3 Tom Midgley 05:13
4 Tom Lynch 05:16
5 Robin Outtersides 05:25
6 Tom Pomfrett 05:32
7 Jenson Brogden 05:51
8 Stephen Boddy 05:55
9 Howard Jeffrey 06:12
10 Chris Hosker 06:13
11 Beth Massey (Guest) 06:15
12 Aston Brogden 06:23
13 Andy Webster 06:31
14 Dominic Egan 06:36
15 John Davis 07:07
16 Alice Webster 08:06