Tuesday 27th December – Ribble Valley 10k (Northern Athletics 10k Championships)

Report from Gemma:

Scott Harrington was the sole Otley AC runner and finished 35th in 32.25 which is a PB

Marc Scott (Richmond & Zetland/Tulsa uni) won the race in 29.33
There were 1080 finishers


Monday 26th to Tuesday 27th December – Chevin Chase & Jolly Holly Jog

A Christmas bonanza from Howard:

These two races are normally separated by a day or two and I like to do them both as they are bang in the middle of the holiday period and are a great antidote to all that Yuletide cheer and festive fun. This year they have been one long run, interrupted by a nights rest. I promised myself I would take the CC steady and use it as a training run and then race the JHJ. The CC was a sell out again with 986 finishers so quite a crowded start. I stationed myself well back from the front and it took 15 seconds to get to the chip timing mat. The road is narrow and gradually uphill so the going was slow to the left turn onto a narrow stony track towards the Chevin. Here it was single file and steady with no passing so quite what I had in mind. The route climbs up to the top of an incline and then descends quite dramatically down a rocky rutted gulch which can be quite tricky. Today it was fairly dry so a carefully picked descent takes you to a muddy track back up through the woods. I was still at training pace and had warmed up a bit so was picking off people who were slower but had started in front. There is then a rapid descent through the woods which have been sheltering us all from the tail end of a hurricane force wind. A competitor behind went off the track and it sounded like a charging elephant through the undergrowth crashing and splintering to the exclamations of the crowd experiencing what sounded like a firework display. I just hope they were not hurt. Training pace down the hill so still not tempted to race, so was quite pleased with my self-control. On the next climb up through the woods towards the Otley Road which we cross, I spot two arch rivals in my age category and am quite surprised to be so close. Still not tempted to give chase as I think I am overhauling them at training pace. Sure enough I overtake them both just before the drinks station at 4.5 miles. The route undulates a bit through more woods but you are on the edge and you could feel the wind for the first time in your face. The route turns sharp left and goes what seems like vertically and it is a tough section and slippery underfoot. I am sure some people are going faster uphill whilst walking backwards downhill than I am managing! Plenty of local support for Otley AC including Andrew for the second time and I hear what sounds like ‘and now Pat’ from him so I suspect there is a fellow Otley AC runner not far ahead. No I think to myself , must save it for tomorrow. The route eventually grinds up to the top of the Chevin where it feels a bit like the tour de France. Despite the breeze the sun is out and there is a large crowd at the top squeezing in from both sides. Quite a few people have slowed right down here so, as politely as I can, I excuse and elbow my way past to maintain the pace. At the top the path gives way to a tarmac road (the course is slightly changed from my last memory of it) and it is fairly level into the teeth of a gale. Quite a struggle so I find shelter behind a robust looking character who is powering his way into the wind. He slows down just so I can’t shelter (I am lightweight and o/60 ffs) but I am able to dig in and catch up a group who provide some shelter a bit ahead. One of them is the age group winner from last year and a great rival again struggling. They don’t seem to be going fast enough, so despite the breeze I forge a bit ahead and have the chap who slowed down at my shoulder giving it ‘your powers are weak old man’. We slog through an incredibly wet and muddy track for a few hundred yards ( the water went up to my knees in one spot) but then the road is tarmac again with about a mile of sublime downhill with one minor incline to the finish. I have gone at training pace up to this point but then several things happen. I spot the Otley vest Andrew had mentioned about 300 yards ahead (turned out to be Laura Martin who was also storming down the hill). The erstwhile windbreak wanted to show me how to run downhill and memories and plans are all very well but we live in the here and now and right now I felt good! THIS is how you run downhill and I switched on the afterburners and flew down the long hill to the sharp right up the short hill and kept up the momentum to the finish. Turns out I was 2nd 0/60 by a minute, so a ‘what could have been’ kind of day. I was 243rd in 55.42 chip time in the race which was won by Jonny Brownlee (again!) in 38.27. First lady was Pauline Munro in 63rd position in 48.13. Lots of Otley AC people there and filtered as follows:

1 Robin Outtersides 00:44:48 Results
2 Graham Lake 00:47:08 Results
3 Rogan Ashton 00:47:36 Results
4 Paul Kaiser 00:48:14 Results
5 Gary Johnson 00:49:13 Results
6 Tom Paget 00:51:28 Results
7 Christian Hosker 00:54:56 Results
8 Chris Stacey 00:55:09 Results
9 Howard Jeffrey 00:55:56 Results
10 Laura Martin 00:56:05 Results
11 John Dade 01:01:45 Results
12 Nicola Lee 01:02:18 Results
13 Mary Hampshire 01:02:41 Results
14 John Davis 01:04:42 Results
15 Martin Gaskin 01:07:45 Results
16 Hugh Pearson 01:09:06 Results
17 Sara Richards 01:11:38 Results
18 Rob Fearnley 01:12:49 Results
19 Gloria Jackson 01:17:28 Results
20 Emma Thomson 01:20:45 Results

Photos from Woodentops 1, 2, 3, 4.


Went home for a change of kit and a break and set off the following day for the JHJ.  Conditions ideal as the wind had eased off completely, the sun was out and it was just warm enough to race in a vest. Another sell-out race with 757 finishers. I lined up much closer to the front today and across the field to the country road which rises up to a sharp right turn across a rising field of quite thick wet mud again. I had feared my legs would have been completely sapped from the CC but I maintained a steady reasonable race pace. The order was sorting itself out as you went up the hill and then a descent across a claggy field, through a short wood and across a bridge over the river at Studley lake. There is a tough climb up to mile 3 on grass and then the route alternates between quite muddy field and made up roads and paths. I had settled into a comfortably hard rhythm which Tom Hannah noticed as we passed him twice and he commented it looked like I was in race mode today. There were no real ill effects from yesterday and I finished 4 minutes faster than last year in 90th position in 45.21, 2nd o/60 again but 2 full minutes adrift and going hard today so that was as good as it was going to be. The race was won by Ben Pease of Ripon Runners in 34.51, first lady in a brilliant 6th place in 38.09, Caroline Lambert of Wetherby runners. They did not have my club name in the results so apologies if I miss any fellow B&Ws who also finished but not a bad turn-out with the following in the results :

211 1 Andrew Ackroyd M60 Otley AC 0:51:48.2 0:51:36.7
251 2 Jacqueline Ackroyd F50 Otley AC 0:53:32.4 0:53:22.0
337 932 Liz Yates F40 Otley AC 0:56:26.2 0:55:16.7
347 84 Colin Best M60 Otley AC 0:56:51.3 0:55:43.3
364 849 Chris Tomlinson M30 Otley AC 0:57:31.9 0:56:52.1
371 933 Ann Yeadon F40 Otley AC 0:57:37.6 0:56:29.0
441 423 Laura Hind F30 Otley AC 1:00:09.1 0:59:00.3
485 848 Charlotte Tomlinson F30 Otley AC 1:02:06.1 1:01:25.4




Saturday 24th December – Parkruns

Woodhouse Moor parkrun
A total of 247 runners took part.
View full results for Woodhouse Moor parkrun event #487
Position Gender Position parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 William COLLUMB Rothwell & District Harriers 00:17:13
3 1 Emma CLAYTON Leeds City AC 00:17:41
95 83 Eriks Zvaigzne Otley AC 00:26:05
Colwick parkrun
A total of 287 runners took part.
View full results for Colwick parkrun event #288
Position Gender Position  ? parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Malcolm MUIR Ilford AC 00:17:00
21 1 Sarah CHYNOWETH Unattached 00:21:01
60 52 Reuben BHOGAL Otley AC 00:24:32
Bradford parkrun
A total of 312 runners took part.
View full results for Bradford parkrun event #342
Position Gender Position  ? parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Cameron REILLY Ilkley Harriers AC 00:17:37
14 1 Sophie MARTIN Wharfedale Harriers 00:20:09
89 76 John Davis Otley AC 00:25:13
Roundhay parkrun
A total of 320 runners took part.
View full results for Roundhay parkrun event #296
Position Gender Position  ? parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Callum ELSON Unattached 00:17:36
27 27 Howard Jeffrey Otley AC 00:22:14
34 1 Louise CAZAN Valley Striders AC 00:22:42

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Sunday 18th December – Denby Dale Travellers 6

Hold the back page, Howard’s weekly race report is here, the suspense is over.

The weather today for the Denby Dale Travellers 6 was as favourable as it has ever been in the innumerable years I have been competing in this challengingly hilly course in ‘pork pie’ country. Bright , cool, dry and very little breeze made for a perfect set of conditions, so quite a surprise that the field looked relatively small at the ‘pre-start briefing’. Max number was 300 but only 190 brave-hearts finished. I chatted to Mark before the start and he is returning to form after a hamstring niggle. As for me I have been a bit flat recently and on half pot training, so was here to see what the day would hold. The course is either  up or down all the way and some of the hills are long if not particularly steep. I set off steady but found I felt OK up the first mile of hill. Managed to reel in a couple  of obviously same age groupers on the long down to 2 miles. Thought I could see a couple of other likely competitors in my age group, one was long gone but the other was still in my sights at the top of the  hill up to 3 miles. There is then a long downhill to just short of 4 miles and to which the course ramps up. I kept pace with a couple of younger guys down the hill instead of my usual gravity assisted plunge into ‘terminal velocity’. I had done that last year  and struggled up the hill towards five miles but today there was gas in the tank and I left the guys behind and closed up a bit on my target. The route goes down from five miles, with a couple of short sharp inclines up to the finish. I pushed on and was at the heels of my target at 5.5 miles. He is a fellow Wakefield Triathlon club member (not the one I thought it was, much younger but grey haired). He tried to shake me off on the downs but I kept  a bit in reserve and again up the hills he tried to leave me behind. Ha Ha not today and I was able to storm past in the last few hundred yards. Turns out I was actually first o/60 today in 43.47 ( 2.5 minutes faster than last year) in 34th place. Mark was 10th in 38.35 and first MV55. The race was won by Adam Peers of Wakefield Harriers in 33.28. First lady was Margaret Sykes of Holmfirth Harriers AC, in 29th position in 40.29


Sunday 18th December – The Ken Dixon Christmas Handicap

A cool but pretty much perfect winter’s day for running saw Colin take the win in the 28th Ken Dixon Handicap  just ahead of 3 women, Kirsty, Jackie and Carol.  Graham recorded the fastest time of the day just making up the 30 seconds on Tom Lynch.

Despite struggling on the day Congratulation to David Cattanach who just hung on to take the Eric Smith Handicap title by 5 points ahead of Tom Lynch and 6 on Tom Pomfrett in 2nd and 3rd respectively.  A hard earned and deserved title after a 2nd place finish in 2006 and two fourth’s in 2004 and 2001.  See the final 2016 Handicap table here.

Why not give a few of them a go next year, your chance to win a race whatever your ability. Even if it’s just to have a bit of a  different training run, absolutely no pressure.  You never know, 9 or 10 training runs would give you a very good chance being near the top of next year’s handicap table.

Thanks to Jack, Kath and Dave Hainsworth for helping out at the finish & flagging the route.

The first race of the 2017 Eric Smith Trophy is the John Cowan Harewood Handicap at Harewood, 4 miles, Saturday 21st January.

Pos Time H’Cap Net Time Pts
1 Colin Best 54:41 11:00 43:41 15
2 Kirsty Pomfrett 54:56 11:00 43:56 14
3 Jackie Ackroyd 55:12 12:30 42:42 13
4 Carol Armitstead 55:21 11:00 44:21 12
5 John Armitstead 55:48 19:00 36:48 11
6 Nick Hodgkinson 56:13 07:30 48:43 10
7 Dominic Egan 56:51 14:00 42:51 9
8 Graham Lake 57:02 25:30 31:32 8
9 Tom Lynch 57:10 25:00 32:10 7
10 Antonio Cardinale 57:57 00:00 57:57 6
11 Eriks Zvaigzne 58:02 14:00 44:02 5
12 Andrew Robertshaw 58:50 25:30 33:20 4
13 Tom Pomfrett 58:59 24:00 34:59 3
14 David Cattanach 59:16 08:00 51:16 2


Saturday 17th December – Park Runs

Pos. Gender Pos. parkrunner Club Run Time
1 1 Alexander Flaherty Bingley H & AC 17:46
4 4 Mark Hall Otley AC 19:26
14 1 Emma Wilkins Baildon Runners 20:53
57 52 John Davis Otley AC 24:29
116 99 Rob Fearnley Otley AC 27:16
1 1 Stephen Ellison Unattached 18:21
22 1 Sharon Hardcastle Unattached 21:50
151 124 David Fox Otley AC 27:42
1 1 Paul Brooks Stockport H & AC 18:11
7 7 Gary Johnson Otley AC 19:37
17 1 Jayne R Lawton Stockport H & AC 21:27
Fountains Abbey
1 1 Nathan Smith City of York AC 17:14
8 1 Jenny Featherstone Totley AC 19:46
10 9 Peter Crowder Otley AC 19:47

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Saturday 17 December – Hurst Green Turkey Trot

Report from Matt Podd:

My wife’s aunt lives in the village – near Clitheroe, and has been tempting me with their local race for years, and this was the year. So after an unplanned visit to the Vets with Bobby the poorly cat off I went to Lancashire to have a coffee and get changed for the race at Miss Great Britain’s house (Sally’s aunt was this in 1963). So up to the local pub to collect my number for this 5’ish mile mainly off-road race. The birth of baby Jesus was celebrated by about 90% of the runners wearing some form of fancy dress, some of which was appropriate to the season and some was not in the best possible taste. Not to be outdone I sported a Santa hat. Man stands on the wall, shouts things we can’t hear and we’re off, at which point the running waiter opened his champagne. A mile or so of uphill road shook the field down and we got ahead of most of the extreme fancy dress. So onto a mix of fast and slippery uphill trails; fell shoes were the order of the day. Out onto the moor and two thigh deep wades, which didn’t dignify those in costume and so to the descent through fast and treacherous woods, at this point I was battling with Donald Trump – running in a suit with a latex head of the future of the free world. I’m pleased to say that he can be beaten by fair means. Lovely descent to a surprising finish – racing hard uphill – just came round the corner and there was the funnel!

It had attracted a quality field and was won by Chris Farrel of Horwich in 26.54 with Tom Adams second in 27.23. Julie Briscoe of Wakefield was 1st Woman and 4thoverall!! in 32.39 with 3 women in the top ten. Chorley’s finest was there and I had the privilege of meeting Mrs Fishwick who was also racing. I finished in 77th/265 place in 42.49 and was 6/13 MV 55. A very muddy day out, but a big bar of chocolate for all finishers, and I got to use Miss GB’s shower.


Sunday 11th December: Roseberry Topping Marathon

Report from Laura Clark:

I ran the Hardmoors Roseberry Topping Marathon on Sunday, which was 28.5 miles long with a total ascent of 5000ft. I have never ran this far before and unfortunately made the common mistake of setting off too fast. After two ascents of Roseberry Topping and the climb out of Kildale I realised my error (around the 16 mile mark) and had to slow down. At the next check point I had a small cup of flat Coca Cola; a piece of flapjack, which was better than my homemade slightly burnt effort, and some marshmallows. After this welcomed fuel I managed to pick up the pace. I continued to top up my energy levels at all of the subsequent checkpoints, which worked a treat. I completed the run in 6 hours and 1 minute and came 53rd out of a total of 170 runners. The race was won by Ste Lord in 4:06 . I have definitely learnt a thing or two from this run which will stand me in good stead if I decide to do another one!


Sunday 11th December: Christmas Cracker 10K Leeds

Report from Howard:

I have done this race for the last couple of years as a sole Otley AC entrant. A great pleasure yesterday to be joined by no less than three other B&Ws Sara, Andy and Ian. There was some deliberation about the route being changed for the better and less of a challenge, going twice up a long steep hill and then down again. Take it from me it was just as challenging and hardly different at all! Still 416 people lined up on the South Leeds stadium track in a cool gusting breeze for a 10.30 start. Once round the track and out across some grass, muddy in parts and then onto tarmac road going uphill a bit, then down to a sharp left turn, mind the mud. I was about in my eventual finishing position by this mud which had been tastefully disguised by some loose straw! You then go up the stony track for 2K it levels off a bit then you go up a really short sharp steep bit to the crest of the hill. 2K of a mad dash down the hill on a nice generally made up footpath. If you missed it the first time you get to do it all again and then peel off at the bottom of the hill, back across the grass to a finish on the track in front of a fairly crowded stadium. I had seen Steve Boynton who is going faster than I can manage at the moment so a category win was not on today, managed 2nd though, 3 minutes adrift in 45.16 in 45th place. The race was won by Joe Sagar of Spen &District AC in 35.13. First lady Johanna Winks of Halifax Harriers in 42.33 in 21st place. Andy Webster 71st in 47.47, Sara Elliott 90th in 48.46 and Ian Broadbent 178th in 54.37. All chip times. The breeze was unnoticeable as the route was pretty well sheltered by trees all the way.

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Saturday 10th December: Ballyroan 10 mile Road Race

Report from Liam:

I went home to Ireland last week and the visit coincided with my club’s inaugural 10mile road race on Sat 10th Dec. Weather conditions were excellent and the race consisted of a slight downhill start out of the village of Ballyroan and then a two lap undulating route before returning back to the finish in the village.

As with most races in Ireland there is a fairly comprehensive prize list and this one was no different. Such prizes tend to attract some decent runners and at the start I recognised a lot of pretty swift fellas lining up. I decided my goal for the day would be to go under the hour with a top ten finish and maybe sneak a possible age group prize. The downhill start encouraged me to go off a little too fast and by mile three I was struggling to stay with a group of five slighty quicker runners. I had to drop back a bit and settled into a more comfortable pace for the next 3-4 miles and just about hung on to the finish.

It’s been a while since I have done a road race so I was happy to finish 12th with a time of 57.46 and took home 60 euros for 1st M40. It was 25 euros to enter but for that everyone got a t-shirt, a medal, chip timing and lots of drinks and bananas at the finish. Also, afterwards in the local village hall there was lots of tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes for all.

The winner was Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harriers in a time of 50.38 with Paula Grant (63.01) of Portlaoise AC taking the honours in the ladies race.

Full results can be found at