Torrent tracker

Saturday 14th November – Race 3 WYXC League – Keighley

Report from the Hon. Handicapper.

With the alternative attraction of the Abbey Dash tomorrow, we unfortunately didn’t quite manage to finish a team in either of the senior races.  The course next to Cliffe Castle was easily the muddiest so far this season. Each lap included a steep climb, followed by a very tricky adverse camber, a steep muddy downhill and then a short steep bank, which several people struggled to even get up!  The rest was of the lap was a flat, punctuated with several switch backs to disrupt the rhythm.

As usual the ladies were first off for the seniors and there was a tight battle on the first two of the 3 lap course, between the track star Alex Bell, Pudsey & Bramley & Mountain, Fell, Cross Country specialist Katie Walshaw, Holmfirth.  Alex eventually prevailing by 11 seconds in 19:33.  Caron Ralph revelled in the conditions to finish 49th 27:16, followed by Jackie Ackroyd in 63rd, 29:51.

The mens race was 4 large laps & 1 short and Tom Adams, Ilkley H. dominated again but young Emile Cairess from Leeds pushed him a little harder this time, Tom winning in 23:24.  I made a school boy error getting caught unawares on the last lap thinking I had another lap to go,  doh.. finishing 29th 26:49, next was David Cattanach, 127th 45:28, battling with Sean for much of the race who was just behind 128th 45:55, and last but definitely not least was Antonio Cardinale 129th 51:20.

PS. If anyone wants to run at the next one at Nunroyd Park, Yeadon on Sun. 6th Dec. & isn’t already entered in the league.  Please let me know.  It’s not too late to enjoy the thrills & spills of the West Yorks. cross country.


Saturday 14th November – Park Runs

Fountains Abbey:  1st Mark Bryant Unattached 17:34,  1st Lady Suzanne Rickard, Ripon Runners 21:56,  7th Peter Crowder 19:32,  53rd Gilly Wight 25:05.

Keswick:  1st Des Morris Unattached 18:57, 1st Lady Annabel Holmes, Keswick AC 21:25,  51st Joanna Hobson 27:29, (A park run pb by 43 seconds for Joanna).

Wetherby: 1st Jamie Thompson, Wetherby R. 20:33,  1st Lady Gill Boynton, York Acorn RC 26:59,  15th Howard Jeffrey 26:30.

Woodhouse Moor: 1st Daniel Lawton, Stockport H. 16:11,  1st Lady Maxine Thompson, Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton H. & AC 20:35,  41st James Kettleborough 21:17.


Thursday 12th November: todmorden 5k

Report from Tom Lynch

It was a dark and stormy night, so I decided to go for a run in a park in Todmorden, one of the wettest races I’ve had this year! The race is part of a 4 race series of 5k races round a 1 mile lap starting at Todmorden Cricket Club and looping round Centre Vale Park. The race starts at 18:45 and so is run in the dark with headtorches. The course is potentially a good flat PB course, although it has a few sharps turns. However, in the wind, ankle deep puddles and the lashing rain, not to mention the darkness, it didn’t really work out for me. I got round in a time of 19:38 and came 9th, the winner was Rob James in 17:15 and first woman was Kay Welsby in 20:45. The race series is fairly cheap to enter, £22 for 4 races, or £7 per race, and you get chip timing, but they are fairly difficult to get to due to the early start time, I might consider one of the others if the weather looks better. Almost as challenging as the race was the drive home over the tops via Bingley.
Full results at


Sunday 8th November: Harewood 10

Report from Howard:

I have had a bit of a niggling injury since August so my running training has been a bit sporadic. A park run here a race there and the stamina maintained by the swimming and biking. To remedy the injury I have filtered all the conflicting advice from the internet and scheduled the recovery action which I started a couple of weeks ago. It seemed to work as I finished the Guy Fawkes 10 with no ill effect albeit a couple of minutes down on the time I hoped for.
The organisers of the Harewood 10, my second claim club, Valley Striders, have changed the date and moved it into November from October. I have always entered this race and decided not to go to do the Dalby Dash in North Yorkshire which I had entered long since.
The previous few days had seen a lot of rain and about an hour before the start it was tipping it down again. Although there is a lot of made trails and tarmac there is an appreciable distance over fields and unmade paths so fast times were not going to be likely. The start is on grass which was a bit wet and squidgy (the rain had stopped) and this year it continued downhill and back up to join the trail up, up and up alongside the Harrogate road for about a mile. There is then a nice long descent where I made up some ground on one of my age group, John Ward of Abbey Runners. He remained ahead till about 5 miles when I overtook him on the road by Eccup reservoir. That would normally have been job done but today when we went over the fields the wet mud was extremely slippery and likewise the wet leaves through the woods. Normally I just let fly on the descents but I did not want to risk an injury so held back somewhat. John pushed ahead and I thought I would rein him in again on the flat or up the last very steep hill. Lack of speed work has left me without any zip at the moment so although I felt strong and was pushing I made no ground up on the flat. I gained a bit up the last hill but finished 23 seconds adrift 2nd in the age group. Stiff calves and thighs today but no real ill effects I don’t think.
The race was won in a surprisingly quick time of 55.35 by Daniel Jenkin of Durham City Harriers. 1st Lady in 33rd place was Claire Cooper of Keighley and Craven in 69.41. I came in 98th place in 79.20 having shared the experience with Andy Barker who was 123rd in 81.30 and Steven Smale, 156th in 84.58. Tom Potter 160th in 85.41. 319 finished.


Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th November: Lakeland trails dirty double

kirsty tom

Report from Tom Pomfrett:

This weekend Kirsty Pomfrett and I headed over to Glenridding for the Lakeland Trails Dirty Double weekender. The weather forecast looked grim but we decided to brave the elements for what has become a regular fixture in our calendars.

The first race was the 14km Helvellyn trail on Saturday. After the long climb from Glenridding up to Helvellyn Youth Hostel the course turned sharply left and entered technical rocky and muddy ground back towards Linty’s Tarn. My plan was to try and gain a few places on this section which (while successful) resulted in some pretty spectacular bruises as my feet moved faster than my brain. After this we contoured back up to the head of Grisedale valley before the fast finish downhill into Patterdale.

From 256 finishers the results were: Jonathan Cox (Eden Runners) 1st (57:39), Tom Pomfrett 28th (1:07:51), Kirsty Marsden 158th (1:23:46)

Full results for day 1 can be seen here.

Sunday was meant to involve getting a steamer to the far side of Ullswater followed by a 13km run back to Glenridding but due to the high winds and battering rain this was changed to a mass start 9km out and back from the event centre. The course was a mixture a rock, mud and overflowing stream but passed surprising swiftly and we soon found ourselves back where we started attempting to dry out before the drive home.

From 343 finishers the results were: Jonathan Cox (Eden Runners) 1st (37:27), Tom Pomfrett 23rd (43:56), Kirsty Marsden – Result gone missing, the search continues!

Full results for day 2 can be seen here.

All in all a brilliant mud bath of a weekend, thoroughly recommended!


Saturday November 7th: Podium 5k

Report from Mark Hall:

The organisers claim that this is the fastest 5k in the UK and it would be hard to argue with this as it is 5 laps of a totally flat cycle circuit with a super smooth tarmac surface.

However, the evening I decided to do it (18.30 start!) it was raining and very windy, unfortunately, the wind was blowing down the long finishing straight which was not ideal for producing fast times. The event usually runs 2 races for fast and slower runners but due to a reduced entry there was only one race with a very small field. As a result unless you managed to get in a group you were alone for 5k and it was more of a time trial. This was my situation and I ran 5k alone and so was pleased with the result.

Zack Whitehead ran and recorded an excellent time finishing 14th in 16.08, not sure if this is a PB. Looking good for Abbey Dash.

Winner. Phil Sersman Blackheath 14.43
Mark Hall. 17.11 (20th)
Zack Whitehead. 16.08 (14th)
Number runners. 291


Saturday 7th November: Burley Moor Run

jez liz

Report from Matt P:

Quite a few members ran this good local race on a very wet Saturday morning. Conditions were either sub optimal or to be revelled in depending on your outlook to mud – the hill off the moor was a little tricky. There was a good sized field for this with Tom Adams leading us home, Jemima Elgood 1st lady. I think we finished in approximately this order, Liam, Sam, Steve B, Laura C, Steve R, President, Eriks, Liz. Fairly sure I sure I saw Rogan as well. Jack and Kath cheered us on. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone. Here are the results in Excel format.
Took me a long time to clean the bath after!

And the results are in: Liam Dunne was 4th (47:18.01),  Sam Stell 7th (50:05.08), Jeremy Stewart 9th (50:53.5), Rogan Ashton 31st (55:30.01), Steven Robinson 33rd (55:39.01), Laura Clark 43rd (58:03.02), Matt Podd 98th (1:08:03), Eriks Zvaigzne 105st (1:10:44), Liz Fawcett 117th (1:13:24).

The winner was Tom Adams (Ilkley) setting a new course record of 42:00:03 and the first female in 27th place overall was Jemima Elgood (Ilkey) in 54:17.01.


Saturday 7th November: Park runs

Woodhouse Moor parkrun

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 Richard ALLEN Bracknell AC 00:16:04
12 12 Graham Lake Otley AC 00:18:36
21 1 Treena JOHNSON Dewsbury Road Runners 00:19:20
73 68 James KETTLEBOROUGH Otley AC 00:22:07
162 34 Gilly Wight Otley AC 00:26:13
205 54 Alice WEBSTER Otley AC 00:27:56
207 152 Andrew Webster Otley AC 00:27:57


Braunstone parkrun

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 Mark POWELL Leicester Coritanian AC 00:16:25
18 1 Vicky BADDICK (CALLAWAY) Charnwood AC 00:19:40
55 53 Tony WALKER Otley AC 00:22:17


Bradford parkrun

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 David STONEMAN Skyrac AC 00:18:00
14 1 Samantha HARRIS Valley Striders AC 00:21:00
78 71 Stephen SMALL Otley AC 00:25:18
81 74 Andrew Rayner Otley AC 00:25:22


Brueton parkrun

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 Andrew KAAR Coventry Godiva Harriers 00:17:24
32 32 Richard A CLARKE Otley AC 00:22:03
41 1 Caroline ROBERTSON Unattached 00:22:40


Riddlesdown parkrun

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 Thomas MIDGLEY Otley AC 00:19:41
7 1 Nicola ARCHER Unattached 00:21:46


Fountains Abbey parkrun

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 Toby OSMAN Ripon Runners 00:16:59
12 12 Peter Andrew CROWDER Otley AC 00:19:25
22 1 Chloe DALTON Ripon Runners 00:20:19



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Swinsty Hall – A ghost story for Halloween

A ghost story about Swinsty Hall – beware those of you running past on the Ken Dixon in December!
Interesting that the ghost in question is called Robinson – any relation to Phil?!

Phile writes: I believe the Hall was owned by a series of Robinsons from the 16th century, sadly no relation, but the place was occupied by an acquaintance of mine some years ago.

In the 1960s an advert appeared in the Yorks Post offering Swinsty Hall for rent to a suitable tenant. Several hundred people applied and the one chosen was a professional musician – A.C. He did concerts and recitals on radio three and also ran an amateur choir in Leeds in which my first wife was a soprano.

Alan invited us to dinner at Swinsty Hall about 1970. At that time electricity came from a diesel generator, water was piped in from a spring on the hillside behind the house, and drainage went into a septic tank. The upper floors were open-plan, amounting to three huge rooms. A.C. was a delightful chap with a rich speaking voice and a plummy Brian Sewell-type accent.

When we teased him about living in such grand surroundings he said: “Well, it’s only a three-bedroomed council house you know”… not quite true – it was owned by Yorkshire Water. I notice it’s now up for sale again with some recent improvements – all you need is £3.25 million.

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Sunday 1st November – Derwentwater 10

Sunday morning mist cleared as I drove north and by 11am Keswick visitors were strolling around in shirtsleeves soaking up the autumn sun. Fluffy bonnets of cloud sitting on Skiddaw, Blencathra and Helvellyn burnt off during the race leaving a perfectly clear and colourful landscape with temperatures around 18-19C.  Hanging out by the Moot Hall before the start reminded me how attractive the centre of Keswick is, with its old pubs and cafes, especially in sunshine.

The race has been going for many years, but our starter remarked that this year’s field was the largest yet. The current course has been modified to allow a traffic-free finish on the Portinscale side of the river Derwent. This involved adding an extra loop around Swinside and Stair to maintain the distance – not sure if it’s hillier than the old course, or whether it just seemed so. Unlike on previous visits here, this time I was the only Otley runner, but there were a few vaguely familiar West Yorkshire faces in the pack. Another great event to be recommended.

Results: 1 – Russ Best (New Marske) 51.53, 2 – Chris Steele (Border) 52.30, 3 – James Appleton  (Keswick) 53.39, 268 – Phil Robinson 84.46; 435 finishers.