Report from Rob Grant
Hello everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these….
13th September 2020 saw the post-COVID return for some of us to something like proper racing. After a LOT of organisation, reorganisation, public image management, numerous recces both official and unofficial and pre-race briefs (and pre-pre-race briefs) like you have never seen before Keighley and Craven AC managed to get the Yorkshireman off-road marathon and half-marathon up and away. Despite the staggered start (which actually served very well to reduce (my) stress levels and the queues for the toilets beforehand) it felt very much like a proper race, especially at the end where there was the much-missed buzz of sweaty, dirty, exhausted runners, all with their unique, individual stories to tell about the one (ok, two in this case) race. They all had one thing in common though – that special feeling you get from having completed a race knowing you have given it everything you had on the day.
The Yorkshireman, be it the full or half-marathon version, is a tough, hilly, off-road blast round the lanes, fields and moorland around Haworth. I’d always fancied it, but until quite recently it had been too far outside of my comfort zone to contemplate giving it a go. It turns out that as long as you’ve recce’d it and know approximately where you are going it’s actually quite ‘runnable’, very friendly and really scenic.
COVID-19 has obviously affected our lives in many ways, and this race was a very welcome, if relatively small and insignificant step back towards something like ‘normal’ life. One of the quirkiest effects of COVID on this occasion was on the post-race catering, which was ‘takeaway only’. I’ve honestly never seen so many skinny runners happily tucking into pizza and full-fat coke whilst pretending not to enjoy it!
Full marathon results: Jonathan Cleaver of Rossendale Harriers won it in 03:31:41. I was 8th in 03:58:14 and 2nd MV40 (behind Jonathan, so who knows there may even be a pair of socks or a voucher in the post for me!). Also running in OAC colours were Lee Gumbrell and Matt Clegg who finished 47th in 05:29:16 and 48th in 05:30:14 respectively. First lady was Jo Buckley of Bingley Harriers in 04:12:10
Half-marathon results: Ed Hyland of Calder Valley Fell Runners won in 01:43:37. First lady was Josie Lloyd of Mercia Fell Runners in 02:06:48. For Otley AC Richard Smith was 4th in 01:50:59, Graham Lake was 17th in 02:06:08, Sara Elliott was 36th in 02:20:49, Andrew Webster was 66th in 02:44:08 and Philip Robinson was 68th in 02:45:17 and remarkably only second in the MV70 category, behind one David Watts. I can only assume that Phil wishes he could be like him…….
Well done, everyone. Some great performances there. All results can be found here: