Ilkley's Adams pipped in bid to retain his Jack Bloor Fell Race title

9:43am Thursday 23rd May 2013

The 2012 winner Tom Adams had to settle for second place in last week’s Jack Bloor Fell Race on Ilkley Moor.

The Ilkley Harriers runner was beaten by 24-year-old Chris Smithard of Deeside Orienteers after a close battle over the 8.4 kilometre course.

Adams led to the halfway point with Smithard in hot pursuit.

With each runner taking a different path over the high ground, Smithard overhauled Adams to win in 38 minutes 40 seconds.

Smithard said: “I had heard a lot about the Jack Bloor even before I moved to Leeds so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to finally run it.”

Despite the new sections of flag-stoned path, Greg Hull’s 2007 course record of 38:04 still stands.

Third place went to Matthew John of Otley AC.

In fourth position and winning the veteran over-40 class was Tom Brunt of Dark Peak Fell Runners.

James Mountain of Ilkley Harriers was an impressive sixth overall and the first under-23 finisher, winning the Arthur Dolphin Trophy.

Steve Webb of Valley Striders retained his over-50 veteran title whilst Ben Grant of Harrogate Harriers was the first veteran in the over-60 class.

Jo Waites of Calder Valley impressively won both the overall women’s race and the first lady veteran over-40 title in 46:40.

Julia Leventon of Valley Striders was second and third place went to Otley-based Gill Myers of Wharfedale Harriers along with the over-50 title.

Lucy Crookes of Leeds University retained her under-23 title and the Pat Bloor Trophy.

With three runners to count Ilkley Harriers won the men’s team competition followed by Otley AC then Pudsey & Bramley.

Ilkley Harriers took both first and third places in the women’s team competition with Wharfedale Harr- iers taking second place.

Throughout the rest of the field individual runners battled with personal rivals or simply enjoyed the challenge and atmosphere of the race.

All were rewarded with a bottle of fine dinner ale from the senior race sponsor, the Ilkley Brewery Company.

Terry Lonergan of Complete Runner, a loyal sponsor and supporter of both the Jack Bloor Memorial Fund and Races, presented the coveted senior race trophies.

These races commemorate Jack Bloor an accomplished outdoor sportsman who did so much to encourage young people to engage in sport.

All monies raised through race entries, the cake stall and individual donations help support young people under-26 to develop physical and technical skills in any recognised outdoor sport.

Applications are welcome at any time and further details can be found at www.jackbloor.co.uk Despite the cool evening the ever-popular junior races saw 118 children tackle courses of half a mile, one mile or 1.5 miles in one of five age-based classes (u-8, u-10, u-12, u-14, u-16).

Some were simply there to enjoy the occasion with several trying their first fell race. Others were out to beat rivals or improve on a previous time.

Ben Kett won the u-8 race in just 4:34 seconds whilst Sarah Bradley took the girls’ u-8 title in 4:45.

The first girl in the u-10 race was Ilkley Harries’ Poppy Anderson whilst Freddie Ziegler was the overall winner.

Competition amidst the 34 runners in the u-12 race saw some very close finishing times.

Wharfedale Harriers’ Jack Muir took first place and Beth Morley of Ilkley Harriers won the girls’ u-12 race.

Thomas Nelson of Wharfedale Harriers took the boys’ u-14 title in eight minutes exactly whilst Ilkley Harriers’ Lucy Jacques was first home in the girls’ u-14 race.

Climbing to the cairn above Rocky Valley the u-16 course provides a springboard for future entry to the senior race.

Winning the u-16 race in 12:19 was Harry Muir of Wharfedale Harriers.

Spectators were treated to fantastic sport as second place Mark Mahoney of Settle Harriers was chased to the finish line by Ilkley Harriers’ Lucy Haines who won the girl’s u-16 title.

Sponsored by Smoooth, the Café and Deli on Ilkley’s Wells Road, every junior runner received a voucher for a free smoothie as a reward for their efforts.

The top three boys and girls in each category were presented with certificates together with hand- crafted brownies and cookies from Smoooth.

The Gritstone Club, Airienteers, and Ilkley Harriers again put in a lot of work to make the event possible.

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