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Gargrave Fell Race is a splash hit
10:05am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
Buy this photo » Harry Nichols leads the way from Beth Roberts in the under-nine race
Gargrave Show Fell Race continues to gain in popularity with a record turnout of 156 runners on Saturday.
The five age group race categories attracted runners of all abilities from far and wide, London, Surrey, Kent, Wolverhampton and of course club runners and individuals from the North West and much closer to home – indeed half the population of Airedale Avenue in Gargrave.
The Atkinson, Roberts and Barrett families all reside in the aforementioned Avenue and put in some fantastic prize winning performances .
There were many other local performances to be proud of too, particularly those runners who were taking part in the event for the first time.
The first race was the under nines, one of the youngest competitors was third generation Wharfedale Runner six year old Nathan Hird who is following in the footsteps of his father Matthew and his grandfather David.
The Wharfedale club also provided the eldest runner on the field, Graham Breeze, suffice to say he is a veteran over 60 but he proved that he can still show the younger runners a clean pair of heels.
The junior sections were bursting with both talent and determination and it is worth noting that for those contemplating a future in athletics and competitive sport that Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee was a winner in the under-17s section back in 2002.
Local competitors faced some strong opposition with the appearance of club runners from Blackburn Harriers, Ilkley Harriers, Rossendale, Holmfirth Harriers, and Mercia Fell Runners.
However Gargrave is producing some fine talent and non more so than Beth Roberts who was first girl in the under nines and also first runner overall marginally ahead of William Nichols from Horton-in-Craven.
Beth was the winner of the Weatherill trophy which is awarded to the highest-placed local female from any of the five age categories.
There was some sibling rivalry in the under-12 race which is generally known for being the most competitive age range.
Brother and sister Katie and Will Atkinson are both enjoying highly-successful seasons on the BOFRA race circuit.
However it was Ilkley Harrier Max Bradley who led home the 27 competitors just ahead of last year’s winner Logan Hargreaves of Wharfedale Harriers.
Nine-year-old Will picked up the third prize and first local award whilst 11-year-old Katie was the first girl in fifth position. Gargrave`s Charlotte Barrett was second girl home.
Numbers took a slight dip in the under-14 section but Wharfedale Harrier Robbie Johnstone from Colne returned an impressive winning time.
Second was Holmfirth Harrier Harry Shelbourne and Blackburn Harrier Natalya Irvine was the first girl. First local was Reagan Atkinson of Hill Top Farm, Coniston Cold who came home in eighth position.
The under-17s’ race was won by 14-year-old Billy Starling of Mercia Fell Runners. Second was Josh Atkinson of Coniston Cold –a position that secured him the highest-placed local male runner from any of the five age categories and the Donald McKell trophy.
Twins Lucy and Joanne Williamson of Ilkley Harriers were first and second girls respectively.
The senior race saw an incredible turn out of 83 competitors. It was thought that last year’s winner Jack Simpson of Leeds City AC would be unable to defend his title due to injury but recovery prevailed.
There was a strong contingent of Wharfedale Harriers and some hitherto unknowns from all parts of the country.
There were participants from Craven Energy, the triathlon club from Skipton and as the skies darkened it looked like they may be in their element with the water feature .
Adding some fun to the proceedings was Andy Holden who chose to run in a Sumo suit.
Also taking part was Skipton AC runner Julian Hood who had ridden the 130- mile Tour de France cycle route the day before.
A river crossing, meadowland, ploughed field, pasture, a tunnel of rhododendrons, woodland and a climb to the shoulder of Sharphaw and a turn at the Trigg point. confronted the runners.
Simpson proved to be just too good again and for his rivals and crossed the line in 22.23, bettering his 2012 winning time.
Second was Wharfedale Harrier and this year’s co-organiser of Kilnsey Show fell race, Ted Mason, the current BOFRA champion.
Jim Roberts was first local man and Jayne Butterworth was the first local and third lady smashing three minutes off her 2012 time.
Under-nine boys: 1 William Nichols (unattached) 6.05, 2 Freddie Swaine (unattached) 6.08 3. Sam Benson (Keighley/Craven) 6.24, 4 Addison Willis (Keighley/Craven) 6.27, 5 Douglas Seggar Staveley (Settle Harriers 6.30).
Girls: 1 Beth Roberts.Keighley/Craven 6.02 (first local ), 2. Emma Peel.(unattached) 6.21 3. Hannah Jackson (Keighley/Craven) 6.48.
Under-12 boys: 1 Max Bradley (Ilkley Harriers) 6.27, 2 Logan Hargreaves (Wharfedale Harriers) 6.30, 3. Will Atkinson (Keighley/Craven) 6.33 (first local), 4. Sebastian Seggar (Staveley. Settle Harriers) 6.45, 5. Louie Hudson (unattached) 7.03.
Girls: 1. Katie Atkinson (Keighley/Craven) 6.50, 2 Charlotte Barrett (Wharfedale Harriers) 7.26. 3. Lauren (Gregg Rossendale )7.32.
Under-14 boys: 1. Robbie Johnstone (Wharfedale Harriers) 9.10, 2 Harry Shelbourne (Holmfirth Harriers) 9.22, 3 Joe Hudson (Keighley/Craven) 9.56, 4 Sam Jackson (Keighley/Craven) 10.01, 5 Joe Starling (Mercia Fell Runners) 10.27. First local: Reagan Atkinson.(unattached) 11.04.
Girls: 1 Natalya Irvine (Blackburn Harriers) 9.43, 2 Sophie Hawkins (unattached) 11.44, 3 Laura Knowles (Keighley/Craven) 11.46.
Under-17 boys: 1 Billy Starling. Mercia Fell Runners 15.02, 2 Josh Atkinson.U/A 15.10 (first local), 3 Jacob Jackson.(unattached) 15.45.
Girls: 1 Lucy Williamson (Ilkley Harriers) 15.24, 2 Joanne Williamson (Ilkley Harriers) 17.06, 3 Shona Monks (Rossendale) 18.57.
Senior men: 1 Jack Simpson (Leeds AC) 22.23, 2 Ted Mason (Wharfedale Harriers) 22.34, 3 Mark McGoldrick (Wharfedale Harriers) 22.53, 4 Jimmy Craig (Wharfedale Harriers) 23.01, 5 Nicholas Charlesworth (Wharfedale Harriers) 23.55 (first veteran over 40), 6 Ashley Holt (Rossendale) 24.00.
First local man: Jim Roberts (Wharfedale Harriers) 28.09.
Senior women: 1. Claire Lilley (Skipton AC) 29.00, 2 Emma Hopkinson (unattached) 29.40, 3 Jayne Butterworth (Skipton AC) 30.09 (first local lady).
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