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Racheal Bamford's finishing kick helps her retain Inter-County Championship metric mile
Otley Athletics Club’s Racheal Bamford has successfully defended her 1500 metre title at the United Kingdom CAU Inter-County Championships.
The reigning Northern champion won with her trademark sprint finish, also leading Yorkshire women to second place in the team competition.
There were no heats, and Bamford had Carnegie friend Sarah Kemshall (Humberside) for company.
There was a steady pace set for the first two laps (72 seconds and 2min 24sec) which both ensured that the group stayed together but that they weren’t tripping over each other either.
With about 700 metres to go, Sarah McDonald took on the pace, aiming to do a ‘Mo Farah’ and wind it up to the finish.
Bamford said: “With 300 metres to go, I drew level but decided to stay there until the final 100 metres and kick for home.
“Happily I had enough in the tank for a good kick and, even to my embarrassment now, raised my arms over the finish line.
“I hadn’t planned to . . . I think it was sort of a relief reflex.”
McDonald hung on for second but was chased hard by Kemshall, who claimed bronze and a big personal best.
Bamford added: “That pretty much finishes my season.
“I would have liked to have a crack at lowering my 800m and 1500m personal bests but there doesn’t seem to be any races left on the calendar – except for one in Watford and one in Exeter, which is a bit of a trek!”
There was a strong contingent of Ilkley Harriers at the Burnsall Ten-Mile Road Race, and there were great results from the ladies, who took the first team prize.
Caz Farrow finished third, Kate Archer fourth and Val Kerr 12th.
Rob Cunningham led Ilkley’s men to second place in the team event, helped by Steve Morley and Henry Heavisides.
Rob completed what was a tough course in under an hour – a fine achievement. Hilda Coulsey was first female 60.
Results: 1 52:09 Alan Buckley, Leeds, 8 59:48 Rob Cunningham, 22 64:19 Steve Morley, 25 64:50 Henry Heavisides 2nd V50, 32 67:57 Caz Farrow 3rd lady, 45 71:14 Kate Archer 4th lady, 52 72:52 Neil Chapman, 53 72:56 Stephen Rhodes, 55 73:14 Ewan Welsh, 58 74:48 Phil Hirst, 68 77:36 Chris Cunningham, 74 79:06 Val Kerr 3rd L40, 98 87:56 Hilda Coulsey 1st L60, 107 91:40 Paul Sugden, 122 finished.
Immediately after the road race, Cunningham changed into his fell shoes for the Burnsall Classic Fell Race, which climbs 274 metres in just 1.2kilometres.
Bradley Chapman finished 17th to lead Ilkley to fifth team out of 13, backed up by Steve Turland (20th) and Will Buckton (27th).
Results: 1 14:10 Simon Bailey, Mercia), 17 17:31 Bradley Chapman, 20 17:54 Steve Turland, 27 18:26 Will Buckton, 44 19:39 Simon Everett, 89 23:07 Rob Cunningham, 133 finished.
Ian Rowbotham and Jim Ryder represented Ilkley well in the 14km/610m Weasdale Horseshoe around the northern Howgill fells, finishing 11th and 16th respec-tively out of 53.
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