IT was a busy start to the New Year for the Harriers, with the focus last weekend on the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships at Lightwater Valley.

Pride of place went to Euan Brennan. He won the men’s under-20 event, which was run over 8,240m, in a stunning time of 26 minutes and 26 seconds.

It has been a memorable few weeks for Euan and, following his seventh place at the British Cross Challenge, he was selected for the England under-20 cross country team to compete at the International Cross Country in Elgoibar, Spain, this weekend.

Bethan Morley was a superb second in the ladies under-17 at Lightwater Valley, while Dom Coy was fourth in the men’s under-17.

As for the Harriers' older contingent, there were two senior ladies teams and Ilkley A were sixth out of 35, with Jemima Elgood (20th), Pauline Munro (25th), Kate Archer (33rd), Beth Massey (63rd) and Sarah Pickering (67th) all in the top 70.

A strong senior men’s squad also notched a top ten placing, finishing eighth out of 38.

Jack Wood led the charge by taking seventh place on the 10.3km course, with a time of 33:46. Istvan Jacso, Dan McKeown and Steve Gott all dipped under the 38-minute mark too.

Several Harriers made it a cross-country double by also running in the latest PECO series race at West Park on Sunday.

A 5.5-mile route, which mixed undulating terrain, saw the Harriers' Rachel Carter place an impressive 20th out of 396 in the women’s standings.

Elsewhere at the weekend, the latest Ilkley win came from Nicole Liptrot, who was the first lady in the ten-mile race at the Sir Titus Trot event on the Leeds-Liverpool canal near Saltaire.

She was also 14th overall in a time of 1:24:47, over two minutes in front of the second lady, Sarah Oliver.

The week had begun with the Auld Lang Syne fell race on Haworth Moor - with Chevin Chase winner Jack Wood having to settle for the runner-up spot after a mid-race tumble.

He was quickly back on his feet, but the mishap was arguably the difference between first and second, with Ribble Valley's Chris Holdsworth crossing the line 49 seconds to the good.

Pauline Munro (54th), Kate Archer (60th) and Helen Wood (65th) were instrumental in Ilkley’s ladies winning the team prize at the same event.

Twenty-four hours later, and New Year’s Day saw a pair of fell races.

The Nine Standards race from Kirkby Stephen covered 12.9km and navigation was made easier thanks to the spring-like weather.

Will Buckton notched a personal best time of one hour, three minutes and 30 seconds, which was good enough for 32nd, with fellow Harrier Colin Williams 52nd in 1:07:45.

The Giants Tooth fell race, on the same day, was a shorter three-mile affair on a rolling trail up to the standing stone above Ogden Water and back.

Again two Harriers took part. The busy Steve Gott finished ninth out of 186 in 18:19 behind winner Robin Howie (17:10) of Wharfedale Harriers, with Michael Duffield 54th in 21:58.

Several Harriers also took the opportunity on New Year’s Day to run not one but two Parkruns, including Rob Cunningham, who clocked 19:09 at Fulham Palace and 19:20 at Richmond.

Finally, in Wales, Michael Lomas was an impressive fifth out of 616 runners at Barry Island in 18:22.