ILKLEY Harriers ladies and men’s teams both made the top 20 at the North of England Cross Country Championships last weekend.

Over 2,200 competitors took part in the event at Pontefract racecourse - and the going was ‘good’, with favourable weather and underfoot conditions.

The women finished as the 12th team, with Pauline Munro leading them home in 46th individually.

Kate Archer (73rd) and Rachel Carter (105th) came next, but it was a tremendous all-round effort from the nine-strong team.

The men had a 12km course to contend with, and Jack Wood was again at the sharp end of the race.

Out of over 700 runners, he was 14th in a time just under 40 minutes, with Leeds’ Emile Cairess winning in 38:05.

Overall the male Harriers were the 19th team.

Also to the fore was youngster Euan Brennan who claimed a superb second in the men’s under-20 race at Pontefract, just 10 seconds behind winner Rory Leonard of Morpeth.

Jemima Elgood was a fine fifth in the women’s under-20 contest, while Dom Coy and Bethan Morley both placed in the top 10 of the respective under-17 events.

The first Harriers league race of 2019 took place on Sunday - the well-named Meltham ‘Tough’ 10K.

Arctic temperatures combined with a decidedly stiff breeze to make for a character-building experience in a road event which involves 674 feet of climbing.

Aptly, it was last year’s overall league winner Colin Williams who was the first Harrier home in 40th place (out of 391).

Both Colin and Sally Armitage, who was 89th in an impressive 46:16, came second in their respective categories, and they were swiftly followed by Craig Berry and by Steve Newell.

Hilda Coulsey and Petra Bijsterveld crossed the line next, completing a busy weekend after also taking part in the Northern XC the day before.

Also on Sunday was the Tigger Tor fell race, organised by Totley AC.

It covered 9.7 miles and 1,600 feet of climbing and took place in picturesque wintry - and windy - conditions.

Ilkley’s British F50 fell champion Alison Weston was in action for the Harriers, finishing in a time of one hour and 53 minutes.

And on the Parkrun front, Sally Malir was the first lady at Bradford in a time of 21:52.