ILKLEY Harriers' ladies fielded two teams of six at the prestigious Northern Road Relays in Birkenhead on Sunday.

The race, which featured a high-quality field, consisted of two longer legs of 8km and four shorter ones of 4km, all around Birkenhead Park.

The A team performed spectacularly, finishing in 14th position out of 64 teams in total (54 of which completed the race) - equalling the highest position the club has ever achieved at these championships.

There were some very fast individual performances, with Sarah Pickering’s 15 minutes and 12 seconds the quickest of all.

The B team were a respectable 42nd place, again with everyone putting in great individual times - and plenty of Harriers taking part in the event for the first time.

Also on Sunday was the Wilmslow Half Marathon, which featured the latest record-breaking performance from Ilkley’s Hilda Coulsey.

She set a new FV65 club record for the distance, her time of one hour, 58 minutes and 33 seconds fully six minutes quicker than the previous best which had stood since 2007.

Nearly 3,000 runners finished the race - including another Harrier in Petra Bijsterveld, who clocked 2:04:26 on the traffic-free course.

Sunday’s Wakefield 10km was another big-field road event, and Ilkley’s Pete Shields dipped under the 50-minute mark in 49:34 for first place in the MV70 age category and 414th out of nearly 2,000 finishers overall.

The previous Sunday, Geoff Howard was the first MV75 at the Bradford 10km, and it’s since emerged that the performance has put the Harrier at the top of the GB rankings for the category.

Off the road, there was another brilliant performance from Kate Archer in the Edale Skyline fell race.

She was the fourth lady, the first FV40 and set a personal best by well over 30 minutes with a time of three hours, 27 minutes and 35 seconds for what is a classic skyline race over nearly 34km in the Peak District, with 1,150m of climbing.

There was also a fine run from Alison Weston, who was the second FV50 runner home.

Another testing fell race (24km, over 1,000m of elevation) took place at Heptonstall, with windy conditions making it even tougher than normal.

Three Harriers took part, Helen Wood finishing 82nd, Mark Judowski in 211th and Adela Reperecki 235th.

There was an endurance challenge of a different kind at the Yorkshire Cakeathon, a race where you run as many 6.55mile laps in six hours, and you get to eat a piece of cake after each lap, hence the name.

Colin Williams took the plunge for the Harriers, registering four laps to complete a marathon in an impressive 3:48:57 before deciding to call it a day and tuck into the cake without the distractions of running.

Finally, in Saturday’s Parkruns, Michael Abrams-Cohen and Dave Reynier were both in the top 25 at Bradford, as was Rob Cunningham at Clapham Common.


Northern Road Relays, Sunday


(1 1:47:30 Rotherham)

14 2:04:12 Ilkley Harriers A

Jane McCarthy 30:51 (8k)

Sarah Pickering 15:12

Beth Massey 15:52

Rachel Carter 30:34 (8k)

Sally Malir 16:15

Sally Armitage 15:28

42 2:23:58 Ilkley Harriers B

Abigail Swales 35:40 (8k)

Nicky Liptrot 17:10

Tracey Watson 17:08

Helen Waddington 38:17 (8k)

Jayne Norman 19:21

Caroline Howe 16:22

54 teams completed

Wilmslow Half Marathon, Sunday

(1 1:05:26 Nigel Martin, Sale Harriers)

1858 1:58:33 Hilda Coulsey

2135 2:04:26 Petra Bijsterveld

2836 finished

Wakefield 10k, Sunday

(1 32:05 Joe Sagar, Spen)

414 49:34 Pete Shields 1st V70

1723 runners

Edale Skyline fell race, Sunday

(1 2:34:11 Carl Bell, Keswick)

49 3:27:35 Kate Archer

201 4:19:21 Alison Weston

286 runners

Heptonstall Fell Race, Sunday

(1 1:50:22 Phil Marsden, Horwich Harriers)

82 2:24:53 Helen Wood

211 2:56:16 Mark Judowski

235 3:05:37 Adela Reperecki

279 finished

Parkruns, Saturday


(1 17:15 unknown)

10 20:08 Michael Abrams-Cohen

23 21:40 Dave Reynier

73 24:10 Oscar Street

154 27:27 Paula Reynier

463 ran

Clapham Common

(1 17:23 Christoph Neumayer, U/A)

24 19:22 Rob Cunningham

754 ran