A DOZEN Ilkley Harriers enjoyed a return to racing and some spectacular Dales scenery at the Burnsall Trail Half Marathon last weekend.

The event was superbly organised by Due North, complying with the latest government guidelines and England Athletics advice.

Blessed with blue skies and sunshine, the start times were spread over an hour, meaning the runners were effectively racing against the clock.

A challenging 21km of trails and fields featured over 500m of elevation with three prominent hills.

Owen Beilby of Wharfedale Harriers won the men’s race in one hour, 24 minutes and 35 seconds, and Scout Adkin of Ambleside AC took the women’s title in 1.31.37.

First Harrier was Steven Bysouth in 1:37:27, which placed him an impressive 16th out of 325 finishers.

Rob Cunningham was the next Ilkley runner home in 1:47:13, with Justin Pierce the third Harrier in a fraction under two hours.

The first Ilkley lady was Alison Weston in 2:12:04, just ahead of Jayne Norman in 2:15:49 who improved her course personal best by no less than 22 minutes.

And there were top-five placings in their respective age categories for Weston, Mike Williams and Hilda Coulsey on a day where runners, volunteers and organisers were all smiles at the opportunity to race again.

Many were quick to sign up for the other two Due North series events over the half marathon distance, coming up at Kettlewell and Skipton.

The weekend also featured a notable achievement by Cameron Reilly, who set a new all-time Ilkley club record for 5km with his stunning 14:30 at Mallory Park.

That broke his own previous best time of 14:46. He was 12th finisher and second in his U20 age category.

The weekends results follow on from Dave Foyston’s return to form, after coming back to race from injury.

The Podium 5k series at Barrowford was split into small heats depending on personal best times, and the sole Harrier representation came from Dave Foyston.

It marked a significant milestone in his comeback from a serious back injury he suffered in 2020.

He’d already shown he was recapturing his best form with an overall fifth place in the Lockdown League series in February and March and he underlined that at Barrowford with an impressive time of 17 minutes and 46 seconds, very close to his pre-injury PB.

.RESULTS from this weekend:

1. Owen Beilby (Wharfedale Harriers) 1:24:35

16 Steven Bysouth 1:37:27

39 Rob Cunningham 1:47:13

87Justin Pierce 1:59:11

156 Alison Weston 2:12:04

169 Mike Williams 2:15:29

170 Jayne Norman 2:15:49

181 Keith Wood 2:18:29

182 John Pickering 2:18:30

185 Anna Nolan 2:18:58

237 Hilda Coulsey 2:28:52

256 Rebecca White 2:32:42

290 Jacqui Weston 2:45:08

325 completed