LAST weekend was another enjoyably busy one for Ilkley Harriers, with markedly contrasting challenges - from the 'Big Flat Runway' races at Elvington Airfield to spectacular Lakes scenery in the 'Derwentwater Dawdle'.

The first round of the former event had taken place last October, though near gale-force winds hampered the chance of personal best times that day.

Sunshine and only a slight breeze made for a far more enjoyable experience at Elvington on Sunday.

The distance choices again ranged from 5km right up to a marathon, with the races staggered and athletes setting off in small groups at 15-second intervals in another expertly-run, COVID-safe event by Racebest.

And there were some notable performances by Ilkley runners, not least Colin Williams, who set a PB of three hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds in the marathon to take second in his age category after 10 laps of the airfield.

Youngster Harry Stead made his half-marathon debut the same day and registered an impressive first time of 1:31:41.

The highest overall race placing by a Harrier was Jaysson Sawyer's fourth in the 10 miles, in a fraction over an hour which was just two-and-a-half minutes behind winner Robert Cassy of Sheffield Running Club. Ilkley's Sally Armitage was 22nd - and the second lady - in the same event in a PB of 1:06:26.

Phil Hirst clocked 48:16 in the 10km while Mike Abrams-Cohen rounded off a busy weekend with 18:40 in the 5km having crossed the line in an even swifter 18:07 at the York EvenSplits race at Heslington on Friday night.

A world away from the pan flat circuits of those York events was the 'Derwentwater Dawdle' near Keswick on Saturday, a stunning 23-mile self-navigated route that took in three tough ascents totalling a whopping 4,300ft.

Superbly organised in these challenging COVID times by Ascend Events, Michael Duffield and Dave Robson were the two Harriers who made the journey to the Lakes. And they were rewarded with a day to remember amid the spectacular scenery - all under bonus blue skies and sunshine.

Starting in Braithwaite, the first big ascent was to the summit of Cat Bells. Other iconic viewpoints included Castle Crag, Dock Tarn and Ashness Bridge as the runners completed an extended loop around Derwentwater.

As the 'Dawdle' title indicates, it was as much about enjoying the scenery and tackling the testing terrain as flat-out racing but that didn't stop the Ilkley duo from crossing the line together in five hours and 48 minutes for the near-marathon distance.Though not a race as such, one other eye-catching Harriers achievement to report from the weekend was Kate Archer's outstanding time of 3:07:05 for the Ilkley Skyline, a 35km route which takes in the tops of the moors on both sides of the valley.It's taken over first place on the Strava leaderboard and is likely to be confirmed as the record time by a female runner.