NEARLY 1,400 runners took part in the popular Ilkley Half Marathon on Sunday, with the race a significant fundraiser for local causes.

First held in 2019 but unable to occur last year, it was again brilliantly organised - all the more impressive given the challenges and restrictions imposed by Covid.

And nearly 100 Ilkley Harriers lined up at the staggered start, with a range of fantastic performances across the board.

Jack Cummings, the inaugural race winner, had to settle for fourth this time in one hour, 12 minutes and 58 seconds, with Otley's Scott Harrington landing the spoils in 1:11:10.

There were two other Harriers in the top 10 - Oli Murphy and Cameron Reilly finishing fifth and seventh respectively, which also helped Ilkley land the team prize.

And the ladies matched that feat - Lucy Williamson was third on a quickfire visit home from university and Rachel Carter was fifth, with Caroline Turner of Lonely Goat Running Club successfully defending her title from 2019.

And there were age category wins for Gill Scott (FV50), Jonathan Sinclair (MV60) and Barbara Bullock (FV70).

But above all it was a fun day, with the route lined by helpful marshalls and plenty of crowd support from family and friends through Ilkley and beyond.

It came the day after the Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon, which saw Ilkley's Matt Cox take sixth place in 1:39:32 (and first MV40).

Run from the rugby club at Threshfield, the race takes in a loop featuring Grassington, Coniston, the challenging climb of Mastiles Lane and then back via Bordley and Boss Moor.

Also to the fore was fellow Harrier Jenny Roberts, who was second lady home in 1:50:23 - and she then ran the following day in the Ilkley Half where she was only a fraction over the 1:30 mark!

Jo Foster took second place in the FV50 standings at Wharfedale.

Stepping up in distance and Saturday saw the latest success for Jane McCarthy.

She was the first lady home in Lakeland Trails' 55km Ultra through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the Lake District.

And in the same event, there was a prize too for Andrew Merrick, who topped the MV60 standings, while fellow Harrier Helen Waddington knocked 50 minutes off her previous best time.

And if 55km isn't enough, how about 100km? That was the task Forrest Hamilton set himself, even though he'd never run a marathon before!

Having been bitten by the ultrarunning bug during lockdown, he entered the Race to the Stones, which follows the ancient ridgeway path from Lewknor, at the edge of the Chilterns, to Avebury in Wiltshire. And despite his relative lack of experience, he relished the experience, crossing the line in an impressive 130th out of 1,285 finishers in a time of 12:13:00. And a big well done to Beth Rogers (FU17) and Dylan Shinn (MU17), who were both winners at the Silsden 'Murder Mile'.