Report by Will Worboys

SEVENTEEN Harriers made the journey to Ripley Castle in Nidderdale to tackle the popular ‘Guy Fawkes’ ten-mile road race.

This turn out paid off handsomely with some excellent results ensuring that Ilkley took home the men’s team prize. A firm classic on the racing calendar, the event which is traditionally started by Guy Fawkes himself (or at least a lookalike), takes in scenic countryside and villages North West of Harrogate.

This year it attracted a bumper crowd with 805 finishers. Of those, Ilkley’s Matthew Thackwray came home in a magnificent 3rd place in a time of 57:48. This was all the more impressive when the hilly course with a total elevation of well over 1000ft is taken into account. Five minutes later the next Harrier David Foyston stormed home in 15th position. The women’s race was won by ex-Harrier Jemima Elgood, with Jean Sullivan being the first Ilkley lady to finish. There were several other great results led by Jeff Green who was 1st in the MV55 category, while Danny Thompson and John Hayes both finished 5th in their own age categories. Jaysson Sawyer relentlessly continued his inspirational recovery coming 9th in his category and 70th overall. Other strong runs were had by Iain Young, Steve Murray, Adam Gerrish and Justin Pierce who all finished in the first 100.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Ilkley’s Rachel Carter had a fantastic run to finish 4th lady in the ‘Shepherd’s Skyline’. Named after the Shepherd’s Rest pub where the race starts and finishes, the event includes a boggy traverse of the moors above Todmorden and is one of the tougher 10K’s that runners are likely to endure. The route ascends to the top of the fells twice and passes the famous ‘Stoodley Pike’ monument which is then followed by a death defying descent. Rachel was in 44th place overall and made it home in a time of 60:53. The race was won by Joe Baxter of Pudsey & Bramley and Holly Page of Calderdale.

As always there were plenty of Harriers visiting Saturday morning’s 5K parkruns. The most visited was Roberts Park where nine attended. There were particularly impressive runs from Steve Coy who finished in 7th place and Vince Gibbons who managed yet another PB. Just down the road at Myrtle Park Bingley, James Horrex was first finisher from the 117 who took part. Elsewhere Jane McCarthy was first female at Skipton and Mark Hall and James Lee finished 5th and 8th respectively at Lister Park.