Quarter century anniversary of Ilkley Moor Fell Race

Celebrating 25 years of Ilkley Moor Fell Race: Chairman of Ilkley Harriers Jane Bryant. Picture by Anna Nolan

Celebrating 25 years of Ilkley Moor Fell Race: Chairman of Ilkley Harriers Jane Bryant. Picture by Anna Nolan

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by

This Sunday sees the 25th anniversary of the Ilkley Moor Fell Race.

The race was first run in 1990 by Ilkley Harriers and has since grown to become a firm fixture in the fell race calendar. The current five-mile course takes in many of the natural features of the moor.

The race starts at Darwin Gardens and takes the runners past the tarn and up to the Cow and Calf on their way to the Pancake Stone. The course turns back along the ridge until it meets Backstone Beck where the runners are sent down the beck to the bridge before climbing back up the other side over the beck and into Rocky Valley.

From the bottom of Rocky Valley the runners climb a step ascent to the cairn before crossing the moor to the Badgerstone before descending to the finish at Darwin Gardens. Sunday’s race will see 300 runners take to the hills for the challenging race.

Jane Bryant the current club chairman said: “The Ilkley Moor fell race has become an institution and is a highlight of the winter fell race calendar. It’s always great to see how many local runners come out to join in the race as well as the numbers of spectators on the course.”

Steve Weston, race organiser for 2014 added: “With recent health and safely changed in the FRA rules there have been some challenges this year in the organisation of the race but we are confident that we have organised a great race to celebrate the 25th anniversary.”

This year’s race will see a battle between last year’s winner Tom Adams and the current course record holder Simon Bailey. Unfortunately, last year’s ladies winner and ladies record holder, Emma Clayton, cannot run due to injury so the ladies race is wide open and it is hoped that there will be a strong performance from the Ilkley ladies.

The senior race starts at 11.30am and the junior races for future stars aged six and above from 10am. Juniors can enter on the day and seniors can enter online by February 28. Further details and a race map can be found on the Ilkley Harriers website ilkleyharriers.co.uk.

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