ANOTHER busy weekend for Ilkley Harriers star Jack Wood saw him come second in the Tour of Pendle Fell Race on Saturday, before helping Ilkley’s men to fifth place in the latest West Yorkshire Cross Country League event the following day.

The Tour of Pendle is one of the toughest fell races around. It falls under the ‘AL’ category, which means serious elevation and mileage, in this case nearly 1,500 metres of climbing over a 16.8-mile route.

Setting off from Barley, the runners head up Pendle Hill and are then faced with five other steep ascents, three of them packed into a punishing finale.

The race quickly became a two-way tussle between Wood and Chris Holdsworth of Ribble Valley, but it was the latter who prevailed by just over two minutes, with the Ilkley man having to settle for second in two hours, 17 minutes and 54 seconds.

There were also fine runs from Harriers Michael Lomas, who came 43rd in 2:50, a personal best for the event by over 10 minutes, and Adela Reperecki, who won the F55 category with a time of 3:55.

Quickly putting Saturday’s gruelling test behind him, Wood then led the Ilkley men’s team to a top-five finish in the Wakefield leg of the West Yorkshire XC.

He was sixth across the line, with Dan McKeown (33rd), Istvan Jacso (37th), Matt Cox (41st) and Steven Gott (49th) all inside the top 50.

Next Harrier home was Steve Coy, who has just become the new club chairman.

The ladies team continued their fine start to the series too in eighth, with Rachel Carter (20th) and Kate Archer (21st) their leading finishers.

Sunday also saw the first ever Litton Birks Fell Race, featuring a great route from the Queens Head pub in Litton. Six Harriers took part, with Paul Carman - eighth behind winner Ted Mason of Wharfedale - leading the way.

Will Buckton took 19th and Colin Williams came 20th, just two days after completing his ninth marathon of the year when second in the ‘Hell of a Hill’ event over Rivington Pike near Chorley.

Also in action was Jim Ryder, who was 44th out of over 500 runners on the Kendal Mountain Festival Trail Run, an event which featured Jonny Brownlee as the starter and took the field up to Scout Scar from the town centre.

Saturday saw one of the more unusual events on the calendar, the annual Harriers v Cyclists battle on Baildon Moor.

The route, gradient and mix of terrain are cleverly planned by Bingley Harriers to even up the competition, with cyclists having to carry their bikes at various points on the outward climb before catching back up with the runners on the fast return leg.

Dry conditions meant the cyclists were favoured this time around but runners Nathan Edmondson, Peter Shelley and Gavin Lamb were among the Ilkley Harriers mixing it up with those on two wheels.

It is a well-established event with good organisation and support and a great race to participate in either discipline.

On the parkrun front, there was another excellent display from Helen Thurston, who was the first lady at Fountains Abbey in a time of 19 minutes and four seconds, her latest personal best.

And in the Preston 10-mile road race, Beth Massey was the fourth F45 in a time of 1:10:20.