ILKLEY Harriers' runner Helen Thurston gave herself an early Christmas present and rewrote the record books when she was the first lady home at the Fountains Abbey Parkrun on Saturday.

It was only in October that she dipped under the 20-minute mark for the first time, but since then she has improved to first 19:04 and now a stunning 18:27.

To put that into context, it is the fastest 5k by a female Ilkley Harrier this year - indeed it is the quickest since May 2015.

And given that sort of pace, it was no surprise that Helen was also in the winning team at the club’s Christmas relays event last Tuesday!

A great turnout of Harriers enjoyed a fun evening of running followed by mulled wine, mince pies and a quiz.

The last weekend before Christmas was a rare one without any races, which meant that the focus was on the Parkruns, with a number of other notable achievements.

At Skipton, there were top ten finishes for Tim Ashelford (fourth), Colin Williams (eighth) and Max Ashelford (ninth).

Malcolm Pickering finished in 22:13 to take fourth on the age-graded rankings while Bernie Gibbons clocked a new personal best of 28:27.

And at Bradford, Poppy E Anderson was an impressive 20th out of 378 on her first Parkrun at the Lister Park venue.

Anyone who has getting out and running as one of their resolutions for 2019 and would like to join a friendly club, Ilkley Harriers meets at 7pm on Tuesday evenings.

Everyone meets at Ilkley Tennis and Squash Club and a range of speeds and distances are on offer, with something for everyone - and you’re more than welcome to just try it out to start with.




(1 17:50 Simon Shaw, Ealing, Southall and MiddlesAC)

20 20:45 Poppy E Anderson

82 23:52 Oscar Street

151 27:03 Paula Reynier

152 27:03 Dave Reynier

378 ran

Cliffe Castle

(1 18:34 Alexander Thompson, Wharfedale Harriers)

59 29:34 Fiona Schneider

136 ran

Fountains Abbey

(1 16:18 Reece Dalton, Ripon Runners)

7 18:27 Helen Thurston

250 29:39 Janet Smith

418 ran


(1 18:43 Tom Keighley, Chapel Allerton Runners)

20 23:57 Richard Hinsley

118 ran


(1 16:17 Joe Hudson, Keighley and Craven AC)

4 19:16 Tim Ashelford

8 20:07 Colin Williams

9 20:33 Max Ashelford

18 21:52 Adrian Bastow

23 22:13 Malcolm Pickering

81 27:40 Anna Pickering

102 28:27 Bernie Gibbons

188 ran