LAST Sunday saw the 30th running of the Ilkley Moor Fell Race, with the event taking place in arguably the best-ever conditions, under blue skies and warm sunshine.

Organised by the Ilkley Harriers - with Steve Weston the race director - there was plenty for the club to celebrate as Jack Cummings won the men’s senior race while both the male and female team prizes also went to the hosts.

The event starts just off Wells Road and packs no less than 401 metres of elevation into the five-mile course, taking in climbs to the Cow and Calf, the Pancake Stone, the Badger Stone and more - as well as plunging descents to Backstone Beck and Rocky Valley.

Cummings was in command from the outset, a quick start putting daylight between himself and the rest. And he never looked like being caught, gradually extending his advantage so that he crossed the line in a time of 38 minutes and 36 seconds, more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival, Matthew John of North Leeds Fell Runners.

Jack Wood was fifth, with Oscar Stapleton ninth (and first under-18 runner), while Will Buckton was the fourth Harrier home to confirm the team prize.

That was matched by the ladies, Kate Archer continuing her stellar start to 2019 with another prize (first FV40) as she led them home in 53rd place in 48:01. Lucy Williamson and Alison Weston (both second in their respective age categories) were the other counters in the team standings.

The previous day had seen plenty of Harriers take part in the English Cross Country Championships, which this year was held locally at Harewood House.

The extensive, undulating grounds of the estate made for a great course - with no more than two laps having to be run by anyone - and the recent dry weather ensured that there was not a spot of mud on the course. And though dry, the course was energy sapping, with an uphill start and several long inclines.

The two stand-out displays for the Harriers came from Euan Brennan and Helen Thurston.

Euan was fourth in the junior men’s race (out of 201), while Helen finished impressively in the first 100 of a fast senior women's field of over 1,000, having not run cross country since her school days.

That performance - and those of Lucy Williamson (137th), Rachel Carter (228th) and Helen Wood (259th) - meant the women’s team came a superb 19th out of 114.

For the men, Jack Wood, Daniel McKeown and Istvan Jacso all made the top 500, with over 2,000 running in what was a stacked field.

Other racing over the weekend included the spectacular High Cup Nick Fell Race, a 15km event on the edge of the Eden Valley, with Jann Smith and Paul Carman both to the fore for Ilkley.

And on the Parkrun front, Beth Massey for the first lady at Bradford in a time of 21.48.