THERE was no doubt about the most popular race last week for Ilkley Harriers was the Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon.

No fewer than 15 Harriers headed to Threshfield for this scenic and superbly-organised annual event, which is based at Wharfedale RUFC.

A loop takes runners out towards Grassington, then along the Dales Way before a long and testing climb up Mastiles Lane, with the reward a mostly downhill finish across Boss Moor.

Conditions were good and in-form duo Dave Robson (26th in one hour, 43 minutes, 25 seconds) and Rachel Carter (36th in 1:45:30) were the leading Harriers.

Plenty of Ilkley runners were giving the event a go for the first time, and all enjoyed the challenges it presented.

Colin Williams stopped the clock at 1:47:25 at Wharfedale and then followed that half marathon with a full marathon the following day!

The Huddersfield Marathon is described as one of the toughest road races in the UK, with over 3,400 feet of climbing.

But despite the previous day’s exertions, Williams made the top 10, as his time of 4:19:50 was good enough for seventh.

A similar amount of ascent and 26.2 miles were also on offer in the Marathon Race at the latest Lakeland Trails event in Coniston.

Helen Waddington was the sole Ilkley entrant, taking on a route which included forest trails, moorland bogs, rocky tracks and a lovely run in along the lakeshore, crossing the line in a time just over five hours.

Fellow Harriers Nicky Liptrot and Paul Sugden ran in the Half Marathon Challenge, which covered the first 17km/1,200 ft of the full marathon course as far as Tarn Hows before returning to Coniston.

Liptrot was an impressive 32nd (out of 344) - and the fourth lady - in a time of 1:59:04.

Navigation was extremely tricky at the Long Duddon on Saturday, as weather conditions meant visibility was severely limited on the tops.

The Long Duddon is a classic fell race covering 18 miles around the head of the Duddon Valley, with a whopping 6,000 feet of climb over Harter, Hardknott, Little Stand, Swirl How, Dow Crag, White Pike and Caw.

And all was going well until that last climb to Caw for the Harriers’ Jack Wood, but he was one of many who ended up running an extra mile or two as the mists descended.

Wood still finished in the top 20, while Roy Ruddle and Will Buckton were 75th and 77th, respectively.

The same day saw the annual Pen-y-ghent fell race at the Horton-in-Ribblesdale Gala, and Jon Denniss was 34th in a time of just under an hour, good going for a 10.4km run with over 1,500 feet of climbing.

On Sunday, muggy weather added to the test at the Runforall Hull Half Marathon, but Hilda Coulsey was second in her FV65 age category in 2:06:45.

And further afield, Petra Bijsterveld managed to find an Alpine race to fit in with her holiday plans - the Trail des Paccots in Switzerland.

She opted for the full marathon, with a staggering 8,000 feet of ascent - and had to deal not only with the altitude but also temperatures of 25 degrees.

She took it all in her stride and was rewarded with stunning mountain views and plenty of encouragement throughout from the local support.

And sticking with an Alpine theme, congratulations to Euan Brennan who was a superb third in the Junior GB Trial race on Skiddaw in Keswick, which gives him a great chance of representing Great Britain in the European Mountain Running Championships at the foot of the Matterhorn in Zermatt in July.


Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon, Saturday

(1 1:25:15 Phil Marsden, Horwich)

26 1:43:25 Dave Robson

36 1:45:30 Rachel Carter

40 1:46:20 Jonathan Turner

44 1:47:25 Colin Williams

79 1:54:45 Derek Oliver

113 2:01:21 Peter Roll

126 2:03:53 Paddy Hagan

134 2:04:51 Peter Ferguson

136 2:05:02 Oli Street

254 2:24:12 Jill Ezzard

286 2:29:20 Jayne Norman

320 2:39:45 Fiona Schneider

366 2:52:48 Penelope Coulthard

367 2:52:51 Jo Pattinson

378 2:57:14 Sue Williamson

405 finished

Huddersfield Marathon, Sunday

(1 3:14:23 Simon Courtney)

7 4:19:50 Colin Williams

58 finished

Coniston Lakeland Trails Marathon Race, Sunday

(1 3:03:20 Joel Jameson, Team Jameson)

156 5:12:16 Helen Waddington

210 ran

Coniston Lakeland Trails Half Marathon Challenge, Sunday

(1 1:33:16 Ian Roberts, Liverpool and Sefton Harriers)

32 1:59:04 Nicky Liptrot (4th lady)

232 2:34:09 Paul Sugden

344 ran

Long Duddon 2019, Saturday

1 2:59:16 Rhys Findley-Robinson (Dark Peak Fell Runners)

18 3:48:36 Jack Wood

75 4:48:56 Roy Ruddle

77 4:49:22 Will Buckton

117 finished

Pen-y-ghent Fell Race, Saturday

1 49:35 Darren Kay (Calder Valley FR)

34 58:52 Jon Denniss

215 ran

Runforall Hull Half Marathon, Sunday

(1 1:08:41 Mohammad Aburezeq, Altringham)

721 2:06:45 Hilda Coulsey

1289 finished

Trail des Paccots, Sunday

(1 4:19:30 Remi Francais, Ski-Club Les Diablerets)

162 9:10:02 Petra Bijsterveld

162 finished