ILKLEY Harriers' runner Jack Wood had a week to remember as he notched a superb hat-trick of victories.

First up was the second Harrogate District Summer Race League event which was held in monsoon-like conditions in Ripon last Tuesday night.

Just as he had in the first race of the series, Wood surged clear from the start and led all the way.

He was the only person to cover the 9km route in under half an hour, crossing the line nearly a minute ahead of his closest rival.

Nearly 20 other Harriers took part - Sarah Pickering and Sally Armitage were in the top 10 female finishers and Malcolm Pickering was the first MV65.

The very next night Wood was back in action at the Otley Chevin Fell Race for win number two.

He tracked Pudsey rival Joe Baxter up the steep steps towards the top of the Chevin before jumping ahead and powering to victory.

And he made the main BBC website with his third success of the week in the ‘Man versus Horse’ race in Llanwrtyd Wells in mid-Wales.

The event has been held since 1980 after founder Gordon Green argued in the local pub that a runner could beat a horse over a long distance.

In the previous 39 years, only two runners had beaten the fastest horse - the last occasion being in 2007.

This time around 650 runners lined up and Wood, proudly sporting his Harriers vest, was the first human home in a time of two hours, 23 minutes and 48 seconds, fully nine minutes ahead of the second-placed runner.

He was just five minutes behind the first four-legged finisher, and Wood told BBC Wales: “I’m chuffed to get the win, that was the main aim. But still I’m a bit gutted not to hold off the horse - I think I’m going to have to come back next year!”

Wood didn’t quite monopolise the Ilkley weekly wins - a Harriers legend in the shape of Tom Adams showed his return from injury is on the right track with a popular victory in the 15k Troodos Green Race in Cyprus.

Ben Sheppard was first equal in the Settle Saunter on Sunday - 23 miles (with 10k and half marathon options) along trails, trods and lanes in the Dales.

He finished alongside Ben Timbers in three hours and 34 minutes at this relaxed event, with fellow Harrier Dan McKeown sixth in 3:44.

In the half marathon, Helen Wood was second in 2:03, Chantal Busby was 18th and Jayne Norman, who beat her personal best by fully 12 minutes, was 26th.

Other successes over the past seven days included Beth Massey, who topped the FV45 age category at the Catforth 10k and was third lady overall.

Jann Smith bagged a FV50 first place at the Blencathra fell race, a 7.6-mile loop (including 2,864-feet of elevation) up England’s ninth-highest mountain.

And Kate Archer extended her fine run of form with a time of 19:57 as she was the first lady at Skipton Parkrun.


HDSRL 2, Ripon, Tuesday, June 4

1 29:55 Jack Wood

47 36:58 Jonathan Turner

114 40:57 Sarah Pickering

115 41:06 Sally Armitage

155 43:00 Caroline Howe

209 45:22 Tom Lally

210 45:24 Paul Stephens

213 45:29 Jane Bryant

218 45:57 Emily Elmes

230 46:34 Malcolm Pickering

240 47:05 Geoffrey White

274 48:53 David Ibbotson

341 53:36 Dawn Turner

350 54:20 Anna Pickering

352 54:28 Sally Pickering

385 57:35 Amelia Miles

398 58:42 Sue Verspyck

413 62:39 Tracy Russell

423 68:35 David Millson

433 ran

Blencathra fell race, Wednesday, June 5

(1 1:01:10 Brennan Townsend, Keswick)

137 1:36:03 Jann Smith 1st F50

179 finished

Parkruns, Saturday


(1 18:47 Martin Fillingham, Saltaire Striders)

22 22:06 Dave Reynier

173 28:56 Paula Reynier

338 ran


(1 16:45 James Eve, Headington RRC)

14 19:13 James Ryder

103 24:43 Jo Foster

311 ran


(1 16:26, Joe Hudson, KCAC)

5 19:57 Kate Archer 1st F

167 ran