THERE were plenty of Harriers - and runners in general - raising much-needed money for charity as part of the virtual London Marathon.

The mass-participation race, which is the largest single annual fundraising event in the world, was cancelled in April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Postponed initially until this month, it now won't take place in the capital until October 2021 at the earliest.

But while a handful of elite athletes were able to race in a biosecure bubble around 19 laps of a closed course in St James's Park, tens of thousands of club and recreational runners completed the 26.2 miles closer to home the same day.

One of the more challenging routes taken on by an Ilkley Harrier was David Ibbotson's around the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

It involved a cumulative height gain of over 1,600 metres to reach the tops of Pen y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

It was his 10th marathon, but the first since his recovery from a broken leg and other severe injuries in 2017.

Heavy rain the day before meant that ground conditions were particularly testing but he powered round to raise funds for MENCAP.

In complete contrast, with zero elevation, was the marathon the same day at Elvington Airfield near York, part of the 'Big Flat Runway Races'.

For many this was a first racing event since lockdown in March, with runners set off in small groups at short intervals.

To complete the 26.2 miles it meant almost 10 laps of the circuit, with the mental challenge arguably as tough as the physical one.

But that didn't stop Harriers Dan McKeown (2:55:24) and Michael Ho (3:42:15) setting excellent times to finish in the top 100.

And at the other end of the distance spectrum, six Harriers competed in the 5K event on the same airfield.

Mike Abrams-Cohen (18:28) and Sally Armitage (19:46) led them home in impressively speedy times given that the last two kilometres were into a strong headwind.

Over in the Lakes, the Lakeland Trails Coniston Marathon Trail Challenge was also able to take place.

Jill Ezard was the sole representative for the Harriers, showing up strongly to be the sixth woman across the line in 5:26:58.

In the Half Challenge on the same day, Jo-Ann Pattinson, Caroline Tong and Paul Sugden all clocked just over three hours.

Meanwhile, individual time trial events have understandably been growing in popularity, given the current circumstances.

The Harriers put on a socially-distanced, Covid-secure, club-only Ilkley Incline event of their own recently, brilliantly organised by Dan McKeown.

Runners set off a minute apart and, despite racing solo, there were still some incredible times.

Nathan Edmondson was the winner of the steeply-uphill mile race in seven minutes and five seconds, just a single second off the all-time Strava record of Tom Adams. Oli Murphy was runner-up, with Dan Dry in third.

Jane McCarthy topped the ladies' standings in fine style, ahead of Fay Walsh and Catherine Crawley.

Jeff Green made the top 10 at the Incline - as well as first MV50 - and he's also showing up well at the Great Owl GPX Grand Prix.

It's a series of 12 local time trials which can be run at any time between now and early December over course lengths ranging from three miles to nearly 30.

He has a second and a fourth to his name at the time of writing to leave him nicely poised in the overall standings.