Cracoe Fell race starts off like a cavalry charge in every age groupÖwhether youíre 6 or 60 you need to be switched on to stay with the runners. The race climbs several fields with a hay cart to vault and a couple of walls to scale. Each age group has itís own turn round point except for the under 17ís who do the senior course but in a separate race. It always creates a bit of interest as to whoís the quickest; the senior winner or the under 17 winner. The under 17ís and seniors go up some rough moorland to the obelisk above Cracoe, on their way negotiating some wide drainage ditches and a sheer climb up to and round the summit before launching themselves down the tussocky ground, jumping the ditches at pace and back through the fields as quick as your legs will move to the finish line. This all sounds good in theory but Sundays race was run in the hottest conditions we have competed in this year which slows most runners down unless youíre an athlete who likes the heat.
The senior race saw 2 high flyers from the F.R.A. ranks putting their feet on the line - Mary Wilkinson and Gary Devine. A field of 60 runners lined up in the senior race, and Gary fresh from a win at Cowling Gala took on the lead from the start building quite a lead at the summit with Ted Mason back in 2nd place. Even with Tedís fearless descending this course is hard to bring back loads of ground, so crossing the line in 21.46 Gary held on by over half a minute, Ted came home 1st BOFRA counter for the championship making the half way point in our fixture list very interesting with him and Alastair sharing the honours with 4 wins each. Back to Cracoe with Ted collecting 2nd prize Brendon Taylor came home in 3rd with Lee Athersmith in 4th - both these guys are accomplished runners and Lee has run in BOFRA races for several years. 5th and 6th runners were Lee Passco and Sam Watson; considering Sam normally struggles in the heat this was a good result for him. The first vet 40 back was the race winner Gary Devine, Gary Bastow was the first vet 45 and the in-form Adrian Pickles took the over 50 prize and 10th overall.
The ladies race winner Mary Wilkinson had most of the senior runners behind her just outside of the top 10 in 12th place overall with a brilliant time of 25.26 considering the heat it was quite a result. Top BOFRA counter was Lisa Lacon in 2nd with Helen Glover taking 3rd prize and 4th went to Judy Howells. Lucy Griffiths was 1st u/23, whilst Dawn Richards put in a big run to keep her Lady Vets challenge alive ahead of Val Done and Lynne Whitaker.
The u/17ís saw Tom Sessford put in a fantastic run with a time of 23.18 which in laymanís terms would have give him 4th place in the senior race (over the same course). This gave him a 36 second lead over Johnny Bradshaw with Matt Fretwell getting a well earned 3rd closely following. Jordan Beard was 4th with Ashley Kaye running back with one shoe in 5th. Melanie Hyder had a convincing win from Emma Flanagan to keep the under 17 girls competition alive, with Jenny Dybeck taking 3rd prize in a very competitive age group.
The u/14ís saw James Knox carry on his winning form with a classy run, well in front of 2nd placed Sam Westcott and 3rd placed James Hall. The u/14ís girls saw Pippa Barrett go past Lauren Munro Bennett in the last field to cross the finishing line as 1st girl, and Charlotte Cox came home 3rd girl.
The u/12ís race saw 41 runners competing with Ben Johnstone getting another win and probably sealing the championship with a clean sheet. William Smith was only 6 seconds adrift in second and David Goad came home third. Rebecca Flanagan had a convincing win in the girlís with Martha Pickles one second ahead of Sally Handford in third.
The under 9ís saw 31 juniors charging up the field with Lewis Goad getting a close win from Charlie Lowrie and Thomas Sumner in second and third. The girls were led home by Georgia Gray, Lucy Whyte and Emily Cox having 5 seconds between them in second and third.
This week we are at Ambleside Sports on Thursday which is our ninth race in the championship hopefully we will see you there or next Sunday at Farleton Knott.