The weather held out today, making perfect conditions for the Cracoe Fell race, which was raced over the original route. The senior race had a strong field of 81 runners who had to tackle the first wall without the aid of the long standing trailer. I wonder who preferred it that way? The race is one of two halves; a long steady cross country, then from the 2nd fell wall, you are launched into the long grass, bogs and steep climb to the memorial. This year, the ground was very runnable, making it ideal conditions for some good times.
Despite a noble attempt to pass Ted Mason on the descent by Sam Watson, it was not enough to keep Ted at bay and he pulled away on the fields to take 1st place and the brand new Senior trophy, which was donated by our very own Wharfee; Andy Holden to commemorate his win at the race in 1993. It was a lovely gesture, which guarantees some silverware for the winner for some years to come.
Next places went to Sam Watson, who managed to maintain second place despite a challenge from Ben Stevens who finished 6 seconds behind. U23, Johnny Bradshaw was fourth ahead of Lee Athersmith in his new 'Tomlinson' team colours. Two further U23s' took the following places; Tom Doyle and Jack Smith, ahead of first MV40; Nick Charlesworth and first MV45 Chris Smale. First MV50 was Pete Wilkin in an incredible 11th place.
First Lady home was Helen Glover; who has made a habit of winning this race in the past, in a time of 26:32. Next Ladies were Emma Flanagan and Tamara Hird. First LV40 was Jean Powell
in the juniors' the Under 17's run their race along the same route as the seniors and this race was won convincingly by James Hall in his first year in the age category. His time of 23:46 would have placed him 8th in the senior race and this could easily have been improved with some close competition. Elliot Wylie and Alex Brown were second and third, again in good times. First U17 Girl was Mel Hyder in 26:46 just a few second behind the senior Lady's time. Watch out Helen for next year!! Emma Spencer and Lauren Munro-Bennett took the next two places
The Under 14's saw a change of winner from previous races, with Ben Johnstone taking first place ahead of Will Smith. Lloyd Davies had a strong run to finish 3rd. First Girl was Mary child, ahead of Ellie Child and Holly Carter.
The under 12's saw one of the closest races this season, with Josh Newbold shadowing Charlie Lowrie for the whole of the race, but Charlie showed his current form by taking first place by just 2 seconds to take hs 8th win of the season and the championship title. Tiarnan Crorken followed close behind in third. In the girls race, Ellie Lambert put in another storming performance to gain her 8th win in 8 races, which also gives her the U12 Girl's title just over half way through the season. Excellent work Charlie and Ellie! Sophie Marshall has always been nearby and once again finished in 2nd place ahead of Ellamae Gibson in 3rd.
In the under 9's race, Logan Hargreaves-Madhas continued on his winning streak, to get first place today in a close race with Jack Walton (2nd) and Johnny Thompson (3rd). Once again, Alex Baker was first Girl, with Emma Thompson in second and Ellie Keating 3rd.
Our thanks go to the land-owners for supporting the race and everyone who helped. As usual we had Dave and Eileen out leading the photography, but have you noticed what Dave considers to be a suitable frame for his shots? - A fine view of the summit in the background, neatly placed near to the treacherous drainage ditch and usually encouraging the runner behind you to speed up in a scene reminiscent of Dick Dastardly in the Wacky Races. Did any of you fall (literally) into his trap? Hopefully not, because it is Ambleside Sports in thursday and you need to be in good shape!