Helm Hill was the venue for this week-ends event. This is the domain of the Helm Hill Runners - their summer training ground. It has everything including some short sharp climbs and plenty of running. If you come here, prepare for battle!
This weekend saw a huge number of races take place across the country and numbers were inevitably down as a result. However, the competition was of an equally high standard. The senior race saw Helm's Alastair Dunn take on the rest of the 48 seniors to keep him on track for the 2009 BOFRA championship. Conditions were ideal underfoot and the course was well cut out, Alistair put in a tremendous run coming home 1st BOFRA counter in 2nd with only one athlete, Thomas Cornthwaite who runs for Blackburn, in front of him. These guys were well clear of Mark Croasdale as first V40 with another V40 Paul Dugdale in 4th. Billy Proctor had a tremendous run finishing in 5th and 1st V50 just 4 seconds ahead of Brendon Taylor. First u'23 man was James Mountain in 11th.
With some of the Big Gun's missing in the ladies race Helm's Kath Aubrey put in a great run to come home 1st lady, with Val Done in 2nd and Lynn Whittaker taking 3rd prize.
The u17's race saw Richmond runner Marc Scott come back well clear of last year's champion Tom Sessford in what is a very competitive age group. Brothers Ryan and Luke Croasdale closely followed Tom to come back 3rd and 4th just 8 seconds parting them. Helm's Jos Addison finished 5th with Helm's Mel Hyder showing her class coming back in 6th and first girl. Mel is one of Helm Hill Runners Superstars and she's in great form at the moment. Second girl, Helm's Lauren Munro Bennett is new to this age group so this was a good effort. Third prize went to Beth Dutson.
In the under 14's Helm's James Knox has dominated this age group, if he turns up the rest usually end up getting hauled round by him. This is the closest I've seen anyone come to him in this age group and he held on to the lead coming back just 4 seconds clear of Tamworth AC's Kristian Edwards with James Hall the same margin back in 3rd. These were well clear of David Goad and Phil Done who came home in 4th and 5th. Helm's Megan Stuart finished as 1st girl with Wharfedale's Nicole Narey closely in pursuit, whilst 3rd place went to Zara Knappy. 19 u14's ran on the day which is quite a good turnout.
In a well supported under 12's race Neil Orr who runs for Border Harriers carried on his winning ways, he certainly knows where the winning line is, coming back well in front of 2nd place Luke Canning with Skipton's Joe Stapleton in 3rd. Helm had the next 3 finishers with Ben Kent, Chris Richards and Oliver Willink finishing in that order. Wharfedale's Ellamae Gibson put another great performance in coming home 1st girl with Keighley's Holly Carter and Settle's Martha Pickles taking 2nd and 3rd prizes, Zoe Baistow was just 3 seconds adrift and was 4th girl.
Moving on to the apprentices, the under 9's - these athletes have everything in front of them they are the Superstars of the future. Helm's James Marsh halted Robbie Johnstone's winning spree coming back 4 seconds ahead in what was a hard fought dual. Helm's Joe Kent came 3rd just 2 seconds in front of the 4th runner overall first girl Shona Hastings who just pipped Helm's Tom Willink who came back 5th. Keighley's Emily Cox and Tegan Knappy took 2nd and 3rd prizes in the under 9's girls.
Taking everything into consideration on the day, when you come into the realm of the Helm Hill Runners prepare yourself well. Nothing comes easy, it has to be earned the hard way, they give nothing away.
Lastly a lot of work goes into organising races, so a big thank you to the people who cut out the course and flagged it, and to our people who take entries, times and places. Without these it would just be a training run. And a big thank you to all who supported our race either running or spectating.