The weather forecast for the Bank Holiday was predictable, in assuring rain just in time for Reeth Show BOFRA Championship Fell Race. Perhaps unpredictably, the runners and amassed spectators were treated to fine if unseasonably cool weather for all of the senior and junior races.
An impressive field of 61 seniors took off from the show ground and launched themselves up the first part of the 2 mile, 800ft of ascent, race. This classic fell race ticks all the boxes as the summit is clearly visible from the start line, proving that fell runners are not easily intimidated by the sight of a flag at the summit, that they must reach before any hope of downhill running! This short, lung-inverter of a race, challenges all contenders with grass, loose rocks, rabbit holes, steep ascent and descent and even tarmac and bracken.
First senior man across the line was U23 Wharfedale Harrier, Jack Smith, in a time of 17.22. Second across the line, 22 seconds later was Adam Perry of Pennine Fell Runners followed by Paul Butler of Loftus and Whitby, who was also 1st MV45.
First lady through the finish funnel was Wharfedale Harrier Emma Hopkinson, in a time of 19.46, continuing her spectacular return to form this season. Second across the line was Ambleside's Hazel Robinson who was also first LV40. Third lady back into the show arena and across the line was Wharfedale Harriers' Kirsty Hall.
In the U17 race, over a slightly shorter but challenging course, Wharfedale Harriers' Thomas Nelson set a new record time of 13.36. This record was set against the background of a full weekend of tough races for this hardy junior runner, establishing himself firmly as a serious contender in his first season in this age category. Second boy was Ilkley Harriers'Ruiardh Mon-Williams and third was Keighley and Craven's Jimmy Lund.
First U17 girl was Helm Hill's Katherine Lawson in a time of16.18. Second girl was Wharfedale Harriers Ellie Lambert followed by Helm Hill's Mia Senior.
The U14 race was won by Hyndburn's Joshua Boyle, in a time of 12.42, just missing his own record time of 12.37 set in 2013. Second boy was Ilkley Harriers Euan Brennan with Keighley and Craven's Joe Hudson a very close third.
First U14 girl was Helm Hill's Mia Walsh in a time of 15.57, followed by club mate Katie Thurlow in second and Bingley Harriers'Olivia Roper in third place.
Fraser Sproul missed his own record time of 8.49, set last year, by 1 second, to win this year's mixed U12/U9 race in a time of 8.50. Second boy was Keighley and Craven's Louis Hudson and third place was taken by Settle Harriers Thomas Marshall.
The first U12 girl across the line was Rossendale Harriers' Lauryn Gregg in a time of 10.11. Second was Keighley and Craven's Lilli Carr followed by Wharfedale Harriers' Charlotte Barrett.