Alva Games Fell Race Results
Saturday 9 July 2016
Race ReportThis weekend marked the annual fellrunning pilgrimage north, to The Famous Alva Games in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The senior race might not be the longest in the Summer calendar but it is certainly one of the most exhilarating, particularly on the descent. The Alva Games Open Hill Race is known across the globe and this year attracted runners from as far afield as France, the USA and Canada, in addition to local runners and those from elsewhere in the UK.
All races start in the deceptively secure show field, on a manicured grass race track. However, once the runners leave the field, the course quickly becomes a lung inverting, near vertical, 1,200 foot climb to the top of Wee Torry. To add that extra challenge, runners must also contend with thistles, bracken, gorse and rocks as they climb, hand over fist, to the summit. This year the weather had been particularly wet in the days leading up to the race, including a 4am deluge on the day of the race. So, ordinarily dusty paths became greasy mud and the grass became super slippery. On the way up, this merely slowed competitors as they slipped backwards with each step. However, it made the descent an even more adrenaline soaked slide on one’s backside to the base of the hill.
Jimmy Craig led the runners out of the show field but the climb rearranged the pecking order, as others battled strongly to overtake him, making him 5th to the top. The descent shuffled the competitors further and the real battle for supremacy commenced. As if the speedy descent wasn’t risky enough, the front runners had to navigate their way around those still on their way up, who were concentrating on their feet and not the man-sized cannonballs hurtling towards them from above.
Eventual race winner was Hunters Bog Trotters Duncan Coombs (21.34), followed by Barlick’s Jimmy Craig (21.45) and Carnethy’s James Waldie (22.10). The ladies race was won by Edinburgh University’s Louise Mercer (26.29) who was a very impressive 12th overall. 2nd and 3rd ladies were Settle Harriers’ Judith Marshall (32.41) and Cumberland Fell Runners’ Lindsay Buck (34.13).
The U17 race was won by Keighley and Craven’s Joe Hudson (11.33), followed by club mate Tom Barrett, 2nd (11.59) and Helm Hill’s Jacob Aubrey 3rd(12.07). The girls’ race was won by Keighley and Craven’s Katie Atkinson (15.38) followed by Wharfedale Harriers’ Emily Jones (18.08) and Keighley’s Alana Willis, 3rd (22.04).
The U14 race was won by Joe’s brother, Louis Hudson (9.48). 2nd and 3rd boys were Settle’s Thomas Marshall (9.59) and Keighley’s Harvey Lewis (10.03). The girls’ race was won by Wharfedale’s Alice Jones (11.25). 2nd and 3rd girls were Wharfedale team mate Charlotte Barrett (13.09) and Alva local Megan Paterson (31.32).
The U12 race was won by Helm Hill’s Henry Hunter (10.49) with Calder Valley’s James Duffy 2nd (11.22) and Ilkley Harriers’ Lewis Carr 3rd (11.27). The girls’ race was a Broughton Runners one- two as sisters Emily and Olivia took 1st (12.25) and 2nd (14.26) places respectively. 3rd girl was central AC’s Leah Stenhouse (14.49).