Helm Hill Fell Race Results
Sunday 18 June 2017
Race ReportBlistering heat added that extra dimension of competition to this year’s BOFRA Helm Hill Fell race. Always a hot one, due to the tall bracken holding any heat and killing any available breeze, this year it was even tougher in extremely hot and windless conditions. However, these extreme conditions, coupled with Father’s day, did not deter 62 senior and 128 juniors from taking on the challenge.
Starting near the Station Hotel at Oxenholme, the race has a long, undulating, run out to the woods at the other end of The Helm, from where it winds, in a web-like fashion, up and down and around The Helm. As it progresses it takes in more woodland, tall bracken and a variety of wildlife that would be a pleasant distraction were it not a race. After visiting the trig for a 3rd and final time, there is an undulating summit plateau run before a long downhill race to the finish back near the start line.
Both the senior men’s and ladies races were a battle of current fell running greats giving an exhilarating spectacle for those watching and supporting along the course. In the men’s race Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey, Mercia’s Simon Bailey and Wharfedale Harriers’ Jack smith got off to a great start, battling all the way with many contenders and the heat. In the end it was Bailey (22.44) who won the day from Mounsey (23.26) 2nd and Smith (25.10) 3rd.
In the ladies race Wharfedale’s Kirsty Hall, Pudsey and Bramley’s Rachel Pilling and Helm Hill’s Catherine Wilblock locked horns and ran for their lives over this challenging course. Hall was the clear winner (28.56) from Pilling (29.58) 2nd and then Wilblock (31.29) 3rd.
The U17 race was also marked by the presence of some runners who are on fine form this season. At the end of a tough battle in the boys race, Settle Harriers’ Sebastian Segger-Staveley won (11.18) from Helm Hill’s Robert Askew (11.34) 2nd and Eden Runners’ Tom Humphries (11.45) 3rd. In the girls’ race Dallam’s Rosie Woodhams dominated, coming home in 1st place (12.48) ahead of Bingley Harriers’ Emily Field (13.22) 2nd and Helm Hill’s Erin Bagge (16.09) 3rd.
The U14 race was led out by Wharfedale’s Alexander Thompson with club mate Sam Smith, Rossendale Harriers Joel Taylor and Ambleside’s Daniel Sanderson hot on his heels. However, Thompson maintained his lead and pulled away on the downhill stretch to finish 1st setting a new, long course, record in 8.14, from Smith (8.25) 2nd and Sanderson (8.36) 3rd. Ilkley Harriers’ Bernadette Raven got an early lead in the girls race and romped home in 1st place (9.53) ahead of Cumberland fell Runners’ Emily Swarbrick (10.13) 2nd and Ambleside’s Holly Dobson (10.39) 3rd.
The U12 race saw the now familiar face of Calder Valley’s William Hall romp home in 1st place (6.05) ahead of Helm Hill’s Evan Allan (6.21), 2nd and Ambleside’s Rowan Ashworth (6.23) 3rd. The equally familiar face of Leven Valley’s Olesia Winder claimed a strong lead to win the girls race (6.35) from Ambleside’s Sophie Rylance (7.03) 2nd and Helm Hill’s Sarah Smith (7.08) 3rd.
The U9 race might be populated by the youngest runners but don’t let anyone try to tell you it isn’t competitive! It is. They chomped at the bit to start and never let up in their battles to the end. Helm Hill’s Simon Rigby won the battle and the race in a sprint finish (2.41), pipping Ambleside’s Tom Ashworth (2.41) into 2nd place and Helm Hill’s Alfie Addison (2.55) 3rd. The girls are no less competitive with a determined Milly Timbers of Keighley and Craven winning (2.59) from Settle’s Lucy Bagot (3.19) 2nd, and Wharfedale’s Isabella Wright (3.28) 3rd.