Success for Holmfirth Harriers at the YVAA Cross Country Championships at Cleckheaton

femi lucy and richard

Femi, Lucy and Richard

After a week when it looked like the YVAA CC Championships at Cleckheaton may have to be postponed a final decision to go ahead was made on Saturday morning, after an inspection of the course and car park. A period of rapid emails and phone calls then ensured all the clubs having entered teams were informed leaving just the Saturday night / Sunday morning period to get through without further snow. Sunday dawned warmer but in Holmfirth snow had fallen again and several flurries temporarily covered even the main roads during the morning, preventing some members from making the event.

In the end 20 of the 30 entrants from Holmfirth made it to the event and this was still one of the largest contingents from any club.


Claire fights her way to the front
over the last few metres

judy 2nd claim holmfirth jean lesley and claire

Judy (2nd claim Holmfirth), Jean, Lesley and Claire

The first race for women and over 70 men started at 12.30pm and had 82 competitors. Conditions were still good underfoot with a thin layer of snow on the course and the ground still slightly frozen. The misty conditions just about allowed you to see from one end of the undulating course to the other and while cold there was little wind, so good in cross country terms. Having lost a number of runners from each age group we were not able to field a full women’s team but had some great individual age group successes. Claire Leaver-Hewitt, F35 was in the first 3 the whole way around the 5.2K course and managed to outsprint Sarah Alwood, from Knavesmire, coming into the finish to win by just 2 seconds in 22:26. She was followed by 22nd Lesley Ewart 2nd F60, 25:46; 23rd Judy Howells F45 (2nd claim Holmfirth, running for Wharfedale), 26:06; 25th Jean Shotter 1st F55, 26:19; 70th Femi Sobo-Allen F45, 34:26 and 71st Lucy Smith F35, 34:34.

m70team billw roger billh richard and norman

The M70+ team, Bill W, Roger, Bill H, Richard and Norman

In the M70 race, we actually managed a full team and actually had 5 M70+ runners, the most ever. First home for Holmfirth was 56th Richard Smith M70 in 32:04 followed by 60th Bill Hunter M70, 32:30; 69th Roger Bradley M70, 34:10; 73rd Bill Wade M75, 35:00 and 76th Norman Berry M70 36:13.

This gave Holmfirth 2nd M70+ Team (3 to score) and 1st M70+ All to Count Team.

roger laying down the law

Roger laying down the law!

The second race of the day saw the men aged 50 to 69 do battle, this time over 9.0K. By now the course was softening and gradually turned from dirty white to brown as snow turned to churned up sticky mud. At the front of the race, Mike Fanning M50 was in contention with Nick Charlesworth M50, of Wharfedale constantly swapping positions. Eventually, Nick proved the stronger on the day and opened up a gap of 30 seconds but mike still had a great run to finish 2nd and 2nd M50 in 34:34. Next Holmfirth runner home was18th Gary Graham M50, 39:03 followed by 19th Mark Law M50, 39:34; 23rd John Levick M50, 40:09; 32nd Sean Doyle M50, 43:14; 35th Kevin Yewlett 2nd M65, 44:12; 40th Rob Kersey M65, 45:02; 42nd Andy Hauser M60, 45:12; 57th Neil Midgley M65, 52:14; 59th Paul Winn M60, 52:40 and 63rd John Philpott M60, 57:26.

sean first vets cc

Sean enjoying his first Vets CC

john levick

John Levick working hard

This gave Holmfirth 2nd M50 – 69 Team (3 to score) and 2nd M50 – 59 All to Count Team and also 1st M60 – 69 Team (3 to score) and 1st M60 – 69 All to Count Team.

The last race run in very muddy conditions was for the M35 – 39 men. We only managed 2 runners so couldn’t field a team but Chris Beadle and Logan Anderson, both M45’s, ran well to finish with Chris 23rd in 38:59 and Logan just behind in 25th, 39:26.

Well done to all that made the considerable effort to turn out in tough conditions.


Loads more pictures on the club Flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hhac/albums/with/72157692393028741.

mike leads race2

Mike leads the Race 2
in the early stages

logan race3

Logan appearing out of
the mist in Race 3

The next YVAA event is the 1st Multi-terrain Grand Prix of 2018 at Horsforth on 18th March. All details can be found at www.yvaa.org

If you’re not running or helping at the Ian Roberts Fell Race then come along to this great series of races (10 this year). They are all about 5 – 6 miles in length, only £5 to enter (on the day) and very friendly events for all abilities and anyone over 33 can enter.






Chris pushing to the limit

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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