The Ilkley Skyline Fell Challenge
To my knowledge there has not been a fell running route that encompasses the moors surrounding Ilkley. Now there is at least one route that joins Beamsley Beacon, Round Hill and the summits along Burley Moor, Ilkley Moor and Rombalds Moor. In fact this route covers at least 8 moors. The route is 22 miles long and has at least 850m of climbing (according to my Garmin) and starts and finishes at TheHermit in Burley Woodhead. Most is fell or field running with some short sections of road, the longest section being the climb up from the river at the stepping stones through Burley to the Hermit.
The challenge is to run this route as fast as possible and declare your times to the Race Director, Mike Ayers. You will need to send either a Garmin or Strava record or have it timed by Gill at the Hermit. All times will be published on the website and there will be prizes for the fastest times in the normal fell race categories. There will also be a special prize for the new record holder ( male and female ) each year. Prizes will be presented at the end of each year in the Hermit after a local run to earn the beer with perhaps a bit of a party to follow.
Start and finish at the Hermit. Runners can park in the Hermit carpark during the event, you will probably have earned some appropriate rehydration after the run anyway. The route is shown below and a gpx route can be viewed via the link below. There are some fixed points you must touch or pass on your way round. You can only go clockwise. The checkpoints are from OS Explorer Map 297.
- Gate to Burley Moor GR 153451
- Path by Boundary Stone GR 147442
- Twelve Apostles GR 126451
- Trig Point GR 114452
- Trig Point GR 082466
- The Mosquito Bomber memorial GR 069471
- Road crossing GR 078486
- Spring well Farm GR 098514
- Beamsley Beacon GR 099524
- Round Hill Little Gate GR 121536
- Ellercarr Pike GR159523
- Fell boundary forest margin GR 151513
- Scales House Farm GR163492
- Askwith Telephone box GR 168483
As far as I am aware the route is on public footpaths marked on the OS map. If anyone knows of any restrictions on this route please let me know.
When I ran this I did not spot any dangerous situations other than some of the obvious, this is over fells which may be rocky, uneven and often boggy and slippery. There are several road crossings so be aware of traffic particularly the Addingham bypass.
There will be sheep on the moors and I went through one field of cows on my way down to Addingham but the path goes down the side of the field and isn’t far. I had no problems with them on either of my runs as they were off in the distance at the time.
Please make sure you check the river level as the stepping stones at Burley can be impassable if the river is high. Do not put yourself at risk, check beforehand and postpone your attempt if necessary. It would be a shame to do 20 miles and discover you could not cross. If you do find yourself in a pickle there is a way round but you need to go back up to Askwith and, turning left, follow the road to the bridge. It will add about 4 miles to your route which you can submit but won’t be your best time. However you will have the pleasing knowledge that you will at least be able to attempt it again when the river is lower.
You run this event entirely at your own risk as this is an informal challenge.
Running the event.
You can run it singly, in pairs or groups as long as each of you present a time and a means of validation.
For those who cannot do the whole route there is the option of a relay, teams to 3 accepted but you must let me know it is a relay team with names of each runner. A prize for the fastest male and female relay teams also available. If anyone wants to do this as a relay then let me know and I will confirm the changeover points.
Timing and Submissions
If you don’t have a Garmin or smart phone(Strava or equivalent) then Gill at the Hermit will record your start and finish times, or rather you start your watch in her or her staff’s presence and stop the watch when you get back in. This is done on the basis of trust. I will try and get a leader board up in the pub if Gill has space for it. If the pub is closed simply record your time from the pub door.
REMEMBER. …if you use any device with auto stop (Garmin, Strava etc) please turn it off and submit your elapsed time.
Please submit your times using the form at the bottom of the page, any questions or issues please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Prize giving to be held at the end of each year at The Hermit, date to be announced (sometime around Christmas)
Prizes for standard fell race categories of chocolate and alcohol as per normal!
All Time Records
Men: Adam Osbourne, Leeds City, 02:49:37 (2016)
Women: Katie Kaars Sijpestejin, Keswick AC, 03:25:11 (2017)
MV40: David Haygarth, Wharfedale Harriers, 03:11:09 (2017)
WV40: Jane McCarthy, Ilkley Harriers, 03:28:47 (2016)
MV50: Dave Parker, St Theresa’s AC, 03:23:23 (2017)
WV50: Sarah Smith, Valley Striders, 05:33:00 (2017)
MV60: Nick Pearce, Ilkley Harriers, 03:35:55 (2017)
WV60: Rachael Gooch, unattached, 05:06:06 (2017)
Relay: Jane McCarthy, Kate Archer, Jann Smith, Ilkley Harriers, 03:04:00 (2017)