14 January 2018, 1200ft  (BM)

This was a strange race this year as it was the first one not organised by Dave / Eileen Woodhead aka Woodentops. It was first  hosted in June 1984 apparently.   However, the registration was as efficient as ever, the race start was the usual mass gathering 300 metres in front of the official start line followed by the stampede out of the quarry.  I did miss Dave W shouting “get back you lot, get back”.

For me it was a tester to see if my two weeks of regular running and swimming had done anything to my fitness levels. Two weeks earlier I did what I call “died on my ass” at Auld Lang Syne and was blowing by the time I hit the Beck, ended up crawling the last few miles.  To my surprise this time I felt better all the way round and even managed to locate my gears for a sprint finish.

As most of you will know, Penistone Country Park comes with its own micro-climate and weather conditions can be harsher than the underfoot conditions.  However, the weather was kind and visibility good.  The route was the true “splash route” and was certainly splashy underfoot in parts especially over Sladen Beck and around Ponden Kirk.

Anyway, back to the race, I just avoided getting lapped by the race leaders but did manage to see that it was Ian Holmes who was in the lead at the passing point near Birch Brink. However, Jack Wood took the win overall in a time of 45.44, with Ian coming 2nd,  1st Vet and 1st MV50 in 46.04, Robin Howe 3rd.  The women’s race was won by Ruby Sykes in 54.38, with Annie Roberts 2nd and Jo Buckley in 3rd.  Wharfedale took the Men’s team prize and Todmorden took the Women’s.

As for NLFR we were down in numbers due to this race clashing with the Ilkley Skyline presentation event.  However, Andrew Byrom did 1.17 followed by me in 1.22, much improved from ALS.  Onwards and upwards for 2018.

Jenny Cooper