Jack Bloor Races

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A cool but dry window in the wet weather saw nearly 200 senior runners compete in the 28th annual Jack Bloor fell race on Ilkley Moor last Tuesday evening.

Last year’s winner, Tom Adams of Ilkley Harriers, lead the 8.4 kilometre race to the halfway point hotly pursued by 24 year-old Chris Smithard of Deeside Orienteers. With each taking a different path over the high ground, Chris overhauled Tom to win the 2013 race in 38 minutes 40 seconds. Chris said, ‘I had heard a lot about the Jack Bloor even before I moved to Leeds so couldn't resist the opportunity to finally run it’. Despite the new sections of flag-stoned path Greg Hull’s 2007 course record of 38:04 still stands.

Third place went to Matthew John of Otley AC. In 4th position and winning the veteran over-40 class was Tom Brunt of Dark Peak Fell Runners. Local lad James Mountain of Ilkley Harriers was an impressive 6th overall and 1st under-23 winning the Arthur Dolphin Trophy. Steve Webb of Valley Striders retained his over-50 veteran title whilst Ben Grant of Harrogate Harriers was the 1st veteran in the over-60 class.

Jo Waites of Calder Valley impressively won both the overall women’s race and the first lady veteran over-40 title in 46 minutes 40 seconds. Julia Leventon of Valley Striders was 2nd and 3rd place went to Gill Myers of Wharfedale Harriers along with the over-50 title. Lucy Crookes of Leeds University retained her under-23 title and the Pat Bloor Trophy.

With three runners to count Ilkley Harriers won the men’s team competition followed by Otley AC then Pudsey & Bramley. Ilkley Harriers took both 1st and 3rd places in the women’s team competition with Wharfedale Harriers taking 2nd place.

Throughout the rest of the field individual runners battled with personal rivals or simply enjoyed the challenge and atmosphere of the race. All were rewarded with a bottle of fine Dinner Ale thanks to the generous support of our senior race sponsor, the Ilkley Brewery Company.

Terry Lonergan of Complete Runner, a loyal sponsor and supporter of both the Jack Bloor Memorial Fund and Races, presented the coveted senior race trophies. These races commemorate Jack Bloor an accomplished outdoor sportsman who did so much to encourage young people to engage in sport. All monies raised through race entries, the cake stall and individual donations help support young people under-26 to develop physical and technical skills in any recognised outdoor sport. Applications are welcome at any time and further details can be found at www.jackbloor.co.uk

Despite the cool evening the ever-popular junior races saw 118 children tackle courses of half a mile, one mile or 1.5 miles in one of five age-based classes (U8, U10, U12, U14, U16). Some were simply there to enjoy the occasion with several trying their first fell race. Others were out to beat rivals or improve on a previous time.

Ben Kett won the U8 race in just 4 minutes 34 seconds whilst Sarah Bradley took the girls’ U8 title just 11 seconds later. First girl in the U10 race was Ilkley Harriers’ Poppy Anderson whilst Freddie Ziegler was the overall winner.

Competition amidst the 34 runners in the U12 race saw some very close finish times. Wharfedale Harriers’ Jack Muir took 1st place and Beth Morley of Ilkley Harriers won the girls’ U12 race. Thomas Nelson of Wharfedale Harriers took the boys’ U14 title in 8 minutes exactly whilst Ilkley Harriers’ Lucy Jacques was first home in the girls’ U14 race.

Climbing to the cairn above Rocky Valley the U16 course provides a springboard for future entry to the senior race. Winning the U16 race in 12:19 was Harry Muir of Wharfedale Harriers. Spectators were treated to fantastic sport as second place Mark Mahoney of Settle Harriers was chased to the finish line by Ilkley Harriers’ Lucy Haines who won the girl’s U16 title.

Sponsored by Smoooth, the Café and Deli on Ilkley’s Wells Road, every junior runner received a voucher for a free smoothie as a reward for their efforts. The top three boys and girls in each category were presented with certificates together with handcrafted brownies and cookies from Smoooth.

As ever, thanks to our sponsors and members of the Gritstone Club, Airienteers, Ilkley Harriers and all our other supporters who make this event possible.

Rob King

Race Organiser & Jack Bloor Fund Trustee

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