Jack Bloor Races

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Jack Bloor Race Report      8th May 2012

The weather had been dreadful in the weeks before the event but a clear, dry day provided near-perfect conditions for the 200 runners that started the 27th annual Jack Bloor fell race on Ilkley Moor.

Tom Adams of Ilkley Harriers won the senior race with an impressive two and a half minute lead and a time of 39 minutes, 3 seconds. Next came the two Pudsey and Bramley runners of Fred Slemeck and Ian Nixon separated by only two seconds. Fred retained his Under-23 title winning the Arthur Dolphin Trophy for a second year. Current record holder, Greg Hull of Leeds City AC, came 4th winning the over-40 veteran class whilst Steve Webb of Valley Striders was 1st veteran in the over-50 class.

This race commemorates Jack Bloor an accomplished outdoor sportsman who did so much to encourage young people to engage in sport. All monies raised help support individuals under 25 to develop technical skills in outdoor pursuits.

Jack would have been impressed to see Lucy Crookes of Leeds University win the women’s senior race at her first attempt and only having just turned nineteen. With a time of 48 minutes 6 seconds Lucy was placed 42nd overall. Second place went to Holly Williams of Valley Striders and 3rd to Holmfirth Harriers’ Lucy Needham. The veteran trophies for over-40 and over-50 went to Settle Harriers’ Carol Evans and Alison Bennett of Ilkley Harriers.

The coveted senior race trophies were presented by Terry Lonergan of Complete Runner, a loyal supporter of the Jack Bloor Race and Fund.
Jack’s widow, Pat Bloor, passed away last August. To commemorate her longstanding support for these races, Otley artist, sculptor and runner, Shane Green, created the Pat Bloor Trophy for the new Ladies Under-23 class. Inspired by the Swastika Stone, this fine sculpture was presented to winner Lucy Crookes by Jack’s eldest son and daughter, Robert and Hilary. Lucy said, ‘My highlights were the fast descents and running along the tops with great views. The whole event has a friendly atmosphere and I can't wait for next year!’

In the men’s’ team competition, Pudsey and Bramley won followed by Bingley then Ilkley Harriers. Welcome competition amidst the women’s teams saw Otley AC squeeze Ilkley Harriers into 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 Jack Bloor Ale thanks to the generous support of the Ilkley Brewery Company.

The junior Jack Bloor Races saw yet another record entry of 132 runners reflecting the fantastic efforts to develop junior running in local clubs and schools. Children tackled 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. Certainly, they were all eager for the off on the start line!

Max Bryant of Ilkley Harriers won the U8 race in just 4 minutes 40 seconds whilst club mate Lucy Hargraves took the girls title. Hot competition amidst the 47 runners in the U10 race saw just two seconds separate both the first two boys and girls. Wharfedale Harrier Jack Muir took 1st place just pipping club mate Ciaren Crabtree. For the girls, Emily Elmes squeezed ahead of Rachel Scott, both of Ilkley Harriers. Wharfedale Harriers Joshua Newbold and Shona Hastings each won their U12 races. Also running this race was Jack’s grandson, Max Bloor, representing Edinburgh orienteering club Interlopers.

James Lund of Keighley and Craven took the boys’ U14 title whilst just one second separated each of the top three girls. Victoria Merrick of Bingley Harriers led Ellie Lambert of Wharfedale Harriers and Lucy Haines of Ilkley Harriers. John Lockwood and Lucy Williamson each won the boys and girls U16 race for Wharfedale Harriers and Ilkley Harriers. Climbing to the cairn above Rocky Valley this course provides the ultimate springboard for future entry to the senior race.

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. Don’t forget to exchange them before the end of June! The top three boys and girls in each category were also presented with certificates and ‘cookie medals’ from Smoooth.

As in the senior race, junior class winners each received one of the coveted small trophies. Inspired by the wealth of ancient rock art on Ilkley Moor, each year’s small trophy features a unique pattern. The 2012 trophy based on markings on Stead Crag.

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

After his win, Tom Adams said, ‘The Jack Bloor Race has to be one of my favourite races of the year - and with the money raised going to a fantastic cause’.

Rob King
Race organizer and JB Trustee

Lost property
·               Pink fleece zipped hoodie
·               Muddy orange/black Inov8 running shoe (right only!)
·               Blue/green padded jacket (near paddling pool)

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