Published at 4.15 pm 16 June 2018
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Jack Cummings of Ilkley Harriers returned to defend his title, but he found himself up against the master of all the Wharfedale Fell races, Ted Mason. Going up the initial steep ascent, Ted took the lead and already it was not looking good for Jack, as Ted is a renown master of descent. However, it was early days and maybe Jack could build up some lead as the going got easier. However, by the summit, Ted was still leading with Jack chasing and they were both ahead of Neil Crampton of Pudsey & Bramley. However, by the lead mines, things had once more changed, as Sam Watson, again a force to be reckoned with in any fell race, had moved up into third place. By the time the runners came into view, Ted had built up a good lead and as he went down the steep descent towards the beck, he once more once more demonstrated why he is such a master of descent. Jack followed a little while later, but by this time, Sam Watson was coming into his own and of the two, he was certainly the better man on that notorious final descent. However, would he be able to catch Jack and claim second place? In the end, it was a close run thing with Jack crossing the line just six seconds in front of Sam Watson.
The ladies race was a bit more spread out with Helen Wood of Ilkley Harriers taking a comfortable victory ahead of Jenny Gillies of Spey Runners. However, a very strong performance from Vet 50 Jean Powell saw her see off the competition and come home in third place.
Another good performance in the Vet 50 category was from Wharfedale Harriers runner Andy Holden. He literally started the race right at the back, but he gradually worked his way through the pack, picking off runners one by one and he ended up, not only with the first V50 prize, but with a top ten finish. It was quite a remarkable performance and it harked back to performances Andy would regularly put in, in his younger days.
Wharfedale carried off the men's prize with Ted Mason, Sam Watson & Tom Millard, whilst Calder Valley took the ladies' team prize with Helen Buchan, Catherine Holder & Charlotte Wetton.
As usual, the weather was absolutely dreadful during the race and the trailing runners had to endure hailstones on the top and apparently quite large ones too. However, once the race was over, it was possible to enjoy a leisurely pint outside the Buck Inn and soak up the Dales sunshine.
The Barlickers finished as follows:
7 Andy Berry 42:07 (1st V40)
22 John Boothman 47:46
25 Peter Jackson 48:48 (1st MV60)
29 Paul Elcock 49:37
33 Jennifer Hird 50:36
36 Dave Halliday 50:47
37 Glenn Whittaker 50:51
55 Cloey Mason 1:02:40