Photos and Articles

Spine 2019 2nd time! – Peter Allanach


Peter’s race report from this week’s fun! Hope this gives a sense of what took place even though there is no sense in it!

First Race Experience – Louise Wright


So Sean’s been on at me to share my FIRST RACE experience with you guys. For those who fancy a read here goes!

Holy guacamole 🥑 what an experience.

It’s been touch and go in the last week as to whether a couple of us would make it to the start line and this morning we woke up to the dreaded news that poor Daz was out of the race, thanks to a dose of Sean’s lurgy! Okay so it’s not actually his necessarily, but he’s so easy to wind up so how can you not! Think it’s headed my way now too – Thanks Sean.

I went for a little trot yesterday morning to test the shins – it wasn’t great but it wasn’t totally awful. My first race was supposed to be the Percy pud 10k in December but the shins wouldn’t allow so this time I thought, if I can run I’m going no matter what! So glad, it look a couple of miles but soon that horrible burn disappeared, the shoulders started to relax, eyes front – yes! I’m gunna do this!

Meanwhile sean was nowhere to be seen as he was waay ahead of little me battling the wind that Simon and I were yet to face. It was sneaky, parts of the route were lined with trees and quite sheltered but other bits were totally exposed and I was surprised I wasn’t swept up! The battle was on. However, the atmosphere and camaraderie made up for it! What a lovely vibe, the Marshall’s new just what to say, the other runners threw some friendly chat out there. The route is nice, fairly straight and mostly flat with some nice country views. It’s hard to soak it all in. Just over half way there and there’s no sign of Simon or Sean.

My mind starts to wander a bit, has Sean finished already? Will I manage to maintain this pace? Is Simon ahead of me? We were on for a similar time so I’d hoped to see him and use his experience to pace myself – fortunately Garmin did a good job as did the lady with the tappy tappy feet to my side! How hard is it to shake someone else’s rhythm off and focus on your own race? Very I found.

10 miles – that’s it! This is the furthest I’ve ever run, now I need to slap a park run on top. But what’s 3 miles when you’ve done 10? It turns out it’s a lot! I’m convinced the wind had gone up a notch and it’s definitely not the tail wind I was promised. Then there’s the hill? It’s no Windmill Hill but it’s at the end of a chuffing long run, cheeky. I didn’t know it was there. But by that point I was like – get me home to my boys, so it was surprisingly painless. Thank you adrenaline. 1.2 miles to go and miss tappy tappy is sharing her route experience which was very welcome as my garmin apparently doesn’t tell me how far I’ve run while it’s in action and I felt like I’d not seen a marker in forever. 800m arrgghhh exciting! 400m I’m just thinking about our Monday night club efforts now… yes I can do 400m, then I hear my eldest, go on Mummy, there’s Karly! And Sean well he’s so excited to see me that he’s screaming his head off, sprint Lou sprint, there’s Dad and my baby boy – look at the clock I’ve only gone and bloody come in under my goal time! 🤘 1.53.24 although official timing has been kind enough to throw me an extra second!

I’m stretching it out and there he is – Simon’s coming in! 1.54.24 Brilliant just what he was after (he got a bonus second too) Sean got a massive and well deserved pb 1.32.24 and a whopping 23 minutes quicker than last year. We all performed well and can be genuinely proud of ourselves. Everyone that entered is amazing!

What’s next? Book it while the buzz is buzzing!

Langsett Loop Trail Marathon – Andy Mason


Headed over to Langsett near Sheffield today to take on the Langsett Loop trail marathon, I didn’t really know what to expect, I have not done a trail marathon and the website said undulating trail around a reservoir and road shoes would be ok, so I thought this will be a breeze, i’ll go just over my usual Marathon pace.

We set off into what felt like a wall of wind as I’m sure you all did today, then the hills came and just kept on coming, then we had to do four more loops (Barkley Marathon-esque just a bit shorter). I made it to mile 17ish at a decent pace but my knees took an absolute battering, from then on it was slow going.

It’s definitely the toughest challenge undertaken as a runner, but I enjoyed it so much, the views, the people, the marshalling and how the event was organised was spot on.

With over 3000ft of elevation, the wind against me and a bit of a nasty fall I managed to get home in 4.24.39 and a 9th place finish and am totally over the moon.

HARDMOORS by Chris Smedley-Nugent


Where did it all start? Well for me it was 17th January 2017, I was sitting on the sofa with my ipad, like many others from Wetherby Runners I was avidly following the exploits of Paul Nelson who was making his way up the backbone of England as part of the Montane Spine race. I couldn’t believe that anyone could do such a thing but there he was, a little numbered flag slowly crawling across my screen. I was intrigued!

I had heard mention of ‘HARDMOORS’ races and knew that
Paul amongst others has done these races, however, that
was all I knew. A quick tap of my screen and I discovered that although they were off road (something I had never tackled) they weren’t all crazy distances so I signed up for the online newsletters.

So that’s how I found myself in Hutton le Hole on 13th August ’17 for my first ever Hardmoors race. The Rosedale 10k (a race that is neither in Rosedale nor 10K) was tough for a 10k and it took ages to get to the finish, but finish I did. It was like finishing my first marathon, I was ecstatic as I fell through the door of the village hall where the race ended. I was never going to be able to do any big distances, however I had to do more….

16th Sept ’17 I’m up early driving through the murky darkness heading for Guisborough Sea Cadets hall to see Paul Atkinson and Pete Allanac compete in the HARDMOORS 60. I meet up with Dave Carberry and Rob Whitaker who are Paul’s support team and together we stalk them from Guisborough to Filey via everywhere. It’s an amazing day and I’m inspired!

Over the next few months I do two more Hardmoors 10ks (again they weren’t 10k), then on the evening of the 22nd October ’17 whilst sitting in the Mews a plan is hatched that a group of us should do the HARDMOORS 30 on New Years day 2019, a date so far in the future that it seems unreal. Hands are shaken and all agree.

After one or two more HM 10k’s and a couple of HM half marathons, here I am at Fylingthorpe village hall on New Years day 2019. I’m frantically trying to get my shit together for the start of the longest and toughest race I have ever entered. Before I know it I’m outside and the race has started. We leave the comfort of the car park and head north along the old railway towards Whitby, it’s a gentle incline that seems to go on forever. We cross a viaduct and down some steps to c.p.1, we make our way past the railway station and across the swing bridge before turning left onto the picturesque Church Street. A moment later there they are 199 irregularly shaped steps… I take a deep breath and start my assent. On reaching the top we circumvent the Abbey and join the Cleveland way for the return journey to Robin Hoods Bay. The path isn’t too bad, however it’s far from flat and there are many steps. We return to the village hall for C.P.2 (approx 13 miles) after which we head along the old railway this time in the direction of Ravenscar. It’s another seemingly endless gentle incline until we reach C.P.3 at Ravenscar. We head through the village and back onto the railway at the south side for our next little jaunt to Hayburn Wyke. The weather up until this point has been pretty much perfect for running, however things are starting to change and there is the odd spot of rain so its time to put on a jacket. So far the terrain hasn’t been too challenging but things are going to change quite soon. After reaching the pub at Hayburn Wyke and C.P.4, I break out the poles, this proves to be the right decision as we return to the Cleveland way. It’s just up and down for the majority of the way back to Ravenscar and C.P.5. It’s at this point that darkness is getting the better of me, so on with the headtorch for the last four of five miles. I’m now running with an Irish girl and we seem to be ascending and descending steps constantly, at the bottom of each flight there’s a wooden bridge over a stream or something and then were heading up again. We see the light of Robin Hoods Bay, however first we have to tackle Boggle Hole. So down a load more steps over another bridge and up again, my legs are killing me! Whenever I lift my leg I get a burning cramp in my quads and whenever I step downwards my ITB’s are screaming for me to stop; I can’t I have to finish. We pass through a gate, turn right and follow the path around the corner. It’s lucky I’m unable to do any speed as the flagged path has crumbled into the sea, we skirt around it and begin the descent into Robin Hoods Bay. It’s beautiful in the darkness with just the odd street light and no one around. We’re now right at the bottom of the village and the village hall is right at the top, I check the time, the cut off is ages away, so we slowly trudge up the hill to finish. My feet, ankles, calves, knees, ITB’s and hips are killing me but as I walk in the hall to complete the 31 ½ mile race I realise I haven’t really stopped smiling since 9.30 this morning…. I collect my medal and t-shirt and start to eat everything I can get my hands on.

So now what? Well I’m hooked!!!! I can hear the 60 calling my name!!!! It may need
to wait a while though! I think I’ll have to train properly for that one!!!!

I would like to thank:
Andrea Normington my ‘running wife’ and ‘guardian angel’ who has been with me at every race.
Paul Atkinson for his amazing encouragement, advice and loan of poles etc
Chris Plews for being Chris Plews.
Dave Carberry, Andrew Walsh, Rob Whitaker and all the other Roseberry Ramblers for all their help and encouragement.

2018 Meanwood Valley Trail Race – Tim Tunnard


Myself and Nils Linstrum ran the Meanwood Valley Trail race which was resurrected after about a 3 year break. It is quite a gnarly technical route with some real steep sections (where walking is necessary!) Starting from Leos rugby club out south under the seven arches aqua duct down the MVT to Meanwood park where you loop back on yourself. A very undulating return section back under the ring road and then a lap round the rugby pitches to the finish. All in all just over 7 miles. A bottle of Leeds Best beer on finishing. Nils came in at about 55 mins with me about a minute behind. Throughly recommend as a good way to spend a hour or so on a September morning

2018 Great North Run – Richard Bell


The 2018 Great North Run was a chilly start in Wetherby but the forecast from ‘further North’ suggested perfect conditions. Darren, Sean, Ted and I met at WSA at 6.30and travelled up in convey in 3 cars up the A1.

Wetherby tradition demands a stop at Washington services then the remaining 6 miles to South-shields was the usual log jam. We’d all agreed to travel in-convoy and then disaster just as we hit the coast I looked in the mirror and Sean and Darren were nowhere to be seen.

Ted and I made the car park as planned and then the idea was to meet at the Crown in event that we got separated . Well we waited 30mins at the crown, which smelt of bacon sandwiches, for as long as we could and then we had to jump on the bus to Newcastle.

Once arrived no time to mess about straight to the pens. I was in C Ted was in Iceland, or was that H? Anyway didn’t matter all pens were shut down. What to do? Fortunately one of the organisers was smuggling a last minute celeb in to the pen and quick as a flash Ted and I were in. Next to Mo. Ok not quite next but we could see his head bobbing about about 10yards in front as we were suddenly in Pen A. We’d missed the Champagne reception so I wasn’t that fussed – I was however concerned that we’d be trampled by the elites . After all I was trying not to besmirch my non existent reputation and Ted was looking for under 2 hours. And these guys were probably looking to half that.

“Let’s keep to the side Ted” I’d said as he was bouncing about ready to start in his green number and his Wetherby Vest. Yes Rob, the elites clearly thought Ted was an Olympic contender for Tokyo. Don’t go off too quick I said these guys will be sub 5 minutes – you’ll die.

Anyway the gun went off – I’ve done this race nearly ten times and didn’t even know they had a gun, and we were off. The first mile was uneventful of course we led off the OGGY OGGY under the bypass Mo didn’t join in at least I don’t think he did because he was probably a mile down the road by then. I looked at my watch 7.15 pace – great I thought and Ted was looking at his Garmin as if he thought a sub 1.30 was easily on the cards. We need to slow down I said- which is not easy with 58,000 people chasing you, trust me.

Eventually I got into a rhythm, I’d already blown Ted’s race I thought I may as well try to salvage my own.

I was over the Tyne Bridge before the Red Arrows had had their porridge but at least I’d slowed to a speed that was befitting my lack of training. As ever at Newcastle the fancy dress were out in force and I’d managed to pull away from Mr Bump which was a small victory. Next up was Super Mario who let’s face it was only slowed down by the size of his moustache and the fact that he was wearing a blue boiler suit. He proved a much more difficult adversary than Mr Bump. It was hot did I mention that? Anyway I may have been hallucinating but I was picturing the boss battle and if he’d deploy his mushrooms. Then I was past. By now I was in my head in a video game induced parallel universe and was looking to take over Lara Croft next – when horror, I was overtaken by a Rubicks Cube! Now this was very puzzling to me as I’m sure I’d passed him half a mile back. But these Rubicks cubes are twisty little b*&&& and not to be trusted. Especially as it was a complete one and I’d never managed more than two sides. Anyway as you can imagine this was rather personal.

It took a while but I saw off the dastardly cube and now I was at the 9mile marker. I collected the necessary 2 free samples of beer at mile 10.5, definitely not Newcastle Brown this year so my feedback from past races was obviously taken on board.

Now the final straight beckoned, I’d like to say I was desperate to shade under 1.50but frankly I was goosed and just wanted to finish.

The last mile,as any of you who have done the race know, is deceptively finish straight-esque. Only it’s not a finish straight it’s a bloody mile on wonky legs with a bit of chaffing thrown in for good measure. The crowds here are amazing and I really do love this race, which is why I keep coming back.

It was great to meet up with my fellow Wetherby Runners afterward at W – where else. Darren had had an absolute blinder, Sean had been boxed in a bit by a Transformer and the cast of Hollyoaks and Ted had ever so slightly blown up as a consequence of the platinum starting position – for which I am no way responsible.

Please get your names in for the ballot next year you’ll love it.

2018 Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc – David Fennah


8hrs 49minutes brutal race ranked 1407/2300. 32 degrees 2700m of climbing 1700m descent. WON BY KILIAN JORNET 3:54:54 Tomorrow start to run UTMB whilst out here for the week. Only 33km tomorrow though.

UTMB (Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc – 170km over 10,000m ascent) lead runner takes under three hours to get to Les Contamines from race start in Chamonix but it has taken me most of the day despite temperatures being a bit lower today. UTMB runners just carry on. Another big push into Italy for me tomorrow.

Day 2 of my UTMB foray started following an old roman road up into the mountains pleasantly enough then got very steep and very snowy before dropping steeply down through alpine meadows and onto a little road for the final section gratefully still marked UTMB which took me to my slot in a cow shed for the night at Refuge Mottets. 31km today with my right calf and knee complaining a lot about all the up and down and slithering about on the snow. Guess the snow is not there in September when the UTMB takes place.

Day 3 of my UTMB foray knocked off another 33km and surprisingly the body is starting to feel ok again having been complaining a lot yesterday. Loads more snow, ascent and descent today but a great section and fantastic scenery to take me to Courmayeur in Italy and a hotel!

Day 4 of the UTMB was a long haul out of Italy and into Switzerland to La Fouly of 34km and around 2700m up and 2100m down. Fortunately the weather continues to cool and there was cloud cover much of the day with scattered showers. Some nice gentle forest running to look forward too tomorrow once the current thunder and lightning storm blows over.

Final Day 5/6 of my UTMB foray. Completed my run through Switzerland and just over the border into France to link onto where I had already run with the Mont Blanc Marathon. Should have done this all as day 5 but having got absolutely soaked and the weather turning nasty I took shelter in Champex and carried on the following day when the weather was great. The UTMB is a sumptuous Ultra with stunning scenery and fabulously varied terrain. I could never run it in one bash but have thoroughly enjoyed experiencing it the way I have. Hats off to all the amazing ultra runners we have in the club.

2018 Harrogate 10k – Megan Hatfield


Hot and hilly at Harrogate 10k

In a change from the normal two-lap town centre route, this year Harrogate 10k has a new route starting at the Squash Club by the showground. The event sold the last few numbers as soon as the desks opened, so it was a sell-out. Numbers collected we gathered at the start, bothered by some annoying black bugs that seemed attracted to our orange vests!

The route sets out along Hookstone Road, past St John Fisher school, turning back into the woods along shaded footpaths, very welcome in today’s heat. It then drops down did a steep hill, past the viaduct before a significant climb through fields and woods. I’d set off conservatively, and whilst I could have run all the hill sections I decided to conserve a bit of energy and respect the weather conditions.

After 2.5 miles the route joins the road from Pannal to Rudding Park, which is not quite as pretty as Crimple Valley but mostly downhill. The water station at half way was very welcome, the short steep
hill after the traffic lights on the narrow bridge, less so.

With just over a mile to go we turned back into the showground area, running on dusty concrete paths, and I could see the long uphill stretch in the distance. I can also see Gilly up ahead, and caught her on the lower part of the hill, aptly named ‘The Crimple Killer’. We ran together, taking the steeper section at the top a bit slower, and here my watch already read 6.2 although the mile sign said just 6.

After a short section back through the woods we were finally at the finish, Gilly and I crossed together, happy to finish in one piece! We received a mug (normal size, not Wetherby 10k size) and a medal, and I was pleased I stayed for the prizegiving to see Nicky get 2nd lady and a significant chunk of money.

I’m really pleased with 67 minutes (for 6.4 miles by my Garmin), it’s certainly not a PB course and with the very hot weather I feel I managed my effort very well. I was pleased I’d recce’d the course a few weeks back. Chatting with a Harrogate Harrier at the end she felt this course may be used again next year if feedback is good. It’s very different to the town centre course, but just as well run by HH, and I’ll be back next year if they do repeat it.

Well done to anyone who raced this weekend.

2018 Sledmere Sunset Trail 10k – David Yeoman


Beautiful race setting in Sledmere Park. Race, organised by Driffield Striders, sold out with maximum 400 – my number was 400 and I wondered if this was an omen as to my likely finishing place?

7.30pm start on good undulating course along grass tracks, chalk paths and forest areas through Sledmere Estate with one particularly scenic stretch along a deep chalk valley. Different views around every corner with a finish in front of Sledmere House, sun setting behind. Well organised, plenty of toilets and cheerful volunteers. Sticky ginger flapjack, fresh bananas, colourful medal and stitched boot bag for all finishers. This is possibly the most enjoyable 10k I have run and a must to enter again next year.

Did I finish 400th? I was 129th, 7th in my age group and with a time 9 minutes faster than Mulgrave Castle. Great way to start a weekend.

2018 Otley 10M – Valerie Bell


11 of us took part in the Otley 10 race yesterday: Jim Buller, Chris Plews, Joseph Kwallah, David Fennah, David Carberry, David Huby, Mark Holt, Alex Matthewson, Sean Wright, Richard and myself. I have done this race 3 times now; I am not getting quicker but it is one of the few races I like (and for those who hear me moaning all the time, it says a lot!).

It is extremely well organised by our neighbouring club from Otley and there are cakes, drinks, a barbecue and the marshalls are all really friendly (special mention to Ursula and Pete on each side of the bridge).

The course is challenging because it has 2 steep hills but the rest is either flat or downhill and the scenery at the top of the first hill is fantastic. The maximum number of participants is 500 and we were probably near to that figure yesterday.

When Richard and I arrived I discovered that I was the only lady from Wetherby taking part which from the start made me First Lady for Wetherby, even if I finished last Wetherby club member. I’ll take the First Lady for the club!
The first 2 miles are along the main road and you need to stay on the pavement so if, unlike me, you are chasing a time, you need to start very quickly and be at the front otherwise you get stuck. I quite welcomed the bottlenecks to recover my breath. Then you are off the main road and the first water station is positioned just before the first big hill. Up the hill you run/ walk and then you have fantastic views of the countryside. It is then flat and downhill up to a bridge where there is a second water station and, you’ve guessed it …. the second big hill ( not as long as the first one). After that it is flat and downhill to Otley.

At the finish you get a bottle of local beer or in my case a bottle of cider. I had pointed out to Colin, the race director, that not everyone likes beer and he therefore very kindly provided a few bottles of cider. You cannot ask for more.

So here are the results and well done to everyone:

Joseph Kwallah 1.04.47
Mark Holt 1.05.19
Chris Plews 1.10.40
David Carberry 1.12.08
David Huby 1.12.41
Jim Buller 1.14.55
Alex Matthewson 1.15.19
Sean Wright 1.16.28
David Fennah 1.16.47
Richard Bell 1.30.54
Valérie Bell 1.32.10

Thank you to Otley for organising a great race.

2018 Wetherby Winter Weekend


November 30th – December 2nd 2018

We are delighted to announce that for the third year running we will be returning to the north Lakes for our Wetherby Winter Weekend 2018!

Once again we have exclusive use of the Coledale Inn in Braithwaite, just outside Keswick, which can accommodate approximately 40 people.

The weekend will be a healthy mixture of exercise, food, drink and good company, not to mention Christmas shopping possibilities in Keswick!

We will meet for a sociable lunchtime run en route on the Friday and have our evening meal in the hotel. On the Saturday there will be a variety of running, cycling and walking options and again we will have our evening meal in the hotel. There will be more of the same on the Sunday morning, and we will leave after lunch.

As we will lose daylight from about 3.30pm there will be plenty of opportunities for down time and non-running activities!

The cost for the weekend will be £135 per person for 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast. Places are limited, and will be allocated on a “first come, first served basis”. A deposit of £20 per person to Debra Wheeler will secure a booking. Bank transfer details are AK and DJ Wheeler 58022504 09-01-36.

For further details please contact Debra or any member of the Committee.

Further details about the hotel can be found at

2018 Wetherby Runners in the press



A whopping thirty-nine athletes from Wetherby Runners descended on the Mulgrave Castle estate near Whitby to take part in a 10k race put on by Loftus & Whitby AC. Accustomed to fielding participants at mostly local events, these numbers were something special. The club, that operates from the Wetherby Sports Association, had laid on a free coach to get members to the event. Several family and friends also joined them for a grand day out at the seaside.

Richard Bell the clubs Chairman said that ‘the days racing, which was also part of an inter-club handicap, was a resounding success with Wetherby taking home, team and individual prizes. We represented at one point over 90% of the total online entries although nearer race day and with a limit of 200 entries being reached we had a quarter of the field from our club. We have been keen to promote ourselves more widely to the local community in recent years and events like todays forge great team spirit and enjoyment for our members. Our zero to 5K group which meet on Mondays has been a great entry point for many novice runners and several of last year’s intake took part in the race on Sunday with some fantastic performances.’

Sunday’s race was a very undulating off road run on woodland trails within private grounds. Runners therefore got a rare chance to see stunning views of the coast and Whitby Abbey, although most were too busy tackling the challenging hills to notice the view. After what was considered unanimously a tough test it was back on the bus to travel to a nearby restaurant for Fish and Chips before the trip home.

Wetherby Runners meet on Wednesdays at 7pm at the Wetherby Sport Association and are always on the lookout for new members, no experience is necessary as the club meets the needs of novices and experienced runners alike.

First home for Wetherby in 12th place was Paul Windle in 44:57 and first lady was Rebecca Normington in 45:16.

2018 Mulgrave 10k Race Report – Ann Dale


Sunday 3rd June saw the inaugural Wetherby Runners day trip and handicap – the destination the Mulgrave Castle 10k, near Sandsend Whitby.

When the club first decided on Mulgrave Castle 10k as the event, no-one had heard of it, let alone run it before, but it seemed to catch the members imagination and soon the entries were coming in. At one point there were 34 Wetherby entries and one lone Loftus and Whitby entry. Despite a late surge by Scarborough AC Wetherby still dominated the entries list, with nearly a quarter of the overall entries. A sea of orange expected!

After a leisurely coach trip over to Mulgrave Castle, and a bacon sandwich and scone or two later we were ready for the off. Information about the course had been a little sparse to say the least – “undulating” was about all we could get from the description. Horror stories about a fford and a really big hill at the end started to emerge, as little snippets of information were overheard.

We were led through the very picturesque village, past the castle itself and into a clearing in the wood where we were eventually started. The Yorkshire Vets were holding their own race on the same course at the same time, so things were a little confused, but finally we were off.

Undulating was probably a little kind to describe the course. The first mile was more or less downhill, which was great until you realised that you came back up the same hill to the finish! The course itself was mainly through the woods around the grounds of Mulgrave Castle, with lots of twists and turns and a very dark tunnel, as well as a lot of hills. Apparenty there was a flat bit next to the river, but I must have missed that bit as I can’t remember it!

All too soon the course returned back to the bottom of the hill from the start. All good intentions to run the whole course went out of the window at this point. Crampons could well have helped, as by this point it seemed like climbing Everest. A few hardy people did run up it, but I think a few walked at the bottom and started running (or pretending to run in my case) before they reached the finish and our very own “David Bailey” Andrew Wheeler, who was taking the action shots.

Overall the club had a successful day, with the men claiming the team prize, Rebecca Normington 3rd lady overall, and Jo Davey and Gill Edmondson winning their age categories.

From a personal note I’d like to say what a great day it was. It’s so nice to be part of a club who are so supportive, regardless of ability, and who all stand to cheer the rest of the club home. The fish and chips on the way home weren’t bad either!

Here’s to the next trip!

2018 Mulgrave 10k


Only 200 places in total so best Act Now to be included in the Mighty Orange Away Day Race
A rare opportunity to run through the private Mulgrave estate close to Sandsend beach
Off road run on woodland trails past the old castle with stunning views of the coast and Whitby Abbey. Proceeds from the race will go to Mulgrave Community Sports Association.
For more info go to

2018 Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon – Richard Bell


After a brilliant spell of uninterrupted good weather the dark clouds gathering as I set off for Grassington indicated that sunscreen wouldn’t be necessary at this years Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon. As Wetherby’s sole representative this year, with the majority of you resting up before the Mulgrave 10k, I might have cut a lonely figure, a bit like Theresa May at a Euro summit, but fortunately there were a few pals from Otley to chat away to before we had to start.
I’d been abusing a hamstring injury for a few weeks so was a bit wary, my strategy of ‘ignore it and it will fix itself’ seems to be paying off and I felt better than I had in a few weeks. Dibbers collected we set off through the outskirts of Threshfield over the bridge and via a queue at the first style up onto the moors.
My plan was to let my legs acclimatise in the first couple of miles and then see how I felt.
By now the clouds were delivering steady rain, but with no wind to speak off it was a bit like running through a cooling shower, permanently.

I was glad I’d opted for bum bag rather than pack to keep chafing to a minimum.
It was great to see Jack and Catherine from Otley at the five mile or so mark. I managed a hug and a couple of welcome jelly babies and was all set for Mastilles Lane. At the foot of this epic climb I checked my watch and vowed to run the whole hill. I’m pleased to say I managed it, just, slow steady but definitely running it. My reward at the top was sight of Phil Robinson from Otley just a dozen yards or so in front. He’d beaten me easily last week so this was a definite step back on the comeback trail assuming I could catch him of course.
Through the next checkpoint and out again across the moors, despite the rain the ground was nice and firm but skiddy on the many stiles at this point.
By the next checkpoint by a farm I’d caught and passed Phil as we climbed once again.
This was a no cups race so at the water stations you needed to have your own bottle. This was well advertised in advance but to be fair there were a few cups at each station which you self filled and left for the next person.
By now I was suffering from a sugar crash and needed the heralded jelly babies realising I’d overshoot the very young lady handing them out I did a first in any race and ran back to collect a couple. With a suitable boost I was off again. Finally 2 hours on I could make out a few houses in the distance and looking at my Garmin for the first time was pleased to see only another mile and a half to go.

As we descended off the moor the grass was longer and much more slippery, I recognised how slippy it was half way through my para roll, bounce once twice and back on my feet. Try to look cool ! Fail.
As you come back into Grassington a mile or so of road rewards tired legs with a good pounding. Determined not to lose any places and ideally gain a few it was lung busting slog to the rugby club and across the line in 2.18. Well pleased. Great even I’ll definitely be back next year with hopefully a few more of you to keep me company.

2018 Melmerby 10k – Nicky Andrews


Three of us set off to Melmerby 10k this morning, Rebecca Normington, Richard Bell (who had been under the impression this was the Mulgrave 10k) and I.

With a temperature of 22°c you could feel the heat coming off the road before we even started warming up and it just felt hotter once we set off.

Located in the little village of Melmerby just outside of Ripon you didn’t get too much of a view of the surrounding countryside as it was mostly run on coutryroads surrounded by high hedges. The race description however was fairly accurate as an undulating race primarily flat with a few hills thrown in to keep it interesting. There were four water stops with one every few kilometres which was a nice option to have in the hot weather. After being deceived by a small village outside of Melmerby thinking that I was almost at the end there was a hard slog up a hill before entering the actual village and finally seing the finish line.

I found this race quite tough with conditions making it harder but well worth doing as it is quite fast, very local and had a nice goody bag with bananas, chocolate and medal. To top it off Rebecca and I won 2nd and 3rd ladies overall and got trophies. We just needed to bully another lady in to running to have been up for the Prosecco that was the team prize!

2018 Hardmoors 110 – Paul Atkinson


I was one of those kids at school, that always went too far, now, I’m an ultra runner.
Hardmoors 110, not knowing when to stop!
Filey Brigg, 8am, and all the nutters are gathered, runners and support crews, booked in, kit checked, ID checked, trackers taped onto packs, another adventure begins.
Months of stretches and exercises before breakfast, 30 to 50 mile weeks, long runs on Sunday at fixed steady pace, worrys about tendinitis and plantar watsits, big new head torch, all to get here, this start line, GO!
I am NOT a fantastic runner, I’m OK, but I’m better with the planing stuff, food, kit, pace. I’ve worked out a timetable, and the accountant has checked my maths, off we GO.
First 22 miles to Ravenscar go well, lots of chatting to old and new friends, views are stunning, 15 min early to the check point, feeling good.
Next leg to Robin Hoods Bay, climb that hill from the sea to the car park, ‘The Brothers’ Dave and Rob are there, quick top up and on towards Whitby.
30 miles done, down the 199 steps and into a mass of holiday makers, and the gates are closing to open the swing bridge, three of us sweet talk our way through just in time. Along the harbor and I find something I really need, public toilets, unfortunately I’ve not included 40p in change in my kit, so have to sneek in!
Mid day, too hot! I dig out my emergency £10 note and get an ice cream.
Sandsend, 36 miles, another meet with the lads, rice pudding and pot of peaches.
Just as Runswick Bay came into sight, I catch up with crazy Peter Allanach, he’s about 90 miles into his HM160, we have a little chat about food and ice cream, and I push on. Pete has been an inspiration to me in my ultra running, nothing ever seems to get him down.
Finally I reach Saltburn, and the end of the 1st ‘day’ run.
53 miles done. This is the change over point, on goes the colder weather kit for the night, out comes the big head torch, big eat, cold baked beans, rice pud, fruit pot. Mother Dave sorts my feet out, Rob forces me to eat and drink, they were great, a first class support crew!
Ready for the off again, I can see runners coming in, heads down, needing cheering up, so I sang running bear to the everyone.
5 miles on, into Guisbough woods, and the fog’s come down, my megga torch is bouncing back from the fog and I can see nowt, somehow got on the wrong track, which cost me a mile or so, and one more awfull climb to get back on route.
Roseberry Topping, 63 miles 00.30 am, Roseberry sounds cozy and warm, no, it’s hard rock, wind swept and foggy, with poor marshals holding down a tent.
Quick meet up with a sleepy Dave and Rob, then onto the famous Kildale check point.
68 miles done. 1.30 am, you always get a cheer at kildale village hall, and hot food, soup and pizza, served by a girl with a flower in her hair (this is becoming surreal).
Now comes the hard work, one very steep climb, followed by the dreaded ‘Blowarth Bit’, on a good day its 9 miles of nothing, on a foggy night I put my music on, and Stiff little fingers, The clash, Remones and The Only Ones got me through.
2.30am, and out of the fog came two 4×4 trucks, they stopped at the side of me, and asked for DIRECTIONS, and off they went, did I dream that?
79 miles Are you still reading?
4.30 am I join the lads at clay bank, the brothers look better, they’ve had a sleep, Rob joins me for the next bit.
Up onto the ‘Three Sisters’ yep, more hills. As we come down the middle one, we see a runner coming towards us, he’s flying up the hill, I realize it’s Joe Atkinson, come back from uni to support the old man, this was such a lift for my spirits, the best moment of the race, unforgettable!
We all run on to Lordstones, 81 miles. and agree to meet up again after Osmotherly.
I’m using poles, walking but travelling fast and overtaking people who are still trying to run, miles pass,
Joe joins me and we get to ‘Square corner’ together,
90 miles! don’t worry folk’s the report is nearly over,
Look’s like Rob and Dave have ‘copped off’ but no, as I get nearer I see it’s Emma and Andrea come out to cheer me on.
Big climb again to a long winding track, filled with sharp hard stones, a lot of miles gone, but not enough to see ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’
It’s Sunday, and I start to mentally sing the church parade classic,
‘Did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon England’s mountains green’
before long I’m demanding my ‘Chariot of Fire,’
thankfully, before I sing out loud again, I meet the gang coming the other way, and we reach Sutton Bank car park,
10 miles to go!
last sock change, my feet have exploded,
This last bash, with Joe, we pass lots of limping, battered, worn out runners, all determined to finish, all encouraging each other on, emotional!
Roof tops of Helmsley come into sight, one mile to go, Joe says what a strange statement that is, after 109 miles,
We can see Andrea’s orange shirt at the top of the road, and into the finish.
Feet up, shoes off, coveted ‘cross swords’ tee shirt in my hand, I start laughing and find it hard to stop.
An amazing adventure.
31 hours 31 minutes, some seconds, 110 miles.

Ultra races start at about 32 miles, there is an excellent local race series with all races starting in Otley, If you’d like to have a go, or want to know more about the ‘Hardmoor’s’ races, just ask.

Thanks to my excellent support crew, David Carberry and Robert Whitaker, with out you I wouldn’t of got there,
Thanks Emma Coster and Andrea Normington, for shouts, cheers, smiles and cake!
And thanks to Joe Atkinson, for the 28 miles you ran with me, and that moment on the three sisters.

2018 Liverpool Rock ‘n Roll Marathon – Tom Emmett


For reasons that I still haven’t fully worked out, I decided to enter a couple of marathons, inspired by my experience at the Vale of York Half in September.

The first of them finally came around today – the Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon! After a stop over in Warrington last night, I arrived with my parents to pick up my number and get myself ready (sun cream was a must). I was feeling good and confident but was also conscious of the warm weather warnings that the organisers had sent around in the days leading up to the race.

Unfortunately, the weather proved to be my undoing!

The first ten miles – taking in Goodison Park, Anfield, Stanley Park and The Cavern Club – zipped by and I was slightly quicker than my 10-minute pace target. Unfortunately, my fear of dehydration meant I had much more to drink than I’m used to, which made the remainder much harder.

That, in combination with me idiotically eating a huge orange segment while trying to run, resulting in me inhaling some juice, brought my pace right down. The juice inhalation made my breath quite short for a while so I walked, then struggled to get back up to speed for any length of time.

In panic mode, I decided the best plan was some impromptu improvised Jeffing/Fartlek type stuff, alternating between running and walking.

Incidentally, I didn’t seem to be the only one suffering; I chatted with a few first-timers who had significantly revised their targets down after halfway, and a group from a running club (I can’t recall which one) who had all run multiple marathons, saying the heat had made it one of the toughest they’d done.

In the end, I averaged about 12 minutes a mile for a finish time of 5:20:05 – much slower than I had hoped for but certainly could’ve been worse after the 13-mile mark, and I DID A BLOODY MARATHON!! The shock hasn’t worn off yet, especially as a year ago I hadn’t done a 10k, and I could barely do 5k two years ago.

Anyway, the race itself. Liverpool is the only UK franchise of the Rock n Roll Marathon series, the USP of which is the extensive use of live music and DJs along the route.

This made for a great atmosphere and guaranteed a crowd at each stage to cheer us along. From a personal point of view, it sometimes made it a bit tricky to maintain a steady pace/breathing.

(As a sidenote – on long runs I often ‘listen’ to albums in my head. If I know the album really well, I don’t have to think about it, it occupies my brain and I can mentally adjust the actual speed to match my pace or vice versa. I haven’t been able to work out if this is weird or not – am I slightly insane? Does anyone else do this? Anyway…)

The high points of the route were running through the Anfield concourse (with a glimpse of the pitch) and past the Hillsborough memorial, all the parks were lovely and the final 6k along the seafront was very welcoming – and flat! There were a few deceptively steep hills which thankfully became less frequent as the race returned towards the docks.

The locals were great and provided really useful support, and all the race staff I spoke to were great too.

Personally though, I’m not sure I’d do the marathon again – I find it impossible to ignore music and the variety made my pacing trickier than I anticipated.

Having said that, if you wouldn’t treat that as a concern, it was otherwise great fun and I’d recommend it 🙂

Now, time to start training for the Yorkshire Marathon!

Meant to mention – I’ve raised £488 for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (one of our nominated charities) for the marathon – details and donations can be seen here:

2018 The Fellsman – Simon Robertson


The Fellsman is a ~61 mile Ultra-marathon taking in lots of hills in a big arch between Ingleton and Grassington. When I did the Fellsman last year, it was my first Ultra-marathon, it was my big focus for the year and I trained solidly for four months, many long runs and many miles clocked up on my feet. This year was different, I’d only managed two long runs all year, and one of those was a section-route recce on the Tuesday before the race. And I’d had a stiff right Achilles for about 10 days, from marching into Wetherby with my four year-old on my shoulders whilst wearing sandals a few weeks back. It seemed to ease with stretching though, but it was a worry!

The race starts in Ingleton, where I met Martin Thomerson, who I ran the last half of the race with last year and we agreed we’d start running together and see how it went. Since last year Martin has run sub 3-hour marathons, completed the UTMB and been running loads. I explained that I have not and our paces might be different this year. Martin said we should be OK, he’d recently done the Manchester and London marathons and was starting with tired legs. So expectations set, we said we’d try and move at the same pace as last year, and hope to gain time in the final third when last year we were held-up.

We went outside for the final race briefing and we’re off and running up ingleborough. I was huffing and puffing, but then I always do, but moving OK, and my tight right Achilles eased off. The top of this first climb was in cloud as we hit the summit, but we got there together in about 50 minutes, so off down the other side of the hill towards Whernside. The decent from Ingleborough is technical, lots of steep stony drops, I was moving OK, my right Achilles was coping really well. I started to relax, the sun came out as we were in the valley, through the Hill Inn check-point and onto Whernside. A long slog of a climb, but never too steep. Martin and I hit the ridge-path together, then there’s a little out-and-back from this path to the summit, so faster runners whizz merrily down as we power up to the top, quickly through the check-point and then it’s our turn to bound downhill past folk still ascending. The route goes ‘off-piste’ at this point, over a temporary stile over a wall and drops into Kingdale, this section can be slow and boggy, but we’re lucky, despite the recent wet weather, the ground is springy not soggy and we make good time down the hill and across the two streams to the valley road.

From the Kingdale valley it’s about 2 hours to the next road-side check-point with food and water supplies, so I stock-up with water, grab flap-jack and head up hill. I end up scrambling up on all fours at points on this climb, quads burning. Gragareth is very steep for about 1km. At the top there’s a out and back to the summit on our left, then a long gradual climb up to Great Coum. My legs are feeling OK, Martin and I are both moving well and the ground on the summit is firm, so we trot along at a reasonable pace.

Along with the 20 items of mandatory kit for the event, I’m carrying a can of rum and coke in my back-pack, because earlier this year, when out riding my bike around Ecup I had 3 punctures on the same ride, and a kind fella stopped and gave me a lift to his house and gave me two spare tubes. And although I hadn’t recalled his name, he told me he marshalled on the Fellsman, on the hill above Dent, so as a token of my gratitude, I’d resolved to get him a drink. But, at Great Coum (the first hill above Dent), one of the marshals was about 20 years older than my helper and the other was a woman. Hmm, maybe he’s on the hill the other side of Dent. Anyway, it was a useful distraction from my aching legs, and so we pressed on and dropped into Dent, getting there just after 1pm.

Dent is a very picturesque village and the check-point here is always lively, with plenty of marshalls, but with a fast schedule in mind Martin and I grab fresh water supplies, lovely hot sausage-rolls and head straight back out towards Blea Moor. I started to struggle on the rocky road up onto Blea Moor. Unfortunately I’d expected this section as partly steep, partly runnable, and in mis-remembering it found the half-an-hour on steep stoney path a right grind. Also at this point my stomach was feeling a little queasy. Once the route leaves the stoney path, there’s an open boggy moorland section to get across, this year it was wet, plenty on strength sapping knee-deep strides through the mud. At least the sun came out as got to the check-point. Neither of the marshals here were my bike-hero from a few month ago either, so I slung the rum and coke back in my back-pack and we turned to run down to Stonehouse. I was hoping real food, not just energy gels available in Stonehouse would settle my tum. We got to Stonehouse about 3pm. I gave my rum and coke to a random marshal, fed-up of carrying the extra weight! I grabbed water and pasta and strode out heading for Great Knoutberry, it’s a steep up-hill slog for 50 minutes from Stonehouse, the first half-an-hour on a path, so we marched up, me forcing pasta into my mouth.

The last 20 mins of the Great Knoutberry climb is another slippy, boggy moorland section and it’s an out-and-back bit too, so as we slog up, there are folks skipping down who are 30 minutes ahead of us. I puffed and panted up the final section and Martin was looking strong and pulling away a bit, but we re-grouped at the top. Having just walked for 50 minutes, it was good to try and move faster again on the decent and then cross another bit of moorland to Redshaw. Redshaw serve hotdogs, Mmm, probably the most welcome and enjoyable hotdog I’ve ever had. And Redshaw marks 30 miles, so we’re now half-way. Martin and I caught up with Maria and Bridget on the way into Redshaw, and we were more efficient through the check-point, but they caught up with us again after the ground beneath me squelched and I half-disappeared into a bog. With my left leg fully submerged I needed Martin’s help to get out. For the next few hours Maria, Bridget, Martin and I kept pretty much together as a four. I found it quite helpful, as I could just focus on breathing and moving my feet as Maria and Martin chatted and kept spirits up.

And so the four of us trotted through Snaizeholme, Dodd Fell and to Fleet Moss and although I wasn’t feeling as strong as I did at this point last year, Martin and I were 30 minutes ahead of last years schedule. I’d recce’ed a very runnable route across Fleet Moss during the past week, so went quickly through the check-point and off onto the moorland which has deserves it’s reputation as the hardest part of the course to navigate. Maria and Bridget caught us again and we tracked across the Moor, picking a really good route and although my legs were painful, the fact we never had to stop to navigate meant we gained good time getting to the mid-moor check-point. From there the four of us didn’t agree whether to follow the crowd heading for a lower route, or follow my recce’ed route further up the hill. So we compromised and went in the middle of the two, missing both paths and bashed though the tussocks! We made it to the fence-line which leads to the Hells Gap check-point, but by this point my legs were leaden. Maria and Bridget pulled away, and then Martin pulled 40 yards ahead too. Martin and I re-grouped at Hells Gap, and we tried to catch Maria and Bridget as we headed to Cray. We got to Cray about 8:45, just over 12 hours in, 45 miles done and it was dusk. At dusk in the Fellsman you are ‘grouped’ and run the night-time section as a team. With Maria and Bridget wanting to push for a fast finish, they headed out quickly, and Martin and I were grouped with Rick, Fiona and Colin.

I’d picked a good line up the next hill, Buckden Pike and although it’s steep and my legs held the team back a bit, we made fairly good time up this penultimate big climb. The sun disappeared as we pounded our way up, and it was noticeably colder on the summit, we got our tally’s stamped and moved onward. The next section is easy if you know the route, so I went to the front of the group and lead us nicely down to a path marked with blue-topped wooden posts, then we turned left towards Top Mere. We lost the path at this point, not sure how, so we followed a wall for about a mile, where it was tricky under foot, but at least we knew where we were. My legs improved a bit as we marched the up hills and did the ‘ultra-shuffle’ on the flats approaching Park Rash. Here it started to rain, so we were all glad to get into the check-point tent, it was just gone 11pm. We all layered up with water-proofs, enjoyed the hot-chocolate, the cake and the heater. But after a 15 minute rest, when we headed out into the cold, dark, wet night and found our legs had stiffened, it made the next 20 minutes tough. The base of the climb up Great Whernside is vague and we occasionally veered off until we hit the 15 minutes of steep climbing. We were in the cloud now, so progress was slow, so we followed the summit fence along, looking out for the check-point which is further along than anyone thought, but eventually, just after midnight, we saw it’s red-flashing light, we all got clipped headed off for the long final decent.

There’s still 2.5 hours of walking, running, slipping and sliding from the top of the last peak to the finish line in the Upper Wharfedale School in Threshfield, but Rick, Fiona, Colin , Martin and myself made a good team, we kept good pace together and kept each others spirits up. We got officially de-grouped 2 miles from the end, and Rick, Fiona and Colin managed to jog on slightly faster than Martin and I, but we finished just gone 2.30am, 18 hours 8 minutes after we set off. We took a few photos, collected our finishers buffs and then all said our good-byes at the end of our epic adventure. I was really pleased to finish quicker than last year, since I knew I was under-prepared by comparison. But just by doing a few more tricky bits of the route in the light and then getting into a good group I had finished 1 hour 20 minutes quicker. I finished 77th out of 341 starters.

The Fellsman really is an unique challenge, 61 miles, mainly off-road, some off-path, supported, fed and watered by an army of volunteers (mostly from Keighley Scouts), over the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. I’ll be doing it again next year. It’s an amazing event to have on our doorsteps, next year, why not join me?Here’s a record of this years run on Strava:

2018 Three Peaks – Unfinished Business


After deciding to run in 2016 with barely three weeks of training after injury the predictable missed cut-off at Hill Inn was still very hard to take. That unfinished business meant that this was my no1 race for the year. Me, Chris Plews, Paul Nelson and Andy Walsh gathered in the huge Marque at the field in Horton at around 9.00 collected our numbers activated our dibbers and queued up for the mandatory kit check. Unlike most here I’m not one to spend a fortune on a super light jacket that I’ll probably never wear so a rather old Gortex with obligatory taped seams plus Mark Foster’s borrowed over trousers crammed in to my callback made for a rather heavy pack. With map food gloves hat etc the pack was straining up the seems whilst other runners were obviously in receipt of tardis like bum bags.

On the whole we were all looking just to get around, Chris and Paul had run London the week before so could hardly be considered fresh. Andy was on the comeback trail and knew he’d not put the miles in and I was still haunted by my failure of two years sooner and simply couldn’t even think about anything but getting to Hill Inn before the 3 hour 30 cut-off.

This race attracts a quality field and I fully expected to finish in the bottom dozen. Strict cut off times ensure that there is no chance to take it easy up to the two thirds point. With those cuts offs written on my hand front and back, plus Chris’s estimation of where I needed to be on each Marshall point to hit the all important final cut off – I was all set.
10.30 came around all too soon and we shuffled up to the starting line, no sooner had I turned my Garmin than the flag dropped. Leg it!! With Garmin still trying to find some spec of metal thousands of miles up. Never mind as long as my time of day was working that’s all that mattered.

After a short run down Horton High Street, we headed straight onto the rocky track up PenyGhent. The crowded path demanded full concentration to avoid the bigger stones and I didn’t really look up until we hit the steeper section of the ascent and the pack thinned out a little.

As I neared the steeper part of the climb there was a murmur of appreciation ahead and suddenly the race leaders literally flew past. For me this would be the only chance to see the fell running elites, it’s quite humbling seeing how the top guys make short work of the terrain. At this point Ricky Lightfoot was in front withTom Owens on his heels, Tom went on to win in 2.49.08. Respect. A modest 46 mins to the top for me but one minute outside of Chris’s instructed time. Mild panic, although I knew not to go too fast at this point or I’d pay for it in spades later.

The next section from PenyGhent to Ribblehead was my favourite part soft ground, a rarity on this race, with chance to seek out a few runners who look like they know what they’re doing and then hang on to their coat tails. I’m not ashamed by this, on fell races in particular the amount of time you can save by been aware of the route that more experienced folk are taking can make a big difference. I was pleased and a bit surprised to make it to Ribblehead in 1:56,14 mins ahead of the 2:10 cut off and seven minutes faster than my last attempt. Time for a big slice of Chris Smedley’s home made ‘black??’ Flapjack, Chris had made a bumper batch for his Hardmore efforts. It really hit the spot.

Experience tells me that once I’ve started I will pretty much never stop to get food out of my backpack, so I’d stuffed my pockets with love hearts (which Anne Foster swears by), flapjack courtesy of Chris and also Jo Ranking all packed in with a buff to ensure I didn’t lose all my fuel if I took a tumble. A few runners where using this checkpoint as time for a stop and a drink but I was too scared that I’d bonk on the climb to lose precious minutes, Whernside now loomed large ahead of me on the other side of the Viaduct.

You start the journey up on the walkers path and then just as you near the signal station the marshalls direct you under the railway and down towards the a wide stream that you need to cross as best you can. A few runners were making hard going of the stones but I knew my feet would get sodden in the forthcoming bog so I ran through the stream. Bit of a mistake that as reaching the bank my X talons now had zero grip and one minute I was placing a well sighted foot on a rock to leap up the river bank and the next I went A-over-T and landed with a thud. Shouts of ‘are you alright mate’ (not to be the last!) came from behind me as I popped up trying to regain lost dignity and praying that I’d not done too much damage, fortunately a bit of bruised elbow but nothing to worry about.

After 2016 I’d had nightmares about the stile at the bottom of Whernside which I’d had to queue to get over but this year there was a lovey gap in the wall and we sailed through. There’s no easy way through the next bit of bog you just have to hope that you don’t lose both thighs simultaneously. I nearly made it clean across but then disaster I felt my leading leg disappear up to the thigh and I just hurled myself face forwards across trying not to sink too deep, which would have been knackering to get out. I was now a nice builders tea colour head to toe but I’d got across pretty quickly so was happy. Whernside’s climb is unique in the race, no path no steps. It’s impossible to get to the top without using hands and feet, and even the pros resort to a four limbed scramble. I was trying to use the Paula Radcliffe, count every step technique to take my mind off how hard my quads and calves were burning. My pack now took on corset like tightness as I struggled to get some breathing rhythm. I was aware that I was taking on a lot of water from my camelback and knew that it had to last pretty much another three hours yet, it was warm going though and the sweat was streaming into my eyes. I knew that Chris Martin was planing to be at the summit and I was hoping to cadge a drink. I’d put a heart attack enducing amount of salt on my porridge that morning to try to stave off cramp which is almost inevitable to less able runners at this point. One minute feeling ok the next my calf felt like it was going to bend forwards unnaturally, pain, scream, followed by paralysis. Fortunately just the one leg this time to stretch, not easy on a 60 degree slope but I managed it. I could now hear the raucous Marshall’s shouting encouragement and then Chris Martins dulcet tones ‘cmon Rich your doing great! Some 50 mins after passing Ribblehead, having covered just 4km, I hauled my burning quads up onto the top of Whernside, dibbing in at 2:47. a big hug for Chris who told me I was inside the cut off and now had a hole 45 minutes or so to get to Hill Inn. Also just as importantly Chris handed me a bottle of isatonic which I downed in a oner. The only thing that could stop me now was a crash or the dreaded cramp. So I decided to go for both.

The descent from Whernside is quite tough, the rules are very strict now about following the path with disqualification the prize for running down the much kinder fell. The path is crammed with walkers and as the rain was holding off it was a very busy place to be. One minute I was aware of some walkers ahead and made mental note to steer clear of them and their poles, that bit of forward thinking cost me dear as my foot found a rock and down I went, no bones broken but the fall had brought on bad cramp in both calves, I couldn’t move my legs for a few frightening seconds. A marshal pulled me to my feet and being verticals brought some feeling back to protesting calves. A big thank you to the Marshall and another runner who’d stopped and I was off again. I reached the Hill Inn checkpoint at 3.17, elated to have made the cut off with 13 mins to spare well inside my target. I had stashed a drinks bottle here, and whilst I drank Andy Walsh hobbled towards me saying that his legs were shattered and he was pulling out. I tried to persuade him to jog the last bit with me but he was adamant. I stuffed some more miraculous flapjack in my face, before stumbling off up the approach to Ingleborough with great encouragement from the crowds at the checkpoint.

All thoughts of failure had gone, but I realised that if I bonked that would be race over so I was determined to respect the race but make sure I don’t overcook myself. So I relaxed and ran / walked the long drag on the approach, the final climb up Ingleborough is steep and is all stone mostly fashioned into uneven rocky steps, single file, step, pull and step again. I reached the top of Ingleborough in 55 minutes, the flat summit fortunately well flagged to aid navigation.
Three climbs done and heading for home, a realisation dawned on me that I had a good chance of being inside 5 hours 30 which would be unbelievable.

So I made a pledge no more walking. The last 4 miles to Horton are a real pain, but you have to get all the way back to civilisation at Horton. By now I was picking off a few runners especially as randomly the guys in front would pull up with cramp and need to stretch out. The ground was quite soft, which was a luxury after all that running on stones but the mud stretch didn’t last long before we hit limestone pavement which may look nice on a postcard but it’s a bar steward when your feet are starting to let you know that they hurt after kicking one loose stone too many. Coming to a gate the Marshal said only two miles to go and their all downhill, music to my ears.

My run in was a pretty good pace, after the seemingly endless moor, you crest a hill and finally catch a glimpse of the race marquee and the finish.

The race route diverts from the public path before reaching Horton. It heads under the railway line and through a very kind persons back garden before crossing the main road and into the finish field. Sprint finish, but would there be anyone to witness it – thankfully yes as Liz and Cris Martin and Jo Rankin were there to see me cross the line with a wave to the Wetherby Flag flying next to the finish. It was emotional I’ve got to say, a lot like finishing your first marathon. Handing over the money for my race t-shirt that I didn’t dare pre order was a sweet as any post race pint.

Race done, job done; 5:13. First home for the Mighty O was Chris Plews 4:22 (321) followed by Paul Nelson 4:28 (354) and then my good self.

That’s my report told, a bit of an epic essay for an epic race; three mountains just short of 6,000ft of climb and little over 23 miles.

2018 Yorkshire Veterans Cross Country Champs


A VIEW FROM THE REAR – David Yeomans

Race report 40th Yorkshire Veterans Cross Country Champs. at Cleckheaton 4th March 2018

As only Wetherby runner I have to do it!

Early Sunday morning set off out into “Beast from East” to start the “Treck to Cleck” having received E mail from organisers that course was safe to race.

The course was 9.4.k over 5 laps of what used to be pitch and put but now derelict land. Conditions best described as treacherous. Snow covered tree roots and where there was no snow it was slippery slush with the rest deep cloying mud. One big hill to be climbed 5 times and a stream cleared 10 times.

My days of podium finishes are long past and it is now more often a view from the rear so there is plenty of time to think whilst running. Along with the usual “What the hell am I doing here?” thought, today I think of Spenborough AC and what a marvellous job they had done in marking ourt the twisting course with flags and tapes and making sure we had somewhere to run after last weeks awful weather.I reflected on the good banter that is exchanged between runners at the back of the field and yet when I slipped down it was two runners who were lapping me that took time out to make sure I was ok before they disappered into the distance. What a great sport this is.

At the end of lap 4 when the thought of quitting enters my head I suddenly feel a great responsibility to my Club. Today I am the only representative of the mighty O. I feel I must not let them down. Why does it matter? Well six months ago I turned up at Wednesday training expecting to be told sorry sod off you are too old. None of this for I was made to feel really welcome, and over the weeks even useful for the Club at the Peco’s. It is because of Wetherby Runners that I have a purpose in life again, I cannot wait for Wednesday night training, I have races planned all summer and PB’s to better. I have met new colleagues who make running fun, have taught me how to use Facebook, messenger and even mended my old bike (thanks Chris). My wife says it is like I am 20 years younger in attitude. Without really knowing it the members of Wetherby Runners have changed my life and that is the reason I cannot let them down now. Quitting thoughts expelled I go on and before long the finishing line appears. A quick (ish) sprint to the the end and the adrenaline rush arrives having completed the race and even managed to be ahead of some others as well as quite a few who dropped out.

Was it all worth it?

Top 10 finish on age group 65-70 in a County Championship – got to be happy with that
New PB – (never run 9.4k race before)
First Wetherby runner home (be surprised if this ever happens again)
Ok a slowish time but surely this should boost my handicap by at least 20 minutes for the Mulgrave Castle run!!

Yes it was worth it for all those reasons and just for the great feeling you get at the end of the race.

Charities of the Year 2018


Wetherby Runners AC are proud to announce their chosen charities for 2018 are WiSE (Wetherby in Support of the Elderly) and Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Wetherby 10k Report


It was a fight to the finish line in The Wetherby 10k with four runners cresting the brow of the rise at the racecourse in the final 200 metres. Rob Scott of Richmond & Zetland Harriers was the victor by just outsprinting previous Winner and Vet 40 runner Mike Burrett of Leeds City AC. Mikes time of 32 min 42 seconds would have equalled last years winner. So despite it being a blustery day Rob Scott’s time of 32 min 39 seconds had been hard won all the way around.

Third home was Scott Hinchcliffe of Penistone Footpath Runners & AC (32.44) closely followed by Callum Elson of Roundhay Runners (32.53). Any four of them could have won it from a long way out as the battle for the lead had been close for most of the 10km (6 mile) distance.

Calum got the consolation of being first Junior placing (Under20) and Reece Dalton of Ripon was second placed, finishing 5th overall in 34.07.

The ladies race proved equally engaging with Lucy Crookes of Leeds City AC smashing the course record for ladies set by Tracey Morris at the first Wetherby 10k in 2006. Lucy’s time of 35 minutes 7 seconds gave her the £100 target time bonus and beat the course record of 35 min 25 seconds by quite some margin, an event never before achieved in the races 12 year history.

Lucy, just coming back into training, was delighted particularly on a windy day and given the course has a small off road section. She was followed home by Club mate Leila Armoush in 36 min 46 seconds. Third was Sharon Barlow of Harrogate Harriers & AC. Her time of 37 min 54seconds was, for her she said ‘disappointing’ but still won her age class.

The Under 20’s female prize went to Becky Briggs of Beverley AC in a time of 38 min 7 seconds.

First Male team was a resurgent Ripon AC with Reece Dalton, Simon Cave and Joe Lofthouse taking the honours ahead of Wetherby Runners AC headed by our own Paul Millgate, Joseph Kwallah & new comer to the racing scene Nils Linstrum. Third Team was Harrogate Harriers.

The first Ladies team was Leeds City AC with Lucy Crookes, Leila Armoush and Alice Leake. Second ladies Team was Harrogate Harriers with Sharon Barlow, Charlotte Van Heist & Shamisa Sisimaya. Third team was Wetherby Runners with Stella Cross, Frederica Moore & Phoebe Coster.

It proved to be the largest field in the races history on Sunday with 1,135 runners signing up and 911 finishers to the main race. The charity chosen by Wetherby Runners for this event was Wise (Wetherby in Support of the Elderly) and Karen Leafe of the charity was on hand along with Town Mayor Norma Harrington who flagged of the main race and also the Wetherby Mini Marathon with 122 runners. First was Jamie Walker of Valley Striders covering 1.6 miles just ahead of Otley’s Jenson Brogden. He was followed in by Wetherby’s Dan Linstrum. The girls first finisher was Erin Glover of Beverley AC, followed by Holley Davey of Otley AC and in third Louisa Welton. First primary boy, 4th overall was Tom Davey who will be starting for Wetherby soon. First primary girl was Emily Holloway of Beverley AC The prestigious Gray Cup for First Local Athlete was won again by Joseph Kwallah, who despite knee injury was delighted to be even on the start line. He was delighted with the prize from Wetherby Swimming Poll and will use the three months gym membership during the winter Months. First Local lady (LS22 postcode) was a new award and was sponsored by Wetherby Bike Shack. Leigh- Anne Webster was victorious in 50 minutes 23 seconds.

The day was all about achieving personal goals and there were many who challenged themselves over the 6 miles’ route which takes runners from Wetherby racecourse out towards Kirk Deighton, around the cycle track of the A168 before returning along the Harland Way towards Walton and back to the racecourse. Tempo FM were on the scene to record and report all the action.

Organisers Wetherby Runners AC were delighted with the support this year. Not least from Race Number Sponsors the Swan And Talbot, Ford Dealers Lawton’s of Tadcaster, The Kids Clothing Shop Doodlebug and Leeds Building Society. As well as the customary large Stein mug, which all competitors receive the race had the support of ‘Subsports’ clothing Company and each finisher also received a technical T Shirt as well as goodies from the new Aldi Store and a free bottle of water courtesy of Nestle. This was together with vouchers from Wetherby Swimming pool and a race day 20% discounted fish and Chips at Wetherby Whaler. It was also thanks to Platinum Print, Wetherby St James Church, I-Store Classics and Wetherby Lions too who all help to bring a ‘Cracking Little Yorkshire Run’ to Wetherby.

Entries are already open for the 2018 event which takes place on 2nd September 2018. Entry details and further information is available at

Wetherby 10 Results


Results from Wetherby 10k (courtesty of and Mini Marathon

The day was all about achieving personal goals and there were many who challenged themselves over the 6 miles’ route which takes runners from Wetherby racecourse out towards Kirk Deighton, around the cycle track of the A168 before returning along the Harland Way towards Walton and back to the racecourse. Tempo FM were on the scene to record and report all the action.

Organisers Wetherby Runners AC were delighted with the support this year. Not least from Race Number Sponsors the Swan And Talbot, Ford Dealers Lawton’s of Tadcaster, The Kids Clothing Shop Doodlebug and Leeds Building Society. As well as the customary large Stein mug, which all competitors receive the race had the support of ‘Subsports’ clothing Company and each finisher also received a technical T Shirt as well as goodies from the new Aldi Store and a free bottle of water courtesy of Nestle. This was together with vouchers from Wetherby Swimming pool and a race day 20% discounted fish and Chips at Wetherby Whaler. It was also thanks to Platinum Print, Wetherby St James Church, I-Store Classics and Wetherby Lions too who all help to bring a ‘Cracking Little Yorkshire Run’ to Wetherby.

Entries are already open for the 2018 event which takes place on 2nd September 2018. Entry details and further information is available at

Fell he’s a jolly good fellow – Simon Robertson’s Fellsman Race Report


Fellsman 2017 Race report

The Fellsman is a 60 mile horse-shoe shaped race over the Yorkshire Dales with over 3,000 meters of climbing. It’s not a marked route, you navigate between 25 checkpoints, mostly is over open moorland from Ingelton to Threshfield near Grassington.

The race starts with three brutal climbs, Ingelborough, Wernside and Gragareth, I set off at a positive pace and paid for it on the Gragareth assent, it’s so steep in parts I was scrambling up on all fours.  Lots of runners passed me after Gragareth, as better runners than me streamed by and I settled further back down the pack.  As I descended into Dent, I met up with Martin Thomerson, a very experienced Ultra-Marathon runner doing his sixth Fellsman.  We started nattering, and ended up sticking together for the next 70km.  I was lucky, because Martin lead us all the way to Fleet Moss barely glancing at a map.

One of the odd things of the Fellsman is that you get put into a group of minimum 4 for safety, at dusk (7pm).  Martin told few stories of previous Fleet Moss navigation nightmares.  I’d recce’ed this bit a few weeks before, so whipped out my maps and with fairly little bother we got to the trickiest check-point 2/3rds of the way across the moor.  I felt like a champ!  Leaving that check-point, we crossed to the right gap in a wall, but then I failed to take a bearing to pick-up the next wall, across the featureless  open moorland, as it got dark we drifted too far North.  Eventually we looped around off a fence to find the next check-point, but that mistake probably cost us half-an-hour.  I felt like a chump.

We got grouped at Cray, and I got lucky again, grouped with, another experienced Fellsman, Nick Ham.  In a big group of seven, we set off, Nick leading us through the darkness.  But another member of our group, Alwyn, had a really tough hour, first his head-torch failed, then his legs ceased, then he emptied his guts onto the path.  We all told him he’d start to feel better for it, but in the pitch-back of night, it’s hard to know who believed it.  Alwyn got himself going again and he did get a second wind.  We pushed on through the dark, we were tiring and had a couple of navigation debates, it’s hard to establish trust amongst seven strangers in the dark, but made impressive progress to Park Rash around midnight.  Only one big hill and ten miles to go!

The path up Great Wernside is steep, and our group of seven weary souls, struggled to keep the group together, but we took good lines, found our last hilltop check-point, all downhill from here!  Then my turn for a horrid half-hour.  My thighs were very painful on each jolting step down hill, then my right-knee started to shoot pain through me on every step of a rocky part of the descent.  I was down to a shuffle.  I started to worry I’d not be able to finish let alone be able to do my planned cycle the next day.  Group Morale Officer Steve (or maybe Tim, it was dark!) gave me some paracetamol and the ground levelled out. When I stopped, my right knee tightened up,  so I tried to make sure to keep moving.  Onwards, onwards into the night.

I guess the drugs kicked in, because from the road above Grassington I found I could jog down into town and onto the finish just before 4am, just under 19&1/2 hours since I set off.  I was elated to finish, but exhausted too.

The Fellsman was part 1 of my weekend challenge to raise £2,000 for WISE and Martin House and my fundraising reached that target on Friday.  Thanks to you all for your support.  Part 2 of the my weekend challenge was the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive, so having rested for half-an-hour, I set off again.

Winter Training Weekend in the Lakes – 2017


Following the success of our Wetherby Winter Weekend 2016 we are pleased to announce the sequel – Wetherby Winter Weekend 2017. This will take place on the weekend of Friday 24th to Sunday 26th Novemeber that’s 2 nights B&B.

Once again we have exclusive use of the Coledale Inn in Braithwaite, just outside Keswick, which can accommodate approximately 40 people.

The weekend will be a healthy mixture of exercise, food, drink and good company, not to mention Christmas shopping possibilities in Keswick!

We will meet for a sociable lunchtime run en route on the Friday and have our evening meal in the hotel. On the Saturday there will be a variety of running, cycling and walking options and again we will have our evening meal in the hotel. There will be more of the same on the Sunday morning, and we will leave after lunch.

As we will lose daylight from about 3.30pm there will be plenty of opportunities for down time and non-running activities!

The cost for the weekend will be £130 per person for 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast.  Places are limited, and will be allocated on a  “first come, first served basis”. A deposit of £20 per person to Debra Wheeler will secure a booking.

For further details please contact Debra or any member of the Committee.

Further details about the hotel can be found at