Junior Championships 2010 - Stars shine at Hellifield
Newly crowned English under 14 fell champions Max Wharton of Calder Valley and Bronwen Owen of Scarborough AC showed why they are super stars by not only winning the 2010 Yorkshire U14 titles, but they were record breakers to boot, with Max slicing 53 seconds and Bronwen a whopping 1 minute 23 seconds off their races respectively. Three other athletes broke records with last years under 14 Yorkshire Champion, Becky Mills taking 59 seconds off the FU16 record, Seth Waterman reduced the U12 record by 11 seconds and Clayton's Natalya Irvine took 35 seconds off the FU10 record. The under 16 race uncovered a new talent in 15 year old Bradley Traviss, at the moment running is a close second to his rugby ambitions. But these weren't the only stars shining at the 41st Hellifield annual Gala, Ryan Thomas who plays the 'hunky' builder Jason Grimshaw in the ITV's soap, Coronation Street, made the athletes' day by joining in the fun, signing autographs, posing for photographs and starting the senior race. The seniors got the worst of the weather as a monsoon type cloud burst swept over the summit of The Haw, junior international Cowling Gala winner Billy Pinder regained the Yorkshire under 18 title and the winners £30 prize money with over a one minute lead from Marc Scott, the Yorkshire silver medallist and Sean Carey who collected the bronze, past winner V50 Steve Oldfield chased these youngsters home and himself was chased by U23 champion Matthew Athersmith and U23 silver James Craig who also picked up the first local's prize. Lancashire's Nichola Jackson was chuffed with the £30 on offer for winning the ladies race, from Skipton's Clare Pearson, before Caroline Lambert of the little known fell running club called Wetherby Runners took third and with it the U18 ladies Yorkshire title. After the presentation of the Yorkshire and open race awards by Hilary and Norman Berry from Burton Safes Limited who sponsor the Yorkshire Championship, the famous chocolate throw out ensued, with Hilary and Norman doing the honours. What better way to end a day could there possibly be than to see the sight of youngsters and grown ups desperately trying to catch chocolate, a truly GRAND DAY OUT!
Senior Championships 2010 - No Gray day for Karl!
On what was a grey day for most, veteran Karl Gray showed true Yorkshire grit to win his first English Championship race at Holme Moss, this was made even more the
sweeter by winning the Yorkshire title which was incorporated within the race. Karl has been chasing the elusive gold medal and championship trophy for the last few years,
and his medal tally has been three bronze and two silver medals, so his campaign has now been richly rewarded with gold. Karl's day just got better and better,
besides taking more than 25 minutes off the course record he led his club Calder Valley to team gold for the second year running with Gavin Mulholland and Adam Breaks.
Yorkshire silver went to last years bronze medallist Graham Pearce who will be running in his first England vest this coming weekend at the Mount Snowdon international,
while bronze went to Chris Birchall.
It was all new names who collected the ladies medals, veteran Alison Raw was a 'chuffed' ladies winner, silver went to Helen Berry of Holmfirth, who were the race organisers and host club. Pippa Wilkie of Dark Peak Fell Runners took the bronze, and with Nicky Spinks and Lyn Bland they lifted the team gold medals for their club for the first time in the history of the championships.
These championships are the oldest county championships out there and are now in their 33rd year, and it's with thanks to Up & Running and The Wharfedale Clinic in Otley for their generous support.
Inter Regional Champs
Yorkshire as usual performed magnificently at the Inter County Fell Championships held at the Letty race in Denbighshire, Wales, on 22nd May and came away with a golden haul. For the Yorkshire girlies it was seventh heaven, because this was the seventh time they have taken top team honours in the 13th running of the event. Victoria Wilkinson who actually took part in the first Inter Counties in 1998 where she took silver behind Jessica Turnbull, here proved the stronger to repeat her winning performance in 2008 where she won at Belmont. At the prize giving cheeky late replacement, Sophie Lovell, thoroughly enjoyed spraying Victoria, Emma Clayton who finished 12th and Jo Waites who finished 13th; Sophie in her first race of this distance, 9m/2900ft, applied herself with true Yorkshire grit to finish 25th even more impressive as she was literally drafted in that morning.
Not to be out shone the men's team took gold for the fifth time, with Adam Osborne finishing with a silver medal behind Martin Cox, who also collected a silver in 1998 then behind Andrew Pearson. Backing Adam up, fantastically, was in fourth Graham Pearce and hot his heels was Matt Speake. It was just an incredible performance by everyone, the only low point was Rob Jebb having to call it a day on route due to the incessant heat. In the end Yorkshire flags waved everywhere and the only ones drinking bubbly were the so called tight fisted Yorkshire folk, although we did get a good deal on the bottles!!
Dave's photos, Eileen's photos