ANOTHER virtual race, Skipton/Kilburn, has taken place for members of Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers, again with huge support – 81 finishers, members and friends – over a tough out and back course.

You can tell if you’re at the halfway point near the hairpin on Sutton Bank, that you’ve done quite a bit of climbing, starting at the entrance to Kilburn Woods. Once again this is Rob Burn’s home territory, and there’s no wonder he’s retained his “good for his age” status – he finished in tenth place overall. The winner was again Tom Levi, who is being well-rewarded for his regular training. He took 30.57 minutes over the five-plus mile course on stony, hilly trails in Kilburn Woods.

Lapsed member, Joshua Fothergill, was next in 32.42, with Josh Cooper the second scoring member in 34.00. Matt Jones, another doing lots of training (and how it’s paying off) was third in 34.52 ahead of Paul Peacock, a newish member who is certainly making a mark, fourth in 34.58. Always competitive, Stephan Tomaszewski came fifth in 35.31, David Fawkes sixth in 37.07, Rob Burn seventh in 37.52, Mike Cropper eight in 38.01, Mike Lowther ninth in 38.32 and Jack Fisher tenth in 39.40.

Esther Harrison was once again the runaway ladies’ winner, ninth overall, in 37.07. Another very competitive runner, Trudy Morrice, was second in 39.15 with Lorraine Hiles, never far behind, third in 39.30, Kirsty Naylor fourth in 42.44, Clare Tempest fifth in 43.35, Fran Jeffery sixth in 44.03, ever improving Rosie Gatenby seventh in 44.04, Helen Ashworth eighth in 45.39, Sonja Van Der Westhuisen, now seeming fully recovered after knee surgery, ninth in 46.43 and Hilary Coventry tenth in 47.00.

Well done to all who completed this hard course, with some wild orchids to brighten the trip, if you had time to notice them. The club championship is being very well supported this year, when it’s possible to run any time over several days at your own convenience, without having to remember to enter a race several weeks in advance.

Members’ enthusiasm and initiative knows no bounds, and two of them, Fran Jeffery and Paul Chapman, took on the challenge of the virtual 100 mile Montane Lakeland race, in their own locality, of course.

Entrants were allowed to do it over a week, and Fran did hers over six days, whilst going to work each day at the same time (after walking the dog). Day one saw her covering 13 miles, which was pretty much her daily average for the first four days, through Kirby Knowle, Boltby and Mount St John. It was Kilburn Woods on day two joining some other members on a social run, followed by a flattish 13 miles locally on day three. On day four she was at Osmotherley reservoir, and for the 25 miles on day five she took in Black Hambleton and Lake Gormire. She was again local for her final day and was delighted to finish with a doughnut and coffee at Greggs with Gavin who has supported her some of the time! A total of 106 miles in 22 hours 41 minutes.

Paul Chapman had a different approach, deciding to cover the Cleveland Way, Filey to Helmsley, 109 miles, over three days. Little did he know that it included two sections of beach and a dog leg out and back up Roseberry Topping. Monday was Filey to Staithes, 44 miles, Tuesday Staithes to Clay Bank, 33 miles, and Clay Bank to Osmotherley, 32 miles – and then home to bed. He had taken 31 hours 30 minutes. Many congratulations to both.

This was Paul’s second 100 mile in a week effort. During lockdown, he completed at least a half marathon every day for a week.