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Burnsall fell race is probably one of the most hazardous races on our calendar. From the summit it's a steep rocky descent down a well worn narrow gully with plenty of drops from rocks. To negotiate through heather at speed you really need to be switched on. Once down this, the dash through the fields is a piece of cake.
The senior race saw Ian Holmes come home just 4 seconds up on Ted Mason with Alastair Dunn finishing 3rd, this made the senior championship very interesting with just 2 races to go with both Alastair and Ted level on BOFRA counters. Ladies champion Lisa Lacon had a comfortable win. 58 seniors ran so for a change let's bring in some of the club runners who ran on the day. Let's start with Wharfedale's Iain Gibbons who has been out through injury and came back late in the season. Last year he had quite a good season with us and his 16th placing shows he's on the way back. Back in 22nd we have a vet 50 John Adair in his first season with BOFRA and has had some good results on the way. Andy Smith was only 3 seconds behind, here's the guy who won the championship in the 90's and he's still a keen competitor. Dropping down to 28th we have Ben Proctor, although he hasn't regained the kind of form he had in his junior years he still remains a good competitor and keen sportsman. Helm's Paul Tuson 35th is well off where he normally is in racing but on his day he's a force to be reckoned with and he's also involved in the smooth running of some of our events which makes him worth his weight in gold. Pendle's Paul Wilson and club mate Dean Thompson have brought their families to our races for years coming home in 46th and 47th these guys are what BOFRA is about as we are a family orientated organisation.
The under 17's saw Tom Sessford come back in 1st place to put the under 17's crown this year within his grasp. First girl Melanie Hyder has her name on the girl's title this year with a string of wins. But looking beyond the top runners we have had plenty giving it their all and their day will come as this has been a very hard age group to get in the prizes. One who knows this better than most is Skipton's Robbie Swift; he has got better and better this season and is always challenging for the medals. Pendle's Sam Richards 11th place shows he's getting there it's only a matter of time. Another runner with a big heart is Wharfedale's Scott Baistow who is a lot better than his 15th place suggests. Dropping down to 19th and 20th we have 2 girls who have competed on our circuit regularly; Rossendale's Rebecca Swindells and Pendle's Sarah Wilson had 7 seconds parting them.
The under 14's saw 3 seconds separating the first 3 runners; Rossendale's Pascal Dark, Daniel Walsh and Skipton's Sam Westcott who claimed the prizes in that order after an exciting finish. Pippa Barrett is making a late surge for the girl's title getting a convincing win on the day. Looking down the list we have Faith Biddle who came back 6th girl, Faith had some good results in the under 12's and is finding her way in what's been a very strong age group .
The under 12's saw an enormous turnout of 37 runners with clubs like Keighley & Craven, Rossendale and Wharfedale Harriers turning up in force. It was Wharfedale's Ben Johnstone who crossed the tape first followed by club mate Will Smith and Alexander Speight a close 3rd. The girl's winner Lorna Jo Nunwick proved why she's been unbeatable this year with a convincing performance ahead of Rossendale runners Megan Solomon and Rebecca Flannagan. Looking down the list it's nice to see family members competing in the same age group so let's bring in 8th girl Eleanor Solomon, how long will it be before we see her in the prizes? Keighley's Holly Carter's 9th place in the girls could soon change if she follows in sister Erica's footsteps who's flying high in the under 14's races. Let's pick out a club we haven't mentioned, Blackburn Harriers have a rising star in 17th place in Leon Passco-If he's anything like his dad Lee, who knows what he could achieve. This also goes for his brother Thomas who came home 7th in the under 9's.
Moving on to the under 9's, 32 charged up the fields and they were led home by Ilkley's Charles Smith with Settle's Joshua Newbold breathing down his neck, Rossendale's Thomas Sumner was just 4 seconds behind in 3rd. The under 9 girls were led home by Keighley's Georgia Gray with Shona Hastings and Lucy Horrocks taking 2nd and 3rd prizes.
Just for a change I've just picked out a few names at random. We are not an elitist organisation, it's all about enjoyment as well as healthy competition wherever you are in our races, so wherever you finished at Burnsall your support is really appreciated. Keep turning up - a lot of champions started at the back in races, anything can be achieved there's always next time.
Finally I would like to thank our flaggers (including me), marshals and the guys at the start line for the tremendous job they did and a big thank you to the Coffey Family who kindly put £50.00 in towards our junior trophies. Embsay next on the calendar - see you there!