Irwell Valley 20 Mile

Despite it being a race challenge day over in Todmorden on Sunday, a team of 6 Harriers made the 35 minute journey to Greater Manchester to run the Irwell Valley 20 mile race. 

Upon arriving at the venue, it soon became apparent that the distance was going to be the least of our worries - the rain was beating down, the wind was picking up and the temperature was stuck at a rather chilly 2 degrees. All this considered, it wasn't quite enough to deter a field of almost 400 runners heading to the startline and out to tackle the muddy trails of a rather aptly named Drinkwater Park.

The course began with a short 2 mile loop through open fields and a short stretch of woodland, before leading back to the start and out onto the first of 2, 8 mile circuits. Where the running route follows a trail path, it was very challenging under foot as the heavy rain fall had caused large parts of the course to become a swampy quagmire of mud. The first of the Harriers to fall victim to the conditions was Keith Lemon, who had a crowd of runners in fits of laughter, losing his trainer in a particularly boggy puddle just as he passed the 4 mile mark. Fortunately, he soldiered on (trainer on foot) and proved to be a fantastic source of support for his running partner Hanni Maeer as they completed the 20 miles together. 

As the race progressed, the weather took a turn for the worst and a cruel headwind blew in a rather heavy snowstorm which lasted the best part of an hour. Following this, the rain returned in heavy bursts before a brief bit of respite came in the occasional sunny spell.

It was an incredibly challenging race, but very good training for those running Spring marathons and ultra races and if nothing else, all involved earned a hearty Sunday dinner! First home for the Harriers was Keith Lemon and Hanni Maeer who crossed the finish line together in 3.08:20, followed by Martin Ellis 3.26:03, Wayne Stevens 3.27:57 and Jenny St.Romaine 4.00:00. A special mention has to be given to Andrea Ackroyd who, plagued by injury, battled through to complete 12 miles of the course in a time of 1.49.

National Cross Country At Leeds + Ilkley Moor Fell

National Cross Country Championships at Leeds

The 2019 National Cross Country Championships were held in the grounds of Harewood House in hot conditions for February. The course included challenging climbs and descents with a fast, long finishing section.

Halifax Harriers were represented in various age group races.

In the under 13 girls race, Nia Harrison-Sergeant came 84th, whilst in the under 13 boys race, James Duffy finished 254th.

James Johnson finished 254th in the under 15 boys race. 

The under 17 men all performed well with Max Burgin finishing 37th, Ewan Wheelwright 144th and Harry Keighley 237th.

Laura Knowles ran in the junior ladies race finishing in 113th. 

In the senior ladies race Katrina Oddy finished 277th (5th V50), whilst in the senior mens race Ben Crowther came 288th, Simon Johnson 801st, Ryan Barker 1106th and Heath Reilly 1975th.

All the Halifax HarriersH athletes put in some good performances in the heat against some of the best runners in the country in their age groups.

Ilkley Moor fell race

Halifax Harriers had 3 runners in a field of 264 at the Ilkley Moor fell race.

This is a tough 5 mile course with lots of challenging climbs and technical descents. The day was warm with dry conditions underfoot.

Halifax Harriers results  - Paul Sutcliffe, 61st in 48:36, Sarah Langan 229th in 69:45 and Samuel Wright 240th in 70:55.

This race is the second in the Halifax Harriers Fell League, with Paul Sutcliffe leading the men and Hazel Berrett and Sarah Langan in equal first place in the ladies.

Liversedge Half Marathon

Halifax Harriers had nine runners at the Liversedge half marathon which is considered by many to be quite a tough race, but the total climb is no worse than many other local races.  However, there is a bone shaking steep descent into Bailiff Bridge, then a flat section on Bradford Road as the race progresses towards Brighouse, before the climb up through Clifton to Hartshead and the finish at Roberttown.

Peter Clegg was first back for Halifax Harriers in 13th position in 1:24:43.  Andy Wiggins and Will Stewart came in together in 1:27:16 (3rd M45) and 1:27:25 respectively.  April Caufield was first lady back for Halifax Harriers in 1:32:29 (5th lady).

Other runners for the club were James O’Rourke 1:30:43, David Ingle 1:31:22, Simon Lea 1:42:45, Nigel Taylor 1:50:00, Margaret Deacon 1:57:30.