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Thursday, 02 June 2016 20:16


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Held on Ilkley Moor this classic 8.4 km navigational fell race was established in 1985 to commemorate the life of an acclaimed Yorkshire sportsman.

On a cool evening, Jack Wood of local club Ilkley Harriers took the Jack Bloor Men’s Senior Race title for a second consecutive year. Finishing in 39 minutes 26 seconds, Jack shaved an impressive 44 seconds off his previous winning time. Second place went to Pudsey & Bramley runner Graham Pearce with Simon Deakin of Leeds City AC in 3rd place.

First MV40 and 4th overall was Tom Brunt of Dark Peak Fell Runners. The men’s course record of 38 minutes 4 seconds was set in 2007 by Greg Hull of Leeds City AC. Nine years on and Greg is still at the sharp end coming 6th overall and 1st MV50.

Representing Ilkley Harriers, winner of the men’s U23 Arthur Dolphin Trophy and 15th overall was local lad Jack Cummings of Langbar with a time of 44:32. Nick Pearce also took the MV60 title for Ilkley Harriers.

Running for her home club of Lancaster & Morecombe AC, Sarah Hodgson led the women’s race from the start. The twenty year-old Leeds University student won both the overall Jack Bloor Women’s Senior Race title and the Pat Bloor Women’s U23 trophy in a time of 49:36. Sarah, who had never raced this event before, said afterwards, "I was so pleased to take the win at the 31st Jack Bloor Race. It only takes a glance at the previous winners’ names engraved on the trophy to know you are in good company! There is something in this race for everyone and it perfectly captures the challenging but friendly nature of fell running”. Just 33 seconds later, Lucy Haines took second place for Ilkley Harriers with Wharfedale Harriers’ Sophie Martin in third position.

Carol Morgan of Nidd Valley retained the Mike Rose Bowl for first veteran woman over-40 and Carol Evans took the LV50 title for Settle Harriers.

Throughout the rest of the 198-strong field individual runners sought to improve on their personal best, battled with rivals or simply enjoyed the challenge and atmosphere of the race.

We are extremely grateful to our new senior race sponsor, the Flying Duck Pub in Ilkley. Occupying one of the oldest buildings in Ilkley, this Church Street hostelry is home to the Wharfedale Brewery. A bottle of Wharfedale Blonde beer was presented to class and team winners whilst all runners were generously rewarded with a Flying Duck voucher.

With three runners to count, Ilkley Harriers took first place in both the men and women’s team competitions. For the men Pudsey & Bramley were 2nd and Wharfedale Harriers 3rd, similarly Ripon Runners and Wharfedale Harriers for the women.

Terry Lonergan of Complete Runner, a loyal sponsor and supporter of both the Jack Bloor Memorial Fund and Races, presented the senior race trophies to the winners.

In addition to his own sporting accomplishments, Jack Bloor was renowned for encouraging young people to engage in outdoor sport. All monies raised from the annual races go to the Jack Bloor Fund that for 31 years has helped support young people to develop physical and technical skills in any recognised outdoor sport.

During the last year the Fund made eleven grants. Activities included, an ascent of Mt Elbrus in the Caucasus, pre-season warm-weather athletic training in Portugal, competing in the European Lifesaving Championships and a white-water kayaking tour in Austria and France.

Applicants must be under-26, Yorkshire-based and a member of either a Yorkshire sports club or a national sport governing body. Applications are welcome at any time. Further details can be found at www.jackbloor.co.uk

Earlier in the evening, one hundred juniors tackled courses of half a mile, one mile or 1.5 miles in one of five age-based classes (U8, U10, U12, U14, U16). Many were there simply to enjoy the occasion with several trying their first fell race. Others were out to improve positions in leagues or compete in club championships.

Jack Sanderson of Settle Harriers won the U8 race in just 4 minutes 3 seconds. First girl was Katie Buckley running for Keighley & Craven. Ilkley Harriers took all podium positions in the U10 race with Archie Budding in first place 5 seconds ahead of club-mate Thomas Campbell. Maisey Bellwood of Keighley & Craven was first girl.

Phoebe Worrall of Ilkley Harriers won the U12 Girl’s race whilst Samuel Clancy of Leeds City AC used a tight three second lead to win the race overall. Settle Harriers’ Sebastian Segger-Staveley enjoyed a commanding win in the U14 race with Bernadette Raven of Ilkley Harriers leading the U14 girls.

In a time of 12 minutes 8 seconds, Tom Humphries of Eden Runners won the U16s race. Representing Ilkley Harriers, Milly Fewlass-Jones lead the U16 girls over the finish line.

The Jack Bloor Junior Races are kindly sponsored by Ilkley’s popular community café, Outside The Box, located at the junction of Church Street and Bridge Lane. Every junior runner was rewarded with a café voucher. The top three boys and girls in each category were presented with certificates together with elaborate handcrafted cookie-medals, designed, baked, decorated and presented by the team at Outside The Box Café.

As ever, thanks go to our sponsors and members of the Gritstone Club, Airienteers, Ilkley Harriers and all our other supporters who make this sporting and community event possible.

Rob King

Race Organiser & Jack Bloor Fund Trustee

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