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Third time lucky for Jonny Brownlee on Haworth moor
Just over 375 runners braved horrendous weather conditions on Haworth moor as Jonny Brownlee won the Daleside Auld Lang Syne fell race for the first time.
The world triathlon champion and Olympic bronze medallist had finished runner-up in the event from Penistone Hill for the last two years.
But he went one better to win the six-mile run, featuring 900 feet of climb, in 43min 10sec, ahead of Helm Hill runner Tom Addison – the current English under-23 fells champion – who was 18 seconds further back.
In third was Tom’s cousin Mark Addison, also of Helm Hill, with Keighley’s Ian Holmes claiming the first veteran prize for the eighth time and Wakefield Harrier Annabel Mason finishing first female.
Yorkshire fell running conditions were at their toughest – howling wind, driving rain and atrocious underfoot conditions – but they just added to 22-year-old Brownlee’s victory and the enjoyment of the 376-strong field, many of whom donned fancy dress.
He will now feature on the Daleside Old Leg Over beer label for 2013, just like his brother Alistair, who won last year. The London 2012 Olympic triathlon gold medallist was on the entry list for the race but sat it out due to a knee niggle.
Jonny said: “This is the first Woodentops race I’ve ever won, which is very satisfying as I’ve competed in these races since I was ten years old, so this means a lot.
“I was always confident of winning but the weather made it very interesting. The descent to the river crossing was standing water on a sloping hillside, which isn’t my forte.
“How Tom Addison managed to catch me there was astonishing. Once across the river, the final climb was testing but I managed to get the gap but Tom never gave up chasing.”
Jonny led Bingley Harriers to the men’s team prize, with Holmes and Martin Peace, who finished 26th.
Nicholas Charlesworth was top Wharfedale Harrier in 12th place with a time of 48.03, while the first Keighley & Craven AC member back was Stuart Walton in 48th, clocking 54.16.
Another athlete ringing out the year in style was European Mountain Running champion Mason, who recently finished fifth in the European Cross Country Championships.
She finished an incredible 11th overall, which is no mean feat given she is only 16.
Mason, who was running her first ever Woodentops senior race having won several junior Quarry Run races, had a neck-and-neck battle with three-time Auld Lang Sybe winner Olivia Walwyn Bush and only 11 seconds seperated them at the finish.
Recent Chevin Chase winner Victoria Wilkinson, of Bingley Harriers, finished third, with last year’s champion Katie Walshaw fourth.
Durham University Old Girls won the team prize.
Special thanks goes to all volunteers who helped to stage the race, including Ilkley Harrier Callum Carslaw, who played the bagpipes for the runners on their way out and on their way back until his fingers were too cold to function!