Helm Hill’s Tom Addison won his first Soreen Stanbury Splash on Haworth Moor, beating reigning champion Tom Adams by just a second in a thrilling contest.
The six-mile Woodentops fell race, featuring 900 feet of climb, was a changed route due to Ponden Kirk being too exposed to snow and ice. Addison completed what was the 2003 Auld Lang Syne course in 39min 01sec after a titanic struggle with Ilkley Harriers runner Adams.
The English under-23 fell race champion made his move on Adams inside the final mile, revealing that some new running shoes with metal studs, which he had bought the day before, had helped make a difference.
He said: “On the icy path (near the end) I felt I was able to really attack the climb and push off hard with every stride. I think the shoes helped me grip the icy underfoot conditions better.
“The last 100 metres came and I just had enough on Tom to hold him off, though he pushed me all the way to the line. It was a cracking race.”
Tom’s cousin Mark Addison was pleased with third just over a minute and a half behind the leading pair, while orienteer Chris Smithard finished fourth.
The changed route meant under-18 athletes were allowed to compete, with Calder’s Max Wharton relishing the conditions to finish seventh and Wharfedale Harriers teenager James Hall not far behind in 11th.
One of the greats of fell running, the Lake District’s Gavin Bland, won the V40 category in ninth. The 41-year-old is no stranger to the area, having finished second in the Soreen race in 1998 and 1999, both times to Keighley’s multiple winner Ian Holmes, who was a rare absentee as he was away skiing.
Wharfedale’s Christian Holmes once again got his hands on the first locals trophy, finishing eighth.
Ilkley Harriers, with Adams, Jack Wood (fifth) and Whinberry Naze winner Lee Morley (12th), won the men’s team prize.
The ladies race was won by two-time Stoop race winner Helen Fines (Calder). She was always ahead of three-time Soreen winner Helen Glover, of Keighley & Craven AC, who was second and won the first local lady honour.
Wetherby Harrier Pauline Munro returned to her old stomping ground, finishing third and first FV40. Pauline won the Soreen race back in 2001 and 2002.
The FV50 was won by Gill Myers, who helped Wharfedale to the ladies’ team prizes, with Gill seventh, Louise Pickles eighth and 23-year-old Sarah Tipler leading them home in fourth.
Under-14 Yorkshire champion James Lund, of Keighley & Craven, won yet another Quarry race, this time ahead of Yorkshire under-12 champion Thomas Nelson.
The local club also supplied the first under-12 in Elliot Brett, first under-ten in Will Atkinson and first girl under-ten Lucy Fryers. There was a record turnout in the under-16 race, with Holmfirth’s Lewis Byram winning in 10min 57sec and the first girl being Keighley & Craven’s Eleanor Robinson in fourth overall.
All competitors received a Soreen malt loaf, with juniors also getting a Soreen goody bag.