Keighley’s Ian Holmes proved again why age is just a number as he won the 21st Withins Skyline fell race at the age of 46.
The Bingley Harrier won the first ever Skyline race in 1992 but, surprisingly, this is the Haworth moor race he has won the least, having triumphed a mere five times now.
He dominated this year’s 12km event, leading all the way, with Helm Hill’s Mark Addison sat on his heels until the famous Top Withins ruin, where Holmes turned on the gas. A quick glance back climbing Bronte Waterfalls gave him more confidence that he was going to win, as Addison was making no impression.
Holmes crossed the finish line in a new Veteran 40 record time of 42min 32sec, taking one second off Bashir Hussain’s 2006 time. He was 37 seconds clear of runner-up Addison – brother of last year’s winner Tom – with orien-teer Chris Smithard in third.
In the ladies race another veteran, 44-year-old Jean Brown, took the honours and the trophy picture of Top Withins, with Lucy Needham in second and Rachel Pilling in third.
The Clayton-le-Moors Harrier Brown is much more at home on the longer type races, so was overjoyed to win such a short race.
Once again the junior races attracted some of the best up and coming athletes in the sport and also some fantastic Halloween fancy dress runners.
The under-eights race boasted 67 youngsters, with Jath Lee and Alice Jones winning.
Wharfedale Harrier Alice’s rewards for her efforts was the privilege of starting the senior race.
Yorkshire and BOFRA under-14 champion James Lund, of Keighley & Craven AC, was the first under-14, while Yorkshire under-12 champion Thomas Nelson won his age-group.
Callum Durrans is definitely a name for the future as he won the under-tens.
Blackburn’s Natalya Irvine won the girls under-12s, finishing two seconds ahead of Bingley’s Victoria Merrick, who was the first under-14 girl.
Keighley & Craven’s Emma Thompson won the under-ten girls race, with a massive 114 runners taking part.
In the under-16s, Yorkshire bronze medal-list Eddie Hinchcliffe won, with Holmfirth team-mate Sophie Spencer trium-phing in the girls category.
Withins Top Ten: 1 Ian Holmes (V40R) (Bingley) 42.32, 2 Mark Addison (Helm Hill) 43.09, 3 Chris Smithard (UA) 43.49, 4 Tim Black (Calder) 46.19, 5 Nick Charlesworth (V40) (Wharfedale) 46.25, 6 Christian Holmes (Wharfedale) 46.45, 7 Paul Webber (UA) 46.50, 8 Colin Walker (V40) (P&B) 47.10, 9 Mark McGoldrick (Wharfedale) 47.45, 10 Jack Wood (Ilkley) 47.56.