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Santa-stic as Adams wins Stoop
1:00pm Thursday 20th December 2012 in District Sport
Ikley Harrier Tom Adams showed his recent injury problems are behind him by winning the 23rd Stoop race near Haworth.
The 30-year-old finished ahead of some illustrious opponents, not least 11-time winner Ian Holmes of Keighley.
He won the Penistone Hill-based five mile race, featuring 800 feet of climb, in 31min 30sec ahead of runner-up Rob Hope, who has won the Woodentops event seven times.
The Pudsey & Bramley runner was 15 seconds further back, with last year’s winner Sam Tosh – a British under-23 champion this year – in third.
Chris Smithard was fourth ahead of Bingley Harrier Holmes, who claimed fifth spot in 33:15 to win the veteran-40 title for the eighth time.
Adams was delighted to get his hands on the trophy for the first time, which incorporates a picture of Holmes in recognition of his domination of the event.
Runner-up Hope paid tribute to his opponent who pipped him to victory. He said: “I was really confident that I could win it on the descent, because we had dropped Sam and I thought Tom wasn’t as good a descender.
“What really surprised me was he opened a gap immediately. I finally closed and, on one of the muddiest sections we were neck and neck.
“Maybe I was trying too hard but down I went. Tom took his chance but, honestly, he was the strongest and on the run back even pulled away.”
This Yule Tide race is renowned for a sea of red santa hats swarming its way up the hill and the 270 senior starters made an impressive sight, as did the 159 juniors who competed.
Stephen Booth (unattached) won the V50s, Mike Walsh (Kendal) the V60s and Norman Bush (Ilkley) set a new V70 record in 50.51.
Wharfedale Harriers, with Christian Holmes 11th, Sam Watson 13th and Nick Charlesworth 14th, won the team event.
The under-18 winner was Max Wharton, who recently finished third overall in the Shepherds Skyline but only managed eighth here.
Retaining the ladies title was 2012 British silver medallist Helen Fines in finishing 25th overall. Calder Valley Fell Runners again won the ladies team prize.
The first race off was the under-eights’ half-mile, where Jath Lee, of Keighley & Craven, not only won but equalled the record held by team club-mate Eric Beaumont and Matthew Crorken, from Spen Princess Mary School, with a swift 2.53. Alice Jones won the girls race.
In the combined under-ten, under-12 and under-14 races Seth Waterman had the edge over Keighley’s James Lund to win the under-14 category.
Thomas Nelson, in third, won the under-12s from Joshua Dickinson, while in the under-tens, Wharfe-dale’s Jack Muir triumphed.
The fancy dress competition, held alongside the race, had some great entries, with winners earning signed photos of Olympic stars Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee among other goodies.
Top ten Stoop finishers: 1 Tom Adams (Ilkley) 31.30, 2 Rob Hope (P&B) 31.45, 3 Sam Tosh (Rossendale) 31.49, 4 Chris Smithard (UA) 32.31, 5 Ian Holmes (V40, Bingley) 33.15, 6 Christopher Leigh (V40, Trafford) 34.07, 7 Adam Osborne (Leeds City) 34.43, 8 Max Wharton (U18, Calder) 34.53, 9 Alistair Rees (V40, Holmfirth) 35.38, 10 John Lloyd (Todmorden) 35.43.