Most runners thought the challenge of this year’s Withins Skyline Race on Sunday was just to get round the course, especially considering the mucky underfoot conditions, gale force winds and horizontal rain.

But for 18-year-old junior international Tom Addison, with his dad Mike, and brothers Rory and Jos, first they had to get out of a grid-locked Kendal because the terrible weather had closed all the roads due to flooding.

Somehow they managed to find a back road with no rising waters, although on the dual carriageway they had to throw caution to the wind and brave flood waters with their vehicle. Luckily they arrived, but Jos did miss his junior race.

As if Tom wasn’t stressed enough, he was allocated race number one because of his win last year and then named the race favourite on the start line but it did not deter this ambitious youngster.

He powered his way up to Oxenhope Stoop checkpoint. His only error in the race was on the skyline when he turned off too soon for Top Withins ruin, going through boggy terrain awaiting any “foolish souls” who think this is a shorter route.

By the ruin he was back in third having allowed 2002 winner Steve Oldfield, and 1994 and 2000 winner Andrew Wrench to gain an advantage.

The determined youngster soon caught V50 Oldfield, and finally caught V40 Wrench above Bronte Bridge, and from there used his speed to good effect to win by a minute from Wrench with cousin Mark Addison coming third.

V50 Oldfield finished fifth to win the V50 title for the third year running. V60 record holder Dave Tait won again while Peter Duffy won the V70.

The men’s team was an all Addison, Helm Hill AC affair, with Tom first, Mark third and Tom’s uncle Shaun 15th. Tom’s dad Mike may have been in the team, had he not stopped to aid Shaun when he fell and dislocated his finger.

Locals who did well include Silsden’s Graham Pearce of Pudsey and Bramley AC (fourth), Bruce Elsworth of Wharfedale Harriers (sixth) and Shaun Wilkinson of Keighley & Craven AC (tenth).

Lisa Lacon, a black belt third dan in karate, has now won the women’s race three times, 2005, 2007 and 2008 and led from start to finish.

Leeds University student Lauren Jeska chased her all the way but was still a minute adrift by the finish, but considering the 34-year-old has only just taken up the sport, she has certainly made an impact, having won Blackshaw Head fell race earlier in the year. Finishing third was Maureen Laney, the former World Masters champion, who also won the V50’s title just 15 seconds in front of Scotland’s Kate Jenkins. The winning ladies team was Todmorden Harriers. Chorley Harrier Jan Atkins won the V60 award.

Those who had come early to watch the junior races could have watched youngsters scurrying around the Curly Wurly Quarry Runs, some in the disguise of rats and rat catchers. Many runners were in fancy dress, thanks to the sponsorship from Precision Pest Management, hence the newly name, the Curly Wurly Rat Runs.

Mike Ayers, the director of the company, got into the spirit by becoming King Rat for the day, with king’s robe, rat crown, and giant rat staff. To kick off the races Keighley & Craven AC’s Karen Ballantine dressed as the Penistone Hill Pied Piper and led the competitors into the quarry.

First off were 50 U-8s where Calder Valley’s Sam Foster finished first. Wharfe-dale’s Lucy Horrocks wasn’t far behind in fourth overall, second girl was Keighley & Craven’s Emily Cox in seventh and Abbey’s Sasha Kitching just pipped Keighley & Craven’s Tegan Knappy for third.

Next out of the traps were 69 U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16 boys and girls in one big race. First back to climb out of the quarry again was last year’s winner, Helm Hills’ U-14 Rory Addison, with Wharfedale’s Josh Ferguson and Keighley & Craven’s Phil Done, both U-12s, hot on his heels.

In the U-10s Luka Morus from Calder stayed a mere one second ahead of Keighley & Craven’s William Routledge, although U-8 girls record holder Lily McGuinness, now and U-10, beat them both to finish ninth overall, and headed all the other girls.

Keighley & Craven dominated the U-14 girls with Zara Knappy just ahead of Charlotte Cox, while Annie Roberts chased them down. Issy Wharton of Calder won the U-12 girls.

Sean Carey of Todmorden Harriers won the U-16 boys’ race while Preston’s Nichola Jackson won the U-16 girls.