ONE of Yorkshire’s best-loved fell races took place in dry conditions last Sunday as 270 runners lined up for the Yuletide 5 miler that is the Stoop.
The event attracted some quality athletes to the hills and fells near Halifax and the winners were Ilkley Harrier Tom Adams and Calder Valley Fell Runner Helen Fines, though both were a little shy of the course records.
The men’s race looked set to be a three-way battle between Adams, 2011 winner Sam Tosh and Rob Hope, the Pudsey and Bramley man who had a fine run at the Really Wild Boar race the week before.
The trio headed the field in the first mile or so while one stand-out figure was Ian Holmes. The Bingley man decided that he was going to wear a little more than the obligatory Santa hat, and donned full Santa regalia. It didn’t stop him finishing fifth and a clear winner among the V45s.
As the leaders headed back on the descent Hope tried to get away but Adams wouldn’t allow it and won by 15 seconds, crossing the line in 31:30 with Hope (31:45) holding off a fast-finishing Tosh (31:49) for second.
In the women’s race, top British runner Fines was a clear winner in an excellent 25th place overall in 37:58. Horwich Harrier Lindsey Brindle was second (40:54) and Preston Harrier Nicola Jackson (43:01) third.
Wharfedale Harriers won the men’s team chocolate while the under 18 winner was Max Wharton in eighth (34:53). Mytholmroyd’s Jackie Scarf was the FV50 winner (46:47) and she and fellow Valley runners Fines and Kate Mansell (48:26) won the women’s chocolate.