Report from Chris Brunold:
The morning of the race dawned with that extra bright light that triggers childlike
excitement – snow fall in the night? I rushed to the curtains to open them like an
advent calendar – yep there it was white magic layered on everything! The weather
of the Chevin Chase doesn’t disappoint – biblical floods last time I got in for 2015
and full-on Christmas in the forest in 2021!
At the start line there was a buzz of chatter as the bunch of hybrid elf runners, tins-
elated fairies and club runners with Santa hats gathered. Our own Sarah E looked
very chic in a net fairy skirt of grey and black tones to match the new club vest. Only
a smattering of masks meant it feel pretty normal and I think everyone was super
excited to be back after a 2-year gap.
For me it was a family affair running socially with my daughter Sophie who tried fell
running on a recce of the 3 peaks with me and loved it! We hung back as we set off
to keep our distance from other runners. Increasing the number of entries since 2015
was very apparent though with the throng making it hard to do your own pace as we
got into our rhythm up Carlton lane. Fab views to the right across the sweeping
snowy fields and tons of support at the start despite low temperature. We passed a
runner carrying an ironing board …Sophies face was a picture.
A downside to the numbers was a 4-minute wait to get into the single file path
coming alongside Chevin Lodge. This bottleneck replaced the now bypassed style
behind the Royalty of 10 years ago. After this the real fun began, snow obscured
brick ends and deep mud down Miller Lane – yes! Crossing to Danefield the snow in
the trees looked gorgeous and festive and a return to gravel meant we could take it
in with the blue skies above. Emerging from some more lovely mud at the end of the
Danefield section the hill up to East Quarry Car Park demanded the usual burst of
effort to impress the big cluster of well-wishers in woolly hats. Tired legs after flu felt
it on the hill above the car park but Sophie and I spurred each other on. We gave in
on the final ascent to the start of the stone steps as I told her again the audience
would be big and running up the slabs was mandatory. Surprise view gave a great
view of Bradford still in snow – though it was melting. Descending from the Royalty
on the road we walked a bit as Sophie got cramp, but she then shot on ahead of me
on the super-muddy track when we turned left for the final descent. The unavoidable
brown wallow hole at the end of the track was as suitable for a hippopotamus as it
ever had been – I was splattered waist high and more!
Final tarmac descent to bottom Guiseley was that wonderful feeling of flying and
finishing, mingled with memories of finishing Rombalds Stride as well. At the finish
only the few runners finishing were around to keep it Covid safe, a long funnel with a
technical long sleeve T-shirt, beer and water and keeping moving to exit the site.
Saw Megan and exchanged best wishes, Laura M and her traffic cone other half on
the way back to the car as Sophie and I squabbled over who was first in the shower
and/or make the Bucks Fizz. Great to be back in a great race in a great place close
to home. Time worst yet, who cares sharing it with the next generation was far more
important – we had such fun!!! Results for club are posted already and thanks to
Steve for cool photos as ever.
Will be hovering over my mouse at 5pm on the right Sunday to enter next year!
Youngster Joe Hudson of Keighley & Craven AC won the race in a time of 38:31 finishing ahead of the likes of Johnny Brownlee, Nathan Edmondson and Tom Adams. Former member Frank Beresford had a strong run finishing in 6th place. First lady was Georgia Taylor-Brown in a time of 45:03 well ahead of 2nd place Becky Penty of York Knavesmire Harriers in 46:21
For Otley AC there were a total of 20 finishers, with Laura Martin finishing 3rd V50 overall. A total of 1027 runners finished the race.