Michael Sanderson reports:
24 Harriers made the short journey to run in the Meltham ‘Tough’ 10k – the first race in the 2020 Club Road Championship. The race name gives a good indication as to the nature of the course; with around 650 foot of climbing, the route has several challenging hills with barely any flat, and at times is very exposed leaving runners at the mercy of the elements.
The route began at Meltham Sports & Community Centre and essentially circumnavigated Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. It started by heading up Broadlands Road and along Helme Lane, before the hard work began as the course climbed up Harrison Lane. A sharp left turn into Blackmoorfoot Road followed, at which point a strong headwind coupled with a sudden downpour of rain made the going even tougher. The course undulated along towards Holt Head, before topping out at 951 feet on Slaithwaite Road. A very quick downhill section of around a mile into Meltham followed, before a sting in the tail caught a few unsuspecting runners out as the appropriately named Mean Lane provided a short uphill finish.
The race was won by Gareth Cooke of Penistone Footpath Runners for the second successive year in an impressive time of 35:35, whilst Helen Roby of Longwood Harriers won the women’s race in 41:49. The first male to finish for the Harriers was Jonny McLean in 38:54, which secured 11th overall and 3rd MV40. Helen Standing was the first female Harrier in her first race for some time with a very impressive 44:38 (5th overall, 1st FV40). Other notable performances included Logan Anderson (43:02, 3rd MV50), Rob Kersey (46:49, 1st MV65), Helen Pettit (48:48, 3rd FV55) and Bill Hunter (58:39, 2nd MV70).
Mentions should also be given to Heidi O’Shea – who shaved an incredible five minutes off her performance at the same race in 2019 – as well as Richard Croft and Richard Whale who knocked off three and four minutes respectively. Well done to everyone that pulled on an amber vest and raced!
Full results and photographs can be found at the following links:
The next race in the Road Championship is the Wombwell 5 on Sunday 16th February, which already has 250 entrants; details can be found here: