ON a day described as far too hot for spectating, never mind running, Leeds runner Jack Simpson led 37 senior and U17 runners around the Salt and Pepper Pots to win this year’s Cowling Gala Fell Race. The hot summer of 2014 has made the ground dry, hard and dusty so that racing in Yorkshire feels more like the Mediterranean and adds an interesting extra ingredient to the challenge of a fell race.
The second and third senior men back to the Gala field, and all the additional entertainment, were Jacob Boyle of Clayton-le-Moors and Sam Haggar of Wharfedale Harriers.
Maintaining her winning streak, local woman Emma Hopkinson of Wharfedale Harriers was the first lady home. Hannah Partner of Ilkley Harriers was second and Fionnuala Swann of Trawden Runners was third lady to finish.
The first U17 boy, who was also second past the finish line, was Joshua Boyle of Hyndburn, followed by Wharfedale Harriers’ Thomas Nelson and Ilkley Harriers’ Ruaridh Mon-Williams in third.
The only U17 girl was Ilkley Harriers’ Lucy Haines, who set a new record time of 22min 20sec – no mean feat considering the sweltering heat.
In the U14 race, the only two boys, both of Trawden Runners, were Euan Fraser, the race winner, and Nathan Wood.
The first U14 girl, and second overall U14, was Emily Jones, followed by Keera Nelson in second and Shona Hastings in third. All three girls run for Wharfedale Harriers.
The U12 race was won by Keighley & Craven’s Will Atkinson, with Wharfedale’s Jack Muir hot on his heels just one second behind. The third U12 boy was Stanley Clarke.
Wharfedale Harriers’ Charlotte Barrett was the first U12 girl in a new record time of 9.56, making this a good day for girls' racing. Keighley & Craven’s Beth Roberts finished runner-up followed by Wharfedale’s Alice Jones in third.
Nathan Caunt of Wharfedale Harriers won the U9 race, with clubmate Laurie Powell and Ilkley Harriers’ Dylan Carr in second and third respectively.
First U9 girl was Hattie Bishop of Wharfedale Harriers, with Olivia Swarbrick of Broughton Runners in second place and Sasha Crabtree of Wharfedale Harriers in third.