THE winner of last year’s Beamsley Beacon Fell Race, Wharfedale Harriers’ Ali Burns, returned to attempt a double and to find a better route home from the summit than he did last year.

The hot and humid weather that has dogged races over the previous week had cooled somewhat but the humidity was still higher than ideal, making for a tough, though fast paced race.

Despite this, a record 167 competitors blocked Bolton Road waiting for the signal to set off.

For the outward route, Burns did indeed maintain his lead and looked like a winner.

However, once the summit had been reached, his challenger Harrogate Harriers’ Chris Miller overtook him and never looked back, romping home to win in 35:58 from Burns (36:12) and Wharfedale team mate Sam Watson (36:41), who repeated his 2016 position.

Pudsey and Bramley’s Rachel Pilling also returned in an attempt to repeat her 2016 ladies win. Unlike Burns, she achieved her aim and returned the clear winner (42:55) from Wharfedale duo Sophie Martin (44:19) Monica Padilla (45:15).