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Wharfedale's runners are out-Dunn by champion
12:00am Thursday 19th July 2012 in Sport
A strong contingent of local fell runners headed across the border to Scotland to tackle the Torry – a mountain that shadows the Alva Games showground. Helm Hill runner Alastair Dunn has won the senior fell race on six previous occasions and he was back to defend his crown.
Conditions on the hill were pretty atrocious with the wet weather Scotland has suffered over the last few months.
The overgrown bracken and fern along with mud made descending a bit like a toboggan run.
To add to the runners’ discomfort it also rained 30 minutes before the senior race started. It was no real surprise that Helm’s Alistair Dunn proved too good for the rest of the 57 competitors, powering his way up the Torry and defying gravity on the steep descent.
He arrived in the showground over half a minute up on the next runner and comfortably collected his seventh win in the event – a feat only beaten by the legendary Tommy Sedgewick who had 13 senior wins at Alva. It was West Marton’s Sam Watson who came into the arena next putting in a tremendous effort to hold off his Wharfedale club-mate Ted Mason who finished third.
Wharfedale runners filled three more places in the top ten with the improving Paul Carman in sixth and Silsden’s Jonny Bradshaw coming home eighth. He was also the first under-23 finisher. Paul ‘Crabby’ Crabtree was tenth.
The times for the men were well down on previous years but it was a young lady from Kilbarchan in Scotland who captured the attention.
Christina Rankin took 14 seconds off the long-standing women’s record in difficult conditions. Wharfedale’s highest counter was the in-form Kirsty Hall who finished third.
Her time would certainly have given her first place in previous years but she had two exceptional Scottish athletes in front of her.
Nevertheless it was a tremendous run on her part and she had the bonus of collecting maximum points for her BOFRA championship campaign.
The under-17' race was a close run affair with Wharfedale runners taking all three prizes in both the boys’ and girls’ races Ben Johnstone held off Declan Bulmer as they entered the show arena to win by eight seconds. Bradley’s Phil Done was next to finish in third place. In the girls’ race Nicole Narey had a minute and a half cushion between her and Ingleton’s Hannah Newbold with club mate Zoe Baistow taking third prize.
Wharfedale’s Joshua Newbold and Thomas Nelson completed a Wharfedale one-two in the under-14 race.
Wharfedale’s Robbie Johnstone had to accept second place in the under-12s behind Hyndburn’s Joshua Boyle.
Third place went to his clubmate Logan Hargreaves Madhas with Keighley’s Eric Beaumont finishing fourth. It was a Wharfedale one-two in the girls with Shona Hastings having a comfortable win over Keira Nelson. BOFRA reaches its halfway point in its championship season on Sunday with Cracoe Fell races up and around the obelisk above the Dales village.