IT WAS just like Groundhog Day at the Soreen Stanbury Splash race on Haworth Moor.

Like a year ago, the snowy weather gave organisers WoodenTops lots of fun in deciding what to do and in the end it was decided to use the same route as the Stoop race because of the wintry conditions.

Despite roads being inaccessible due to snow, hundreds parked in Haworth and walked over Penistone Hill to Haworth West End cricket ground to take part in the event affectionately known as the Soreen Malt Loaf Run with reference to the long-term sponsors.

Thirty-two-year-old Tom Adams, fresh from winning the prestigious individual silver medal at the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships, won the five-mile race (featuring 800 feet of climb) for the fourth time.

The Ilkley Harrier only lost the lead once when he stumbled through the ice in the first mile to allow Jack Wood the briefest of leads.

Adams' time of 31min 14sec was brilliant, considering the conditions and that at the Stoop race before Christmas he was only two seconds faster, although he was beaten by Rob Hope on that occasion. Adams is now only the third athlete to complete three wins on the trot, the others being Colin Donnelly and Keighley legend Ian Holmes, who won the race an incredible 16 times running.

Orienteer Wood, also of Ilkley Harriers, finished second in 32:48, running nearly a minute faster than at the Stoop race where he finished fourth.

In third was Pudsey & Bramley's Joe Baxter while Nick Charlesworth, of Silsden-based Wharfedale Harriers, finished seventh to win the Veteran 40 category with a time of 35:23.

Chris Loftus (35:53) was first Keighley & Craven finisher in ninth, while club-mate Robert Thompson (36:37) was first under-18 finisher in 14th overall and Simon Farrar won the top local award in 40:37 (51st), finishing just ahead of Spine Challenger competitor Gary Chapman.

World Masters champion Helen Berry not only won the ladies race in 39:03 but broke the FV40 record by over a minute which had stood for ten years to Christine Preston, although she didn't have it all her own way as Helena Croft wasn't far behind at the summit standing stone.

Croft hung on to second place with Haworth GP Jo Buckley finishing third just 14 seconds behind in 41:12. First local lady was Keighley & Craven's Janet Arkwright.

All the Soreen junior quarry races were run over a slightly changed route because

of the snow and ice with Keighley & Craven's Ewen Wilkinson and Katie Buckley winning the U8 race where only five seconds separated the first three.

Local club winners among the age group races included Sam Conroy (K&C, boys under-12), Jack Muir (Wharfedale, boys under-14), Hatti Bishop (Wharfedale, girls under-tens), Alice Jones (Wharfedale, girls under-12) and Oxenhope's Victoria Merrick (Bingley, female under-18).