Let’s call them the Magnificent Seven, a bold band of people closely associated with Kilnsey Show & Sports - ranging from a teenager right up to an octogenarian - who were determined this year’s event should be staged in at least some format by running the famous fell race.
Robin Moule reports on a ‘magnificent’ band of good sports who helped make the 123rd year one to remember for the right reasons, with fell race ‘maestro’ Ted Mason proving he still has the legs to conquer the course.


ALL seven entrants, some familiar faces, regular competitors and past winners among them, were successful in conquering the famous crag, run after an eleventh hour ‘the race must go on’ brainwave, with a handicap system in operation, along with staggered safe-distancing starts. Some great times were also recorded.

Here are the results, times with handicap allowances taken into account and an introduction to each competitor:

1 Ted Mason. 8m 45s. Annual fell races organiser. Ted, from Appletreewick, needs little introduction. He’s a multiple winner of the senior fell race.

2 Fred Bosomworth 8.55. From Burnsall, another regular runner and show stalwart.

3 Michael McKenzie 9.03. Another fell race regular from Arncliffe, though hasn’t competed since 2016. Now the other side of 60.

4 Joe Parsons 9.06. From Carleton. Serves on Upper Wharfedale’s Agricultural Society’s organising committee, handles the show’s social media and trade stands.

5 Seth Benn 10.01. Aged 17, the youngest runner, studying at Ermysted’s Grammar School and until the end of last season a keen and committed player at Wharfedale RUFC. Although not a competitive runner he runs to keep fit and so couldn’t resist the chance to run the race with a handicap. Seth did well to say all he’d done was walk the course the day before and says he is looking forward to getting into training for next year’s race properly.

6 Norman Bush 10.12. The oldest runner in the field at 80 – and still clearly among the fittest when running a similar time to a 17-year-old. An amazing achievement. Lives in Harrogate and has been a fell race regular for donkey’s years.

7 Sam Bradley 20.22. Another member of the organising committee. Lives on Silsden Moor and works for the NFU in Skipton. May have been the slowest by some margin, but he was well up for the challenge.

Of course, no Kilnsey Show sports day would be complete without the familiar face and dulcet tones of annual host and compere, Skipton’s Roger Ingham, a fell race regular himself in days gone by. He was there again on the loud haler and in his cowboy hat, which added a true sense of occasion.

All agreed that Ted Mason had done a sterling job, even arranging for two men – one was former fell runner Roger Gibson - to be on marshalling duty at the top of the crag to ensure no short cuts were taken! Plus more willing hands undertaking traffic duties, Ted’s dad Matt Mason, Mick Hawley and Richard Stockdale.

One of the onlookers, Seth’s mother Victoria Benn, co-author of the book, ‘Studs & Crooks,’ which chronicles the long and proud history of Kilnsey Show, commented: “Years ago, fell race supremo Mick Hawkins had buried a stone to denote the start/finish, so that’s where they raced from, with Ted as starter, before then starting himself! He still managed to miraculously catch up the guys and pick them off one by one.

“All agreed that the gathering was super special on a beautiful day, with a wonderful atmosphere – and also very humbling, perhaps reminiscent of how things might have been once at the show. No pomp, no ceremony, no big crowds... just the race doing the talking - accompanied by Roger.

“It was, in fact, the second time a token event has taken place to ensure ‘the show must go on,’ as in 1986 Roger, Matt Mason, Roy Nelson and Robin Hall ran the crag race in wellies and in a raging gale when the whole event was cancelled due to Hurricane Charlie!”