IN typical Yorkshire August style, the weather at Arncliffe really could not decide what to do. In the end, the rain stayed away and everyone was treated to a warm, breezy afternoon on the green.

Against the picturesque backdrop of Littondale and to the accompaniment of Skipton Brass Band, a record 130 senior and 128 juniors’ runners lined up to run their respective races.

Additionally, the 4 mile road race preceded the fell races so any truly hardy, or crazy, senior runners could compete in both. On the day, many did.

The permanent line in the road marks the start line of all races by the green. From there it is a mad dash round the Falcon Inn and on to the track called Monks Road.

The mad dash round the pub is to ensure a good position before the track narrows due to the overhanging nettles and other threateningly spiky shrubs.

Rain in previous days had ensured that this rutted track was now graced many long puddles for runners to splash their way through.

The track leads directly into fields and the race route now leaves the public footpath to start the lung inverting, gnarly climb to the large flag marking the U12 turn point.

However, senior and U17 runners have more to come as they are treated to an undulating, rocky, ankle straining run out to the cairn marking the senior/U17 turn point.

Once competitors have rounded the cairn, they commence the descent on a very narrow and technical path that works its way diagonally across the fell back to the large flag. From here runners can either take their chance and launch themselves down the near vertical, ankle wrecking fell side or take a more circuitous but attractively runnable route back to Monks Road.

To cool hot running feet, the puddles are still there, ensuring that only the stealthy or extremely careful make it to the finish line with dry feet.

This year, local favourite, Wharfedale Harriers’ Ted Mason locked horns with friendly rival, Staffordshire Moorlands’ Simon Bailey.

On the way out, Bailey held the lead with Mason snapping at his ankles all the way. On the return, however, everything changed as Mason took a better line down the fell, overtaking Bailey and maintaining his lead as he stormed in to win the race (10.34) to huge applause and cheers from supporters.

Bailey ran in 15 seconds later to take 2nd place (10.49) from Wharfedale’s Mark McGoldrick, 3rd, (11.24).

The ladies race saw Howgill Harriers’ Elsie Butler notch up not just another season win but also smash the long-standing record by nearly a minute, finishing in 12.40. 2nd and 3rd ladies were Pudsey and Bramley’s Rachel Pilling (14.15) and Ribble Valley Harriers’ Kirsty Hall (14.26).

The U17 race follows the same route as the senior race and was won by Ilkley Harriers’ Sam Bentham (12.07) from Settle Harriers’ Douglas Seggar-Staveley, 2nd (12.14) and Eden Runners Harry Ewbank (12.50).

In another show of extreme talent, Wharfedale’s Amelie Lane finished 3rd overall to win the girls race in a time (12.45) that would have placed her very close 2nd in the senior ladies race. 2nd and 3rd girls were Leven Valley’s Georgia Bell (13.47) and Telford’s Maggie Preece (14.46).

Settle’s Jack Sanderson notched up another win in the U14 race (8.39) from Wharfedale’s Tom Hooper, 2nd, (8.43) and Otley’s Ned Gallagher-Thompson, 3rd, (9.46). The familiar face of Keighley and Craven’s Katie Buckley won the girls’ race (10.41) from club mate Charlotte Chambers, 2nd, (10.58) and Buxton’s Connie Jenneson, 3rd, (11.20).

Helm Hill’s Joseff Tancrel won the U12 race (7.11) from Ambleside’s Zeke Sumner, 2nd, (7.23) and Furness Fell Runners’ Noah Cook, 3rd, (7.38). Finishing 2nd overall, it was a family affair as Keighley’s Bethan Buckley won the girls’ race (7.20) from Leven Valley’s Penelope Boyle, 2nd, (7.41) and Betsy Harrison, 3rd, (8.35).

The shortest but one of the most fiercely competitive races is the U9 race. All bets are off as these tiny runners charge their way round the course, battling all the way. In another family affair, Helm Hill’s Harri Tancrel won the race (5.29) from Bingley Harriers’ Charlie Porteous, 2nd, (5.34) and Wharfedale’s Dylan Alcock, 3rd, (5.51). Staffordshire’s Bleu Bailey won the girls race (6.05), having clearly inherited both her parent’s running skills! 2nd and 3rd girls were Ambleside’s Isabel Sumner (6.39) and Calder Valley’s Lottie Cliff (6.48).