THIS year’s BOFRA Kettlewell races were staged in glorious sunshine.

As in 2016, all races began and finished in the cricket field below the fell.

It meant the spectators were able to clearly view the 88 senior and 151 junior runners as they weaved their way over the varied terrain of this short, sharp race.

Soon after leaving the cricket field, all courses take a sharp right turn, over gnarly loose rocks, to enter the field at the fell base. Runners then race along a flat track before the steep grassy incline to “the chimney” and the first false summit.

Once through the chimney the course flattens off before the second of three climbs.

After the third false summit the racers are allowed the luxury of a relatively flat tussocky skyline trot at the edge of Middlesmoor Pasture, before the sharp, varied and technical descent.

It starts with a small cliff edge before competitors negotiate the scree at Gate Cote Scar.

What follows are rocks and steep grass banking, to test all skill levels before the flat run back along the track, sharp left turn over the gnarly loose rocks, and mad dash across the cricket field to the finish.

The junior races follow the same outward route as far as the chimney summit, then turning at various points to return via the same route as the senior race.

Only the very youngest of runners in the under-nine race are denied the climb through the chimney and chance to launch themselves from the cliff edge.

The senior race got off to a good start as Jack Cummings (Ilkley Harriers) led out with the rest trailing in his wake.

However, by the time the skyline was reached, it had all changed as Jack Smith (Wharfedale Harriers) led with team-mate Ted Mason, who had come second the previous day at Pen-y-Ghent, close behind him.

Once they had rounded the turn cairn it all changed again as experience allowed Mason to steal the lead from Smith who headed off in the wrong direction.

Capitalising on his advantage, Mason then ran for his life to keep Smith behind him all the way to the finish, glancing back periodically to make sure he wasn’t gaining on him.

Mason gained a clear win in 11mins 47 sec from Jack Smith (11:58) and Barlick Fell Runners’ Nick Treitl (12:13).

Following on from her clear win in the ladies race at Coniston Gullies the previous week, Pudsey and Bramley’s Rachel Pilling ran a furious race to claim victory in 15:34 from the Wharfedale duo of Pippa Barrett (16:27) and Jean Powell (16:30).

The U17 race follows the same course as the seniors and was no less of an ever changing scene as Settle Harriers’ Sebastian Segger-Staveley and Wharfedale’s Logan Hargreaves-Madhas led the field to the chimney. The real change in fortunes occurred on the descent as Settle’s Thomas Marshall launched himself down the cliff and scree to take the lead, winning in 12.42 mins, from Sebastian (12:48) and Ambleside’s Ben Edmondson (13:16).

Clayton le Moors’ Briony Holt gained a clear win in the girls race (14:56) from Rossendale Harriers’ Lauryn Gregg (16:11) and Wharfedale’s Emily Jones (16:25).

The under-14 race was led out by Wharfedale team mates Alexander Thompson and Sam Smith with Rossendale’s Joel Taylor and Helm Hill’s Henry Hunter on their shoulder.

As the race progressed along the skyline, the four of them tussled for first place with Taylor in the lead as they rounded their turn point.

However, it was the cliff edge and scree that changed fortunes as Thompson launched himself in dramatic style from the cliff, skidded down the grass and bounced over the scree to gain the lead from Joel.

Smith took a slightly different route down but maintained his position to the end. Thompson won in 9:04 from Taylor (9:08), and Smith (9:19).

The girls’ race was led out and won in fine style by Wharfedale’s Alice Jones who skated elegantly down the scree and sprinted in to the finish (9:53).

The second and third girls were Ilkley Harriers’ Bernadette Raven (10:29) and Keighley and Craven’s Beth Roberts (10:58).

Calder Valley’s William Hall and Helm Hill’s Evan Allan led out the under-12 race with Leven Valley’s Olesia Winder in hot pursuit as they tackled the initial climb.

Hall led to the finish, winning in 6:41 with Blackburn Harriers’ Dexta Thompson on his shoulder for second place in 6:42 and Barlick’s Jacob Reeday just behind in 6:45.

Having led the girls out, Olesia Winder romped home first in 7:37 ahead of Helm Hill’s Sarah Smith (7:52) and Otley’s Charlotte Rawstron 7:56.

The under-nine race started dramatically as some runners took a tumble as they left the cricket field.

Undeterred, they picked themselves up and continued to the finish. Keighley’s Ewen Wilkinson was race winner 5:20 just ahead of Settle’s Jack Sanderson 5:21 and Trawden’s Callum Singleton third in 5.46.

Keighley and Craven’s Millie Timbers won the girls’ race in 5:58 coming fourth overall.

Settle’s Lucy Bagot (6:30) and Wharfedale’s Isabella Wright (6:46) were second and third.