A beautiful day of sunshine and fluffy clouds faced the 57 runners that started this years Blackfell race. After a slight delay to allow a tractor to lift a car out of a ditch (this is the Dales!) the race got under way with the tough start up Top Mere Road. After the runners crossed the road above Park Rash the race enters the open fell and the terrain start to become tougher. After the visit to the Snake Pit the little matter of the “small” climb back to Blackfell Crags (where the race gets it name) after which the running becomes slightly easier. A blast past the summit and down to the remote Grouse Butt checkpoint leaves the runners with the route choice back to Hag Dyke. Once the runners have dropped their last tag at the Scout lodge its a downhill trip to the finish and relief!
This years race was won by Ted Mason of Wharfedale Harriers (and a massive thanks to Ted for allowing us to use his field for the registration and finish) in a new course record of 1:20:35 closely followed by his team mate Sam Watson in 1:21:43 (which also broke Sam’s old record from 2016), third home was Pete Darwood (Unattached) in 1:26:46. Ted told me he was off shearing sheep after the race, another Dales thing!
First Lady home was Majka Kunicka of Penistone Footpath Runners in a new record time of 1:44:23. Second lady home was Jean Powell of Wharfedale in 1:51:54 and third was Lesley Watson of Bingley Harriers in 1:57:46.
The team prizes were take on the men’s side by Wharfedale Harriers with 1st (Ted Mason), 2nd (Sam Watson), and 5th(Dave Kirkham) and the ladies team prize was taken by Bingley Harriers with 2nd (Lesley Watson), 3rd (Denise Wright), and 4th (Becky Weight).
Well done to all the runners and thank you to all of the marshals and helpers on the day. A special thank you goes to Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue who had to be called out to rescue one of our marshals who unfortunately broke their leg descending from the fells. And our thoughts are with Sara Daniel on a speedy recovery to what looked like a nasty break to her leg.
Full results can be found here.