For those who need an introduction the Gathering Winter Fools Relay is an informal social run which uses public paths and roads from Keighley in a circular 33mile route, split into 4 Legs, with low level change over points invariably outside a pub! You run in pairs making a team of eight; the route is not marked or marshalled other than at the handovers, so the emphasis is on knowing where you are going and looking after yourself – more fool you if you enter!
Saturday morning was frosty, still and bright. Great for a run but watch out for the ice. Bingley had 3 ladies and 4 mens teams including a Vet 60 team – 56 runners. The first leg was disrupted when a Barlick runner fell and broke his ankle. He was one of the 3 leading teams – the others being Bingley A’holes (Vic Wilkinson & Ian Holmes) and Wharfedale. The 6 were running as a group well ahead of the rest of the field and they all stopped when the accident happened to help get the Barlick guy comfortable and keep him warm with extra layers. When the Bingley Angels (Jo Buckley & Ellie Kitchen) caught up Jo (Doctor) immediately stopped to help and then stayed with him until safely in full medical care. As the broken foot was pointing in the wrong direction Jo offered to straighten the ankle on site but the guy, who was an anaesthetist, declined the offer!
The first leg accident obviously impacted the results in a number of ways. At the end the organisers Keighley & Craven decided to award prizes, per the rules, to the first full teams who finished – Christmas Stockings (3.49.25, Men, K&C I think) and Barlick Snow Belles (4.15.24, Ladies) but also awarded special sportsmanship prizes (large bars of chocolate – no I don’t know where they have gone!) to Bingley Angels, Bingley A’holes and Wharfedale, all of whom gave up their race to help.
The final Bingley results were : A’Holes 2nd 3.55, B’Stards 6th 4.09, Chaus 14th 4.35; Angels 19th (2nd Ladies) 4.47, Babes 4.50, 8 Shades of Grey (V60) 5.38, and Belles 6.17. The full results are on the website http://www.kcac.co.uk/club-races/gwf/ and our teams are listed below and at the end.
This is a little about the ladies teams – largely in pictures and their own words.
|Leg||Start||Ms||BingleyAngels 89||BingleyBabes 90||BingleyBelles 91|
|Cliffe Castle Pk||Ellie||Kitchen||Nicola||Jones||Kate||Farley|
Many thanks to my late (Mandy Clarke) and late late step-ins Ian Bland (honorary lady 😉 ) and Eva Watson. I only had one reserve when I put three teams in so I knew I was taking a bit of a flyer so thank you and well done to all who ran (or would have if life, injury or illness hadn’t stepped in).
Leg 1 Keighley UAK, Cliffe Castle Park to White Lion, Kildwick 9 miles
Kate & Michelle’s (B Belles) exchange (you need the picture for this one!) on the Leg 1 start hill :
Kate Farley Eyeing up that first hill with such joy Michelle!
Michelle Garbutt That is a proper ‘oh s**t look at that hill’ face! I need to practice my ‘look at me I’m a natural runner’ face 🙄
Michelle Garbutt I was smiling on the inside 😬
And Nicola (Bingley Babes) gave a great account of her first relay experience on Leg1 :
Really enjoyed my first event like that and definitely better than the cross country. Think I’m now a convert. Not a fan of running around a playing field!
Denise pulled me along all the way and was great to see the full team spirit, not just with Bingley but with all of the clubs. Had some amusing exchanges with two ladies in white tutu’s [Barlick Snow Belles] that Denise and I were close to all of the way. They also were chuckling at Denise’s uphill speed and encouraging me on!
Denise had me going so fast that I was massively surprised to see we were with Jo & Ellie in Laycock then entered the wooded area with them to go back uphill . I’ll apologise now for saying “no” to Jo’s questions of whether I was doing Yorkshire’s, Nationals or anything else. Think my response was “she’s killing me”!! It was obviously worrying to see the gentleman on the floor as we then all got back on the road to go back uphill again but brilliant to see all the people that had stopped and were picking him up to move to the side and helping him get warm with all of their spare clothes. Wasn’t surprised at all to hear that Jo had gone to hospital with him as she was straight in there making sure he was ok and we were then overtaken by some of the other leading runners as they sprinted past us through mud, soggy bridge and woodland like they were on some sort of track sprint! I just moved out of the way- though the tutu ladies didn’t and ended up finishing ahead of us, so apologies to Denise for my fear of being trampled!!
Most amusing moment of the day though had to be seeing the two tutu ladies and two gents taking a route through an icy puddle up on the moors. Three of them did an unglamorous Yorkshire version of Dancing on Ice and ended up sat down while the other went straight through into the icy water underneath. Needless to say Denise found us a better route!
Had a great day. Wondering when my next similar event will be now and looking forward to being sub 1.15 next year! Nic.
Jo Buckley, on switching to doctor mode, mislaid her light sabre baton. After the race her girls were asking about it so it was a relief when Ellie said she had picked it up – although she may have trouble getting Richard to give it up! Ellie stayed with Jo and the accident for a while and then finished Leg 1 with Peter & Harry.
Leg 2 White Lion, Kildwick to Busfeild Arms, E Morton (9.5 miles)
On the day at the start of Leg 2 there was general confusion as leading teams arrived in an unexpected order and accident news began to filter through. Denise & Nicola (B Babes) appeared first so myself & Caroline set off. Ruth & Lesley (B Angels) were trying to work out what had happened to Jo & Ellie on Leg 1. Bingley A men had been set off and, as the news clarified, Ruth & Lesley were set off too. They soon passed us and disappeared into the distance along the canal. Lesley, recovering from two recent bad (non-running!) falls on ice, was wary on the ice.
Caroline was new to relay events. Initially she was concerned at being on one of the longer legs, not having run that distance in a while. I suggested a recce with myself and Rachael and lined up a possible switch to a shorter leg, but Caroline enjoyed the recce and decided to stick with Leg 2 and we had a great run. Having been given a good start by Denise & Nicola we were pleased to get in before the cut off for Leg 3.
Rachael & Mandy enjoyed running together. Rachael was happy to have been ‘persuaded to run. Mandy was excellent company. Fabulous weather and event. Always enjoy running with Bingley.’ For Mandy, Rachael was ‘ ..a perfect running partner..’ and ‘It was also good to give the Bingley vest a run out’
Pictures from Legs 1 & 2 courtesy of Dave Weatherhead (1,5,6,9), Caroline Brett Muir (2,8) Geoff Thompson (3,4,7). In order of appearance : Caroline & Becky, Rachael, Nicola, Jo & Ellie, group – Becky (registering teams), Kate, Michelle, Jo, Ellie, Denise & Nicola with Peter Ellerton & Harry Atkinson (Bingley 8 Shades of Grey), Lesley & Ruth, Denise, Mandy, Ian Holmes & Victoria Wilkinson. Click on picture to see a bigger version.
Especially pleased to welcome three ‘new to off-road relay’ girls Michelle, Nicola and Caroline all of whom enjoyed their run and being part of the team.
Leg 3 Busfeild Arms, E Morton to Fisherman’s, Bingley (6 miles)
Marisol shared her morning : ‘My experience of the actual race. A lovely sunny crisp morning for a race and specially being lucky doing Leg 3, allowing me time to have a relax breakfast and get ready for the race. I have the normal nervous before a race, specially on a relay, as I am sure everybody feels the pressure of the team/partner work as you want to be in top form for everybody and have a good run. I felt honoured and happy to be running with Sarah as she is a such a lovely runner, as we did a recce the week before, we were very comfortable with the route and all we have to do is to focus on having a good run, We were very lucky as we barely find any ice on our route, it was a glorious morning to run Leg 3. Thank you Sarah for your encouragements words in the last mile to stay strong and focus on the end of the race. The baton was easy to carry and light, which it helps during the race, we saw a team carrying a small Christmas tree as a baton, not sure if that would be a good idea after a few miles, although they might win the prize.’
Leg 4 Fisherman’s, Bingley to Keighley UAK School (6 miles)
All the Leg 4 runners had good runs (as far as I know!) and seemed reasonably matched for speed. Again we welcomed some ‘new-to-off-road-relay’ runners – Phoebe Francis and Eva Watson (although I thought Eva had done a relay before!). Eva commented :
‘I really enjoyed my run with Sophie. I think we helped each other up Altar Lane and she definitely dragged me round the last mile when I was really flagging. I’ve always been a bit hesitant at putting myself forward for team events for Bingley Harriers thinking I wasn’t good enough but this has given me confidence to run again.’
Legs 3 & 4 pictures courtesy of Barbara Carney & Dave Weatherhead. In order : Jo & Meryl, Sue & Phoebe, Ian & Julie, Barbara, Eva & Sophie, Elf & Mari, Eleanor & Mari, Marisol & Sarah (bef & after!)
And of course many thanks to the extended band of supporters – photographers, child minders, partners, taxi drivers, cheerers etc – who help make such a good day out possible. Becky Weight
The men’s teams the week before are below. I am not sure if they all ran as listed but I don’t think there were many (any?) changes :
A Team (Captain: Martin Peace)
Leg 1 – Ian Holmes,Vic Wilkinson
Leg 2 – Martin Peace, Pete Stephens
Leg 3 – James Askew, Josh Spencer
Leg 4 – Reuben Mantle, Ian Fisher
Reserves: Andy Jebb, Andy Gibbons
B Team (Captain: Dave Stephenson)
Leg 1 – Robbie Williams, Ian Ferguson
Leg 2 – Myles Talbot, Will Duggan
Leg 3 – James Senior, Carl Hitchens
Leg 4 – Alastair Jewsbury, Tom Needham
Reserve: Richard Thackray
C Team (Captain: Dave Stephenson)
Leg 1 – Dave Stephenson, Dom Goldthorp
Leg 2 – Andy Nicoll, Jamie Robinson
Leg 3 – Adrian Netherwood, Daniel Netherwood
Leg 4 – Gordon Weight, Steve Fry
Reserves: Richard Murray, Mark Westman
TEAM: Eight Shades of Grey (V60)
LEG 1 – Harry Atkinson, Peter Ellerton
LEG 2 – Andy Moore, Phil Hawkswell
LEG 3 – Paul Sharples, Bryan Parkinson
LEG 4 –Tony Kingham, Ian Goodyear