Saturday saw the Yorkshire Vets Cross Country Championships held at Fartown, Huddersfield – venue for the 2008 Open Yorkshire’s. Over 200 runners had entered to contest the various age group titles on offer to runners over 35.
The first race saw the Male 50-69 runners cover 9K, with the Men 70+ and Women running 5K. Donald McMillan (City of York), set the early pace as they took the first climb on lap one, closely followed by Peter Mirrlees (Rotherham Harriers). In the Women’s race Helen Berry, winner in 2010, was already well clear of her nearest rival and a good match for many of the men with her pace.
Berry continued to dominate the Ladies race, finishing over a minute clear of her rivals. Nicola Kent (Lofthouse & Whitby) ran in second (1st Vet 40), with Tamara Hird (Wharfedale harriers) third. Holmfirth took the 35-44 team honours from Keighley & Craven and Wharfedale Harriers. Janet Hindley (Rotherham Harriers) took the F45 title, with Beverley Jackson (East Hull Harriers) the F50 title and Holmfirth took the team 45-54 prize from Rotherham Harriers.
Bingley Harriers dominated the Male 70+ age group with Fred Gibbs, Tom MacDonald and John Smithurst the first three home.
By lap two in the Men’s 50-69 race, and the leading group had been reduced to around half a dozen runners, with McMillan still setting the pace on the second climb, before dropping back on the third ascent behind leaders Chris Ireland (Sheffield Runners) and Jon Holah (Pudsey & Bramley). Ireland opened up a small gap on the climb on lap four, but by lap five Holah had fought back, opening a 20 metres lead with half a lap to go, which he held all the way to the finish. Ireland held on to second, with Andy Normandale getting the better of early leader and club mate McMillian for third.
Mike Egner (Penistone FPR), Sid Cordle (Sheffield Runners) and Steve Rennie (City of Hull AC) were the first three in the M55 race, with Wakefield taking the team hours.
In race two (Men 35-49), a small group formed at the head of the race on the first of five laps. John Convery (Wakefield Harriers) led the way with Paul Butler (Lofthouse & Whitby), Stewart McDonald (Bingley Harriers) and Andy Lyons (City of Hull AC) all paying close attention.
On lap two McDonald led from Steve Bateson (East Hull) up the climb, with three or four others in contention, but by the third ascent Bateson had put his head down and opened up a 20-metre gap on McDonald, who had Darren Newbould (Hallamshire) on his shoulder.
Bateson was full of running and never looked troubled, finishing with 30 seconds over Newbould (1st M40) who’d managed to drop McDonald (1st M45) in the closing stages to take second place. East Hull took the 35-39 team prize, with Bingley taking the 40-49 honours.