The Ribble Valley 10k is run on an undulating course at Clitheroe and attracts top class runners from the North of England. The race was a sell-out with 1,700 runners entered but only 1,300 turned up to run on the day.
First back for Halifax Harriers was Andrew Wiggins in a PB of 38:11. He was followed by James O’Rourke 39:47. Rachel Beaumont was third F45 in 43:08 and the fast improving Angela Clarke ran a PB of 45:12.
Other runners were Marc Rocheteau 46:01, Wayne Stevens 46:06, Daniel Ryan 48:50, Sophie Baxter 48:53, John Moore 49:48.
At the 135th anniversary of the clubs traditional Christmas handicaps we saw an updated format introduced with men and woman running the same courses for the first time. Seniors members were able to choose between the two original courses now known as the long course and the short course. 24 members ran in soggy conditions making it the best turnout since 2004.
Winner of the long course was Keith Midgley who ran a time of 49.26 narrowly holding off Peter Clegg in second place who ran 35.35 and was just 9 seconds behind Keith with the handicaps in play. Third place went to Niall Smith who's posted 34.37 on his first outing at the event.
On the short course Isobelle Castelow took the honours in 32.56 with Ian Stewart second in 55.48.
WEST YORKSHIRE CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE
Halifax Harriers were well represented in the West Yorkshire Cross Country League. This is a series of 4 races for all age groups from 9 years old and is run over traditional cross country with hills and mud. The first three competitions were on good fast surfaces, but the last one at Cliffe Castle, Keighley was run on wet slippery surfaces in which many runners finished covered in mud from tumbles on some of the steep descents.
In the U11 girls, Nia Harrison-Sargent, after competing well in all the 4 races with 3 2nd place finishes and 1 3rd place, won the silver medal.
The outstanding age group for the Club were the U17 boys who dominated all the 4 races and comfortably secured the team prize. The U17 League champion was Harry Johnson, ably supported by Charlie Spencer, Ewen Wheelwright, Max Burgin and Harry Keighley.
In the senior ladies, Katrina Oddy was the gold medal winner in the F50 age group and Hazel Berrett won bronze in the F55.
In the senior men, Simon Johnson won the silver medal in the M50 age group.
Other Halifax Harriers members who placed well in their age groups were Elise Horner U13 – 7th, James Duffy U13 -5th and James Habergham senior men – 5th.
The next cross country races for the Halifax Harriers are the Yorkshire Championships and Northern Championships in January. These will be followed by the National Championships in February at Leeds.