HOLMFIRTH Harriers’ youngsters produced a strong performance at the Clougha Pike Fell race meeting.
The event, which was also the fourth round of this year’s English Junior Championships, was in some doubt due to the weather but went ahead after changes to the courses to take account of the wet conditions.
First off were the Under 8 and Under 10 races and Harriers’ Callum Durrans had a great tussle with Alfie Thorpe, from Broughton Runners.
They were neck and neck into the final downhill stretch and Durrans took the lead and just managed to hold on to win the Under 10 race by two seconds in seven minutes three seconds.
George Hobbs finished 13th overall in 8.24, with Lewis Hodgson 23rd in 9.54 and Elphina Waterman 25th in 10.52.
The Under 12, 14 and 16 races all set off together, which was a great sight as 86 runners made their way up the first hill.
Holmfirth had four runners in the Under 12 race and Nicky Farquhar finished 14th in 17.23, ahead of Sunnivah Waterman, 27th and eighth girl in 18.51, Harry Hobbs was 33rd in 21.45 and Fiona Hodgson, 37th in 25.07.
In the Under 14 section Seth Waterman was third overall in 20.09, followed by Andrew Farquhar, who was eighth in 22.0, while in the girls event it was Lucy Byram’s turn to shine as she destroyed the field, winning in 22.44, nearly a minute ahead of her nearest rival.
Erica Byram did well, finishing fifth in 24.02, with Genevieve Durrans ninth in 27.20 and Daisy Mae Smith 10th in 28.41.
With Seth, Lucy and Erica all finishing in the top five, Holmfirth also picked up the Under 14 team prize.
The Under 16 race was over a tough 3.75 mile course, with over 800 feet of ascent.
Lewis Byram was leading when he took a tumble on the top section of the course.
He managed to pick himself up and carried on to the finish, coming fourth overall and second boy in 26.00 despite a bloodied knee!
Eddie Hinchliffe managed to avoid any similar problems and finished strongly in a time of 29.21, eighth overall and sixth boy.
Robert Smith was Harriers sole representative in the Under 18, who ran with the seniors over the full 4.9 mile, 1300 foot course.
Smith looked comfortable as he set off and kept a decent pace going throughout the race, finishing 74th overall, eighth Under 18, in a time of 51.25.
Harriers’ leading female endurance athlete, Katie Walshaw, also travelled to use the race as preparation for her forthcoming English and Great Britain appearances. In a quality field, where the men’s race was won in 36.05 by current England international Tom Addison, she broke the ladies record to finish first lady and 19th overall in 42.34.
The Harriers team has moved up to second place behind Helm Hill in the English Junior Club Championship table.