A SPECIAL presentation marked the start of the 25th Holme Moss Fell race.

The assembled athletes were able to witness Holmfirth Harriers men’s captain, John Ewart, present Russell Bangham with a 3D commemorative wooden platter depicting the course.

After 25 years of service, it was Bangham’s last time in charge of the event, which will continue next year in the capable hands of Rob Kersey.

In the late 1980s Bangham decided that a need existed for a category AL (long distance) fell race in West Yorkshire.

With some fellow Harriers, he set about trudging over the hills to put together a course that was demanding, yet safe.

As a result, the inaugural event took place in 1987, when Bangham both ran and organised it.

Since those early days the Holme Moss Fell Race has become a significant event in the national fell running calendar and has been selected five times for the English Championships.

To meet the ever more onerous demands of landowners, the course has had to be changed on several occasions.

However, with the exception of 2001 and the foot and mouth outbreak, Bangham has successfully organised this event every year – an incredible quarter of a century.

As the landmark was celebrated, this year’s race started in bright, clear weather.

The 119 competitors did, however, have to contend with extremely wet conditions underfoot, following weeks of record rainfall.

A major fresh landslip also had to be negotiated on the new part of the course at Great Twizle Clough.

The field quickly became stretched by the tricky conditions.

Richard Pattinson led Neil Northrop throughout most of the race – an excellent run considering the age difference.

A fall by Pattinson on the way back at Ramsden Clough gave Northrop the opportunity to pull ahead and eventually win in 2hr 41min 38sec.

It was perhaps appropriate that Dark Peak, staunch supporters of the event over the years, should take the first team prize as Northrop combined with Will Boothman (sixth) and Mick Stenton (eighth).

Holmfirth Harriers took the second team prize, led by Alistair Rees (fourth), Julian Rank (ninth) and Ewart (13th).

Helen Berry, the 2012 Yorkshire champion, once again dominated the unusually small field of only six female athletes, finishing first lady, 12th overall, in 3-04.08.

The event was sponsored by Brooklands Nurseries and access to land given by Yorkshire Water, United Utilities and Natural England.

For the fifth year running, Cartworth Moor Cricket Club provided use of their ground and pavilion facilities.

Safety was ensured by the presence of the Holme Valley and Oldham Mountain Rescue teams.

Other Holmfirth finishers:James Durrans (MV40) 14th, 3-05.30; Philip Hobbs (MV45) 37th, 3-29.51; Chris Beadle (MV40) 53rd, 3-42.30; David Knight (MV40) 54th, 3-43.07; John Robinson 57th, 3-46.36; Jon Burdon 64th, 3-50.46; Ian Shuttleworth (MV45) 85th, 4-03.35; Ian Arnold (MV55) 92nd, 4-12.04.