Ten members of the Bedale and Aiskew Runners were looking forward to the annual James Herriot 14K Trail Race. The training for this event coincided with the very hot weather, which was a long way from the conditions last Sunday. Heavy rain and wind prevailed, with the organisers, the Wensleydale Rotary Club, saying that this was the worst they had experienced in the 14 years of the race. However there was a good turn out with a total of 236 setting off from Bolton Castle, already soaked to the skin. Several steep ascents and descents on the totally off road course was a thorough test at the best of times. However Nicola Simpson, as the sole female Bedale competitor, ran 8 minutes faster than she did last year to finish 41st overall in a time of 70 minutes 12 seconds, and a podium finish in the women’s race to pick up the 3rd place prize. All this after running a 24.03 Parkrun at Catterick the day before.
Paul Simpson was the first Bedale man to finish in a time of 69.43 and 39th overall. This was quicker by over 7 minutes than the previous year, also having completed Parkrun the day before. Will Retchless had also warmed up at Parkrun with a personal best time of 19.41 for 5th place at Catterick. Will is getting stronger every race and finished 44th overall in a time of 70.46. Chris Lees was only a few seconds behind finishing 46th in 70.52, with James Bartram next, making it five Bedale runners in ten places, in 48th and 71.00.
Dave Fenn was racing for the first time this year and was pleased with a position of 63rd in 73.07. He was followed by Henry Anderson finishing 78th in his first run at this event in a time of 75.10. Raymond Lightle had run at the flat Catterick Parkrun the day before, but found the terrain and weather conditions on the moors hard work, but still managed to finish in a good time of 80.16 and a top half place of 114th. Alex McNairn was also new to this event and did well to finish 139th in 83.46, with Stuart Black using this as preparation for a trail marathon next weekend, finishing 146th in 84.58.
Anne Johnson and John Hunter also competed in the Catterick Parkrun, finishing in 28.38 and 29.42 respectively, but thought better of then tackling the James Herriot event the day after.