For the third successive year, heavy rains forced the tents and attractions of Bradley Family Day under the cover of the village hall, leaving just the hardy fell runners to battle against the elements. However, the sun shone down on the day leaving ideal conditions for the races which resulted in new course records in 7 out of the 10 races.
There was a record number of competitors too, arriving from all around the country and adding to the great support from our local clubs; Keighley and Craven, Wharfedale Harriers and Ilkley Harriers.
The senior race attracted a number of international athletes including the race winner; Scottish international, Neil Wilkinson of Morpeth Harriers, who used the race as part of his preparation for the Commonwealth Games race in Keswick in two weeks time. Neil was challenged for much of the 3.5 mile race by last year's winner Tom Adams of Ilkley Harriers, but he extended his lead on the return to win comfortably in 24:11. Tom Adams finished 27 seconds later in 24:38 to take second place. Third place went to 18 year old England International, James Mountain of Skipton AC who is having a fantastic year, having recently won the 2009 BOFRA under 23 championship. The first veteran prize went to another former winner, Richard Barrett of Skipton AC, whilst his club-mate Neil Pate was first local.
A young lady in the form of her life is Skipton AC's Becky Lambson who has had a string of recent wins, including the under 18's Yorkshire Championships and the English championship race at Darwen, smashing the course record in both events. It was therefore fitting that the Skipton runner broke the ladies course record at Bradley in 27:39 knocking a minute and half off the 10 year old record. In doing so, she held the 2009 BOFRA ladies' champion, Lisa Lacon off into second place. Third place went to Tamara Hird from Wharfedale Harriers who is also having a strong season. Sarah King of Skipton AC took the first lady Veteran prize, whilst first local went to Val Done of Wharfedale Harriers.
The under 17's race covers most of the senior route, with runners turning a couple of fields earlier. It was an England international one-two with English Schools Fell champion, Billy Pinder from Skipton AC smashing the course record by over a minute and a half, 30 seconds ahead of 2009 under 17 BOFRA champion Jonny Bradshaw. Jonny from Wharfedale Harriers has had a string of recent successes including the under 17's race at Kilnsey show. Third place and first local went to another Skipton AC runner, Robbie Swift who has featured strongly over the last few weeks.
First under 17 girl was Pippa Barrett of Keighley and Craven who is currently in 3rd place in the U17 BOFRA championships, who finished ahead of clubmate, Erica Carter in second and Wharfedale Harrier Nicole Narey in third. Nicole recently won the BOFRA under 14s championship and was running in the older age group having recently had her 14th birthday.
The under 14's race promised to be an exciting race with a number of top athletes competing and the race was won with a blistering performance by Wharfedale Harrier, James Hall in 10:36, knocking a minute off the course record. Will Smith, also of Wharfedale Harriers has had a terrific season but only managed 2nd place on this occasion, ahead of Pendle's Declan Bulmer in third. Earlier in the week, Phil Done of Keighley and Craven, was stretchered off the hillside after a fall in the Kilnsey show race, so his 5th place at his home race to take the first local trophy was a commendable result in the circumstances.
It was Keighley and Craven fighting it out for first place in the under 14 girls' race with Sally Handford taking victory over local girl Jenny Hutchinson, with Nicole Farrier of Skipton AC in third.
Records were broken in 3 out of 4 of the under 9 and under 12 races. Alistair Harvey of Carleton put in a strong run to win the under 12's race in 6:49, 2 seconds ahead of Wharfedale Harrier Charles Smith, and Luke Baldwin in third. Fourth boy and first local was William Routledge of Keighley and Craven.
Wharfedale's Ellamae Gibson has had an outstanding season,having already won the U12 BOFRA championship. She knocked almost a minute off the best time for this course, finishing in 4th place overall in 7:20. Second girl was Sarah Pickering of Ilkley Harriers, ahead of Holly Carter from Keighley and Craven who is currently 3rd in the BOFRA championship. First local girl and winner of the trophy donated by Bradley Brownies was Kiera Ziebol. 34 Runners competed.
The under 9's race always brings a wide range of abilities from some quite seasoned runners to those having their first attempt at a fell race. This year 29 runners took part, with Wharfedale Harrier Adam Gibson, taking first place and the 2nd record of the day for the Gibson family in 3:09. Second place went to Ethan Swarbrick and Sam Foster from Keighley in third. The prize for first local boy went to 6 year old Richard Done of Keighley and Craven, adding his name to the trophy previously won by his brother.
First under 9 girl was Alex Baker of Trawden who finished a time of 3:37, with Keighley and Craven runners Ellee Keating and Laura Knowles finishing in second and third. First local girl was Niamh Kerwin of Bradley Brownies.
We may not have had the brass band and the bouncy castles, but we did have Roger Ingham on the microphone and a visit from the Mayor; and not to mention the constant supply of tea and cakes in the pavilion. Everyone had a great day - so thanks to everyone for their support.