Runners brave wind and rain in fell race

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HUNDREDS of runners braved the wet and windy Pennine moors near Haworth for a traditional New Year’s Eve fell race.

About 500 competitors, many of them kitted out in all manner of fancy dress outfits, took part in the Daleside Brewery Auld Lang Syne run, which takes place in the heart of Bronte country. The six-mile race, which starts from Penistone Hill Country Park, near Haworth, attracts runners from across the UK.

Yesterday’s race winners were Kendal-based runner Tom Addison, who was born in Keighley and is a member of the Helm Hill running club. The fastest woman over the course was Calder Valley fell runner Holly Page.

Splashing through the mud and ascending about 900ft in total were runners dressed as Batman, Catwoman, Wonderwoman, St Trinians-style schoolgirls, a woman runner dressed as a Christmas pudding and men dressed in a pink tutus.

Last year’s winners of the fell race were Olympic triathlete Jonny Brownlee and Annabel Mason, a member of the Wakefield Harriers running club and a mountain running champion. Mr Addison, this year’s fastest man, was second to Jonny Brownlee last time out. Jonny’s brother Alistair had won the previous year, took part yesterday around the course for a training run.

Competitors were greeted with cheers and pats on the back as they crossed the finishing line. They were given free tea and biscuits and, for the finishers, a bottle of Daleside Old Leg Over beer. The fastest time for the course was set in 2008 by Andi Jones with a time of 38 minutes 57 seconds. Times can range from about 40 minutes up to 100 minutes for those who choose to take it easier or who are slowed down by fancy dress clothing.

The race, now in its 20th year, is organised by Dave and Eileen Woodhead, who have been organising fell races on the Bronte moors for about 30 years.