LAST month saw the return of the popular Yorkshire Marathon, with about 7,000 entries for the first one in two years.

Richmond and Zetland Harrier Carl Jones was feeling confident as training had gone well as he stood on the starting line wearing the England Masters vest, and had the race he had hoped for as he joined the elusive sub 2.30 club with an outstanding marathon time of 2:29:50. This placed Carl fourth overall and first in his age category.

Running his first ever marathon was Joseph Smith who had an impressive run finishing in 211th in 3:09:42 and Kimberley Reeves had a strong run to finish 632nd in 3:40:24. Elly Robertson competed in the shorter ten-mile distance and finished 457th in 1:24:23.

Scott Cuthbert raced in the Yorks 5k series, the October race was the seventh in the series and he was "chuffed" with his time of 18:38, a huge personal best,and finished 27th overall.

Harriers were represented at the second in the NYSD Cross Country series at Foxrush Farm in Redcar. The first race was the U13 boys and Rhys Robinson finished second in 11:36, while in the U13 girls, Matilda Ellis was sixth in 12:14. In the U15 boys, Ollie Middleton was fifth in 12:09 followed closely by Thomas Carter, sixth in 12:16 and Sam Archer, eighth in 12:36. The U15 Harriers team finished second.

In the U15 girls, Phoebe Haw was fifth in 14:00 with Olivia Jackson Bowers hot on her heels to finish sixth in 14:02. In the U17 men, it was a top three finish with Thomas O'Mahoney first in 21:59, Joseph Reeve second in 22:18 and Joshua Hammett third in 22:21. This superb racing gave the U17s the team win.

The next race was U17, U20, Senior and Vet women race and it was Shannon Robinson (U17) who was the first red vest back in fifth place and a time of 25:15, followed by Rebecca Smith (Sen) ninth in 25:57, Alana Teasdale (U17) 25th in 28:24, Kimberley Reeve (V50) 30th in 29:37, Elly Robertson (Sen) 43rd in 30:52, Elaine Watters (V45) 44th in 30:54, Pauline Whittaker (V55) 45th in 30:55 and Gail Smith (V55) 48th in 31:27. The team finished in fourth place.

The final race of the day was the U20, Senior and Vet men. Jake Stephenson (Sen) was the first Harrier home in third place in 30:52, followed by Rob Scott (Sen) fourth in 31:17, Scott Wardman (Sen) sixth in 32:02, Charlie Stephenson (U20) 11th in 32:27, Steve Middleton (V45) 17th in 34:21, Mark Forrest (V55) 20th in 34:28, John Gray (V45) 30th in 35:30, Anthony Jefford (Sen) 61st in 38:15, Will Smith (U20) 66th in 38:38. These placings ensured the team finished first.

The ladies team at Redcar NYSD Cross Country

The ladies team at Redcar NYSD Cross Country

The same day saw the return of the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k which raises funds for Age UK. Paul Ellis had a strong run and finished in 278th in 37:47 (PB), Paul Berry 385th in 39:52 (PB) and closely followed by Steve Sadler, 389th in 40:07.

From left, Paul Berry, Steve Sadler and Paul Ellis at Leeds Abbey Dash 10K

From left, Paul Berry, Steve Sadler and Paul Ellis at Leeds Abbey Dash 10K

Meanwhile, John Gray completed the Darlington Winter trail series 5K at South Park in 18:29 and finished in second place.

Steve Sadler has had a busy race calendar of late and he was back racing on October 30, this time at the Gisburn Forest 10K trail race, where he finished fifth overall and first in his age category in a time of 45:13. Ronnie Corbett had a strong run at the Hexham 10k the following day to finish in a time of 39:36, 22nd overall and first in his age category. The always impressive Shannon Robinson finished second and brother Rhys came in seventh place at the Harrogate and Craven area championships Cross Country at Giggleswick.

The first weekend in November saw athletes spread out far and wide. John Gray was in the Lake District for two races. First of all on the Saturday, John completed the Hellvellyn 15K challenge. The horrendous wet weather didn't seem to hinder John too much as he finished fourth overall in 1:10:40. The following day was the Ullswater 15K challenge and although he found the elevation tough, John still managed to finish third in 1:22:14.

Tom O'Mahoney was in Middlesbrough for the 10k and finished fifth in 34:16. Carl Jones and Steve Middleton went over the border into Lancashire for the Podium 5K which included the British Masters Championships at Barrowford. The windy conditions didn't stop Carl achieving a PB with a time of 15:37 which placed him ninth overall and first in his age category. Steve had a tremendous run and was happy with his time of 16:37 to finish fifth in his age category.

Finally it was the popular Guy Fawkes 10, the tough hilly route through Nidderdale. For Steve Sadler this was his first time doing this course and although he found it testing in places he finished 64th overall, second in his age category in a time of 1:11:05. Kimberley Reeve had a strong run in what is her favourite race and knocked a minute off her previous time, finishing in 1:18:56 (PB) and was 170th overall, fourth in her age category, and Pauline Whittaker, who knocked three minutes off her 2019 time to finish in 1:25:35 (PB) 279th and seventh in her age category.