The Esk Valley Fell Club and Scarborough AC jointly held the Gisborough Moors 20km race on Sunday, April 23.

The race not only entailed an ascent through the Guisborough Woods on to the moor, but also leg sapping climbs up to Captain Cook’s Monument, Gribdale steps, Roseberry Topping, and inaptly named Little Roseberry.

The weather was almost perfect for fell-running in cool conditions with not too much mud for the runners to contend with. 

There was real generosity at the start line with the presentation of a cheque for £1,000 to Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team, a contribution from the Captain Cook’s Race on New Year’s Day and the Gisborough Moors Fell race, after a three-year hiatus.

There was also a donation of £200 to the Guisborough Marine and Sea Cadets, for the use of their premises, topped up by £105 from the refreshments honesty box, and confirmation of £700 for the Marie Curie charity from the Blakey Blitz fell race.

Despite being run at the same time as the London Marathon was being shown on the TV, there were 159 runners at the start line of the Gisborough Moors race. Straight from the start, the race was led by Robert Sparkes from Beverley AC to the finish. Sparkes had made the race his own from the second checkpoint at Percy Rigg. At Roseberry Topping, Sparkes' lead was more than three minutes, with the following 20 runners spaced over five minutes.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Runners in the Gisborough Moors 20km race

In fact, by the finish Sparkes at 1hrs 27 mins 23 seconds was over five minutes ahead of the second placed runner, Daniel Bateson from Scarborough AC, who finished in 1:32:39, and who also won the Over 40s Vets prize. Third was Joe Leadley from Loftus and Whitby AC in 1:33:41. In fourth place and first in the women’s class was Caroline Lambert, Middlesbrough AC, in 1:33:59 eclipsing by seven minutes the previous record. Cath Williamson, Loftus and Whitby AC, was the second woman in 1:39:35, and third was Karen Robertson, Northumberland Fell Runners in 1:49.00.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Runners in the Gisborough Moors 20km race

In the men’s team class, the winners were Scarborough AC with Dan Bateson, Paul Lawton, Matthew Jones, and Ian Spence. Esk Valley FC were the team runners-up. In the women’s team class, the winners were Northumberland Fell Runners Karen Robertson, Nina Cameron (also secondnd Over 50s Vets) and Clare Calverley.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Runners in the Gisborough Moors 20km race

The women’s Over 40s Vets went to individual runner, Kian Stead, who also came 15th. The men’s Over 50s Vets went to Adrian Bushby, City of Hull. The Over 55 Vets was won by David Parker, St Theresa’s AC and individual runner Nicola Thorpe. The Over 60s Vets was won by Barry Atkinson, York Knavesmire Harriers and Susan Davis, Northumberland Fell Runners, and the Over 65 Vets by Geoff Davis, Northumberland Fell Runners, and Sue Haslam, Scarborough AC. Unfortunately, two runners had their results removed because they were not carrying the stated race kit.

The next event to start the summer fell races is the Loftus and Whitby AC Fox and Hounds Chase at 10.30am on Sunday, May 14, starting at the Yorkshire Cycle Hub.