Monday 23 August 2010

Burnsall Feast Sports

The Mummers (the one in the brown coat is a local  GP)

The opening of Burnsall Feast Sports this year was much enlivened by the Penny Plain Theatre Company appearing in the guise of a rabble of down and out Victorian actors performing songs, dances, a hilarious Mummer's play and various bawdy sketches interacting with embarrassed members of the audience. The action took place under the shadow of a huge Wicker Man towering over the village green for the very first time at Burnsall Sports.  The flag on the fell top that normally flutters over the proceedings had blown away during the morning's high winds!

The old acknowledging the ancient!
The wind was still gusting a bit as the 10 mile road race got under way at 2.30 but it was sunny too, perfect for racing. Having suffered a hacking cough since the Arncliffe race I'd called at the chemist in Grassington in the morning and asked Sue for the most potent cough medicine available. "I'm racing the Burnsall 10 in a few hours time" I told her, so the magic fluid hadn't much time to do its job!  
With over 950ft of ascent the road race has more feet of ascent than the classic fell race which takes place a couple of hours later. It's uphill from the start but the worst bit hits you at 7¾ miles where it climbs 195ft in just over ½ mile to the village of Thorpe. Surprisingly, my old legs coped very well and I actually managed to gain a couple of places on that Thorpe section. I was 89th of 116 finishers in 87.36 which was a tad faster than I'd expected in view of my race rustiness this year. Bring on the Langdale ½ marathon!
Rob Hope winning the fell race

This years classic fell race over 1½ miles/900ft ascent marked the 100th anniversary of Ernest Dalzell's record breaking run when he completed the course in 12minutes 59.8 seconds. Special T-shirts had been printed to mark the occasion with a blank panel on the back for runners to record their own finishing time.  Nearest to Dalzell's mark, but exactly one minute slower, was Pudsey and Bramley's Rob Hope with seven times winner Ian Holmes (Bingley) in 2nd and Ilkley Harrier Tom Adams in 3rd.  Local lad Ted Mason of Wharfedale Harriers came home to enthusiastic applause in 4th place and had the pleasure of leading home the winning team.

A film crew were there throughout the day and it was rumoured the days proceedings were being filmed for an outdoor programme on Channel 4. At the traditional mass hymn singing a camera and microphone were hovering over my head as I croaked and coughed my way through 'Jesus shall Reign'. Sue's recommended cough mixture was apparently beginning to work. 


  1. That sounds like a tough but very enjoyable run - and well done on your great time, and also for getting on with things despite a rough cough.

  2. Hi Runningfox,
    Wow, that looks like such a fun race! You had an excellent time too:) I love the picture of your running..go number 32!! I really enjoy running the ten mile distance. It is a piece of cake when compared to the half marathon. Nice work:) Enjoy your week!

  3. Well done on your run Gordon; particularly with
    the cough. Can't believe and not pleased that they did not have an M70 age category such that you missed out. I will certainly mention it.
    Take care out there, Terry.

  4. Great write up Runningfox. You inspired me to buy a 'stick' too. Will keep you posted on my massage progress! Happy running. RB