The new Haglofs Open 5 Adventure Race season kicked off this month with the first event of seven which took place in the West Yorkshire town of Ilkley. The 5 hour event organised by Open Adventure, combined mountain biking and running, with competitors navigating their way to control points to collect as many points as possible within the 5 hours.
With just over 220 entrants, course planner, Ilkley based athlete, Sue Booth, had designed a challenging and very scenic course, which took in the moors to the north of Ilkley. Competitors were treated to stunning views of the town from checkpoints on Beamsley Beacon and around Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs. The event attracted adventure racers from all over the country, but appealed to a high proportion of local athletes as well as a large percentage of people giving it a try for the first time.
Only 10 points separated the top 3 men, but Alex Pilkington’s (Team Mountain Hardware) quicker time propelled him into 1st place with 585 points. 2nd place went to local Ilkley athlete Adrian Hall (585 points) and in 3rd place was Anthony Emmet with 575 points (Team Mountain Hardware).
John Houlihan who is a veteran at both adventure racing and mountain bike orienteering, would have had the highest score of the day (590), if he hadn’t incurred penalties due to being over the 5 hour time limit.
In the ladies solos category, Sally Ozanne (Team Mountain Hardware) collected 495 points, but close behind and with over half an hour to spare was Heather Burrows with 480 points and Gemma Ashwell with 475 points.
The mixed pair top 3 winners were all local racers from the surrounding Ilkley area. Maybe there was a slight home advantage in this category! In first place was Ian Furlong and Renee Saxton (Team adidas TERREX) with 550 points. 2nd place went to James Williams and Barbara Lonsdale with 535 points, closely followed by Calder Valley AR’s Phil & Jackie Scarf with 525 points.
Other category winners:Male Pairs:
- Connor McIlwrath/Andrew Sherwood 560 points
- Nick Hayward/Andy Pettit 525 points
- Nathan Parker/Adrian Parker 485 points
- Lisa Whetter/Sue Woods 445 points
- Jody Harris/Emma Van Der Gucht 429 points
- Helena Deeney/Rachel Hagan 415 points
Race sponsors of the event – Haglofs – gave over £1300 worth of outdoor clothing prizes the first 3 people in each category. While one lucky racer won a Haglofs Goretex jacket as a spot prize.
The next race in the series is to be held in Innerleithen on the Scottish Borders. Full details of this and the other events in the series can be found at openadventure.com.