Cyclists prevail over runners at annual Almscliffe Challenge

Paul Caswell on Darley Head.
Paul Caswell on Darley Head.

The 40th staging of the Annual Almscliffe challenge between the runners of Harrogate Harriers and the cyclists of Harrogate Nova, a race from Whinney Lane to the crag and back, took place last week.

The runners have a head start and go across country, whereas he riders take to the roads with a hilly time trial there and back and short run up the crag.

The runners were the holders of the trophy but this year it was the cyclists who claimed the win thanks to a stunning performance from Paul Caswell.

He broke his own course record with 34:39 to claim the Almscliffe Tankard for fastest cyclist, ahead of Greg Ketteringham in 35:20.

Hardly a year has gone by without one of these two being the fastest cyclist.

In third place was Duncan Mullier (36:05), relying on his TT skills to make up for a weak run. Simon Thomas was fourth (37:12), just one second ahead of previous winner, Simon Ketteringham.

The Stephan Forge Trophy, named after a Nova rider who was tragically killed, was awarded to the father and son tandem pair of Ben and Martin Shaw for most improved time over last year, having recorded 44:18, 2:39 quicker.

The fastest four times for the runners that decide the competition were recorded by Chris Miller also scoring a course record of 46:31, John Young 53:55, Stephen Nesbitt 56:04 and Mike Gill 57:11.

The Ian Geldert trophy for the most improved runner went to Mike Gill.

Meantime, Nova’s Pete Shepherd competed in the National Hill Climb Championship on The Rake in Lancashire.

Out of 150 of the country’s best sprint climbers Pete came home in 38th place with 2:51.7.

This was a supreme effort given that Pete is still recovering from from illness.

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