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Runners give Bingley Christmas Canal Race a 'thumbs up'

Bigging up Bingley Christmas Canal Race

Event moved from Elsecar to Bingley due to Covid-19

It always helps to have a ‘Plan B’ as ably demonstrated by It’s Grim Up North Running (IGUN) who when faced with the cancellation of their Elsecar event, responded with the Bingley Christmas Canal Race (Sunday 20 December). This Covid-secure event ticked all the boxes...

There have certainly been challenges as a result of the pandemic and IGUN has dealt with them all. They have continued to deliver well-organised and safe events throughout this crisis and their latest offering was a winner. Not least for the fact runners received two bars of chocolate instead of one along with Cath’s Cake. A sweet (and welcome) surprise after the 3 and 5 rise locks. 

With a reminder to stay two metres apart, runners set off in groups of six every 5 minutes from the start on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. There was a choice of 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, 20 Miles and Marathon, all of which were held on a flat, scenic route consisting of towpaths and on mainly flat ground apart from a few locks to mix things up. Several runners wore festive outfits in keeping with the season, adding a much-needed touch of normality after an unpredictable year. 

There was a mix of new and familiar faces including Terry Forrest who was first home in the marathon in 2:53:01 with Ashleigh Greenwood the first lady in 3:39:41. IGUN stalwart Hilary Wharam of Horsforth Harriers finished in 7:36:48. 

Elizabeth Nairn was first in the 20 Miles in 2:34:38; Pawel Kibak was first male in 3:04:26. 

In the Half Marathon, Emma Lavelle-Wood was the winner in 1:37:24; Simon Sparkes the winning man in 1:38:02.

Jamie Moseley was the winner in the 10K, finishing in 41:02; Katie Fulcher was the winning female in 41:21. 

Top honours in the 5K went to Millie Powell who finished in 22:05; Michael Woodhead was first man in 24:16.

As this was a last minute change of event, the medals were still showing as Elsecar rather than Bingley and the extra bar of chocolate was IGUN’s way of thanking runners for their understanding. 

It was a successful day for the organisers and the location in their words: “Will become a regular GRIM spot.”

Merry Christmas!

Image courtesy of Andrew Swales Photography

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