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Wistow 10k: Firth crowned men’s champion as Pocklington ladies win gold

Joe Firth stormed to his first York and District Road Race League title with a career-best performance in the 2024 season finale at Wistow as Pocklington Runners’ ladies claimed an historic team crown with a clutch display over 10 flat and fast kilometres. Tadcaster Harriers frontrunner Firth had put one hand on the trophy by…

Joe Firth stormed to his first York and District Road Race League title with a career-best performance in the 2024 season finale at Wistow as Pocklington Runners’ ladies claimed an historic team crown with a clutch display over 10 flat and fast kilometres.

Tadcaster Harriers frontrunner Firth had put one hand on the trophy by clinching three wins from three previous outings and a sixth-fixture personal-best 31:06 saw him grab gold in some style as his nearest opponent, team-mate Wayne Wetherhill, was over 90 seconds behind with a course-best 32:50.

James Eaton completed a Tadcaster 1-2-3 with 33:15, his best time of a fine campaign which saw him finish as second male overall from the veteran-40 class.

With three third places, York Postal Harriers’ leading man Dom Carter (34:00) took senior silver for 2024 ahead of Acorn’s Kieron Brown (34:20).

Pocklington’s ladies are celebrating a double triumph after adding the summer league championship to the East Yorkshire Cross Country League prize they secured on the cliffs of Sewerby earlier this year.

Needing to win at Wistow while hoping closest rivals York Knavesmire Harriers finished third or lower, Georgia Hird (40:07), Katie Wise (40:31), Fiona Randles (42:22) and Emily Kendra (45:39) seized four of the top 20 places for 37 points and duly watched their black-and-yellow-vested rivals drift out to fourth place.

Postal were second with 69 points compared to the 77 taken by host club Selby Striders and are therefore third overall behind Knavesmire in the final table.

Pocklington captain Rachel Dare said of her squad: “Huge congratulations on this epic win. Your hard work and determination has paid off in spades and I could not be prouder.”

There was a sixth men’s win from six for a Firth-led Tadcaster unit, who took six of the top 10 spots for 31 points courtesy of Wetherhill, Eaton, Joe Slater (34:52), Tom Derry (35:46) and David Murphy (35:48). Knavesmire placed second with 136 from York Acorn Running Club’s 179, confirming the ultimate podium order.

Charlotte Mason – a month ago crowned the senior ladies champion – wrapped up her glorious return to the competition with a 36:21 for 14th place overall and a clean sweep of six straight victories.

Nik Tarrega secured second place on the rural figure-of-eight track with 39:02 for Tadcaster, landing her silver for the summer series in the process, while Hird pipped Pickering Running Club’s Kelly Richmond (39:50) to bronze by a point for the season after they finished fourth and third respectively here.

In the age categories, F35 winner Wise held off the challenge of Selby’s Paula Fenteman (43:04) for a fourth success, with Postal’s Louise Boaz (43:24) snagging second in the final table with third in this fixture. Nicola Gover of Acorn boasts bronze in the settled standings.

Samantha Davies added the fourth win she required to take F45 gold as Easingwold Running Club’s star act notched 40:17 to lead in Randles and Acorn’s Julie Lawn (44:43), with that duo completing the 2024 podium.

City’s Karen Wood went 6-0 with a 43:05 to remain untouchable in the F55 class, where Knavesmire’s Anita Ruddock (46:10) and Sue Tindall of Tadcaster (49:52) were second and third on the night. Silver for this term, however, goes to Pocklington’s Liz Beardsley ahead of Ruddock in third.

Sally Ann Polkey returned to action to confirm F65 gold as her 51:16 booked a fourth win while Easingwold’s Sally-Anne Lardner (57:42) was second at Wistow and in the final standings, with Pickering’s Sally Brown (1:00:58) third in the race but sharing the overall honour with Knavesmire’s Margaret Oliver.

Eaton took a fourth M40 win for the top prize as Tadcaster’s Stephen Walker (35:57) and Matthew Kiddle of Acorn (36:26) came up short on Tuesday. Darren Tomlinson did enough in the series to place second for Tadcaster, with Charlie Goodwin a strong third for Knavesmire.

In the M50 battle, Knavesmire’s Dave Smithers (35:05) outpaced Paul Millgate (36:45) and Selby’s Mark Thompson (37:02) to rubber-stamp his category success, with the Tadcaster challenger second and Pocklington’s Richard Ginn third overall.

An unfortunate injury for Stephan Tomaszewski scuppered his season after his three straight wins to open the campaign and City’s Stephen Wright capitalised with a 40:15 at Wistow banking a crucial six-point haul for 2024 and with it the M60 title.

Easingwold’s Colin Fletcher (41:52) and David Lancaster (42:58) were not far behind, with the City man second in the series from his clubmate Jon Blake.

M70 champion Michael Hetherton swerved Wistow, which allowed Knavesmire’s Michael McGrath to prosper with 51:56 ahead of Tadcaster pair Mark Thompson (53:32) and Richard Millican (1:08:17). Thompson is second overall with McGrath third.

David I’Anson had already done more than enough for M80 glory and sat out the finale.

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