Blimey It’s Blistering at Bingley 2022 report by Dave Beech


Race Date: Saturday 6th August 2022

Race distance: 20 miles (half marathon for David Hewitt)

Race report by Dave Beech

This event, organised by the It’s Grim up North team, was held on a lovely, sunny summer’s day in West Yorkshire: not too hot and with a light breeze, the day was perfect for racing. As with all GRIM events it was in fact a series of races – ultra, marathon, 20 miler, half marathon, 10 miler, 10km and 5km. All seven races started and finished next to the Dowley Gap lock on the Leeds–Liverpool canal and each of the races was an out and back route along the canal towpath taking in Bingley’s famous flight of five locks and some stunning scenery. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal was the first of the Trans-Pennine canals to be started and the last to be completed (in 1816). The length and the complexity of the route meant that the canal took 46 years to build at a cost of five times the original budget. The canal prospered through the nineteenth century and was used for carrying stone, coal and many other goods. The impact of the railway age was not as great as with other canals but the coming of the lorry finally saw commercial traffic on the Leeds and Liverpool canal dwindling. The Bradford section of the canal closed in 1922 but commercial traffic continued along the main canal until 1964. Regular work stopped in 1972 when the movement of coal to Wigan Power Station ceased.

I ran with Sarah Percival in the 20 mile race and the club was also represented in the half marathon by David Hewitt sporting the new/old “battenburg” club vest. Neither Sarah nor I had an ideal lead up to the race: Sarah had just returned from a holiday and I was just recovering from Covid. Nevertheless we both ran reasonably well: I finished 2nd male and Sarah 3rd female. As with the same race held in February we even got to run a bonus 0.3 miles on top of the 20 miles! David finished 13th in his race.

Anyone who has entered a Grim up North event will be familiar with the quirkiness of their races which gives them their charm and appeal. The organisation isn’t as slick as that of one of the large city centre races – rather they are low key, friendly events. Each finisher gets a large blingey medal, chocolates, a drink and a plentiful supply of home-made cakes and flapjacks. During the race Sarah and I spotted a very tempting canal-side cafe next to the Bingley locks which was simply asking had to be visited. So at the end of the race we duly obliged and sat in the sunshine having a sandwich and drink overlooking the canal activities – well we had to get our priorities right didn’t we!

For the 20 miler:
Paul Fieldsend (unattached) won the race in 2:44:36, Lyn Wrightson (unattached) was first female in a time of 2:53:44. Striders results were as follows:

Position Name Time Cat Position
3rd Dave Beech 3:09:04 2nd male
5th Sarah Percival 3:19:18 3rd female

For the half marathon:
Regan Parker (unattached) won the race in 1:34:44, Orla Forker (unattached) was first female in a time of 1:36:20. Striders results were as follows:

Position Name Time Cat Position
17th David Hewitt 1:59:47 13th male

Results link:

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