On Saturday 1st April, the April Fool Frolic, which is organised by It’s Grim Up North Running, took place.
There were a variety of distances to choose from including a 10k, half marathon, full marathon and ultra which follow parts of the Bradford Millennium Way, with the ultra following its full 45 mile route.
It’s Grim Up North Running always rate the ‘grimness’ of their races with a 1-5 scale, which ranges from ‘not so grim’ to ‘grimmer than grim’ and the Frolic fell into the latter category.
From Matlock Athletic Club, Dan Ashcroft took on the marathon which involved parking near the finish in Bingley and taking a 10 minute train journey to Steeton/Silsden. In a cunning plan to save on portaloo charges, Grim advised that toilets were available at Bingley Train Station or on the train.
The race started in a field with a crowd consisting of competitors’ families and some excitable pigs near the River Aire. From there the first few miles were through fairly flat fields with a series of gates and stiles to negotiate and then from there everything else is a bit of a blur. The route climbed up to Ilkley Moor and then became quite technical in getting to Burley Moor.
At the top, there was a sense of relief as most of the elevation has been tackled at that stage. However, this is short-lived because the first two miles of the long descent towards Saltaire are tricky peaty boggy sections before finally becoming more runnable. At the bottom, runners have to run a loop around a section of the River Aire and Leeds and Liverpool Canal to make up the required distance. Finally there are a couple of small inclines to the finish at Myrtle Park in Bingley.