A sentimental note is once again in order. It was pleasing to see the up-and-coming generation now figuring prominently in the annual ritual. Chris Browell obviously has the makings of a future champion, while the debuts of the Harmer, Yates and Holmes scions (with the Hakes boys and the Gunnee girls already appearing in the wings) augur well for continuity of the Dungworth traditions. Tom Holmes, in fact, took the replica of Hiro's fan for a triple visit to Bramalls' farm, thus overshadowing Chris Manthorpe's suicidal plunge down the bank of Ughill Brook and Ken Payne's bemused enactment of the Edwards' Alternative finish. Richard Hakes's plaintive enquiry ('Which way do we go?'), made while the field was under starter's orders, presaged confusion and dispute over the eventual outcome. Former champion Paul Deaville seems to have run to metronome and in blinkers, as he contumaciously took the 'old' (formerly the 'new') route through the fields up to Wood Side Farm. By NEAAA and IOC rules the race should have gone to another former champion, old stager Bob Toogood, who scrupulously and most efficiently ran the route as flagged. But then, what about the claims and appeal of Chris Manthorpe? This other former winner, having followed Paul on the 'old' route, then got back on course and might have given the latter a good run for his money, except that his wavering between the 'old' (i.e. new) and the 'new' (i.e. old) variants must have distracted or disconcerted him enough to induce the aberration mentioned above. Urgent high-level negotiations in The Royal Hotel, involving the affected parties and the highest echelons of Knott Fell Runners (whose Club Campionship is also integrated into the Dungworth event), produced a diplomatic solution that evidently met with universal acclaim. Re-running the race having been quickly eliminated as an option, a judgement of Solomon prevailed: to reverse the finishing order (with Tom Holmes out of the reckoning on account of his undisputed claims on Hiro's fan). Thus Peter Dyke deservedly took the Granville Harper Trophy for 2000. The Moosehead went to Paul Deaville, for a variety of now rather obscured reasons.
The 'last shall be first' precedent was invoked in order for the grotesque neo-fascist Brugarolas cup (awarded to the winner of the whole Loxley Valley Rough-Running Series) to be given to John Gunnee instead of to Richard Hakes.
There was an excellent turn-out, despite the counter-attaction of the Langdale race and despite the unusual absence of the Penistone contingent. And despite the vile weather which produced very slack underfoot conditions and which made the slop around Bramall's Bend virtually impassable. Dr Dave Moseley was unfortunately kept away, so he kindly supplied a barrel of apples. The Royal Hotel once again provided warm post-race hospitality.
The £1-per-head proceeds from the registration collection pot (£41.84 plus one East Caribbean dollar) were converted into gift-vouchers for the three farmers with whose kind cooperation the unique tennis-raquet-shape course is configured. Thanks also go to Jeff Harrison, Dick Pasley and Will McLewin for helping with the Sunday morning tidy-up, combined with a most enjoyable jog up Bradfied Dale to the end of Dale Dyke reservoir and return over Ughill Heights. Lovely!
Dungworth Gala has been revived and it's likely that the race will be reincorporated next year into the programme of festivities. This means that the date for diaries (to be confirmed, via DPFR News and web-site) is Saturday, June 30th 2001. The now traditional autumn slot might be filled with another event, either in the Dungworth area or, possibly, over on the Hayfield side of the hill.
Click the to see results for the athlete in all results for this event, click the name for all known results for the athlete