Ripon star Barlow is first lady at Jolly Holly Jog

Athletes at the start of the Jolly Holly Jog

Athletes at the start of the Jolly Holly Jog

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Ripon athlete Sharon Barlow celebrated a home victory as more than 500 athletes battled a muddy course to complete the belated Jolly Holly Jog around Ripon at the weekend.

Barlow won the women’s competition in a sharp time of 40 minutes 45 seconds around the 10km route.

Wearing her Ripon Runners vest, the Northern Irish runner finished 11th overall and was two minutes quicker than any other woman.

New Marske Harriers Club member Tristan Learoyd won the race, which had been postponed on December 28 due to flooding.

The annual festive race was cancelled after the course failed a morning inspection with debris blocking a bridge at Studley Royal.

Almost 1,000 runners were expected last month and the rearranged date saw a field smaller than in previous years.

Sharon Barlow, left, came 11th overall to take the women's title

Sharon Barlow, left, came 11th overall to take the women's title

However, race director Tim Joynson was delighted with the turnout.

Joynson said: "It’s every race director’s worse nightmare to have to cancel a race.

"However, with great spirit and some speedy rearranging we were very pleased to be able to finally put on the race yesterday.

"My thanks go out to the members of Ripon Runners without whom we couldn’t have pulled this off and for the patience and understanding of the runners who entered."

Learoyd (36.34.2) finished almost a minute ahead of Harrogate Harriers runner Barry McGuire (37.27.0) with Ben Pease completing the podium.

York’s David Smithers (38.30) reached the line next, a minute in front of Nidd Valley Road Runners athlete Tim Harvey (39.56).

Harvey’s teammate Martin Lofthouse dashed into 13th in 40.45.

Several Ripon athletes were marshalling around the course, but 11 of the club’s athletes ran and Dave Binks returned 15th overall in 40.53.

Eight members of Knaresborough Striders went around the course. Guy Close was the first Blue and Gold vest home, finishing in a time of 44:09. Andy Robinson clocked a time of 47:32 to finish just ahead of Stewart Hymas (48:04).

Ripon Runners: John Chatwin (45.47); James Stuart-Mills (51.30); Anne Cheeseman (56.00); Hayley Whipp (56.56); Jo Thwaites (1.01.); Nicole Sutton (1.01.49); Jane Goodwin (1.06.01); Lucy Marston (1.09.58); Michael Hernandez (1.19.46); Fiona Hernandez (1.19.47

Knaresborouh Striders: Ian Mitchell (54:51), Natalie Hale (01:07:53), Tom Burrell (01:07:47), Jane Day (01:08:57), Katie Gray (01:13:25) and June Graham (01:15:08)

Harrogate Harriers: Mark Jordan (43.59); Brian Miller (46.31); Tim Broomfield (50.21); Wendy Marks (50.15); Mark Seymour (50.21); Sarah Bromiley (59.57); Andrew Brown (1.03.36)

Nidd Valley RR: Jon Easton (47.19); Christin Holleran (53.59); Jon Reast (58.34); Janet Carling (1.01.21); David Rushton (1.06.22)

Wetherby Runners: Tim Tunnard (45.45); Ian Legg (46.25); Emily Legg (47.25); Chris Martin (50.28); David Halliday (52.27); Judy Bewell (58.24)’ Sam Parker (1.00.50); Liz Martin (1.08.58); Jane Williams (1.10.14)