Mountain Hardwear Open5 – Report

Mountain Hardwear Open5 Hebden Bridge 21st January 2007 Arriving at Hebden Bridge Race HQ the heavens opened with rain and hail ? the day was going to be interesting for the first Mountain Hardwear Open5 and UK Adventure Race of 2007. Local course designers Jonathan Emberton and Phil Scarf had excelled themselves – the Team CompassPoint racers had planned a course with a myriad route choices and technical navigation across rough moorland. Rain, snow and hail had turned paths and bridleways into streams or mud baths – the course was going to be challenging for all.With over 230 entries (100 more than last year) the race took teams up the steep sides of the valley on to open moorland and the towering Stoodley Pike Monument. The bike route offered numerous choices along a series of minor roads and bridleways but with poor conditions and gale force winds it was hard going. It was a tight race in every category with the top 3 positions often only being decided by a couple of points. Great prizes were provided by title sponsor Mountain Hardwear, and also Anquet, Merrell Shoes, EAS Energy and Nuun hydration tabs.Father and son team, Adam and William Haynes (Team Accelerate) took the Male Pairs category. Graeme Tiffany and Robert Glover took second with Bill Nickson and Tom Cubbon in third. The Female Pairs category was extremely tight with only 9 points separating the top 4 teams. Judith Hughes and Jenny Allan (Team Skinfit UK) just pipped Louise Hanley and Sue Booth to first. Jo Foster and Nicky Jaquiery (Ilkley Harriers) narrowly took third just 4 points ahead of Gill Watson and Emma Cox (Team Sleepmonsters) who scored more points but were 11 minutes late coming back. The Mixed Pairs was very competitive with top scores higher than the male pair category. Eddie Winslow and Caroline Bullard (Team Accelerate) had a great race and although outscored by Chris Poole and Karen Heppenstall (Team Compasspoint) they were late back costing them precious points. James Williams and Janine Inman (Team Compasspoint) took third. Jo Buckley (Team Compasspoint) convincingly won the female solos with Jackie Scarf (Team Compasspoint) taking second and Emily Brooks in third. The real high scores came in the male solo category with Tim Higginbottom (Team Accelerate) taking first by just outscoring Andy Simpson (Team Compasspoint) by only 5 points. Andy again scored more points but was 5 minutes late back costing him a vital 10 points. John Houlihan (Team Santa Cruz) took third with another impressive score.If this first race is anything to go by it?s going to be a great Mountain Hardwear Open Adventure series – we hope to see even more racers at the next Open5 Adventure Race in March.