A SUCCESSFUL season is drawing to a close for York Knavesmire Harriers.

The handicap race at Stillington concluded another victorious year for the Harriers in the York & District Road Race League.

The series of six ten-kilometre races across North Yorkshire climaxed with the handicap race, designed to group the entire pack of runners together for the finish line.

The clubs involved in the league were Pocklington, Easingwold, Selby Striders, Pickering, Tadcaster, York Triathon, York Postal Harriers, York St John University, University of York, York Acorn and York Knavesmire Harriers.

Knavesmire's men had already secured their grasp on the team prize for a second successive season, winning the crown for the third time in their history.

There were a few new faces at the front for the Harriers, with Lindsay Toulson placing third overall and winning the V40 event, alongside Andrew Jenkinson and Alex Bedingham, who also ran some great times to contribute to the team.

Jason Higgins was back to his best early on in the series, picking up a win in the opening race at Pocklington and running a superb time on Knavesmire.

He was supported by Giles Hawking, who broke a ten-year-old personal best time at the Knavesmire meet, and Chris Roberts.

Roberts was returning from an early season injury, but still went on to come second at the Wistow meet.

Simon Collins and the much improved Neil Stabbs also both achieved personal best times in the series.

There were also good results for Pete Downes, who was sixth in the V50 event, and Mike McGrath, who came second in the V60 category.

Further down the field, the squad was backed up by many strong performances, which led to the 'B' team taking third place overall, edging out York Triathlon and the Postal Harriers.

Club secretary Margaret Brown said: "I hope that those in our 'B' team will be able to put some pressure on our 'A' team in the next year."

The women also had an outstanding season, with the 'A' team retaining the team prize for a third time.

Following some exceptional individual performances, the final standings saw Harriers runners taking the top five positions.

They also had seven athletes in the top ten.

The women’s 'B' team came second overall, narrowly squeezing out York Acorn.

There were victories for Patsy Griffin, who came first in the over-65s, and Janet Hales, who triumphed in the over-60s age group.

The women’s 'A' team had great success individually, with Emma Yates winning the league overall, thanks to top-two finishes in the five races she contested.

Andrea Lancaster, who came second in the overall standings, also won the V35 category and achieved her first sub-40 minute 10k.

Anwen Darlington and Sarah Attwood made up the first team ranks.

Darlington ran under 40 minutes for the first time in her debut season with the Harriers, while Attwood came second in the race on Knavesmire, surpassing her personal best.

Cassie Holmes and Katie Godfrey also had excellent seasons, with both making consistent top-five finishes.

Brown added: "I am proud of them.

"At the club, they are trained hard and we receive great effort from them all of the time.

"Particularly notable is the determination of the weaker runners at the club, because we take part in very, very tough 10ks."

The Harriers secretary added: "This is only the end of the road league season, we will have a short break and then rejoin in the new year.

"We have 10ks through the winter to continue our preparations to return and enjoy another winning season.

"One thing is for sure, the Harriers will be back to keep our success, and our members are already buzzing for next year."

Anyone interested in joining York Knavesmire Harriers Running Club, who are always looking for new members, should email Brown at margaretmbrown@live.co.uk