Calder Valley’s Tim Ellis continued his excellent summer of Lakeland fell races with an outstanding third place at Saturday’s Langdale Horseshoe race. This marvellous race is rightly regarded as one of the best in the calendar, taking in 16.5 miles and 1450m climb of arguably England’s finest scenery. A race for novices, it is not.
Decent weather prevailed, albeit quite windy and fresh up on the tops and the clear skies proved a godsend for many runners as low cloud and mist can often play havoc navigationally. Instead, runners were left to wrestle with nothing more than shin splitting descents and thigh burning climbs as they weaved their way up and over most of the main peaks of the Langdale Valley. The race was won by local star Ben Abdelnoor in an impressive 2hrs 7 mins, with Tim helping Calder into second place overall in the men’s team event, James Logue (13th) and rising star Joe Crossfield (18th).
Newly crowned British champ Helen Fines was second overall in the Ladies’ race with a splendid 55th place and Barbara Lonsdale 14th in a super time just over the three hour mark.
At the ever popular Withins Skyline race at Howarth on Sunday many Calder runners made the short trip over Cock Hill for the 7mile/1000ft mud splash across Bronte Country. Cader’s Graeme Brown, still in search of a pair of shorts, finished in a superb 6th place behind winner and new course record holder Tom Adams of Ilkley. Tom broke Olympic Gold medallist Ally Brownlee’s record from 2006, admittedly set when Alistair was a mere slip of a lad. Mark O’Connor, after a blistering start, faded somewhat to be next Calder man home in 34th.
First Calder lady home was Graeme’s other half Kate Mansell in a solid 158th place. The event is another of the Woodentops Fell races laid on by the irrepressible Dave Woodhead, who must be commended for his sheer enthusiasm and passion for the sport. Even more so for his endless prizes that he merrily dishes out afterwards in The Sun Inn where the majority of runners convened to partake in the fun afterwards.