Last Sunday saw one of the highlights in CVFR’s calendar:
UKA British Fell & Hill Relay Championships, held this year in Llanberis, and hosted by Eryri Harriers. Now in it’s 29th year, the relay comprised of four legs in teams of six. The calibre is always high and competition tough with the cream of British fell running competing to put their clubs on the map.
The event always proves a popular, fun day out for CVFR and this year was no exception, with a ‘fun bus’ organised especially for the occasion by the club’s own entertainer Gav Mulholland, who provided amusing commentary of events both before and throughout the day.
Leg one of the relay was a solo leg of 8.9 km with 707m of ascent and took in the North ridge of Moel Eilio; leg 2, for pairs was 14.9km with 900 m of ascent and covered Foel Goch and Moel Cynghorion via a climb renowned in the classic Pedol Peris fell race; leg 3, also in pairs, required navigation skills and provided some distinct route choices. Then the final leg was a fast and furious solo one, at 8.35km with a 512m climb. Each leg, in the shadow of Snowdon, provided grassy ridges, steep climbs and sweeping fast descents with routes going through quarries, a ‘natural’ feature of the Llanberis landscape.
CVFR fielded 6 teams out of a total of 175. It’s Men’s Team A, comprising of Alex Whittem, Ben Mounsey, Andy Swift, Matt Roberts, Darren Kay, Gav Mulholland came an impressive 4th overall with a time of 4:25:24, a considerable achievement given that the club had split some of it’s best runners between the open and the vets team. Dark Peak Fell Runners took the first prize with a time of 4:10:21.
CV MV40 (Richard Pattison, Shaun Godsman, Karl Gray, James Logue, Stephen Edwards, Mark Taylor) also excelled, with their impressive performance securing silver in their category. They missed out on gold, which went to Shettleston Harriers, by just 22 seconds. The battle between these 2 teams was intense with some legs defined by mere seconds. Mark Taylor ran the last leg and reined the first place in by 2 minutes, but this didn’t prove quite enough to take the top spot.
Said Gav Mulholland: “So despite last minute changes, we set off the hound of Alex Whittem on leg 1. Despite recent illness, Andy Swift clawed back from 10th to 6th place in leg 2. I was kept for last leg and despite being out of medal position I ran possessed, motivated by a chip butty. We sailed into 5th and with Mercia disqualified took 4th place overall. Mark Taylor clawed back 2 minutes on his leg to finish just seconds away from gold. We had silver vets and a happy valley bus home. I wish I was a vet”
The other 4 teams also performed well in their categories. CV ladies team (Carole Fryer, Jo Buckley, Lindsey Oldfield, Jackie Scarf, Linda Murgatroyd, Emma Smyth) secured 13th place, Mens B Team (Lee Shimwell, Mark O’connor, Ian Symington, Douglas Zinis, Iain Glendinning,Iain Powell )30th, MV40 B Team (Paul Haigh, Giles Simon, Tim Brooks,Toby Sydes, Richard Sunderland, Jack Ackroyd) 20th and the MV50 (Mike Wardle, Steve Smithies, Dave Hammond, Phill Scarf, Anthony Costello, Bob Howard) 7th.
– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gill Dickson