Windy Hill Fell race lived up to its name – and then some – last weekend. With sleet, thick fog and strong winds, the nine-mile race was a tough one for the more than 200 brave runners that took part. Starting at Hollingworth Lake, the race takes the runners up to Blackstone Edge, across the moor to Windy Hill and then gradually down to the finish.
Calder Valley Fell Runners had a small contingent on the day, but made a big impact. Shaun Godsman and Alex Whittem took the lead from the off, and battled with one another and Rob James of Royton Road Runners for much of the way round. But as the race went on Shaun gradually pulled away from the pair, eventually finishing the race in 1:02, a minute ahead of Rob and Alex.
Commenting on his win Shaun said modestly, “I just ran and managed to get in front.” But with deep bogs and sections along the top of the moor where visibility was only 10 or 15 metres, it took a lot to run the route in such a good time.
Not too far behind was Calder Valley’s Stephen Smithies who battled with fell running legend Darren Fishwick much of the way around and finished in 23rd place, making him the first V50 home. Together the three secured the men’s team prize.
Ben Cliff, who is not just new to Calder Valley but is new to running, had an excellent result in what is only his fourth fell race. He finished in 48th place, a great result demonstrating some real potential.
Edale Open 5
A small number of Calder Valley Fell Runners also travelled to the Peak District for the Edale Open 5, a running and mountain biking challenge in which the competitors travel to as many checkpoints as possible in five hours.
Jackie and Phil Scarf were the first mixed pair. Barbara Lonsdale and Alistair Morris were third mixed pair. Jonathan Emberton had an excellent race, finishing second male solo.
Barbondale Fell Race
Calder Valley’s junior runners were out in force at the Barbondale Fell Race, a short, steep race and the fifth race in the Kendal Winter League series. Calder Valley’s William Hall was second and James Duffy was fourth in the under 15s race, and Patrick Casey took third in the under 13s race.
– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon