This week’s British Fell Relays hosted by Dark Peak on Saturday, 19th October at Derwent Dam near Bamford. This event marks a highlight in the fell running calendar & was also the first time a national fell running event had been organised on the Derwent & Howden Moors. The relay sees 250 team compete in a race run over four legs: with legs 1 (7.65km & 360m ascent) & 4 (7.85 km & 375m ascent) solo runs, & leg 2 (12.3km, & 484m ascent) & 3 (11.2km, 520-570m ascent) paired – with the latter also requiring strong navigation skills.
This year, CVFR fielded four teams: three for the men (an open, a V40 & a V50 team), & one V40 for the women. The Men’s V40 – consisting of:
Leg 1: Gav Mulholland Leg 2: Karl Gray/Darren Kay, Leg 3: James Logue/Mark Burton & Leg 4: Shaun Godsman – ran a storming race to win their category outright (finishing 14th overall) in a time of 4:06:27, an astonishing 3.5 minutes quicker than 2nd placed Dark Peak’s MV40 team.
The women’s vet 40 was a much closer contest, with only 2.5 minutes separating the teams finishing 2nd, 3rd & 4th. The ladies red & white hoops were – Leg 1: Jocasta Fletcher Leg 2: Catherine Holden/Rachel Johnston Leg 3: Natasha Butterfield/Jo Buckley & Leg 4: Jackie Scarf – ran well overall, with fantastic performances in particular from Holden & Johnston on Leg 2 (jumping up 76 places during their leg) followed by Butterfield & Buckley on leg 3 (gaining another 55 places). In the end, the red & white hoops were pipped by only 30 seconds into fourth place in their age category by Helm Hill FV40 team.
Calder Valley’s Men’s V50 squad – Leg 1: Andy Davies, Leg 2: Bill Johnson /Mark Wharton Leg 3: Phil Scarf/Jonathon Emberton & Leg 4: Toby Sydes – ran strongly to finish 7th in their age category. Here, the pairing Scarf & Embteron was particularly noteworthy, pushing the team up the rankings a staggering 83 places during this navigation leg.
The men’s open or A team, consisting of Leg 1: Martin Howard Leg 2: Adam Osbourne/ Ben Mounsey, Leg 3: Andy Swift/Alex Whittem & Leg 4: Matt Roberts, also ran exceptionally strongly, finishing legs 1-3 18th, 11th & 16th place respectively. However, unfortunately the dibber recording the check points was lost in the final leg, causing the team to fail to qualify for ranking. This decision may be overturned on appeal as the dibber was found quickly. The team placing is hopefully 9th overall.
Despite this bitter disappointment, it was agreed by all that this had been a great event – superbly organised by Dark Peak & their team of 200+ volunteers, with some tough running but amazing scenery & fantastic company/camaraderie.
Elsewhere, it was also a difficult weekend for CVFR’s international runner, Holly Page, who – despite running ‘conservatively’ in last Sunday’s local fell race, avoiding risks & remaining mindful of the need to stay injury free for skyrunning final this weekend – unfortunately suffered a slightly twisted foot that turned out to be close to a fracture. An MRI confirmed that she would not be able to compete in the Skyrunning SkyMasters at Limone in Italy this past weekend, although Page still went to the race to cheer friends & fellow competitors on.
Finally, this week also saw an important event for club ultra-runner, Simon Bourne, who was in the Lake District for the annual presentation evening for the Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge – named for the fell running legend himself who devised this 42-mile route as a charity funding raising challenge for the over 50s – crossing the Lake District from Pooley Bridge to Wasale, taking in an astounding 30 peaks & an eye-watering 17,000 feet of ascent. Bourne completed this challenge in June, in an impressive 10h & 47 minutes – the fastest time this year & fourth fastest ever. He was delighted to receive his award this weekend from Joss Naylor himself, who is still going strong at 83 years old!
– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones