Summit and OMMs

Mark, Martin and Jon the winning Summit team

Calder Valley’s Martin Howard had some unfinished business last Saturday as he took to the start line of the Race to the Summit fell race, determined that history wouldn’t repeat itself after getting lost last year

This local 7km race goes from the Summit Public House up to the White House pub and back. The race started 49 years ago to settle a pub argument about whether the distance could be run in under 30 minutes. Martin Howard came in closest to this mark, overall winner in 31:41. A very happy Martin said:

‘‘This was unfinished business for me as I led the race last year before a navigational error took me off the course. This year I made sure I knew the route and led pretty much from the start. Conditions were poor with a lot of standing water but that doesn’t worry me and I was very pleased with the win’.

Prizes were aplenty for CV with Mark Wharton taking the MV50 ’s prize and the CV men scooping the men’s team prize (Martin Howard, Mark Wharton and Jonathan Moon)

Also splashing in the mud and rain at the weekend were the CVs hardcore OMMers battling it out over 2 days in Scotland in this epic score event. Husband and wife team Phil and Jackie Scarf were 1st vets in the medium score event (7th overall) and Bill Johnson and Jon Underwood 4th vets in the long score event (11th overall).

Veteran hoops take gold in the British relays & Simon’s Joss Naylor

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:

V40 winning team – mugs in hand ready for a cuppa. You’ve got to keep warm at their age. (obviously Sarah Rowell wasn’t part of the team)

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.

A very happy LV40s team who came oh so close to getting bronze. They even surprised themselves how close they were to medalling!!!

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.

Simon with the legend that is Joss Naylor

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

Horseshoes, Ultras and BGs it’s all happening with the hoops

Featured

Calder’s 2019 Champs right down to the wire

Calder Valley’s 2019 Championships ended in a nail biting finale with many of the top spots up for grabs, right up to the last two fell races of the season.

Langdale Horseshoe

Saturday saw seven CVFR head north for the Langdale Horseshoe in the Lake District. This tough AL course packs 4,600 ft climb in 12.5 miles. Calder’s Andy Wright, with all to play for in the club champs, described the race:

“The start is very congested, and with 400 runners on a narrow track it is important to be in a good place at the start line for the 300m climb up to Stickle Tarn. The cloud lifted through the morning leaving most of the summits clear which made navigation easier, though Bowfell to Crinkle Craggs was firmly entrenched in cloud so careful compass work was needed as there was nobody in sight to follow.  The rest of the route gave some spectacular scenery to reward those willing to look up from the rocks in front of their feet.

CVFR’s Andy Wright at Langdale (Credit: Toby Sydes)

Leaving Crinkle Craggs via Bad Step needed great care after overnight rain had left the rocks extremely slippery.  A steep descent near the finish drew crowds of ramblers who were waiting to see runners end up the wrong way up, which seemed to draw appreciative cheers.  Fortunately for me I was able to stay upright here and gain two last places on the final section of descent and sprint. Pies at the finish, oh yes!  I’m going back next year just for the pie.”

Lochaber’s Finlay Wild took top spot in 2:00:51. Calder’s John Allan and Mike Clayton called in to race Langdale on their way to the annual Bob Graham presentation dinner, finishing 75th and 195th respectively. Andy Wright’s legendary descending skills saw him finishing 217th taking valuable points in the club champs. Tim Brooks (275th), Daniel Baron (349th) and Charlotte Wetton all ran well.

Withens Skyline

24 hours later, Withens Skyline was the destination for the last race in the CVFR championship calendar. Fourteen Calder hopefuls braved the weather in search of glory. Tim Brooks got the most out of his weekend, reportedly managing to sandwich ‘moshing at The Trades Club’ between Langdale and Withens.

Calder Valley out in force at Withens Skyline (Credit: Dave Woodhead)

First man home at Withens was Tom Adams of Ilkley Harriers in a time of 41.17. Calder’s international star, Holly Page, triumphed again on home soil to take first woman in 49:05.

Holly Page at Withens Skyline

After crunching the numbers, club statistician, Andy Wright summed up the final Champs results: Paul Haigh had fought hard all year and looked like he might be getting his name on the club champs trophy, but on the last section of the last race of the year he was pipped by Dan Marsden, thus leaving him one point behind Johnny Croston.  No sharing of this trophy this year as they each retain their trophies from last year.

Meanwhile in the Ladies competition Catherine Holden and Charlotte Wetton retained their 1st and 2nd titles joined by Eileen McDonach.

The Handicap competition was really tied up some time ago, with Rob Rawlinson getting max points, followed by Tamsin Cooke.

In the vets competition, Johnny Croston and Catherine Holden both did ‘the double’ to take the Vet titles too.

Mark Wharton was out for another max 100 points today in the V50 category and cemented his position as Vet50 champion, pipping Toby Sydes by two points.

Mark Wharton and Giles Simon at Withens skyline (Credit: Dave Woodhead)

CVFR’s 2019 Bob Graham success

Calder also had much to celebrate this year with a bumper crop of CVFR successfully completing Bob Graham (BG) rounds.  This 66 mile, 27,000 ft circuit of 42 of the highest peaks in the English Lake District, within 24 hours, is the ultimate test for elite fell runners. Of the 100 runners who attempt it every summer, only one in three are successful. CVFR efforts were rewarded on Saturday night when six received their BG certificates. From left to right is Dan Barron, Mike Clayton, Dougie Zinis, Helen Buchan, John Allan and Stuart Russell. Helen has joined Ribble Valley but she was a club member when she did the BG.

The BG gang with their certificates

BOFRA 2019 Championship

This weekend also seen the climax of the 2019 seniors and juniors British Open Fell Runners Association (BOFRA) Championship at Wasdale Show. CVFR’s Charlie Ing had a fantastic series to finish second place overall, behind former British and English champ, Simon Bailey. Steve Smithies continued his running form to take the Vet 50 top spot.

Steve Smithies at Wasdale Show, BOFRA Championship

Charlie and Ollie Pickens at Wasdale with Euan Logue (Credit: Cali Pickens)

Two Calder Valley juniors also made the long journey up to Wasdale BOFRA Championship on Saturday. The weather held to provide perfect conditions for the steep climb up Kirk Fell. Charlie Pickens came first in the U14s and a delighted Euan Logue of Halifax Harriers picked up 3rd boy. Ollie Pickens’ rapid descent earned him 5th place in the u12s and his first prize money of the year.

Charlie Pickens had an excellent BOFRA season to finish 2nd overall in the U14s and is looking forward to picking up him trophy at the presentation in November.

Charlie Pickens at Wasdale Show, junior BOFRA Championship (Credit: Jonathon Lane)

Lakes in a Day Ultra

Elina Eady and Eileen McDonach ready to start Lakes in a Day Ultra race

CVFR’s Elina Eady and Eileen McDonach ended this year’s Ultra running exploits on a high at the weekend to take on the epic, 50 mile, Lakes in a Day ultra race. This runs from north to south of the Lake District, taking in 12,000+ ft of climb, including Helvellyn and Fairfield. Starting in Caldbeck on Saturday morning, they finished in the early hours of Sunday in a total of 19:21 hours. Elina Eady described it as “one of the most challenging adventures I have ever undertaken, but I enjoyed the experience and the company of my running buddy, Eileen. We were so lucky with the weather that the mountains were breathtaking. I loved every moment.”

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen Jones

Hodgson Brothers Relay

A worried looking Jo ready to set off with young gun Martin

Following more than a decade of top 5 finishes, Calder Valley Fell Runners men were hopeful of a strong result last weekend in the annual Hodgson Brothers Relay from Brotherswater, Patterdale in the Lake District. 

This Lakeland mountains relay race, held annually in memory of a Leeds based runner who was tragically killed in a road accident the day after winning the prestigious Karrimor Mountain Marathon in Cumbria, is run over four legs with competitors running in pairs.

The weather forecast for the event didn’t look promising, however, conditions on the day were far more favourable than first predicted. The ground was saturated following some heavy overnight rain, but visibility was good and this meant that the race would be won on athletic merit, rather than navigational prowess.

First off for the Calder club’s A team was young relay debutant Charlie Ing and his partner Alex Whittem. They completed the 4.5 mile leg from Patterdale to Hartsop in an impressive 3rd place, battling with Keswick to the finish line, both teams following Ambleside AC, who led the initial charge. In the mixed team competition Jackie Scarf and Carole Fryer got the team off to steady start.

Next up for the A team were the experienced pair of Ben Mounsey and Gavin Mulholland, who took up the mantle for the tough 7 mile run to Kirkstone Pass. They ran a solid leg but ultimately lost valuable time on their major rivals and finished in 5th place overall. Martin Howard and Jo Buckley took up the mantle for the mixed and gained 5 places to take the tam up to 59th place.

Even the dynamic pairing of Kay and Gray (Darren and Karl), wasn’t enough to improve the fortunes of the team. They ran well on leg 3, but could only maintain a 5th place finish, leaving Adam Osborne and Matthew Roberts with too much to do on leg 4. They managed to hold their position but didn’t gain enough time on Helm Hill, who finished 4th overall. An excllent run from Lee Shimell and Paul Haigh hauled another 7 places for the mixed team on leg 3 and with a very strong run from Dougie Zinis and Jonny Croston on leg 4 took the team up to 44th and 6th mixed team.

Calder Valley were the first Calderdale team to complete the 24 mile route, finishing 5th from 70 teams. 

The event was won by Keswick AC, who recorded their 3rd successive title. Ambleside AC took 2nd and Dark Peak finished in 3rd. The ladies race was won by local favourites, Helm Hill and the mixed team winners were Ribble Valley AC.

Calder Valley will treat this as good practice and a dress rehearsal for the British fell relays, held in Derbyshire, in two weeks time.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

Its time to …..

AT FELL RUNNING

TUESDAY 30 APRIL AND 14 MAY.
6.45PM AT MYTHOLMROYD COMMUNITY CENTRE

If you can run at least 3miles/5kms do come and join us. We are a friendly club catering for all abilities. Mud and fun guaranteed. Bring your grippy trainers, a waterproof and your biggest smile. 

Email Gill Dickson for more details gillhdickson@gmail.com

And read Kate’s real life story on how she got hooked on fell running …

“It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when I didn’t run. And there was a time when driving over the tops with the expanse of moors stretching away  on either side, gave me the heebie -jeebies. Our moors always seemed desolate to me. Too empty. Too unknowable. I was happy in the valley thanks very much. Right at the bottom; on the flat.

In the summer of 2014, as a mother of 3, I felt old, achey, heavy. Unfit. That summer my cousin talked about a half Marathon she’d just run. New to running, she told me how she’d started out with a Couch to 5K podcast. My cousin is slim and gorgeous and I was still carrying my baby weight, but I thought, why not me? 

I started in secret. Even my husband didn’t know the first few times I went out. I went out early so I would see as few people as possible. That first time I ran for a minute and a half. 9 weeks later I could run for 30 minutes. It made me so happy. With small children it’s impossible to do anything fast and it was a delight to move at speed. I soon worked out that I couldn’t avoid the hills forever. The first time I made it up to Stoodley Pike I called my Mum from the top.

I could manage about 6 miles when I joined the Calder Valley Fell Runner’s ‘Back to the Fells’ in the spring of 2015. Everyone was very welcoming, and very encouraging as we struggled up our first climb. It turned out that walking the steep bits was perfectly acceptable! I remember the incredible copper light on the heather up at Crow Hill, and the feeling of the soft boggy ground under my feet as we descended. 

Running that first year I discovered that being out in sideways sleet, on the tops, through bogs, in the dark, in fact in anything that might put a sensible person off, gives you a lovely feeling that you’re beating the system. That you’re embracing the elements and the seasons and nothing can stop you! For years I’d suffered with SAD, but not any more.

All smiles at the local Stoodley Pike Fell Race.

In 2016 a group of CVFR friends helped me to celebrate my 40thbirthday by seeing sun set on Pendle Hill, and running through the night to see it rise at Stoodley Pike. I’d said I wanted to hit the ground running at the beginning of my 40thyear. We’ve had bigger and better adventures together since. Half Marathons, Marathons, Mountain Marathons, Lakeland races, our first Ultra. We talk each other into things and don’t like to miss out. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) at its best. 

The club is made up of a whole spectrum of runners. We have elite runners who run with a GB vest (the likes of Ben Mounsey and Holly Page and the U23 champion Martin Howard),  serious racers and the more social, fun fell runners. But we’re all united by the love of running, and of where we run. 

Do you want to experience the joys of fell running too? Come along to one of CVFR’s Have a Go sessions; Tues 30thApril and Tues 14thMay. 6.45pm at Mytholmroyd Community Centre. You’ll need to be able to run at least 5kms. You’ll need grippy trainers, a waterproof jacket and a smile. Contact gillhdickson@gmail.comfor further info.

If you’re not up to running 5kms just yet, why not build up your distance and fitness with the Couch to 5k programme then join a local Parkrun? (There’s one in Shroggs Park, Halifax). And before you know it, you’ll be hitting our local fells and signing up to lots of crazy new adventures!”


BG, Skyline and Hikes

Some Calder Valley FR runners emerged from hibernation to take on a diverse selection of events at the weekend. 

Mike still smiling on his successful BG

Up in the Lake District Mike Clayton was out on the infamous Bob Graham Round to traverse 42 fells in a time of 24 hrs. Mike  had a crack team of supporters to see him complete with 39 minutes to spare, almost matching Killian Jornet’s record time. 

Catherine, Rach and Carole, the winning female team

Back in the South Pennines, Calder Valley’s gregarious ladies flocked to the “Michael” Wardle skyline over Rossendale way with a medium route covering over 11k and 400m of ascent. They had plenty of success, starting with first LV40 Catherine Holden. Other category winners included Gillian Wisbey, Rachel Johnson and Carole Fryer. The ladies also took the team prize. 

Jackie Scarf, Gill Dickson, Kate Pope, Gloria Ayuso, Carolyn Shimwell, Harley Beecroft, Sue Martin and the lads (Kev Hoult, Phil Scarf, Mike Hyde) took in the Calderdale Hike at a mere 37.5 miles, with extensions due to navigational nightmares. The club’s star display came from Kevin Hoult, who finished second in a time of 5 hours 22 minutes.

Martin Howard ran a hard and fast Bunny Run No. 2 finishing third and earning an Easter egg for his troubles. Not far behind was his good team mate Jack Denton in 16th place. Jack has recently made a come back to racing.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gav Mulholland

Kendal Winter League success for new recruit Charlie

Charlie Ings at Elterwater Common (photo credit: Stephen Wilson)

New recruit Charlie Ings won the Kendal Winter League Series clocking up 679 points from a series of 10 Lakeland races over the last 3 months. He ran the last race in the series on Sunday, Elterwater Common, finishing an impressive 3rd

Fell races don’t come much more picturesque than the Elterwater course.  Considering its 3 mile length it seems to contain all possible terrain with flat grassy tracks, steep rocky climbs, fast runnable descents, bogs, loose rock etc. Starting at Elterwater Common it is an out and back course to the summit of Silver Howe. And Charlie flew round in a mere 24.07 minutes! Certainly one to watch out for! 

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

Calder Valley show English Champs promise at Stretton Hills

Sunday saw some some welcome relief from the weather for fell runners and organisers alike at the first 2019 English Championships outing, Stretton Hills Fell Race.

Snow was forecast but Sunday brought a glimmer of sunshine after the deluge of rain and flood sirens in the Calder Valley on Saturday. 

Nine Calder Valley runners made the journey to Shropshire to battle navigational wits with 339 finishers in this season’s first English Champs race. 

2019 Stretton Hill Fell Race start (Credit: Bob Howard)

With only map and compass allowed, they had to find their own route on this mostly unmarked 9.5k, Category A course to visit all five checkpoints in order, avoiding out of bounds areas, and making sure they completed the few mandatory sections. Experience and pre-race recces would likely have paid off in this challenging route.

With 2,198 ft of climb and some tough options of either shorter, brutal climbs or longer more runnable routes, Mathew Roberts was first back for Calder Valley in 11th place in 47:06 mins. Within seconds Karl Gray showed class to make it back in 47:21 and take 1st Male Vet spot (13th overall). Darren Kay also did well finishing 2nd Male Vet (37th overall). Calder Valley took the men’s Vets team prize with Gray and Kay joined by Adam Osbourne (45th) and Mark Burton (87th). CVFR’s Mark Taylor was just four seconds behind (88th). 

CVFR’s Matthew Roberts, Karl Gray, Adam Osbourne and Martin Howard at Stretton Hills (Credit: Bob Howard).

Martin Howard continued his good run of form to finish 3rd U23 (51st overall), but narrowly missed out on 2nd U23 prize by just 2 seconds to Adam Fieldhouse!

Stephen Smithies (134th) and Toby Sydes (267th) showed their navigational skills and also put in good runs for Calder Valley.

Keswick took 1st and 2nd men’s prize with Carl Bell (45:04) and Mark Lamb (45:19) back within seconds of each other. They also took Men’s team senior prize. First woman back  was Nicola Jackson from Ribble Valley Harriers (54th overall). Mercia Fell runners scooped Women’s Senior’s and Vet’s team prizes.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach

Leaps, Round and High

Lad’s Leap

A six mile race with 1700ft of climbing Lad’s Leap is run from the Crowden Campsite just off the Woodhead pass.  The race visits the rock formation of the same name that looks over the Peak District’s Longdendale.

Calder’s Holly Page was first Lady and 4th place in 53:47. Mark Buton was 2nd and first vet less than a minute ahead in 52:53

Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round

Toby Sydes running for his beer!!!

A healthy turn out of 252 runners ran in great conditions with some blistering fast record breaking by the record holder Rob Hope, 1:05:03 although 2nd & 3rd beat the previous record too. The Ladies were chasing record breaking pace as well, with Lindsey Brindle smashing the previous best by 9 minutes in 1:15:22 with 2nd & 3rd also coming under the previous record.

The race is a sensible 11 mile circuit of Pendle Hill with no gratuitous descents, just one big climb to the trig point on Big End followed by a tour of the moor.  Calder’s Darren Kay was 6thin 1:08:22. Toby Sydes, enticed to race by the free bottle of beer promised to all finishers, was 124thin 1:33:24, Calvin Ferguson 139thin 1:34:28 and Steve Smithies was 199thin 1:45:46.

High Peak Marathon

Jackie and her team mates, happy after completing the HPM

The High Peak Marathon is an over-night mountain marathon for teams of four which follows a route based on the Derwent Watershed over the high moors of Derbyshire.  This classic 40 mile bog-trot around the wildest part of the Peak District was first completed in 1918 by Eustace Thomas of Manchester’s Rucksack Club.  The High Peak Marathon was first organised in 1972 by students from Sheffield University. This was their idea of a challenge – to take one of the Peak’s longest, toughest routes and see who could complete it, at night, in winter.  A unique feature of the event is being greeted by a couple of cheerful students at every checkpoint.

Several members of Calder Valley Fell Runners took part this year.  Simon Fisher, John Allan, Dougie Zinnis and Jack Rose took 11hours 37 minutes and 33 seconds to get round in 18thplace, despite some navigational hiccups.  They were just three hours behind the winning team that included this year’s Spine race winner, Jasmin Paris.  

Doug Gurr and Phil Scarf were in a non-competitive team that finished in 12:19:26 and Jackie Scarf’s team completed in 13:53:58 and 37thplace.