Easter Heat

Beating the Easter Heat at the ‘new’ Newlands Memorial

Mark Wharton and Darren Earnshaw flew the flag for Calder Valley at the newly named Newlands Memorial Fell Race.

Formerly known as the anniversary waltz, this popular, but tough race was held each year to commemorate Wynn and Steve Cliffe’s wedding at the Newlands Valley church. Steve sadly passed away last year and Cumberland Fell Runners stepped in this year as race organiser to ensure this, and the seven other classic senior and junior fixtures, held on the same day, continue. By all accounts, CFR did a great job. In blistering, unseasonable Easter temperatures, 354 runners lined up to tackle this category AM race over 11.4 miles with 1,100 metres of climb.

Rob Jebb took first male spot in a time of 1 hour 40 minutes and Sharon Taylor first female (12th overall) in 1 hour 54 minutes. Darren Earnshaw was first back for Calder (92nd) closely followed by Mark Wharton (103rd).

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach

How… Gray smashes the Howgills

Bunny Run 1

The Bunny Runs are a series of four fell races held on consecutive Tuesday evenings after the clocks change in the spring.  The course is a sinuous but fast 3 mile route around Penistone Hill outside Haworth.  The first one this year was on the second of April and, as a counter in the Calder Valley Fell Runners Senior Championship, several runners headed over the moors to take part.

However the Juniors stole the show with Under 15s Elijah Peers Webb first back for CVFR in 22nd place in 19 minutes precisely shortly followed two places later by James Duffy in 19:14.  First Calder female back was U15 Emilia Wright in 23:01.  First Senior was Elina Eday in 24:31 shortly followed by first Calder man, Colin Duffield, in 25:31.

Michael Malyon of  Baildon Runners won in 16:16, with U15 Amelie Lane of Wharfedale Harriers first female in 17:48 and a superb 9th place.

English Champs – Howgill Fell Race

What a monster! With nearly 7000ft of climb in just over 14 miles this was never going to be an easy race as the first long counter in the 2019 English Fell Running Championships.  The finishing times give away the severity of the climbing, the winner Carl Bell completed the 14.3 miles a couple of minutes under 2 and a half hours.

The route takes in all the major hills in the southern half of the Howgill Fells.  Starting in Sedburgh runners ascend Crook followed by the flanks of Arant Haw, the col between the Calf and Calders, skirting the top of Cautley Spout, the highest waterfall in England at 650ft before ascending Yarlside.  A super steep 1300ft descent was taken by most runners sliding on their backsides before climbing Great Dummacks followed by Sickers Fell, a second visit to Arant Haw before the final climb of Winder.  Bear in mind that between each hill top the course dropped to a valley bottom.

Karl Grey was first back for CVFR in 8th place and 1st V45 in 2 hours 34 mins and 38 seconds.  Another top notch performance from Grey.  Darren Key was 29th and Adam Osbourne 40th.  New recruit Charlie Ing was 96th in 3 hours 16. 

Calder’s only woman to complete the course was Helen Buchan in 3 hours 50 minutes.  The womens race was won by 2017 English Champion, Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley, 21st place overall in 2 hours and 44 minutes

The relentless course took it toll with Jonny Croston swearing he would never do the race again.  Over 10% of the field did not finish.

Full CVRF Results

8th        Karl Gray            M45      02:34:38

29th      Darren Kay         M45      02:47:54

40th      Adam Osborne  M40      02:51:27

78th      Mark Taylor       M45      03:07:02

81st       Mark Burton      M45      03:08:02

96th      Charlie Ing          MSEN    03:16:34

129th    Paul Haigh          M40      03:28:00

155th    Jonny Croston   M40      03:35:54

196th    Helen Buchan    W40      03:50:05

213th    Mark Wharton  M50      03:54:39

278th    Toby Sydes         M50      04:28:16

304 finishers, 37 rtd

Harry wasn’t pottering around at Pendle!!!

On the lovely slopes of Pendle Hill and with great fell running routes CVFR juniors did battle for points in their next club championship race. There was some spell binding results for our racing snakes. First up was the under 9s and Harry Cliff yet again impressed with another win in a time of 3 minutes and 14 seconds. In the same age category his younger sister Lottie, who’s only recently started fell running, ran well to place 18th and 5th girls overall.

Hotly contested was the under 11s with Clara McKee taking 2nd overall and first girl in a time of 4 minutes and 29 seconds with Joseph Stone chasing hard only 5 seconds behind her to take 3rd overall and 2nd boy. Sam Annison is running well taking 11th in 4 minutes 55 seconds, 17th place and fine run from Leo Hackett in 5 minutes and 10 seconds with Ted Parker in 25th place a further 20 seconds behind.

In the U13s George McFie had an excellent run in 7th place in a time of 14 minutes 46 seconds to take full club championship points. 10th place for Charlie Pickens in a time of 14 minutes 54 seconds with Thomas McKee putting in a good time of 15 minutes 19 seconds to take 12th. Younger Pickens called Ollie was 23rd in 16 minutes 15 seconds and 40th place for Wynn Standish in 17 minutes 22 seconds. In 66th place and 24th girl but showing true fell running grit was Olivia Falkingbridge who struggled the end of the race in 24 minutes 26 seconds after twisting her ankle. This was all to get her club championship points.

The U15s saw Tom Owen having one of his best races to date placing 6th overall in a time of 19 minutes and 41 seconds. An ever improving Elijah Peer-Webb was 9th in 20 minutes and 6 seconds with Emilia Wright in 27th and 10th girl in 23minutes and 35 seconds.

In the senior’s race Trudi Entwhistle was first back for Calder in 88th place and 2nd v40. Chris Holdsworth and Catlin Rice, both of Ribble Valley Harriers took the honours overall.

Full Calder Senior Results

88          Trudi Entwistle  F40        00:43:35

129        Stuart Russell    M40      00:47:41

172        Gillian Wisbey   F40        00:52:36            

186        Vanora McCullagh          00:54:59

210        Steven Binks      00:59:57

232 finishers

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

Heptonstall a firm favourite


Stephen Grimley flying down a hill-wearing No.50 in honour of his 50th – credit:Dave Woodhead

Heptonstall – Sunday, 24th March 2019 is a big day in the local fell racing calendar, with the 15.4-mile, Heptonstall Fell Race. This event packs a punch and runners need navigational skills alongside plenty of stamina to make it around a course that is only partially flagged, and includes steep-sided wooded valleys, upland pasture and pathless moorland, thick heather, deep bogs and a lung-busting 3170ft ascent.

Heptonstall start – credit: Dave Woodhead

The consensus was that it was a beautiful day for a race with some brutal climbs, and stunning views that would take your breath away (if you had any left after the gruelling climbs!), but that it was all worth it for the post-race black treacle flap jack!

A firm favourite with Calder Valley runners, this year, the race attracted runners from all over the North, beating its previous record entry by far, at an amazing 290 runners.  It was a hotly fought battle for first place – Phil Marsden (Horwich RMI Harriers)’s finish time was the 3rd fastest recorded over nine 9 editions, but he finished only seconds ahead of second placed, Robin Howie of Wharfedale Harriers. Dark Peak’s Max Wainwright came in not far behind in third place, with a record 10 runners managing to come in under two hours (including CVFR’s Martin Howard in 7th place overall), demonstrating the quality of the field. Strong runs were also recorded by CVFR’s Jonny Croston (27th overall – 8th in the MV40 category) and Iain Illstone (42nd).

CVFR runners at the start line – Credit: Dave Woodhead

In the ladies’ race, last year’s winner Annie Roberts not only retained her title against a much larger field – but smashed her 2018 time by 22 minutes! 2014 and 2017 winner Jo Buckley also raised the bar to beat her 2017 winning time by 14 minutes; not to be out done Nik Terrega (2nd lady in 2018) upped her game by 17 minutes to finish 3rd. CVFR’s Buckley, who was also the first Female Vet 40 over the line – nearly two minutes faster than the next same category runner, was delighted with her result. Having spent most of the race nearly catching the nearest runner on the uphills only to lose her again on the downhills, she reports being a bit surprised when I managed to chug past into 2nd place towards the top of Shackleton knoll. I then just had to contain my excitement and position to the finish!’

The first three ladies & CVFR runners at the start – credit: Dave Woodhead)

All proceeds from the race (around £2,500) will be donated to the Scouts, Church, and Calder Valley Search and Rescue. In addition, having noted a few stiles on the route in need of repair (already down or damaged before the race), the race organisers are looking to make a donation to CROWs – Community Rights Of Way Service – a voluntary organisation with an interest in ensuring that local Rights of Way remain accessible.

This year’s event also had special significance for veteran race organiser, Stephen Grimley, who after 9 years of fronting this homespun event, was able to leave it in the capable hands of friends & neighbours (aka ‘The Hurriers’) and take part in a course he had heard so much about over the years.  Delighted to don red & white racing hoops & celebrate ‘going over the hill in style’ Grimley ‘loved every minute of it’, with ‘the icing on the 50th cake being taking a bow to a chorus of happy birthday from the gathered masses’.

Other significant Calder Valley results over the weekend included a number of shorter races; Darren Earnshaw’s came 7th in Storthes Hall Park Run, Ben Cliff’s improved on previous results with 6th in the Halifax Parkrun and Elliot Corner placed second in Centre Vale’s park run. In addition, CVFR newcomer, Charlie Ing came an impressive first place at Helm Hill – a race just short of 5 miles – part of the Kendal Winter League series races – Ing finished over a minute in front of his nearest competitor, with a fastest time recorded for any runner on every segment of the race – definitely making him one to watch for the future.

Saturday 2rd March also saw Junior Calder Valley runners Charlie Pickens, George McFie, & Tom Owen competing at the National Minor Schools Cross Country Championship, outside Loughborough. In a field approaching 200 in a race run at a cracking pace, CVFR provided more than a quarter (3 of 11) of the West Yorkshire Team, with the boys finishing a noteworthy 81st, 111th, & 126th respectively.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

Howarth Hobble

The February heat wave was firmly extinguished as the weather decided to give the 300+ competitors (solos and pairs) an even greater challenge at the Haworth Hobble on Saturday, as if 32 miles off road wasn’t sufficient.

Calder Valley was well represented and first back, 15 mins off the winning time was Kevin Hoult in a time of 4hrs 37 mins, 5th overall. Kevin has completed the hobble several times and has been awarded the keys to the city for his efforts.

Next to return, just under 5 hours was John Allen who said the course was a bit flat for his liking. And only 3 mins later, Michael Hyde returned to the fold.

The first Calder females to complete was Jackie Scarf as part of a F50 winning pair. First solo back was Elina Eady, out sprinting her rivals to finish in 7hrs 17 mins. The final CVFR home, and still drying out, was Carolyn Shimwell, and Diane Wright in a time of 8.31, with no coffee breaks permitted.

CVFR – Howarth Hobble Dou, Carolyn Shimwell and Diane Wright

Calders map men were showing the rest of the country how to orienteer with Welsh champion (m55) Phil Scarf taking the honours at the Northern championships, with his fellow cartographer, Jonathan Emberton taking 2nd place in their age category

CVFR Navigating Masters

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gavin Mulholland

Midgley Moor and Ilkley

Last weekend on the Spring like Sunday saw a gaggle of fell runners gather at Booth cricket club for the annual Midgley Moor fell race. Organised by Calder Valley’s Graham Davy it’s a fundraiser for Springhill Hospice, Rochdale. It’s a challenging race involving route choice on paths and moor covering 5 miles with 1250ft of ascent.

Calder Valley didn’t go home empty handed with Rachel Johnson scooping first female prize and young Martin Howard came second overall in an impressive 40:56. The overall winner was Harry Holmes from Matlock in 39:58.

The Juniors were out in full force at the weekend, making the most of the unusual Feb conditions. Luckily the mist cleared to provide perfect running conditions at the very popular Ilkley Moor Fell Race with these races providing excellent tough courses for all ages groups. Fondly known as the “racing snakes” group this was the first championship race for Calder Valleys junior who enjoy going to races. Have a go Dads also took part in the fun with Iain Illstone and Ben Cliffe both racing in the seniors Ilkley Moor fell race, a 5 mile circuit staged by Ilkley Harriers. Renowned as a tough winter race, it consists of steep, slippery and rocky descents. With over 260 runners, Ian finished 21st in 44:18, and Ben 105th. Jon Smith was first CV home in 15th place in an impressive 43:22.

Iain Illstone, have a go Dad at Ilkley Moor Fell Race. Photo credit: Dave Woodhead

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

Thirza & Hyde

Huge Thanks to CVFR’s Membership Maestro Thirza Hyde

Thirza in full flight

Thirza Hyde has been Calder Valley Fell Runner’s membership secretary for the last 20 years and is handing on the baton to take up her new roles as joint co-ordinator of the club juniors and on the CVFR committee. This is a great opportunity for the club to thank Thirza for her hard work and dedication, during which time CVFR has seen successful growth in membership for both seniors and juniors.

Bill Johnson, CVFR chairman summed up Thirza’s contribution: “Thirza has been the heartbeat of the club for 20 years. Without her unwavering enthusiasm and energy, the club would not be what it is today. Thirza is a shining example of someone who dedicates hours of their time, on behalf of others, for no thought of reward. We are lucky to have had her as CVFR membership secretary for two decades. And now the CVFR juniors will continue to benefit from that enthusiasm and energy as she directs more of both those talents on the juniors who form the future of the club.”

CVFR’s Rod Sutcliffe remembers Thirza in the ‘early’ days working hard to grow the membership, particularly among women, spending time to encourage ‘unattached’ fell runners in races to become proud Calder Valley club members.

Thirza centre_21st Anniversary Run 04-11-07 (High Brown Knoll 6)

Regularly going above and beyond the call of duty, Bill Johnson recalls Thirza and club mates spending many hours making ‘sheep’ batons for the British Relay Championships, hosted by CVFR at Castle Carr. These unusual batons were greeted with much hilarity when each competing team was given them to carry round the relay event.

Clare Kenny, Thirza, Rose Carnochan, Amanda Farrell.

As well as enjoying success as a runner (five times ladies club champion in a decade), our CVFR club archivist, John Riley also found a great deal of evidence of Thirza’s penchant for fancy dress.

Thirza at CVFR Club do Jan 2012

Jo Waites, a fellow CVFR runner remembers fondly, the early starts and arrivals at races, as she benefitted from Thirza’s fell-running experience, fuelled by copious tea and egg sandwiches.

Calder Valley are still benefitting from Thirza’s experience as she works with Andy Clarke and the club juniors and contributes to the committee. Trudy, a CVFR parent commented: “Thirza’s familiar personality starts the junior sessions off with a smile and enthusiasm ready to run the calder hills. For them she is the face of CVFR. Thanks for getting us organised Thirza!”

Thirza, once confused as ‘ Tizer’, may also pursue her new-found talent for photobombing, as experienced first-hand by top cyclist Mark Cavendish at the launch of the 2018 Tour De Yorkshire. You have been warned!

Thirza photobombing Mark Cavendish

The future is bright. The future is red and white. Thank you Thirza, for everything you have done for CVFR (so far).

Winter Handicap & Presentation Evening

Calder Valley Presentation Evening

Throughout the year Calder Valley Fell Runners take part a series of club championship races. The annual presentation evening, held this year at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge, is a celebration of the best running of the year. Club Champion was Jonny Croston was so overcome at winning the trophy he could only be heard saying ‘In’t Fell Running Great’ for the rest of the evening. Croston also won the V40 title. 2nd place was Paul Haigh who, by one point, narrowly beat Phil Wells who took the 3rd place trophy. Phil also won the most improved runner of the year, and the Handicap Championship, reflecting his return to form.

Ann Holden’s Haul

In the Women’s competition Tamsin Cooke was third, Charlotte Wetton 2nd, and the title was won by Ann Holden with a maximum 600 points. Holden also won the V40 title and medium and long race Queen. Tamsin Cooke also won the short race Queen.

Mike Wardle was crowned the V50 champion. For those who enjoy going long, the Ultra titles were won by Womens Captain, Caroline Shimwell and for the men, Kevin Hoult. Martin Howard won the Short Race King, Steve Smithies the Medium King and Toby Sydes the Long Race King.

In the Summer series, a series of short summer races, Toby Cotterill and Christina Turner took the crowns.

Despite winning gold in the English U23 fell running championship, Martin Howard took home the less salubrious title of CVFR Navigational Cock-up of the year. Having got lost at several races throughout the year, the highlight was Race You The Summit. Despite doing the race in previous year, while in the lead, he took a wrong turn and sprained his ankle in a rabbit hole trying to regain the correct course.

On a more positive note Howard was joint winner, with John Minta of Spine fame, of the Runner’s Runner of the year award, as voted for by club members.

Winter Handicap

Calder Valley Fell Runners held their Winter Handicap race last Saturday, a great warm up to the clubs’ annual presentation awards held that evening. Runners start times vary depending on how well they have raced over the previous year, with the aim that everyone crosses the finish line at the same time. The slowest runner starts first, and the fastest runner starts last. The race heads from Mytholmroyd to Stoodley Pike and back, just over five miles and about 1000ft of boggy climbing.

Matthew Bott recieves Handicap Trophy from organiser, Marc Collett

Matthew Bott was first back to Stubbs field to take the trophy with a great run, with Stewart Russell 2nd. Summer Handicap winner, Elina Eady, was first woman back in 3rd place. Fastest runner was CVFR hero Karl Gray in 37 minutes 39 seconds three and a half minutes ahead of newly crowned club champion Jonny Croston. Natasha Butterfield was first woman back in 49:19 and Charlie Pickens was first junior in 48:24

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

Ultra Spine Beast Minta

Fell running was thrown into the national spotlight this week thanks to Jasmine Paris and her incredible, superhuman feat at the Montane Spine race. This race is widely regarded as one of the world’s toughest endurance races. A truly epic challenge that tests both physical resilience and mental fortitude, competitors race non-stop along the most iconic trail in the UK. It involves completing the length of the Pennine Way, all 268 miles of it. Starting in Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, competitors run 24/7 with limited rest and sleep, unsupported and exposed to the wintry elements as they snake their way up the backbone of Britain. Nursing mum, Jasmine Paris, smashed 12 hours off the record, completing the race in an incredible 83 hours!

The next competitor came in 15 hours after Jasmine. And amongst the competitors were CV’s very own superheros, John Minta and Bill Johnson, both accomplished and experienced Ultra runners.

Unfortunately, Bill ruptured his Achilles after 200 miles and had to retire. But John was able to keep going and crossed the finishing line last Thursday after a gruelling 112 hours on his feet, impressively taking 6th position overall.

Said a tired but elated John: ‘I reckon I had 9 hours sleep altogether in the 112 hours it took me, so hallucinations were a regular occurrence. Plus I was struggling with a chest infection after day one. I’m so very happy to have finished!’ 

John Minta at the finish (Photo courtesy of Will Roberts and the Montane Spine Race)

The more sedate runners, after avidly dot watching the Montane Spine race, opted for the Hebden on the Saturday. A long distance walking event that takes in all sides of the valley, it’s renowned for delicious cakes at each of the Checkpoints. As with previous years, the event is hugely popular with runners.

A gaggle of red and white stripes gathered at the start line, some completing the 15 miles route, others going for the longer 22 mile option. CV’s Ben Mounsey was the overall winner of the 22 in an impressive 3:08. Helen Buchan was first CV lady home, coming 5th lady overall, completing 22 miles in 03:59.

Said Ben: ‘There were plenty of miles and smiles at ‘The Hebden’ today, one of my favourite events of the year. It’s the only race I’ve ever done where you can eat as much food as you like on the way round. Beef dripping sandwiches were once again on offer, although I figured the cheese sarnies might sit a little prettier in my stomach, especially on the climb up to Stoodley Pike. The first 18 miles were fantastic! However, unfortunately the last 3 miles were the closest thing I’ve experienced to hell (i.e. since the last time my wheels completely fell off!). Not exactly sure what happened, but I sat down for a bit, walked for a while and if I’d have had my phone, I would’ve probably phoned my mum and asked her to come and pick me up. But like the true survivor that I am, I somehow made it safely back in 1st place to the finish (just!).’

CV’s Ben Mounsey, winner of the Hebden 22 (photo courtesy of Laura Bradshaw)

Not without incident, some drama unfolded 13 miles into the course. Several CV women witnessed a mighty fall and were part of a rescue operation for a fellow runner who sustained head injuries after tumbling 30ft down a ravine in Broadhead Clough. Fortunately, his injuries didn’t weren’t too serious and the CV women were able to escort him to the nearest checkpoint for further medical assistance.

CV women at the start line of the Hebden 22 (L-R Gloria Ayuso, Stella Chrisanthou (birthday girl), Eileen McDonach, Kate Pope, Ellie Eady, Nicki Latham, Gill Dickson)

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gill Dickson

Short and Long

Stanbury Splash:

On Sunday, 13th January, Wharfedale Harriers hosted 93 juniors & 254 senior runners for their annual Stanbury Splash Quarry Runs & Soreen Stanbury Splash. Given the atrocious weather conditions, all who raced should be commended – with runners struggling to stay on their feet in the driving rain & gusting winds.

Even the junior competitors’ quarry races were unusually blustery, so much so that CVFR’s rising star Harry Cliff, described how he opted to let the runner who eventually came second go in front of him, so he could shelter behind him from the wind, until the final climb (see photo 1). At that point, Harry stormed ahead to take first place in the under 9’s boys’ race. 

All of the CVFR juniors who raced ran well, especially Emilia Wright who finished first U15 girl and Ted Parker (see photo 3), who placed an impressive 11th in his first race after moving up to the U11 age category. Finally, Sam Annison, who was aiming for a top 5 finish, may have come in 7th, but this was despite losing one shoe in the false start & the race starting without him (the other runners having misheard ‘no’ for ‘go’ set off without him). Sam deserves credit for not only getting his shoe back on but battling his way back into the race to finish so well!

The Soreen Stanbury Splash senior race is never one for the faint hearted: the 6.7-mile course features 1200ft of climb & inevitably sees runners finish extremely wet & muddy after circuiting around the upper Clough & Stanbury Moor, without even taking the stormy weather and incessant rain into account.

The lady’s race once again belonged to CVFR’s Holly Page, who clearly demonstrated why she has been revealed as one of 2019’s (Facebook Fast Running click here) “Fast 10” to watch in the next 12 months (Fast Running Link Click here!). Holly finished the course in under 55 minutes – 15 places in front of second placed lady, Annie Roberts, and in the top 15 overall. Red & white hoops Jo Bukley also ran a strong race, finishing in just over an hour, to place second in the female v40 category.

Holly Page – credit Mick Fryer

Montane Spine Race

As per last year, dot watching has become this week’s CVFR obsession, with three of the club’s ultra-runners taking on the Montane Spine Race – one of the world’s toughest endurance races. A truly epic event, which really does do as billed – testing competitors’ physical resilience and mental fortitude to the limit.

Simon Bourne was the first red & white-hooped runner to compete, running in the 108-mile Spine Challenger race, from 12th-14th January, along the Pennine Way from Edale in Derbyshire to Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. Simon described how the weather probably made this year’s race into the ‘toughest’ he had ever experienced, ‘with the gale-force winds on the hills making forward progress a constant battle’. Nonetheless, this race holds a ‘special’ place in Simon’s heart, given that is goes past his home in Slack Top, meaning he can get ‘great support from family and friends’.

Simon was pleased with a 4th place this year, despite being down two from his second place in the 2018 race, given the stronger field of competitors. In fact, he credits keeping ‘speed up, in spite of the extremely inclement conditions, to the blistering pace’ of the winners’.  Some would argue just as impressively, after running over 100 miles in challenging conditions over two days, Simon even made it into work on time on Monday morning!

Simon Bourne – Official Spine Challenger photo

The Spine Challenger race is followed by the full Spine race. This latter started on Sunday 13th January & continues for a week, taking in the entire 268 miles of the Pennine Way/. Bill Johnson & John Minta are representing Calder Valley this year and were still going strong at the time of writing.

Racing in the Peaks:

Saturday, 15th January also saw CVFR runners competing at two very different races in the Peak District. First, Stuart Russell, Darren Earnshaw, Iain Illstone & Dougie Zinnis, took part in the Trigger Fell race – a 32-km (19.9-mile) race complete with 1650m / 5413ft  of climb, in what Stuart ironically described as ‘wonderful’ Peak District weather that had even experienced runner Darren acknowledging this as the ‘toughest’ race he has run to-date.

Dougie, following a remarkably quick recovery from a gruesome injury at Lee Mill Relay that saw him needing surgery, was the first red & white hooped runner over the finish line, placing 13th in the men’s open race at just a sliver over 5h. Dougie describes how the runners ‘set off in rain and it never stopped’, but despite this, the gale force winds in general & the hail on Kinder, he had great fun and a ‘cracking race with some good nav sections’. His advice to all would-be competitors is to avoid falling into the trap of following ‘the legs in front’ of you – which cost him 30 minutes at the end. He is already looking forward to next year, when he plans to ‘keep to’ his race plan and ‘make amends’ for this year.

The second Peak District race on Sunday was Hayfield Fell Races’ Lambs Longer Leg Fell Race. Whilst shorter in distance at only 5km (3.1 miles), with ‘only’ 290m (95ft) of climb, this race involves tough & varied terrain & requires considerable skills in navigation, even before adding the howling wind & driving rain into the mix. 70+ runners braved this tough little course and a storming run by Stephen Smithies, flying the flag for CVFR, saw him finish not only first in the MV50 category but also fifth overall in 31 minutes, 34 seconds. (see photo 7)

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

Happy New Year 2019

Auld Lang Syne, 31 December 2018
As 2018 closed, ten CVFRs joined a packed field of 327 for the traditional Auld Lang Syne fell race starting at Penistone Hill Country Park. With bagpipes ringing in their ears, fancy dress, and the promise of a bottle of Daleside Beer, runners set off on this 6.7 mile/1000ft course which takes in Top Withens, Ponden Clough and Stanbury Moor.

Mark Wharton (43rd) was first back for CV with Stephen Smithies (46th) and Lucy Collins (51st) finishing within a minute of each other.

Stephen Smithies and Jo Buckley at the start of Auld Lang Syne (credit Dave Woodhead)

Jo Buckley was not far behind (61st) and joined Lucy in top 10 women finishers.

Lucy and Jo among top ten women at Auld Lang Syne (credit Mick Fryer)

Gill Dickson also made a triumphant return to Auld Lang Syne, 18 years after her very first fell race! All that running has paid off as she finished well up the field (a massive improvement on joint last in her first outing in 2000).

Gill Dickson enjoying her historic return to Auld Lang Syne (credit Dave Woodhead)

Calder Valley runners appeared to forgo the fancy dress option, but it was, at times, hard to spot the familiar red and white hoops among the rival ‘Where’s Wally’ costumes.

Linda Hayles in Auld Lang Syne with rival red and white hoops (credit Dave Woodhead)

Ribble Valley completed the double with first man (Chris Holdsworth) and first woman(Nicola Jackson).

Giants Tooth 1st January 2019
It was a tense start to 2019. Calder Valley’s Martin Howard did well to regain time after getting lost in the 3 mile Giants Tooth Fell Race to finish fourth (in 17.31 minutes, just 20 seconds behind the winner). Martin was leading by a good margin before taking a wrong turn. However, he quickly made up for lost ground, to get back from 7th to 4th. He wasn’t the only one to go wrong as several other runners suffered the same fate.

It was, however, a good start to the racing year with four CVFR top 20 finishers at Giants Tooth (Howard (4th), Elliot Copper (13th), Jonny Croston (15th), and Paul Haigh (19th).

Showing tremendous resolve, having run the Auld Lang Syne the previous day, Stephen Smithies and Lucy Collins, finished 26th and 27th respectively, with Lucy taking first woman prize. CVFR’s Holly Page was 3rd woman, finishing 62nd.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Eileen McDonach