MMM – Montane Mountain Minta – Goat

In lashing rain, Calder Valley’s John Minta also showed his star quality on the Montane Cheviot Goat Ultra Race which starts in Northumberland. Over 55 miles, with 9,500 ft of climb, he and the other competitors traversed a loop of the largest hills in the border region. This Ultra race is not for the faint hearted, runners are exposed to the winter elements in one of the last wild places in England, which takes in the mighty border ridge with Scotland on one side and England on the other. The race title refers to the fact that December is a time when most livestock are brought off the tops and only the hardy feral Cheviot goat is left to fend for itself.  John Minta was among a select bunch of Ultra-hardy fell runners keeping the goats company, finishing in an impressive 14:23h. Kim Collison and David Hedges shared first spot in a time of 9:24h. Jasmine Paris took first female spot (10:23h) two and a half hours ahead of her nearest female competitor.

John minta – Photo Credits- Montane Cheviot Goat

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Eileen McDonach

Lee Mill Relay

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The 10.7 km Lee Mill relays took place on Sunday from Rossendale, Lancashire, running from Stubbylee Hall, thanks to race organiser Richard Stott and his team.  Launched 5 years ago, Calder Valley took inaugural honours in poor weather conditions.  Ever since, the club has turned the event into an in-house club race/fight (non-contact mostly), thanks to Richard Ingram (aka Bert) and his merry men.

Lee Mill Relay – Ben Mounsey sets the pace on leg 1

In a nutshell several teams of 4 are selected via designated captains, from a pool of victims, under Ingram’s stewardship, and when done, volunteers are struck by mystery injuries and illnesses, family pressures and bad debt, forcing them to pull out.  This in turn causes hand bags to be drawn until a re-draw stops captains bringing in ringers and illegitimates such as Gavin Mulholland.  Each team coughs up a sum of money with the losers spoiling the winners in the post – race festivities.

Lee Mill Relay – Jon Smith

Most teams put their top dog on the first leg to give them a head start and this was the case as Ben Wolsey Mounsey set the 2nd fastest time of the day, thanks to his personalised pacer Toby Sydes, with Karl Gray putting his squad into second.  This clearly wasn’t enough to convince Mounsey of the win, and fearing the loss of his weekly dinner money, he scarpered off home.  The Wolsey Warriors, also including Gareth Clarke and Giles Simon, who went on to win the valley battle.   Iain Powell, in charge of pre-race team betting, was obviously concerned about losing sweat, as well as his bet, as he set off in a full waterproof jacket. 

Lee Mill Relay – Ben Frechette (ernie) showing off his Anne Summers oufit

Two teams kept back their top trumps in Godsman and Mulholland for leg 3 that helped narrow the gap between three of the teams for second spot.  It was the Hobbit Hole Huggers (Marsden Costello Mulholland) who finished 2nd as they kept back Toby ‘whippet’ Cotterill who scalped Simon Fisher before going on to pass a valiant James Cooke, in the last few hundred metres of the course, after almost 4 hours of racing!  Waiters for the day were the CVFR nav. kings and Queens, who in their own serfdom, were able to put their compasses away and follow their own tracks to and fro for the rest of the day. 

Lee Mill Relay – James Cooke on leg 4, setting off

It wasn’t all fun and games as one runner, Dougie Zinis, took a nasty fall, coming away with a gash of a few inches, above the knee that needed stitches and surgical cleansing, though this mere flesh wound wasn’t enough to force him to retire.

Calder Valley Fellrunners chairman Bill Johnson was 4th out of 62 competitors in the ‘Peak District South 2 North‘ this weekend, a two-day stage race from Ashbourne at the southern tip of the Peak District to Marsden at the north end, a distance of 60 miles. The first half of the first day was fast, along the Tissington Trail, a continual gradual ascent for 20 miles. Bill deliberately held back on this section in order to save his legs for the more technical final 13 miles of the first day, through isolated Monks Dale and over Mam Tor into the Edale valley. The tactic paid off as he ended the first day in 3rd place with the runners resting overnight in Edale. His position was boosted by several runners getting lost in the final sections of the day and falling behind.

Bill Johnson Ranger Ultras

The second day’s route followed the Pennine Way over the Peak District’s most infamous hills: Kinder Scout, Bleaklow and Black Hill, for 27 miles. The weather turned unpleasant and a quarter of the initial starters did not complete the race. Bill held on to 3rd place until Black Hill when the 4th placed runner surged past and Bill’s legs were unable to respond.

Said Bill: “I’m absolutely delighted with 4th place and first V50 in this tough race. I worked really hard on the first day and felt it during the second, but kept up the pace until the end.”

Bill’s total time for the two days was 11hr10min. The winner Alex Dalton took 10hr36min.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gav Mulholland

Half Beast! Half Machine!

WADSWORTH HALF TROG

The Half Trog (Beast) is a 9 mile fell race covering the moors between the Luddenden Valley and the Keighley Road. It starts at the Hare and Hounds in Old Town and takes in the bogs, and pathless wastes of Midgley Moor and High Brown Knoll, dropping down to Upper Dean Reservoir at the top of the Luddenden Valley. Nearly 10 miles in total. Last Sunday Calder Valley Fell Runners hosted the race with 68 runners starting but only 61 finished, 7 dropping out as the moors got the better of them.

1st and 2nd, Karl Gray and Alasdair Campbell

However Calder’s Karl (Machine) Gray got the better of the moors and the race by winning in a new record time of 1:09:29. He was chased round the course by Alasdair Campbell of Buxton AC who was never more than two seconds behind him for most of the course, Karl only outsprinting him in the final run in to win by 6 seconds. The women’s record holder, Nicola Jackson of Ribble Valley, was first woman back in 1:19:54 in 6th place overall.

Jackie Scarf, Amanda Farrell and Sue Martin took the women’s team prize for Calder Valley.

Winning Women’s Team, l-r Sue Martin, Amanda Farrell and Jackie Scarf

1 Karl Gray 01:09:29
7 Ian Powell 01:20:53
11 Matt Kay 01:29:19
23 Richard Ingram 01:33:40
25 Anthony Costello 01:33:44
26 Phi Scarf 01:34:16
43 Bob Howard 01:41:16
47 Jackie Scarf 01:45:10
51 Amanda Farrell 02:01:13
55 Sue Martin 02:14:00

CYCLISTS V HARRIERS

The final race of the Calder Valley Annual Club Championship was held on Saturday. A rare type of race in that the fell runners and cyclists head off at the same time on a five mile route from Shipley Glen climbing some 1000ft around Baildon Moor. The runners have the advantage on the climb with the cyclists having a gravitational advantage on the descent.

James Cooke v Cyclist

The race was won by Rob Jebb, an athlete who has won both the Three Peaks Fell Race and the Three Peaks Cyclocross race. With pedigree in both camps he chose to race by cycle on Saturday.

Paul Haigh at Cyclist v Harriers

No results out as yet but some good photos available. Details along with the final club championship positions next week.

TOUR OF PENDLE

A seventeen mile torture fest of climbing six different ways over Pendle Hill. Why would anyone do that? Well it seems to be popular amongst the fell running community and in particular 16 members of Calder Valley Fell Runners. Despite the last race in the CVFR club championship being held on the same day these 16 decided to do a race that was more than three times as far and with five times as much climbing as the Harriers v Cyclists.

No results are out yet but the run of the day has to go to Ian Symington who was running well, near the front of the pack just after the 1st checkpoint, when he came across injured runner Mark Burley who had stood on something sharp which lacerated his shoe and foot. Ian, along with some other runners stayed with Mark, wrapping him up in the emergency blankets kindly donated by other runners and all putting on their own emergency clothing ready to sit out the chill wind that was on the summit of Pendle. An hour later the air ambulance came to airlift Mark off to hospital. Ian then ran back to race HQ but taking a detour to allow them to enjoy the tortuous second half of the course.

The first Calder runners back appear to have been mile muncher John Allan in about 2hours 50 minutes and Catherine Holden in about 3 hours 30. More details to follow when the results are released.

LITTON BIRKS

A new fell race on the calendar, the 5 mile Litton Birks Fell Race goes from Littondale up in the Dales, to the top of the 607m Firth Fell and back. With a £5 entry fee, a chip butty and a bottle of beer for all runners, what more could you want from a fell race? With 70 runners Calder’s Jo Waites was second woman back in 44.34 just behind Kirsty Hall of Wharfdale. Steve Smithies was first Vet back in 6th place. Ted Mason of local club Wharfdale won.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Tim Brooks

Club Competitions 2019

It’s a dark damp evening, so put the fire on, make a hot chocolate and get your 2019 diary out. The selection has been made for the races to appear in the club competitions next year.

They are listed below, and can also be filtered out from the website calendar.  (See the feed at the foot of this post which highlights all the races that are in any of the competitions)

Full details of the competition rules can be found on the competitions page, in the members area of the website, which also provides a list of the races within each competition.

Continue reading

kamikaze off stoodley

CV women Shepherds Skyline 2018 (Eileen McDonach, Helen Flage, Ellie Eady, Di Wright) – Photo Credit :Mick Fryer

Last Saturday, over 230 budding shepherds and shepherdesses of all ages gathered on the start line for the ever popular Shepherd Skyline fell race, hosted by Todmorden Harriers. 34 were from CV, evenly split between the juniors and seniors. The latter was a fast, muddy course – with a steep descent off Stoodley Pike for the kamikaze descenders, immediately followed by a stiff climb back up the hill to keep the stout-legged fell runners on their toes.

This 6 mile route takes in 1148ft of climbing whilst offering stunning views across the valley from the ridge line. This years race saw a lose horse running wild at the top of Stoodley, adding to the excitement of the event. The junior routes opt for a shorter version, albeit as muddy, on the nearby hillside.

CV excelled in the race, dominating much of the prize giving. CVFR’s international star, Holly Page, delivered her usual impressive performance, coming in first lady in 47:54.

Holly Page Shepherd Skyline 2018 (Photo Credit :Mick Fryer)

First CV home was Shaun Godsman, who came in third, securing the MV45 prize.

Shaun Godsman Shepherd Skyline 2018 Photo Credit :Mick Fryer)

With 4 CV runners all in the top 10, CV also scooped the MV40 prize (Mark Burton) and both the Men (Shaun Godsman, Mark Burton & Jon Smith) and Women (Holly Page, Ellie Eady, Eileen McDonach) Team prizes.

Another note worthy performance was from CV’s Helen Flage, her first fell race since the birth of her daughter earlier this year. 

Said Helen: ‘It was quite a milestone for me. It felt great but I was much less sure footed and more cautious on the downhills but that will come back! The main thing was my lungs and legs worked’

Overall winner was Nathan Edmundson from Ilkley Harriers in 43:02.

The following day saw 8 CV heading to the Peak District for the 15mile Roaches fell race, the penultimate senior club champs event. Ian Symington was first CV home in 16th place. Tamsin Cooke took up the gauntlet to secure the previously unclaimed 3rd lady club champs trophy, which she’ll receive at the club’s do in Jan.

Elsewhere, 4 CV runners raced in the classic Dunnerdale race between the rugged fells of Lickle and the Duddon valleys in the Lakes. Although only 5 miles, it’s a tough course with superb scenery and a good pub at the finish. CV’s Math Roberts was 3rd from a field of 187 in 41:22

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gill Dickson

Cop Hill

In a quiet weekend for racing, two Calder valley runners made it to the Cop Hill Fell Race in Meltham. A record-breaking turnout of 145 runners took on this 2 lap, 11k, multi-terrain race. CVFR’s Jo Stevens put in a fine performance to finish 2nd female (59th overall) and Blair Garrett did well, finishing 92nd

CVFR’s Jo Stevens

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Eileen McDonach

Another bumper week of fell running

Race You To the Summit:
Saturday 27th October saw temperatures suddenly plummet, but that did not deter the 100+ runners who turned out for this local 7-km (4.3-mile) race, complete with 260m /853ft of ascent, with its route from the Summit Inn to The White House and back. The red & white hoops of Calder Valley Fell Runners were out in force to help Toby Sydes (running in number 100, as 50 was unavailable) celebrate his half century.

Race for 2nd & 3rd CVFR at RYTS – Mick Fryer

CVFR’s Martin Howard (2018 u23 fell running English champion) set off strong, leading overall all the way up to the summit, with Max Wainwright of Dark Peak close behind and a huge gap to 3rd place. Behind them a fierce battle was fought between four of Howard’s his team mates for who would finish second and third for the club. As the climb went on, red & white hoop, Matt Ray came into his own, and with both Howard & Wainwright taking a wrong turn on the descent, both found themselves a lot further back in the pack. Howard fought well, despite a badly sprained ankle, to finish only 41 seconds behind team mate Matt Ray, who ran his best ever race to finish 6th place overall in 33 :29. With veteran runner Mark Wharton finishing 16th overall (& 2nd MV50) in 34 :44, the red & white hoops took the men’s team prize, and with Liam Williams in 18th & Andy Wright in 20th (second MV40), had an impressive 5 finishers in the top 20.

Martin Howard – “QUADAGE!!” Race to the Summit – Mick Fryer

In the women’s race, Calder Valley’s Catherine Holden once again dominated the FV40 category, finishing second female overall in only 40 :12. Other strong runs that deserve a special mention included CVFR’s Charles Gear (3rd in the MV60 category) & Tim Brooks (MV40), with Gear running his best race ever and Brooks his best race of this year.

Photos of this race – a mixture of Mick Fryer & Dave Woodhead – as labelled:

51st Original Mountain Marathon (Two-Day Score Event):
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th October also saw a number of CVFR members among the thousands taking part in the 51st OMM in the Brecon Beacons. Whilst all the CVFR competitors did well, battling the high & cold winds, coupled with sunshine & even a 30-minute snow storm to do a score class, only the ladies pairing of CV’s Jackie Scarf and Wharfdale’s Annie Milner won a prize – completing a brilliant race to finish first female pair on the medium score. The pairing of Bill Johnson & Phil Scarf got an amazing number of points on day 1, but the 2 points lost for every minute late back to base cost them dearly, seeing them lost a staggering 74 points, and so came home empty handed on this occasion.

Jackie Scarf & Annie Milner – 51st OMM

Brontë Way:
On Sunday 28th October, a handful of red and white hoops who had not compete on Saturday took to the fells, across the 12km (7.5m) & 351m (1152ft) of climb which constitutes the Brontë Way race. CVFR’s Jonny Croston was delighted to knock seven minutes off his time from 2017, finishing an excellent 14th overall (and 5th MV40) in 1 hour and 11 seconds. CVFR’s Carole Fryer also continued her strong season of results, coming in 102 overall and fourth in the FV50 category in only 1h 21 minutes & 55 seconds.

Quote from Jonny Croston: ‘Nice day for it though after a crisp start. The free pint of landlord is always a post-race bonus.’

Jonny Croston at Bronte Way – Mick Fryer

Too amazing to go be forgotten:
Amidst the excitement of the British Relays & Holly Page’s international trail running domination, Kevin Holt’s awesome performance in the beautiful Autumn sun on October 20th almost slipped under the radar. Holt came in 2nd overall (and first MV40) in the Round Rotherham, beaten only by the winner, Ben Hague, who smashed the course record, finishing only a slither over 6 hours. and first MV40 (over 11 minutes in front of the runner in 3rd place). Kevin finished the 50.5-mile route in 6h33 :08, a full 11 minutes ahead of the runner in third place, with a blistering average pace of only 7.45-mile a minute.

On the international front:
And to round up the weekend, Team inov-8 UK & Ireland enjoyed a bumper day at the Trofeo Vanoni Mountain running relay race in Italy. CVFR’s Ben Mounsey was delighted to once again be chosen to compete in this prestigious annual event in the little town of Morbegno, nestled in the Valtellina Valley in Northern Italy. The challenging 4-mile route, which runs along the historic centre of Morbegno and up the ancient paths (with almost 2000ft of ascent) that lead to the village of Arzo and back down again was extra tough this year, thanks to the inclement weather which was more reminiscent of the North of England than Italy.

The men’s relay race was a closely fought affair, and although the young French team emerged as eventual winners, four of the top seven teams were British, with a mere 13 seconds separating the teams in 5th, 6th & 7th place. Team @inov_8 UK, finished in an 7th place, with Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey, running the last leg, demonstrating his skills in some crazy downhill work that saw him complete the impressive feat of overtaking four teams and clocking up the fastest time on the steep technical descent section of the course, helping his team to take 7th place.

Ben Mounsey in Italy taking over from Legend Ian Holmes. credit to Roberto Ganassa Photography

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

British Fell Running Relay Championships

Calder Valley Fell Runners were once again in action last weekend, with 5 teams competing in the British Fell Running Championship relays at Grasmere, in the Lake District. The event was hosted by Ambleside AC and provided a true test of fell running skill, navigation and endurance; with 4 challenging legs, ultimately deciding who would be crowned the male and female champions of 2018.

Prior to the event, Calder’s potential chances of winning medals were strong, with the A team, Vet 40, Vet 50 and female Vet 40 teams, all amoungst the favorites in their respective categories. However, the most pressure and attention was focused on the former, who had a real chance of winning the overall title for the second time in the last 4 years.

Leg one was an individual race, contested over 5 miles, with 2400ft of climb. ‘The Welsh Wizard’, Math Roberts, gave the team a solid start on leg, finishing in 11th place overall. Admittedly, he was a little disappointed not to break into the top 5, but it was enough to keep their hopes of a podium finish alive.

Team captain, Ben ‘The Bullet’ Mounsey and partner, Andy ‘The Ginger Wizard’ Swift, took over the reins on leg 2, and quickly set their sights on the leading teams. They had the task of battling over the most extreme mountainous terrain, covering 6.7miles with 2800ft of climb. By the finish, they’d managed to claw their way back into 5th place and also record the 5th fastest time of the day, mainly thanks to a combination of superb climbing and descending on the most challenging sections of the course.

Ben Mounsey and Andy Swift on leg 2 at the British Fell Relay 2018

Leg three, arguably the crux of the race, tested the navigation skills of paired runners. Armed with nothing but a map and compass, they had to negotiate their way to five (previously unknown) checkpoints, as quickly as possible. This leg was a job for the most reliable and experienced athletes on the team, Karl ‘The Legend’ Gray and partner Darren ‘Special’ Kay. With little margin for error, they coped with the pressure of the leg brilliantly, guiding the team safely back to the finish and retaining 5th place, with everything to play for going into the last leg.

Alex ‘The Flying Postman’ Whittem had the honor of the anchor leg, but the mammoth task of trying to break into the top 3, as he tackled the 4.3 mile route with 2000ft of climb. Despite a strong start, Whittem took a poor line and lost his way for some time, before finally getting back on track and finding the race flags. This unfortunate error cost the team a couple of places and although he finished with a flourish on the last descent, it wasn’t enough to improve on a 7th place finish overall.

The race also ended in heartbreak for Calder Valley’s male Vet 40 and 50 teams. The former, finishing in an agonising 4th place and narrowly missing out on a bronze team medal. The latter, finished in 5th place, only 3 minutes behind Clayton Le Moors in third place.

There was however, something to celebrate for at least one of Calder teams, with the female Vet 40 team, managing to secure a well-earned bronze medal for their combined efforts. In arguably, the closest-fought contest of the day, Valley’s Catherine Holden, managed to hold off her Helm Hill rival to claim third place by only 2 seconds!!!

Jo Buckley and Jackie Scarf

The Calder Valley open team finished in 165th position.

The overall competition was won by Pudsey and Bramley and Helm Hill, who were crowned the male and female champions, respectively.

In other news, professional athlete, Holly Page, continues to make waves on the international scene, as she secured an outstanding victory at the Otter Trail, in South Africa. The Calder Valley runner set another course record and in the process beat a star-studded field, to again demonstrate her dominance on the world long-distance mountain running circuit. This victory coming only a week after Page was crowned the Skyrunning World champion for 2018.

Holly Page at the Otter trial

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Ben Mounsey

Lakes in a day

The Lakes In A Day is a fifty mile ultra race, starting in the far north of the National Park at Caldew, and finishing beyond the southern boundary in Cartmel. In-between the route visits High Pike, crosses the River Caldew and descends Blencathra by Halls Fell, before a traverse of the Hellvellyn range. The second half is a wooded trail run from Ambleside, along the western shores of Windermere leading to the finish in Cartmel.

Entrants were probably hoping for the benign conditions experienced during last year’s race. Storm Callum had other plans, lashing them with rain, hail and gales for the entirety of the time it took them to finish this epic run.

Dougie Zinnis ran strongly, if not entirely accurately, putting in extra miles in the difficult conditions. However he finished in an excellent 6th place after 10 hours 44 minutes hours. He admitted he suffered from bad chafing from running in sodden clothes. He’ll not forget the Vaseline next time.

Dougie Zinis – Lakes in a day

Calder women Gill Dickson, Stella Cristanthou and Diane Wright committed to running as a group. As the conditions got worse they found themselves fording thigh deep rivers in the middle of the night, but sticking together gave them the strength to carry on. They completed their heroic effort in 22 and a half hours. Over fifty other runners retired. Gill said it was an experience she didn’t want to repeat and promised not to do anything so daft in the future. It’s understood she’s already thinking of applying for next year’s event.

Stella, Di and Gill finish the Lakes in a Day

The race was jointly won by Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn and Clarens Olsson in 10:45:01. Katie also won £500 for breaking the women’s course record.

Rombalds Romp

Named after the legendary giant, Rombald’s Romp held last Sunday is a somewhat shorter 8 mile race, climbing 1200ft over Ilkley Moor. Calder’s tiny giant killer, Lucy Collins was first woman back in 1:03:36 with Jo Buckley in 3rd (and 1st FV40). Rachel Johnston was 1st FV50 and Dan Marsden was 19th in 1:03:50.

1st place for Lucy Collins

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks