Lancs Lad and Lass


Lancashire Fellrunning Champions:
This week saw a bumper crop of races and impressive results for CVFR runners, notably with the publishing of the 2018 Lancashire Fellrunning Champions results, which saw outgoing Ladies Captain, Helen Buchan win gold in the ladies Vet O/40 category and CVFR’s Shaun Godsman winning Silver in the men’s Vet 0/40.

Lancs Lad and Lass Shaun Godsman and Helen Buchan

Over this last weekend, CVFR club members also ran well in Pendle, Wardle and Coledale Horseshoe in the Lake District. At Pendle, despite very wet conditions underfoot and a strong field – due to this race featuring in the Lancashire Championships – CVFR’s Alex Whittem and Shaun Godsman competed strongly to finish 6th and 7th overall respectively. Other notable individual results include Calvin Ferguson in 53rd and Blair Garrett 108th place. At Wardle, Mark Burton navigated warmer than expected conditions and a fast & slippery seven-mile (1250ft climb) to place 3rd overall and first V40 man. V50 runner Stephen Smithies was the first CVFR over the line at Coledale Horseshoe race, placing 70th overall out of 365 runners. Strong individual performances included Mike Clayton who finished 85th and Tamsin Cooke, the only female club member running in this weekend’s fell races, who finished in just over 2h 47 minutes.

Also in the Lake District this weekend, two further CVFR runners braved the elements to compete with 80-odd other runners braving the wind, snow and low-hanging clouds to slog their way up, onto and over Harrison Stickle, with all 2100ft of climbing in a 1 ¾ miles. An infamously tough race, both club members made the check points just off the summit. Dave Hammond, came in 32nd overall and an impressive 5th in the V50 category and Mark Burton, finished just behind him at 39th overall and a respectable 10th V40. Vetran Dave Hammond’s was happy with this, his first race of the year, and part of his preparation towards the first race in this season’s BOFRA Championship on 1st race in May at Sebough. Thanks go to all the marshals’ that had to stay up on the hill to ensure all runners passed through safely and to the Achille Ratti Climbing Club for a great event.

In the longer runs category, on Saturday, 7th April CVFR’s Melvyn Ward ran twice as far as ever before, completing the gruelling 61 miles (100km) of the kielder ultra trail in Northumberland (two loops of kielder water with a mixture of forest tracks, open moors and packed walking/biking trails), finishing this epic race in around 14 hours. Although at one point, worn down with understandable exhaustion in the swirling mist, he described feeling as if he was in something akin to the set of the Blair Witch Project and towards the end he would have ‘swaped his kit for a hug and some soup’, he concluded that overall despite the boggy, wet and cold conditions, ‘it was great fun’. On a serious note, the experience has given him an even greater respect for the talented club members who knock out long distances in record fast times.

CVFR’s Melvyn Ward ran twice as far as ever before

On the topic of the club’s experienced long-distance runners, several of these were racing even further away from home this weekend. On Sunday, 8th April, CVFR and Great Britain runner Holly Page was invited to join two Polish runners on the Salomon Sunnto team and complete the 30km first leg of a three-leg 73km Sztafeta Gorska relay in the spa village of Kudowa (a race crossing from South West Poland into the Czech Republic). Holly competed in style, finishing the fastest lady and overall 6th and her team coming 7th overall and 1st ladies.

Holly Page & her two Polish Salomon Suunto team mates celebrating their victory

At the tough Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series race in Exmoor on Saturday 7th April, CVFR’s Ian Symington claimed 3rd place in the Ultra Marathon in an amazing 5h 17 :25 seconds for the 32.8 miles and 6,415ft of ascent. It was also a fabulous result for red & white hoops MV45 runner Stephen Edwards, who outright won the marathon distance (and a pair of underpants as a prize!) in a thoroughly impressive 3 :54:50 (only just over 10 minutes off the overall record).7

Ian Symington and Stephen Edwards

Also on winning form this weekend were CVFR’s Barbara Lonsdale and Alistair Morris who won the mixed pairs Open 5 Adventure Race at Grassington (an event in which competitors have five hours to orienteer their way to as many controls as possible featured on an OS map given to them at the beginning of the race). Fellow CVFR club members husband and wife team of Phil and Jackie Scarf came in third in the mixed pairs category and were crowned overall 12th Series Winners, having won the previous two events.

The top three mixed pairs for the series based on their two best results.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Catherine Jones

Mini Fells and Endurance

On the mini fells the Bunny runs at 3 miles of fast running over Penistone country park in Haworth is a perfect sampler for the newbies and the old. GB athlete Jack Wood won but Calder Valleys youth was in abundance with James Duffy first back for club. 

Coast to Coast Phil Scarf

On the contrary, super vet shuffler Phil Scarf completed the non-stop endurance 110 mile Devon coast to coast in 35hours which is 34hrs out of my comfort zone. Jackie Scarf his wife, managed 85 miles before retiring due to injury. Phil and Jackie have been noticeably off the streets of Hebden since.

Blair Garrett was back in action racing at Rivington on Saturday. Calvin Ferguson, Stuart Russell & Mike Clayton raced at Howgills beast on Friday

And finally great news for the clubs Coiners race in May which has been rightly chosen as the selection race for the WMRA International Youth Cup team in Italy.  Coiners: Monday 7th May

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gavin Mulholland

A club counter at the doctors gate


Doctor’ Gate

At the longer end of medium length fell races (if you know what I mean) Doctor’s Gate is a 12 mile fell race that heads out of Old Glossop along the packhorse trail known as Doctor’s Gate.  It was the second race in this year’s Calder Valley club championship so many red and white hoops were on display last Sunday.

From Doctors Gate the route heads north to Shelf Moor before a sadistic drop back to Doctors Gate and an immediate climb back up to James Thorn.  The rung out runners then head back to Old Glossop via Dog Rock.  With nearly 3000ft of climbing it is a proper tough race.

The race was won by Josh Williams and Nicky Spinks.  Calder’s Simon Fisher found the going tough, his legs falling off on the cliff climb where he was passed by his team mate Amanda Farrell.  However the consensus seemed to be that it was a really enjoyable route.


A rescheduled race, cancelled last week as heavy snow had blocked access roads, gave a great turn out of 116 runners (after only announcing the go ahead 4 days previously) ;last Sunday.

This year’s race was a vintage edition for atmosphere and spirit – plus the most fantastic weather for fell racing.  The organisers were really grateful to those who rallied round to salvage the race after the disappointment of last week.

The race was won by Joe Baxter of Pudsey & Bramley one to watch for the 3 Peaks, he ran strongly right to the end.  Closely Follwed by Jack Wood of Ilkely and Sam Watson of Wharfdale in 3rd.  Todmorden’s Annie Roberts was the women’s winner, despite a second place the previous day at Boulsworth.

Those Calder Runners who hadn’t headed over to Glossop were lead home by Ultra Expert Kevin Hoult in 9th place in 2:15:043 shortly followed by Iain Illstone in 2:17:39 and 12th . and Paul Haigh in 19th.  Gloria Ayuso was first woman back for Calder in 3:13:34.

Toby Coterill jumps the stile at Heptonstall

Big thanks went to Mythomroyd Scouts who managed to cover 7 check points despite losing half their volunteers due to the postponement. Also helping were the teams from Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, RAYNET, and Heptonstall Church.

The event was supported by Slightly Foxed (Cask of Ale / Race Numbers), SIS Science in Sport- (Free Bars Gels and Nutrition Pack Prizes), The Bakehouse (bread), Hebden Bridge Picture House (Tickets and Prizes), (Vouchers).  Thanks to The Cross Inn and Heptonstall Museum for providing venues and hospitality – plus all the landowners 

Boulsworth Bog

Starting from Wycoller Aisled Barn, this race heads south east along Wycoller track, joining up with the Pennine Bridleway, taking in a loop of Boulsworth Hill before heading back to the Village via Turnhole Clough.  Racing on Saturday, Calder’s Mark Taylor was 4th from a field of 77 and Barbra Lonsdale was 43rd and 3rd woman.

Barbara Longsdale at Boulsworth Bog 2018

Boulsworth bog fell race photo credits : David Belshaw. Thank you.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Tim Brooks

Thanks to the weather!

Most fell races were cancelled this weekend thanks to the weather!!

The West Yorkshire Schools Cross Country Finals saw hundreds of the fastest off-road runners from schools across the county competing on a tough course at at Temple Newsam in Leeds.

There were a good number of pupils who are junior members of Calder Valley Fell Runners representing Calderdale at the finals.

Charlie Pickens, George McFie and Tom Owen competed in the year six race. Fearne Hanson and Thomas Mckee were in the year five race. Sam Annison ran in the year four race.

All the Calder Valley Juniors ran well. Thomas Mckee had a particularly good race and has qualified for the national schools cross-country finals which takes place in Leicester next week.

CVFR Juniors XC

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Giles Simon

Edale Vets Victorious

Last weekend fully kicked off the fell racing season with 2 key Champ events- Edale Skyline, an English Championships counter and the Haworth Hobble, a counter for CV’s own Ultra Championships. Keeping to tradition, red and whites featured, and achieved notable success, in both events.

Jonny Croston and Luke Melescko

Undeterred by the wet and dreary weather, more than 300 Wuthering Hike runners were at the start line of the Ultra friendly Haworth Hobble last Saturday.  Organised by Kieghley & Craven, this race guarantees a good turn out for its 32 miles of Yorkshire Pennine paths and tracks from Haworth over the moors to Calderdale, up to Stoodley and back to Haworth via Heptonstall and Crimsworth Dean.  The views are great, and terrain runnable (apart from the steep climb up the Pike!). It’s reputed to be a good introduction to long distance running and is the only race that offers tired runners whisky half way round!

The first in Calder Valley’s Ultra Club Champs, the event drew 16 CV runners all keen to prove their worth as ultra kings or queens. First CV home was club and ultra newbie Jonny Croston, who came an impressive 25th in 05:17:28. Andrea Blanshard was first CV woman home in 06:41:47. Kevin Hoult and Ben Ayres were the third pair home just seconds after Jonny in 05:18:00 Ken Sutor of Cheshire Hash was overall winner in an incredible 04:33:18 and Amy Freeman (Darwen Dashers) first woman in 05:17:53

Jonny Croston Howarth

Said Jonny:

“I was a bit apprehensive about the distance as I’d not done it before. I suffered badly between Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall and not sure the whiskey at the YHA checkpoint really helped! But some Kendal mint cake at Hardcastle Crags and constant encouragement and directions from Kevin Hoult who was yo yoing just in front of me with his partner kept me going to the end”

“Good to meet a few other members too for the first time. Not sure whether I’ll be back for more ultras. Ask me in a few days!”

Karl Gray Edale Skyline 2018

The 2018 English Championship battle has commenced and already CV is off to a flying start.

Conditions on the Sunday were a stark contrast to those endured by the Hobblers on the Saturday. A glorious, crisp Spring day awaited the runners at Eddale Skyline race. Another long one, this is a category A race held on an unmarked course covering high and exposed fell terrain. The 21 mile route with 4505 ft of ascent requires suitable experience and isn’t for the faint hearted. And to add to the pressure, this year the race is a counter for the English Fell Running Championships.

Demonstrating the calibre of the club, 17 experienced CV athletes, including the likes of Karl Gray, Andy Swift and Jo Buckley, were among the 400 + runners raring to go at the start line. CV’s Jo Buckley was 5th woman home (03:42:40) and 2nd in her category (W40).

Jo Buckley Edale Skyline

Karl Gray (02:45:36), Andy Swift (02:46:38) and Matthew Roberts (02:50:40) all finished in the top 10, securing the men’s Team Prize for the race. However, the English Champs men’s Team Prize was hotly contested between CVFR and Keswick. Both scored equally for the English Champs senior team points but it was awarded to Keswick by virtue of them getting their 5 home first (only just!).

However, the men’s Vets were victorious as first in English Champs thanks to Karl Gray, Gavin Mulholland, Shaun Godsman and club newbie Mark Burton.

Renowned Keswick runner, Carl Bell, was overall winner (02:37:13) and the infamous Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley Harriers) first woman home in 02:59:34.

Earlier in the week, the club’s orienteering whiz, Jonathan Emberton, put on the club’s annual winter night score event. Clusters of control points were distributed strategically across 3 high points last Tuesday evening, challenging runners to conquer Mytholmroyd’s 3 peaks in less than 90 minutes. Talented youngster and overall winner, Martin Howard, beat off his older rivals coming in first with 36 points. Jo Stevens was first woman with 28 points. Other winners included Kate Pope (LV40), Richaard Sunderland (MV40) and Nicki Latham (WV50). Participant Andy Wright summed it up well:

Jo Stevens Ladies winner score event

“That was a fun challenge. I was thrown when I saw the maps had the high pointers nearby not at the perimeters, but then I twigged this was to try and get you to try 3 hills. I thought it was a great twist”

“I planned to try for a third hill myself, but with negative 59 seconds spare after doing the first 2, I think I was maybe pushing it!”

Thanks to Dave and Eileen Woodhead from  & Frank Golden Photography for the fell racing photos

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gill Dickson

Another week another win for GB’s Holly Page

“If you can get to the start, the race is on”

This last-minute decision by the organiser to hold the 2018 Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round on Saturday March 3rd, despite the ground underfoot being frozen solid and up to three-feet of snow in places, saw 156 hardy souls travel to Barley in Lancashire to race. In recognition of the extreme weather & notably the huge snow drift on Pendle hill, the usual 16km was replaced with a shortened 12km course, as much for the safety of the marshals as the runners, given the bitterly cold temperatures and biting wind.

The revised 7.5-mile route gave those racing a tough winter challenge, and in line with the fabled fell-running camaraderie, at the starting line, with the -5 degrees feeling more like -15 with the 30-mph wind, the many-layered runners were encouraged to treat this year’s race more as a run, and above all else, to look out for each other. 

However, a race is still a race, and for ladies CVFR’s Holly Page won emphatically – clearly demonstrating why she has been chosen for the British squad this summer. Holly stormed home in an outstanding 1:03:22 – placing 19th overall & beating all the other ladies by a country mile (with her nearest female competitor finishing over 30 runners and 6+ minutes behind her).

Calvin Ferguson was next over the line in red and white, finishing 66th in a highly respectable 1:12. Not too far behind was Stuart Russell, who finished 86th in 1:15 and completing the Calder finishers was Daniel Baron in 102nd place at 1:18.

All the runners were particularly thankful to the organiser & marshals for making the event possible, despite the adverse weather conditions that saw so many other races cancelled over the weekend, and to the volunteers who provided great soup & cake afterwards!

Holly Page at Stan Bradshaw, Pendle

Holly Page storming it up to the top of Pendle hill (photo courtesy of David Belshaw) in what she described as a ‘wild’ uphill run, before heading out of the wind the other side into ‘the fun of negotiating up to three-foot snowdrifts’.


Ultra-artic conditions
In a race that was perhaps most easily summed up as ‘cold & long’, CVFR’s Phill Beecroft was one of only 73 ultra runners of 200 registered to turn up to brave the 39 miles of Otley’s Welcome Way Ultra on Saturday, 3rd March. The first in the Punk Panther2018 ultra series was definitely a baptism of fire for any runner expecting what was billed as ‘a nice easy trail race’ and consequently, achieving a fantastic 7th place in epically tough conditions including waist deep snow and frozen exposed moors was impressive enough, without taking into account that Phill chose not to take advantage of the option of taking various shortcuts afforded to runners, due to the truly artic conditions. Instead, he ran the full 50k in order to gain the UTMB points towards the series.

Phil Beecroft’s ultra start

Phill goes into the next race (A Bridge Too Far) in mid-May in a strong position (and hopefully more clement weather conditions!)

S-O-S (Save our Sheep):

Not to be out done by the juniors, as the younger members returned, a number of CVFR’s seniors were just setting out, braving plummeting temperatures & icy conditions under foot to slog up to Stoodley Pike and back as part of the usual club night pack runs. However, this Tuesday had an added twist, when the intermediate group of off-roaders came across a sheep, half-frozen, with her foot stuck in a wire fence. Once they had untangled it, quick-thinking Roman Shouhstov gave the poor animal’s leg an impromptu sports massage to warm it back up, whilst Catherine Holden called the farmer to come & take over, before the group could then continue to hoof it up (pun intended) to the Pike and back down again in an adventure that will no doubt be told & retold in the pub on many a snowy-day to come.

Romans Sheep rescue

Sheep rescue & the club members later up at Stoodley Pike in sub-zero temperatures

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Catherine Jones

Howard’s storming on his stomping ground

Grandmaster Race organiser Graham Davy unleashed Calder Valleys 5mile Midgely Moor Fell race on Saturday, famous for its heather bashing on the lower legs with many folk going home with unwanted souvenirs.

Karl Gray wins Midgley moor fell race 2018

Cold and bright, with conditions underfoot good to atrocious Karl Gray, the Earl and vet legend, led the field on a course he knows well (he holds the record) and came home in 38 mins with Martin Howard in a new age category of m23, second in 41 mins, building on his recent successes with the men securing the team prize witch Jonny CRoston in 9th place.

For the ladies Gayle Sugden and Jo Buckley came back 1st and 2nd in 51.31 and 51.35 as they ran the moors in tandem. Matching the lads they also collected the team prize with Barbara Lonsdale finishing 7th.

Jo Buckley and Gayle Sugden in relay formation at Midgley moor 2018

In the Cumbrian North Pennines super vet45 Darren Kay had a great performance in 11th and 1st vet40 tho Darren had to rush off for a recovery drink or two. Stephen Smithies was 2nd placed vet 50 at the 9 mile inov8 High cup Nick

Thanks to Dave and Eileen Woodhead from  for the photos

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gavin Mulholland

Karl’s back and it’s back to back for Holly

Flower Scar

Globe trotting Calder Valley Fell Runner Holly Page had a triumphant weekend on home territory.  Winning the Flower Scar fell race in Todmorden on Saturday and coming second at Ilkley Moor to reigning English Fell Running Champion, Vic Wilkinson on Sunday.

The first race in this year’s Calder Valley Club Championship, Flower Scar is an eight mile long, 2000ft up, test of endurance through bogs, tussocks and woodland.  19 Calder runners raced hoping to score some good early season points.

Not to be put off by the misty conditions, local legend, Karl Gray was first back for Calder in second place, only two seconds behind winner Will Neill of Mercia.  Mark Burton was 2nd Calder in 6th place.  Holly Page was first woman home, 12th overall, scoring maximum points in the women’s competition.

Steve Smithies is hitting a consistent streak of quality running this year, in 10th place and 1st vet 50 on Saturday.

In the junior race James Duffy won the u15 boys and Emilia Wright was first u15 girl, holding off the second placed girl by 4 seconds.  Sam Annison was 4th u11 boy.

Calder Valley Senior Results

2             01:11:21 KARL GRAY      
6             01:17:45 MARK BURTON
10           01:18:42 STEPHEN SMITHIES      
12           01:18:50 HOLLY PAGE    
20           01:19:18 LEE SHIMWELL
26           01:21:45 JOHN LLOYD
28           01:21:53 PAUL HAIGH
33           01:22:20 LUKE MELESCHKO
43           01:23:56 GAYLE  SUGDEN
48           01:25:10 PHIL WELLS     
52           01:27:17 IAIN POWELL              
85           01:34:59 DARREN EARNSHAW
96           1.36.37 ANTHONY COSTELLO
113        1.39.37 BARBARA LONSDALE
122        1.42.08 MICHAEL WARDLE
128        1.42.58 DARREN SARGENT
148        1.48.15 AMANDA FARRELL
149        1.49.17 STELLA CHRISANTHOU                 
173        2.05.01 DIANE WRIGHT              

Ilkley Moor

The five mile Ilkley Moor Fell Race was also the venue for this year’s Yorkshire Senior and Under 23s Championship.  The Competition was fierce and the moor was muddy.  Calder Runners, Darren Kay came in 12th place followed a minute and a half later by U23 Martin Howard in 28th place.  Local Tom Adams won in 37:24 with Simon Bailey of Mercia 2nd.

Martin Howard raising his game at Ilkley Moor 2018

Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley won the women’s race (26th overall) followed by CVFR’s Holly Page (40th) in silver position, an impressive performance the day after winning Flower Scar.

Holly Page at Ilkley Moor after racing the day before at Flower Scar.

Calder Juniors also had put in some great performances in their first Club Championship race of the year.

The muddy conditions did not deter Clara Mckee who easily won the U9s race, beating all the boys, with Harry Cliff claiming 3rd boy.  Read all the latest Juniors news here!

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

Training machine Godsman! Wins Windy Hill

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.

Training Machine – Shaun Godsman Winning Windy Hill Fell Race 2018

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.

Great day out for cvfr at the Edale Open 5

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