British Champs 2nd Counter


From Hebden to Howtown via Tal y Mignedd

With three club championship events this week, it was a busy week for some Calder Valley runners.

The CVFR hoops were out in numbers for the Todmorden Harriers, iconic ‘Thats so Hebden Bridge’ Fell Race on Tuesday night. Will that new name stick?

CV group at Hebden Bridge finish

Making up one third of the entrants, 38 CVFR runners lined up, on a hot, Hebden evening, from the most experienced club runners to six plucky first timers. Many more club members were out on the course cheering them on (Photo 1: Some of CV Group at That’s so Hebden Bridge).

Starting and Finishing in Calder Holmes Park, this category BS, 10km classic route climbs 350m to Stoodley Pike then back via Erringden Moor, with a variety of terrain.
A new course record (40.30 mins) was set by Chris Holdsworth from Clayton-Le-Moors.

First back for Calder valley were U23 Alistair Pedley (9th overall) and Christina Turner (3rd female overall). It was also a good night for CVFR vets as they made off with great prizes donated by local businesses: Christina Turner (1st Female Vet 40), Jackie Scarf (1st Female Vet 50). Mark Wharton (1st Vet 50), Jonathon Emberton (1st Vet 55), Andrew Davies (1st Vet 60). Our first-time fell racers also enjoyed the celebratory post-race refreshments at Macpelah 

CV recruits L-R Natalie Rachel Lisa

Proceeds from the Hebden Bridge race will be donated to Khalsa Aid who did so much to help the town in the aftermath of the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Howtown Heat and Thunder
Ten CVFR runners made the 100-mile journey to Howtown near Ullswater for the Howtown, a 21.4km Category AL fell race

Catherine with team mates

L-R, Phil, Mark, Catherine, Tim, please insert name, Jonny at Howtown start).

This year saw a record-breaking field of 100 runners

100 entrants Howtown start

Described as an “enjoyable route in the far eastern fells” it has 1415m of climbing with a steep start up Loadpot Hill to the summit of High Raise, with scenic views down to Patterdale. It ends with the cruel ‘sting’ of Hallin Fell climb near the end.

In blistering heat, followed by a thunderstorm, Jonny Croston was first Calder Valley (17th overall), followed by Phil Wells (21st overall)

Jonny Croston 1st CVFR in thunderstorm at top of Hallin Fell, Howtown

Despite some impressive knee strapping, Catherine Holden put in another fine performance as first CVFR female (5th female overall), taking the first female Vet 40 accolade (Photo 7: Catherine Holden with team mates at the start). Summing up the day with other club runners by the lakeside, Catherine reflected on a “cracking fell race with a restorative swim at the end, but a lesson in route choice and not to follow the crowd.” Could this become the ‘new favourite fell race’?

Eggs and Beer at Tal y Mignedd – Club and British Champs
Over in Llanberis, Wales, intrepid Calder Valley runners also took on the short, out and back, 6.2k Tal y Mignedd, Category AS fell race this weekend. A British and club Champs race, this route is reported to feature a ‘violent ascent of 1800ft in just over a mile’ (can this be true?), with a kamikaze descent.

CVFR Math Roberts Photo Credits SixBySevenPhotography

Gav Mulholland reported Calder Valley success with 2nd place in the open team (Matthew Roberts, Gav Mulholland, Andy Swift, Karl Grey and Tim Ellis) and first place in the Vets category (Gav Mulholland, Karl Grey, Mark Taylor, Mark Burton). Eggs and beer were the prizes!

Claiming third Vet 40 spot, Gav Mullholland was quoted as saying “I hated the journey, but loved the race.” Ben Mounsey was 39th, after a great climb he suffered injury on the descent.

Weets Fell Race, Saturday 9th July
In a record turnout of 206 senior runners at the Weets fell race, Helen Buchan put in a fantastic performance to finish 2nd female.

Helen at Weets Fell Race

(Helen Buchan at the Weets Fell Race).

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach

Ultra Fells

The Bob graham. The legendary 42 summit circuit of the Lake District to be completed in 24 hrs. Sir John Allan and his crack team of fell runners set off from Keswick to climb Skiddaw Gt Calva Blencathra before leg 2 up Clough head and many more mountains such as Dollywagon Bowfell Scafell Pike, Pike o stickle, kiirk fell and other pythonesque names before the final, Robinson. The training all paid off as John finished in around 22 hrs 😌 After the event, whilst in a state of delirium, John may have proposed to his fiancé which he will no doubt contemplate when he regains consciousness.

At the LAMM (Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon), a 2 day navigation and overnight camp on The Isle of Harris, veterans Jackie and Phil Scarf were first in their age group with Barbara Lonsdale and Jo Buckley First Ladies pair with the whole event, including the weather, in top form.

On to shorter stuff with the 50 mile Cannonball Calderdale way ultra. It’s starts off rough (Todmorden) and ends bad (Tordmorden) but the rest is beautiful taking in Blackshaw head, Heptonstall, Wainstalls, bits you would rather not run, and then onto North Dean Woods, Norland, Cragg Vale and Stoodley.

Carolyn n Harley CW ultra 2018

Calder Valley annihilated the rest by winning in several categories starting with Kevin the bolt Hoult who went under 8 hrs setting a new course record and winning. Kevin put his success down to choosing this over a day of diy at home.  The club also picked up team prizes in the paired categories with Carolyn Shimwell and Harley Beecroft the winning ladies and Dougie Ziggy Stardust Zinis pairing with Luke Meleschko and Ian illistone with Luke putting in a strong sole effort at the end. Lee Shimwell also completed the course, as the Joker from Batman (with that Jimmy Hill grin).

Lee Shimwell CWU 2018

The short stops: Gavin Mulholland took on the home internationals on the slopes of the Howgills finishing 21st and 2nd for Northern Ireland, missing out on a bronze by a single point to Wales

And in Europe in Slovenia, Ben Mounsey came 5th v35 in the World Masters Mountain race. Ben is delighted to be old enough now to battle with the best. He said “It’s the greenest place I’ve ever been and the cleanest place I’ve ever been,  It has HUGE impressive mountains and breathtaking scenery. Loved it. I’ll be back.’

At Pen-y-ghent, Darren Kay was third and first vet 40 in 51 minutes.

Martin Howard chased some of the top names in fell running at Coniston Gullies, coming fifth. Super vet Dave Hammond was 29th and second v50. Will Hall was second in the under 14s. 

Holly Page continues to excel in the World Skyrunning series and lies second overall.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gav Mulholland

4k blackstone blast to 400k wrath ultra or did you choose the glorious Lakeland hills

Blackstone Edge

A classic local race, Blackstone Edge has been organised by the legendary Kevan Shand for the last 36 years.  The race is a quick 4 mile blast from Knowl Farm, Lydgate, to the Blackstone Edge trig point and back again.

Martin Howard, 2nd at Blackstone Edge 2018 (Photo by: Mick Fyer)

Getting has fourth 2nd place this year for Calder Valley, it can’t be long before Martin Howard wins a senior race outright.  Under 23 Martin finished in 33:06, less than 2 minutes behind Andrew Worster of Todmorden.  Romans Sostovs was second Calder in 13th place and Club Chairman Bill Johnson thord Calder in 22nd place.

Helen Buchan was second woman behind Annie Roberts of Todmorden.

Helen Buchan, 2nd AT Blackstone Edge (Photo by: Mick Fyer)

A slight disappointment at the prize giving as the extensive prize pot was missing the usual nine rolls of toilet paper, although Bill Johnson was pleased with his dozen eggs and Jon Emberton came away with a collander.

Helvellyn and the Dodds

A race up the third highest mountain in England was taken on by a few Calder Valley Fell Runners last Saturday.  15 miles from Threlkeld to Hevellyn and back the race includes a massive climb early on up to Clough Head, followed by a runnable jaunt along the ridge to Helvellyn.

Carl Bell of Keswick won in 2:14:26, and Keswick took the first five places.  Hannah Horsburgh also of Keswick won the women’s race in 2:33:03.  Helen Buchan was first back for Calder in 3:10:36 and 8th place followed by Rachel Crossland in 20th.  Mark Wharton, Calder’s first man back, looked to have had a tough race in 3:26:19

Cape Wrath Ultra

A epic 8 day multi stage ultra race, the Cape Wrath Ultra covers the 400km from Fort William to the most north-westerly point of the British Isles at Cape Wrath.  The route travels through deserted highland valleys and along the shores of remote lochs in the landscapes of Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland.

Calder Valley’s Phil Beecroft, always up for a long distance challenge, competed the route in 76 hours 37 minutes and 17 seconds to come in 68th place.  The only word from Phil since he finished was ‘brutal’.

West Nab, Juniors Championship

Saturday saw a number of Calder Valley juniors test themselves against some of the best runners in the country at the West Nab fell race in Meltham, being both an English Championship and the Yorkshire Championship race.

Clara McKee won the U9s outright by some distance and celebrating his first boy position was Ted Parker who came in second in spectacular style.  Lennon Wilson and Thomas Annison also ran well.

The U11 race saw Thomas McKee coming 9th with Sam Annison, Ollie Pickens and Finley Canning all coming in the top 30.

Patrick Casey came in 3rd in the U13s and Charlie Pickens 6th.  Leo Illstone, Evelyn Illstone and Fearne Hanson also did well on what was a very hard course.

West Nab Juniors

The U15s race saw Will Hall come in at 8th followed by James Duffy and Alex Duffield who both came in the top 20.

It was also the Yorkshire Championships for the U13s and over. Patrick Casey picked up the gold medal and Charlie Pickens the silver in the U13s and Will Hall was awarded with the silver medal in the U15s.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Tim Brooks

A stacked race calendar and success for both Calder and Yorkshire

The infamous Calderdale Relay happened last Sunday, attracting a field of over 1000 competitors. Comprising of 6 sections totalling 51 miles, the race takes in all the hills, moors and valleys of Calderdale. It is an ‘up and down’ journey with few level sections in and around Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden and is run in pairs. Following old packhorse ways across the open gritstone hillsides with sections of traditional stone causeway, passing through hillside villages and old mill towns on the banks of the River Calder, the appeal of the route is obvious, particularly on a fine, sunny Sunday in May. 

Leg 3 finishers and starters: Rachel Johnson, Jackie Scarf, Charlotte Wetton, Jo Marshal, Ellie Eady, Eileen MacDonach (Photo: Angela Richards)

Always a popular club event, this year CV fielded 6 teams of 12, enabling 72 of its runners to join in the fun. And, keeping with tradition, CV emerged victorious with its Men’s A Team (Ben Mounsey & Andy Swift, Shaun Godsman & Alex Whittem, Mark O’Connor & Martin Howard, Ian Symmington & Tim Ellis,  Mark Taylor & Steve Edwards,  Tom Collinge & Gav Mullholland) the clear winner by over 8 minutes, completing the 51 miles circuit between them in 06:07:30. This was despite a number of them running on weary legs after  competing in the inter-counties champs the previous day!

CV Mens A Team (L-R Mark O’Connor, Mark Taylor, Shaun Godsman, Martin Howard, Ben Mounsey, Tom Collinge, Gav Mullholland, Stephen Edwards

Said CV’s top fell runner Ben Mounsey, who ran leg 1 with County winner, Andy Swift:

“I’m currently nursing a torn hamstring…but despite that, I’m absolutely delighted to win the Calderdale Way Relay with Calder Valley for the 5th time in 8 years – an amazing team effort! Big congrats and respect to Wharfedale and Barlick, for finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. It was a very competitive race and entertaining to watch from start to finish. And of course, a HUGE thanks to Nick Small and his Halifax Harrier team, for organising another fantastic event. Please can you book the weather again for next year!?!”

And the prizes didn’t stop there. CV’s Mixed A Team bagged the 2nd mixed team prize (James Carter & Lee Shimwell, Jo Buckley & Jo Waites, Joanne Stevens & Catherine Holden, Mark Goldie & Bill Johnson, Lucy Collins & Gayle Sugden, Johny Croston & Luke Meleschko) with an impressive overall time of 07:19:58.

The 2 Captains did an excellent job of organising the teams and matching the pairs, many of whom uncannily ran their predicted times as calculated by club stats guru, Andy Wright. Outstanding performances were noted across all the CV teams. But some pairs exceeded their predictions significantly, such as Eileen MacDonach and Ellie Eady of the mixed C Team who smashed their anticipated time by 5 minutes when they ran leg 3 from Todmorden to Blackshawhead. 

Said Carolyn Shimwell, ladies captain who shared the huge task of co-ordinating 72 CV runners with Men’s captain, Shaun Godsman:

“Shaun and I are really proud of how the club came together to allow 6 teams to get out and run at the relay.  Everyone showed amazing team spirit and we all had a great day! We are extra proud of the men’s A team who came first overall and our mixed A team who came second in their category!

Shaun Godsman & Alex Whittem (Men’s A Team, Leg 2) (photo: Mick Fryer)

CV runners featured prominently in the inter-counties competition last Saturday at the Lads Leap race in the Peak District (3 of them then ran in the relay the next day!). Top athletes Andy Swift, Gav Mullholland, Helen Buchan and Jason Williams all took part, representing their home counties. Helen swapped her white rose for red, Jason Wiliams represented Leicestershire and Gav Mulholland Northern Ireland. But Andy Swift proved White Rose county is the one to run for, with him and his fellow Yorkshiremen effortlessly winning gold.  

Catherine Holden Kildwick V40 Winner

With the Club Champs in full swing, numerous CV descended on Keighley last Wednesday for the Kildwick race. A short but steep route of 3.7 miles and 800ft of climbing saw 114 runners gather at the start line, 13 of which were CV runners. CV’s young Martin Howard had an excellent run, easily securing 2nd place, in 26:19, 10 seconds behind winner Neal Crampton from Pudsey and Bramley.  And CV also claimed the LV40 prize with the speedy Catherine Holden making it look so easy in 34:03.  

Martin Howard Kildwick 18

Saturday saw 18 eager CV youngsters having a go at a Club Champ race, the 5th in this year’s series. Malham Kirby Fell Race is a typically steep and short Dales route on hard dry ground at Malham Kirkby. All routes were out and back and up and down. All CV juniors did brilliantly, and did the club proud. CV’s mini athlete, Clara McKee did her usual outstanding performance and won the U9 race outright, with Harry Cliffe second and first boy.

Harry and Clara Malham Kirkby

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

Fell season in full flow

CVFR has seen its members surpass themselves in recent weeks, including notable runs from both Holly Page and Ben Mounsey, representing Queen & country internationally.

Ben Mounsey came in overall second to fellow GBR runner Ross Golan at the amazing Vesuvio Sky Marathon Race– a trail race of 42km on the world-famous Italian volcano on 6th May.  

Ben Mounsey with Roberto Palladino & Giovanni Tower Torre in Italy.

Fellow CVFR club & GBR trail runner Holly Page had the kind of fortnight most athletes can only dream of – with two cracking races.

Holly Page World Series Sky Running

First, on 30th April she took the Sky Classic women’s throne, finishing first in the 55-mile Yading Sky Run in the Migu Run Summer World Series in China – and this despite food poisoning & travel nightmares. Initially lacking in confidence about the largely uphill (16000ft climb) course, Holly ‘went out hard from the gun’, giving it her all in freezing blizzard conditions to finish in an astounding 3h 32 minutes & four seconds (only 1.5 minutes in front of fellow GBR runner Ruthie Crofty).

Next, & less than two weeks later, despite admitting feeling ‘petrified’ when first called up to wear GB colours in January, Holly stormed the 2018 Trail World Championships Penyagolosa ultra trail race to finish ninth after the eye-watering 85km (25km longer than she had ever run before), and 5,000m/ of hills in the Spanish heat.

Holly was quick to express gratitude to those who came out to support the ultra runners, who she reported helped her through some of the toughest moments on the course. She is now starting to accept that rather than a ‘jolly jogger’, she really can ‘mix it with some of the fastest women in the world’, who until recently she would ‘never in a million years’ have thought she would be swapping positions with throughout the race. With only weeks before the Zegama trail race at the end of May, Holly is definitely one to watch.

Holly (centre) & photo 3 the Skyrunner World Series Photo in China

Rising to the Challenge:

Closer to home, & ‘in homage to Holly’, CVFR Club President, Bill Johnson ran his own trail race from Sedbergh on Sunday 13th May. The Howgills 26 goes from the most southerly point of the Howgills on a high-level route over Winder and The Calf to the very north of the Howgills, then returns south on lower-level, across undulating trails.

At the start of this marathon, on the initial, hilliest section, despite the heat, Bill was in touch with the leaders, in 6th place at the top of the first peak Winder out of 212 runners. However, as the going got faster, the top runners pulled away and by the halfway point, Bill had dropped back to a nonetheless respectable 13th place. He subsequently fought hard to retain this position all the way back south and to cross the finish line, not only 13th overall but second in the V50 category at 4 hours and 29 minutes.

Fellow V50 CVFR club member, Jonathan Emberton completed a solo Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge on Saturday 12th May. The route from Ullswater to Wastwater was set by fell legend Joss Naylor as a challenge for Vet 50+ runners, coving 70km, 30 summits, 5000m of climbing. Jonathan was ‘really chuffed’ that the hard work he had put into learning the route really well allowed him to run strongly all day, to stay on schedule & to finish the course within the 15-hour target for his age group.

Jon looking good on his Joss Naylor

CVFR club members also completed two further major challenges in recent weeks. Six red & white hoops – Fellsman regular, Simon Bourne, and fellow CV runners Mike Clayton, Lee Shimwell, Stuart Russell, John Nunn and John Minta – took part in the 56th ‘Fellsman’, with its 61 miles & 11,000ft of climb, on an untypical sunny day weekend at the end of April. This overnight race, superbly organised by local scouts who man the checkpoints and put on hot food, starts in ingleton and finishes in Threshfield (near Grassington), covering some of the Dales best scenery. Lee Shimwell recalls that it was ‘looking forward to what was on offer next’ from the Scouts that got him round the route, especially into the night ‘when it got very cold and misty making navigation a real challenge’.

More recently, CVFR’s Jason ‘Wilf Williams, having run at a high level in fell running for several years, felt it was time ‘to try something different’, so took part in the National Duathlon championships at Clumber park in Mansfield this last weekend. Finishing an impressive 3rd in the 40-44 age group, in only his second Dualthon this year, Williams is delighted to have achieved his aim of securing qualification to represent GB for his age group in the World champs in Denmark in July.

Jason ‘Wilf’ Williams on the Podium (in the cap)

And not forgetting the fells!

Alongside the more unusual races and challenges, this last week has also seen CVFR runners take part in several more traditional fell and trail races.

Saturday, 12th May saw 21 red & white hoops head out to compete in Fairfield Horseshoe – a 14.5km / 914m route, The classic Lakeland horseshoe race is one of the oldest in the fell running calendar, Starting and finishing at Rydal Hall, just north of Ambleside, the clockwise 9 mile route goes over Nab Scar, Heron Pike, Greatrigg Man, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike and Low Pike, taking in 3000 feet of climb, in the searing heat.

Darren Kay was the first CVFR home, finishing the x miles in 1:24:59, to take overall 7th place & third in the M40 category. The next closest CVFR runner was Mark Burton (39th overall & 14th M40). For the ladies, a strong race by Catherine Holden saw her the first red & white hoop over the line, finishing in the first 15 women (& 6th V40), to take, with fellow V40 runner Christina Turner & V50 Karon Foster the team prize for third ladies. Particular mention should go to Christina Turner who ran her best fell race ever & Stella Chrisanthou for her best race this year. 

Team CVFR @ Fairfield

Former ladies’ captain Helen Buchan showed she is definitely back to winning form again, as she & Carole Fryer competed in the Pinhaw fell race on the evening of Friday 11th May. This five mile route with 700ft of ascent, is the second race in the 33rd Pendle + Burnley Grand Prix. Both CVFR ladies ran strongly, with Helen Buchan finishing 13th woman overall & claiming 3rd place in the W40 category & Carole Fryer winning 1st place in the W50 category, placing 17th woman overall.

Helen @ Pinhaw

With so many club members racing in the Lakes, it was down to Calvin Fergerson to fly the flag for CVFR at the Pendle Clough fell race on Saturday 12th. This challenging 14-mile course, starts flagged across fields, but once on the moor, leaves runners free to navigate their own route to the nine check-points they must visit in order, running through 7 of Pendle’s Cloughs, across high, rough and, on occasion trackless, moorland terrain, and includes steep ascents and descents with loose stones, mud, peat and rough grass and dead bracken thrown in for good measure, before the final two-mile downhill race to the finish. Calvin finished his race in 3h 17 minutes & 29 seconds, coming a respectable 52nd overall and in the top 10 in the men’s open age category.

Finally, Sunday, 13th was the day of the Kirklee’s 10km Challenge – a friendly, well-organised event run by the church, which featured chip timing for the first time this year and the beautiful weather saw competitors in high spirits. Calder Valley’s Blair Garrett was pleased to finish 29th out of 239 runners in a respectable 46 minutes & 22 seconds.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones



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Clough – Cake – Coins

Clough Head line up

It’s looks like Calder Valley got their cake and ate most of it on the fells this weekend as they had a belter in da melter.

It’s started with a Cake Fest fell race on Saturday at Saddleworth where you climb out of Diggle where the route then takes you up and over the mosses to the reservoirs above Marsden before returning home having run 16k with 518m of climb.

Calder were out with the Sun with Kevin Hoult 5th and first vet, Stephen Smithies 9th and first vet 50 with Paul Haigh, Jonathan Moon and Jonny Croston all in the top 20.

Amongst the ladies Catherine Holden came 5th and 2nd vet with Jo Stevens 9th.

On Sunday, at Clough Head, there was more action as Calder Valley continued their assault of the English National Championships from Threlkeld, Keswick. The temperature was certainly up to full wick as hundreds of competitors climbed the 580m in one blast before crossing to White Pike and then rapidly descending in a variety of ways depending on your knowledge, skill or luck.

Front of house for CVFR was Andy (I shall not burn) Swift in 6th place securing a Yorkshire vest for his troubles.

Old man Gray graced his way to 18th and 3rd vet 40 closely followed by Daz Kaye, with Shaun Godsman and Gavin Mulholland completing the open team in 31st and 32nd. Karl, Daz, Shaun and Gavin made up the winning vet team.  The open hope to be back to full strength next time to improve on their 3rd place.  Respectable results were also placed by 3 Marks, Taylor, Burton and O’Connor with Stephen Edwards and young MARTIN Howard not far behind.

The ladies, who ran in their own sweat and guts had Helen Buchan come back 7th vet 40 with Karon Forster bringing up the rear.

On the bank holiday a record number of runners turned up to seek their fortune at the Coiners fell race hosted by Calder Valley and race organisers Rob Rawlinson and Al Whitelaw. This was also chosen as a slection race for the under 17 and 19s.

The cvfr ladies, Gayle Sugden Jo Buckley and Trudy Entwistle struck gold as the winning team with Gayle taking first female and Jo Buckley hot on her heels for 2nd.

The juniors were the sun cream of the crop

It’s always a well attended race but the fact that this was an England trial for the U17s and U19s coupled with the glorious weather saw over 200 juniors test themselves on our local moors.

The U9s race saw 15 of our youngest juniors set off in a field of over 40 runners with many racing for the first time. Clara McKee proved her class yet again coming first overall and beating the course record whilst she was at it.  Harry Cliff came 2nd boy continuing his medal winning streak. Award for the biggest smile whilst racing must surely go to first timer Elizabeth Dole-Ayuso who clearly enjoyed every minute of her debut.

The Mckee family had a double celebration as older brother Thomas won the U11s in a nail biting finish.

Charlie Pickens came in 5th in the U13s with George McFie and Tom Owen hot on his heels as always.

Will Hall comfortably won the U15s with James Duffy at 5th and Alex Duffield at 6th boy.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gav Mulholland

Fellmans, Sky running and 3 Peaks

Three Peaks

The Three Peaks is advertised as the marathon with mountains and starts at Horton-in -Ribblesdale.  It is a little short of marathon distance at 23.3 miles long but it does have a vertical mile of climbing, as runners take in the three peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. 

The conditions were near perfect on Saturday, cool, high cloud and lights winds.  With it also being the selection race for the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships there was discussion if Andy Peace’s 22 year old record of 2 Hours 46 minutes and 3 seconds would be broken the year after Victoria Wilkinson smashed the women’s record by 5 minutes.

The initial running was made by Tom Owens of Shettleston and Ricky Lightfoot of Ellenborough, both previous winners, who looked to be pacing each other for a possible record.  However Murray Strain of Hunters Bog Trotters, another previous winner, overtook Lightfoot on the climb to the last peak, Ingleborough.  Ultimately Owens was victorious in 2:49:08 over 3 minutes outside the record time.

Victoria Wilkinson scored her third three peaks victory in a row coming in 3:22:17, and 33rd overall.  She was using this race as a training run with her eyes on bigger prizes later in the year,

Calder’s run of the day was from the consistent Karl Gray, coming in 7th place and 1st V40 in 3:03:05.  Mark Burton was 34th and ultra expert Kevin Hoult was the Calder runner in 68th.  These three took the V40 team prize for CVFR.  Stella Chrisanthou was very pleased to finish in 5:19:35, she’s put in a lot of training this winter and it certainly payed off on Saturday.

Karl Gray – Three Peaks 2018 – photo by Andy Jackson

7th Karl Gray 3:03:05
34th Mark Burton 3:23:23
68th Kevin Hoult 3:37:44
104th Jonny Croston 3:46:03
111th Jon Smith 3:47:05
221st Steven Morran 4:06:38
249th Matt Ray 4:10:45
276th Calvin Ferguson 4:14:35
379th Steve Grimley 4:31:07
572nd Darren Earnshaw 4:56:59
664th Stella Chrisanthou 5:19:35

701 finishers



The Fellsman is a sixty-one mile race from Ingleton to Threshfield that shares Ingleborough and Whernside with the Three Peaks. However this monster of a race then takes in Gragareth, Great Coum, Blea Moor, Great Knoutberry, Snaizeholme, Dodd Fell, Fleet Moss, Buckden Pike, and Great Whernside: 11,000ft of climbing in total.  Also run last Saturday, 341 hardy souls set off with only the fastest runners finishing before nightfall.

Calder’s ultra bunny, Simon Bourne, who says the Fellsman is his favourite race, was equal 5th in 12 hours and 22 minutes, with the winner Neil Talbot completing in 11:16.  Lee Shimwell was 47th in 16:40.  Lee said he was the coldest he’d ever been.  John Nunn was 187th in 23:54.  John Minta, who has been struggling with injury this year, pulled out at Dent after 20 miles.

Skyrunner World Series

Calder’s own globetrotter, Holly Page, was in Yading in the Sichuan province of China competing in the Skyrunner Wold Series.  Not far from the border with Tibet the race was run in blizzard conditions.  Starting at an altitude of 2,900metres the 29km race goes up to a high point of 4664 metres with a total of 2345 metres climbing, before finishing at the ancient Chonggu Temple.

1st Place for Holly Page in the world Skyrunning series (China)

Holly had a fantastic run to win in 3 hours 32:04, a minute and a half ahead of New Zealander Ruth Croft.  Holly lead from the start before Ruth took the lead on a road section.  Holly then pushed on, over the more technical terrain, to take the win.

Calder Storm Ireland

Last Saturday, the red and white hoops could be spotted in Northern Ireland, across Calderdale and in Lancashire as CV runners across all ages successfully competed in a number of events.

Helen Buchan – NI British Champs (Photo Credits: NIMRA)

A grey misty day greeted 283 runners, including 11 CV, at the start line of the Mourne Highline race in N Ireland. A British Championships 2018 contender, this gruelling 10 mile race took competitors on a magical mystery tour of the Kingdom of Mourne, taking in grassy climbs, rocky descents, and airy ridges. Visibility remained poor throughout the day and competitors battled against strong wind as they picked their way between checkpoints. Attracting a strong field, CV proved their worth with the ageless Karl Grey taking first V40, V45 and 5th overall. Matthew Roberts was 4th overall with 01:36:56 closely followed by Karl and then Andy Swift in 6th. With Ben Mounsey fourth CVFR and Gavin Mulholland fifth CVFR, they scooped both the open and the MV40 team prizes. Helen Buchan, the former ladies captain, was 5th FV40, making an impressive come back after time out from injury.


Mourne Highline MV40 Team winners (L-R: Race organiser, Gavin Mulholland, Karl Grey, Shaun Godsman and Mark Taylor)

Nearer home, last Saturday saw the 2nd event in CVFR’s Ultra Championships in the form of Calderdale Hike. Organised as a long distance walk by 24th St Paul’s Scout group but also open to runners, this event offers 2 options- the ‘short’ route of a mere 22 miles or the longer option, this year being 40 miles to commemorate the events 40th anniversary. Starting and finishing at Sowerby Cricket Club, the longer version takes in both sides of the valley going as far as Todmorden and Lydgate before heading back via Bridestones, Peckett Well and Jerusalem Farm. Previously, men have outnumbered women at such events and the club’s Ultra Championships have rarely proved popular with the lasses. But Saturday was a turning point with 7 CV women at the start line, all of whom successfully finished too.

Ladies line up for Calderdale Hike (L-R: Liz Lloyd, Gloria Ayuso, Gill Dickson, Kate Pope, Harley Beecroft, Carolyn Shimwell)

Said Kate Pope, a recent convert to Ultra running: ‘I ran with Gloria and Gill. We are all Ultra novices, although I’d trained hard and knew what we were up against. We had a great time. We all had our low points and hit the wall at different stages (thankfully!) but we had each other to get us through those bits. None of us could imagine doing something like this alone! We weren’t able to recce the route before and ended up running just over 41 miles. We were quite relieved to see the finish!’

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

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