Berard Pierce Memorial

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This weekend was a busy one for the club, with plenty of races & results, despite the wintery weather.

The Bernard Pierce Memorial – Wadsworth Trog 2018. CVFR Dougie Zinnis.

Highlights included local classic, renamed for 2018 as the “Bernard Pierce memorial Wadsworth Trog” in homage to its creator (who sadly passed away in 2017), expertly organised by Calder Valley’s Jake Ackroyd. A beast of a race, starting from Old Town Cricket Club, with 19 miles (31km) and 3650ft (1110m) of partially marked course – the Trog is Infamous for its mud in the best of weather – and this year was a veritable bog slog. Several seasoned racers commented they had never seen it as such a quagmire before. The final uphill to the finish line merited crampons for the mud alone, without even mentioning the liberal powdering of the white stuff. 168 runners battled through white-out conditions to complete the race, won by Carl Bell of Keswick in an impressive 2:39:20.

 

CVFR’s Andy Swift once again put in a performance befitting of his name, finishing third overall; and with Ian Symington & Mark O’Connor placing 10th & 11th, the CVFR men stormed to shared victory (the only team with more than two runners in the top 15). The other three CVFR mens teams placed joint fourth, 14th & 19th on a strong day out for the club.

Mens team: Wadsworth Trog 2018 – Left to right, Mark O’Connor, Andy Swift & Ian Symington

Away from home, this Sunday marked one of only two Leicestershire fell races officially registered with the FRA. Charnwood Hills fell race 14 miles of cross-country includes just enough hills to qualify as a Category C race. Despite the Sunday sunshine, this year’s run was especially tough underfoot, with recent wet conditions making for mud-a-plenty. CVFR red-and-white hooped runner Jason Wilf Williams battled it out at the front to finish a well-deserved 3rd in his first fell race of 2018.

Photo 3 (credit Clive Mason) of Jason Wilf Williams running in this last weekend’s Charnwood Hills fell race.

CVFR – Jason Wilf Williams

This Sunday also saw three CVFR men taking to the mountains in Wales (Carneddau) to compete in the first of four navigation score events across moorland, fell and mountains in North Wales, the Peak District and Lake District (x2) that will make up the challenging 2018 Kong Mini Mountain Marathon Series. The exact location of each event is only announced one month before the race, and the best three results count towards a final league score. Calder Valley men got their campaign off to a strong start, with cracking individual results in harsh & testing conditions. Matthew Roberts did extremely well to finish 15th overall, scoring 500 points in just over four hours. Richard Sunderland came 8th in the V40 category, with 410 points and fellow CVFR Tim Brooks came in just behind at 12th V40 with 360 points.

Wales mini-marathon

Photo credit Richard Sunderland in Bethseda, Gwynedd, for the Kong Mini Marathon Series Event 1.

New member Mark Burton also deserves a mention, coming in 14th overall and 3rd v40 at Long Mynd.

CVFR Welcome Mark Burton

Cover photo credits:  Dave Woodhead @ Woodentops of  CVFR’s Andy Swift with P&B Joe Baxter slogging through the snow in the BPM Wadsworth Trog.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

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Holly’s got the call

CVFR’s highlights this week include the GB Selection, local Hoofstones race and junior cross country events, which saw great performances from a number of our juniors all competing for their schools.

Mark O’Connor, Hoofstones winner 2018 (photo courtesy of Mick Fryer)

Hoofstones is an 8 mile navigational challenge in and around the highest point around Todmorden and gets its name from Hoofstones Heights Trig Point. It’s very hard going on the final climb to Hoofstones which is then followed by a tough cut across the moor with deep heather and tussocks for about 1 mile. With a route choice from checkpoint 1 – 4, runners must take decisive action on the route that will give them their quickest time possible, a tactic that worked well for first time winner, Calder Valley’s Mark O’Connor. He, along with team mates Lee Shimwell and Richard Ingram, also claimed the men’s prize.

A proud Mark said: “I didn’t know much about the Hoofstones fell race other than it was organised by a friend, Dan Taylor and is a local race, so I was keen to support it. At the start of the week before the race I knew that it was game on so I did a midweek reccie on the navigation part which ultimately played a big part to my success on the day.

My plan was to make my mark early on, on the better running terrain which was easier said than done!  On race day I set off quick and didn’t look back until the first 1000ft of climb . To my own surprise my legs felt great and there was no one in sight behind me so I concentrated on a good but sustainable pace. I had a little wobble on the navigation across the moor but then back on the track for the final descent I was able to ease off the pace and cruise over the line with a 5 minute lead for my first fell race win.

It’s a great feeling and even more so to share the team prize with my fellow Calder Valley team mates Lee Shimwell and Richard Ingram. I’d highly recommend this race for 2019 it has a great mix of terrain and options“

Annie Roberts of Tod Harriers was first woman home.

On the international stage, Calder Valley’s Holly Page has been selected as 1 of the 12 athletes to represent Britain at the World Trail Championships in Spain later this year. A fantastic achievement, all eyes will be on Holly as she runs the 50 mile course in the Spanish region of Penyagolosa on 12 May this year.

Holly Page makes the GB Team 2018

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

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The Final Cut – 270 miles!

The spine race: a 270-mile route from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, tracing the Pennine backbone of England. This distance did not deter Calder Vet 50 ultra running zombie Bill Johnson from competing and completing in 12th overall despite the dreadful weather, comprising double helpings of gales and snow for most of the event.
With no sleep in the final 40 hrs It was a huge relief for his wife Anne when he finally made it to the finish in the early hours of Saturday morning, after beginning the trek on the Sunday! Bill was rushed straight to the nearest health clinic for a well deserved pedicure.  Read Bill’s step by step account HERE

Locally, the ever popular Hebden 22 set off at 8am Saturday morning, also unphased by the harsh conditions under foot. Lone Ranger Ben Mounsey completed the 21 mile slog-fest individually in 3:04 hrs as he ploughed through the snow and mud to select the best cakes at all check points. Next in was Ian Symington in 3:23.5. Third man on the long course was Matt Cope after he ditched his comrades on the tops of Cragg Vale as Matt said he was unnerved by their camaraderie/manlove. First Lady to return for Calder was Dr. Catherine Texas Holden. The LDWA event is a firm favourite for all local clubs. Everything about the Hebden is perfect, from the tea and toast reception to the 3 course meal after.

The Hebden 2018 – Toby Cotteril

On Sunday, again despite testing Winter conditions, cvfr were out on the moors around Todmorden in the harriers 3 hour mini moors marathon navigation event. Notable performances included Rachel Johnstone 2nd woman and 1st LV50, Jon Emberton (who had teamed up with Mark Seddon) 2nd and 1st v50 (Pair). Amongst those in attendance were Calvin Ferguson and Tim Brooks.

And finally who would want to be a race organiser when there is snow and ice (and mud) to contend with. Captain Philip and wife Harley D. Beecroft bravely rescheduled the Mytholmroyd vocational fell race after it was cancelled before xmas for the same reasons. With loads of local cvfr talent the ladies and the men both took first team prizes with Lee Shimwell first back for the club in 8th place. By default, Anthony Costello was awarded (ate) as 2nd v50.
Joanna Stevens lead the race home for the ladies as she made her to return to the fells after a bout of motherhood

Mytholmroyd Fell Race 2018 – Paul Gilbert

There is also a rumour that Stephen Smithies was involved in a 5k race and collected first prize as vet 50.😁

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gavin Mulholland

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The Spine

Cliff wins 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.

First to the Pike was Kate Pope however she couldn’t keep ahead of Ben Cliff who came in to win 23 seconds ahead of Kate.  Having only taken up running this summer after years of cycling, Ben is really enjoying himself, and is pretty fast too, completing the course in 45 mins and 31 seconds.  Jocaster Fletcher was 3rd.

Two of the Club’s juniors, Patrick Casey and Charlie Pickens, took part and really enjoyed racing against the adults. Patrick’s Dad, Rob said, “The pair had a fab time, great that they ran the course together. When kids do adult stuff, it ramps up the thrill factor for them, and I knew the pre-race concerns would have added to that. They’ll not forget Saturday – precious moments”

Martin Howard was the fastest overall in 40 minutes and 3 seconds with Catherine Holden fastest woman in 51 minutes and 2 seconds

Spine Challenger

The Spine Race is touted as Britain’s most Brutal, covering the full 268 miles of the Pennine Way from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. It’s also held in the middle of winter so competitors have 16 hours of darkness to cope with too.

Simon Bourne (waving) with Wouter Heitzing

 

Calder Valley Club Chairman, Bill Johnson set off on Sunday morning with over 100 other of the best ultra runners in the world.  Full report of his exploits next week when he’s finished!

There is also the Spine Challenger also known as the ‘fun run’, which takes in the first 108 miles of the Pennine Way, Edale to Hawes.  Calder Valley’s Simon Bourne took part in this race setting out to win.  He set off like a rocket and soon he and Wouter Huitzing of the Netherlands had taken an unassailable lead.  They ran together from Bleaklow all the way to Malham village, 86 miles into the race, when in Simons words “my legs dropped off and he powered away”.

Hutzing won in 25 hours 44mins, smashing the previous record, with Bourne 2nd in 28:42:17.  A weary Simon said, “It was really nice to see so many familiar faces along the way, thanks all for coming out to support. Definitely an early night tonight.”

Trigger

Going in the other direction from Marsden to Edale, the Trigger is no easy run in itself, a 20 mile one way trip with over 5000ft of climbing.  Two CVFR members ran in fairly benign conditions on Sunday, John Allen was 32nd in 4 hours and 25 mins with Steward Russell 97th in 5 hours and 18 minutes.  The race was won by Pennine’s Nicholas Barber.

Stanbury Splash

A bitterly cold morning saw a collection of hardy juniors take on the Stanbury Spash at Haworth on Sunday, gathering in the forsaken quarry at Penistone Hill for the off.
A gritty performance from Ted Parker was rewarded with a top 10 finish in the U9s. Sam Annison, in his first U11s race, came in at 11th with Ollie Pickens at a hard fought for 12th. In the U13s Fearne Hanson got a well-deserved 9th in her first year in this age group whilst Patrick Casey stormed to 2nd, despite his run at the Winter Handicap the day before.

305  Seniors ran the 7.5 mile race that ranges across the Bronte Moors.  Calder’s Jo Buckley and Stephen Morran had excellent runs; Buckley as 1st FV40 and 3rd woman in 58:06 and Morran was first V60 (84th overall) in 1:00:07.  Mark Wharton was first CFVR back in 52nd place and Steve Smithies was 86th despite celebrating Most Improved Runner at the Club Awards the night before.  John Nunn and John Tayler also represented Calder; Tayler, like Casey, running in the Handicap the previous day.

The men’s race was won by Jack Wood in 45:44 with Ian Holmes (V50) just 20 seconds behind in 2nd.  Ruby Sykes of Holmfirth was first woman in 54:38 with Annie Roberts of Todmorden in 2nd, 56:03.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

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No hangovers for runners kicking off 2018

Giants Tooth Fell Race

While most of us were nursing a hangover or curled-up in front of a film, 154 hardy souls were toeing the start line of the New Year’s Day fell race, the Giants Tooth. Just 5 kilometres long and with around 400 feet of climbing, it’s a short, sharp shock of a race around Ogden reservoir near Halifax. Kill or cure for most people.

Luke Meleschko Giants tooth 2018 – Photo Credits: Nick Small

There was a high quality field, and as always Calder Valley were up there with the front runners. Jo Buckley had an excellent run, finishing second woman, just 1 minute behind the female winner Annie Roberts – this despite having had a tough run at the New Year’s Eve Auld Lang Syne fell race near Haworth just the day before. Not to mention the night itself!

“What a sprint start, and then a bottleneck at the first stile” said Jo. “I started catching Annie up the first climb, Spice Cake Hill, but then I lost touch on the steep descent and never caught up again. She is an ace skier so flies downhill – I’m not! The legs were a bit tired from Auld Lang Syne. A great blast out to shake away the cobwebs!”

There was a strong turnout from Calder Valley men, with Mark O’Connor first back for the club, finishing in 10th place in 20:03. Hot on his heels were Luke Meleschko and Dougie Zinis who finished just two seconds apart, in 20:21 and 20:23 respectively. Just 4 seconds after was Paul Haigh. Anthony Costello had another satisfyingly good run as his racing continues to improve, finishing in 23.23.

Calders Men at the Giants tooth 2018

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon

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Christmas Racing Round up.

Donald Trump, superheroes, Stormtroopers and Santas were just some of the characters seen dashing over the moors over the festive period. Such sightings were witnessed on the moors above Rossendale on Boxing Day for the annual Whinberry Naze Dash. A well established Boxing Day fell race organised by Rossendale Harriers, it’s often ran in fancy dress, with prizes for the best outfit as well as the usual fell racing categories.  Described as a 6.2km mudfest with just a little over 229m of ascent, it’s a short and aggressive race, ideal for running off excess festive fodder.

Stephen Smithies MV50 Whinberry Naze Dash Photo: Mick Fryer

Some 235 runners took part on Boxing Day with Donald and Melania Trump winning the fancy dress prizes.

The race was won by 16-year-old Mathew Mackay from the host club, while Nicola Jackson, of the Ribble Valley Harriers, was the first woman home. And for Calder Valley, Stephen Smithies took the MV50 prize.

A few days later on the Saturday, Northowram Pumas hosted the 2nd Coley Canter, an 8 mile trail race taking in the best trails, footpaths and hills in Pumas territory.  With its legacy as a mud fest, the race was a sell out with 128 competitors, 6 of whom were CV runners.  CVFR featured prominently in the prize giving with Gavin Mulholland 2nd overall and scoping the MV45 prize. And CV Gayle Sugden was first woman home.

Said Gavin: ‘It was a muddy mud skipper with extra lashings of black ice to keep you  on your toes,or not. With local vet legend Karl Gray side lined, I was determined to take on the winner, Owen Bielby of Wharfedale. Despite an early fall, Owen slipped into the lead and never looked back, unless he was lost or fancied a chat, or maybe he was just teasing me. Thanks to all the Pumas for their efforts and the scrummy soup’

Owen was first with Gavin just seconds behind the winning time of 56:26. For the ladies Gayle came out for only her 2nd race of the year to obliterate the rest of the field.  She finished in 01:08:33.

Said Gayle: ‘It was definitely a mud fest out there at the Coley Canter, at one point after jumping over a stile, the only option was to jump into a big bog! I sat behind Margaret Beever (Stainland Lions) for a while unsure of my race fitness but felt strong so decided to push on, happy to see the hills as I knew that was my advantage. A great race route put on by Northowram Pumas, I’ll be back next year to see if I can get near the speedy whippet Lucy Collins. I echo Gavin’s thanks to all the Pumas for their efforts, especially the marshals who stood out there in wet and cold conditions’ 

New Years Eve saw the farewell to the legendary Woodentops Auld Lang Syne fell race, organised by the infamous Dave and Eileen Woodhead. It’s been going for 30 years and is always a highlight in the fell runners’ calendar, falling on the last day of every year. A popular, fun event with fancy dress thrown in, 2017 was no exception with almost 500 competitors ranging from superheroes, elves, vicars, lobsters and Donald Trump, all determined to mark the historic occasion.  

And again CV featured in the prize giving with young Max Wharton, securing third place, coming in just 40 seconds after the winner, double Olympic champion, Alistair Brownlee of Bingley. Nicola Jackson of Ribble Valley was first woman home after her victory at Whinberry Naze the week before.

Max Wharton (3rd), Alistair Brownlee (1st) and Carl Bell (2nd, Keswick) Photo: Woodentops

An increasing number of Calder Valley Fell Runners are enjoying navigation challenges and members competed in two Christmas events at Ogden Water staged by local orienteering club East Pennine Orienteering Club. The first was a night event and the second, a mass start score event where runners try to visit as many controls from a maximum of 29 in an hour.

Said CV’s Jonathan Emberton, also an EPOC member and organiser of the 2 events: ‘The orienteering maps were very detailed at a large scale and the navigation fast and furious. We had two roving Santas both carrying a control box. Upon seeing them, participants could dib the box to get extra points’

A dozen CV runners took part in the Christmas Eve event, with CV’s Phil Scarf securing the MV50 with an impressive 310 points in time of 55:41. More information on local and

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

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Christmas Run

Calder Valley Club Christmas Run:

13 of the older, quicker juniors joined the adult run to Stoodley Pike, through clagg deep enough to lose your average adult giraffe in and mud that would immobilise even a medium-sized tank. Hopefully the same number of kids returned! Various coaches/parents/helpers tried to keep up. These juniors just love going out with the seniors.

On this occasion, there were 30+ seniors, wearing Christmas hats, who joined the Calder Valley Christmas Club run to Stoodley Pike and back, followed by Veggie Chilli, chips & drink in the Shoulder of Mutton in Mytholmroyd.

Group Photo from this year’s CVFR Senior Club Christmas Run

Saturday girls enjoy their Christmas run….

A group of 15 Calder Valley ladies meet every Saturday morning for a social run over the gorgeous moors of Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. They end the year by having a Christmas run to Stoodley Pike followed with festive food and drink back at the Shoulder of Mutton in Mytholmroyd.

Photograph Credit Mark Rosser

Photograph Credit Mark Rosser

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

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Christmas Boggart

As pretty as a picture

Adopting a craze sweeping the running world by storm –  plotting courses to make images using GPS tracking software that allows users to record & share their activities, Ultra Champion Ian Symington has gained notoriety in local circles and amongst fell runners nationally for his intricate designs. Two years ago, he led a group to draw a Christmas tree on Stoodley Pike. Last year he took the whole club out to draw Rudolf complete with “Happy Christmas” written/slash run on the design in the middle of the moors. This year he wanted to keep plans top secret.

Club Christmas Run: Rudolph

This year, on the last Monday before Christmas, with ice still covering the Calder moors, and a thick blanket of fog hugging the ground, at 9:30pm, whilst most folk were curled up in front of the TV or enjoying a pint in the warmth of their local, three of of CVFR’s finest – Symington and his fellow club members, former Club Champ – the “Mytholmroyd Bullet” as he is known, Mark O’Connor, and soon to be crowned 2017 Handicap champ Paul Haigh had other ideas…They were going on ‘mission snowflake’ -running back and forth across open pathless moorland from the top of the moor for 5 miles – so a GPS trace run would plot an amazing snowflake run.

This year’s snowflake 2018

Paul Haigh describes how when he first turned up he was ‘perturbed’ not only by the foggy cold weather but also at the idea of running with two of the fastest runners in the club, but ‘Ian seemed content just to chuckle in the knowledge where we were heading was all in his head.’ Following a quick run up the 1.5 miles to High Brown Knoll, they then dodged this way and that, turning corners on a sixpence, with the other two in his wake.

Slipping & sliding through freezing bog to make the Strava ‘bog’ art

Despite wading through freezing cold ice bogs, in minimum visibility, his co-runners didn’t even grumble at the news that following a miscalculation, the eight-pointed flake they had originally planned was going to need to be 12, so it would be a ‘rather long evening’

Five miles & 1h20 later, as 11pm approached, they were finished & back at the start. At this point, Symington clicked on his watch &, as if by magic, “Boggart” Calder Valley Style was formed. All that was left now was get off the moor before midnight, and to share the Christmas magic with the running world.

After weaving left & right for over an hour to see the watch draw this GPS was a great moment .

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

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