Busy few days for the hoops

Alex Whittem & Jon Smith in fine form at Windy Hill

CVFR teamwork wins out on Windy Hill
With Storm Erik forecast this weekend, Windy Hill Fell Race lived up its name. Seven CVFR lined up at Hollingworth Lake, for this popular, 9 mile race which climbs 1281 feet over the Pennine Moors with fast runnable tracks, and a memorable ascent. 

Calder Valley men worked well together to scoop the first men’s (Alex Whittem, Jon Smith, Elliot Corner) and third men’s (Michael Hyde, Stephen Smithies, Darren Earnshaw) team prizes. 

Alex Whittem was 5th overall in his first race back in a while and Jon Smith, 9th, also winning 1st V40 prize. 

Ribble Valley’s Chris Holdsworth, continued his winning form to take top spot on Windy Hill in 57:12 mins. Lindsay Brindle, Horwich RMI Harriers, was first female (17th overall)

Doctor’s Gate Fell Race
Calder Valley’s club champion, Jonny Croston ran well to finish in the top five at the tough 12 mile Doctor’s Gate Fell Race, which starts and finishes in Glossop, with over 2,800ft of climbing. 

Future Bright for Night Score
Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge were the dual settings for the inaugural CVFR urban night score event this week. Jonathon Emberton employed his considerable orienteering expertise to devise this challenging introduction for his club mates. It proved extremely popular, with juniors and seniors across the age (and navigation skills) spectrum, dusting off their road shoes, and braving the rain to take part in this two centre event. 

Nicki & Jocasta looking well pleased with themselves

A mass start saw calder valley runners (and some Tod harriers) race to find the 11 compulsory, linear controls in Mytholmroyd before dashing to Hebden Bridge. Relying on honesty, a total of 31 points were now up for grabs across 18 controls, including up in Heptonstall, for those skilled enough to make it back to club HQ within the allotted 90 minutes. An added option to grab three extra controls on their way provided further intrigue. 

In a hard fought contest, CVFR’s James Logue took first place, back four minutes ahead, though tied at 51 points with three other veteran category runners (Chris Goddard (Tod Harriers), James Williams, Iain Powell). Martin Howard, showed his navigational prowess, in first men’s solo class (6th overall). Catherine Holden and Richard Sunderland took first mixed pair (11th overall), Dougie Zinnis and Luke Meleschko first male pair (13th overall), and Jocasta Fletcher and Nicky Latham, first women’s pair (23rd overall).

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach

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Sunny, Snowy Trog

On Saturday it was all hands on deck as Jake Ackroyd (race organiser) called upon CVFR members to volunteer and man the various check points around the valley. The fun starts from the cricket club in Old Town, covering 31km and 1111m of climb over a snow covered course, taking in the moors over to Warley reservoir, over to Cock Hill where you then  do a loop of Wadsworth Moor and Bronte territory to Walshaw and Shackleton knoll before returning back via Lumb hole waterfall and across Midgely Moor to the finish.Some of Yorkshire and England’s finest talent were out to build up their strength for the coming fell running season.

A very happy looking Helen out in the snowy conditions

Jack Wood of Ilkley was first back in 2.36 with Karl Gray, the course record holder, first vet and 4th placed overall.  Ultra runner Kevin Hoult was next in for the club and young Martin Howard, after a good first half, took on a crampathon, still coming home in 43rd place.
On the ladies side, Sharon Taylor had a massive gap on her competitors going sub 3 hours, with ultra running vet 50 Nicky Spinks first vet. First local lass was CVFR and Lancashire County runner Helen Buchan. Over 160 runners participated in all.

On Sunday, from Langsett barn in the Dark Peaks, Mark Burton was first home for the club coming third overall in the Mickleden Straddle, just under 10 mins of England International Chris Holdsworth.  Some of the other CVFR in attendance included, Andy Thorpe 10th, Phil Wells 21st, Dan Marden 29th and Andy Wright 31st.  For the ladies, sarah Hodgson was done in 2.04 with our own Elina Eady and Eileen McDonach coming home in 2.53 and 2.56 respectively. 

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gav Mulholland

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Thirza & Hyde

Huge Thanks to CVFR’s Membership Maestro Thirza Hyde

Thirza in full flight

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

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

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

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

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

Clare Kenny, Thirza, Rose Carnochan, Amanda Farrell.

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

Thirza at CVFR Club do Jan 2012

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

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

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

Thirza photobombing Mark Cavendish

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

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Winter Handicap & Presentation Evening

Calder Valley Presentation Evening

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

Ann Holden’s Haul

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

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

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

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

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

Winter Handicap

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

Matthew Bott recieves Handicap Trophy from organiser, Marc Collett

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

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

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Ultra Spine Beast Minta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gill Dickson

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Short and Long

Stanbury Splash:

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

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

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

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

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

Holly Page – credit Mick Fryer

Montane Spine Race

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

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

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

Simon Bourne – Official Spine Challenger photo

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

Racing in the Peaks:

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

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

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

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

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Happy New Year 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Eileen McDonach

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Winter Break

‘Twas night before Xmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, except for le fellrunner, busy gathering it’s vest and kit bag, ready for the next big race. And over the Winter break there were two or more such events. 

Tristian Sheard – Coley Canter (Credits Woodentops)

Gales nor sprouts could stop folk attending “The Coley Canter” held by Northhowram pumas on Saturday 29th. The course uses lots of trails and paths around the woods of Shelf and Norwood green. Calders Holly Page was forced to reveal herself after winning at the previous race (whinberry naze) dressed as a Christmas present. It was a grand day out for the Page family as brother Ben took the win, with Holly next home in 56 mins (1st lady and 2nd overall) and Mum Hilary taking the f55 title. See pix. 

Holly Page – Christmas present (Credits Mick Fyrer)

Next home was Luke Meleschko in 11th with Tristan Sheard close behind in 12th and crowned v45 champ. Jon Underwood sneaked into the top 20 with Anthony Costello 31st. 

Next…the Xmas box on legs

Page Family (Credit Woodentops)

And at the Whinberry Naze race, 4 miles up and around Cowpe Lowe near Rawtenstall, held on Boxing Day, Holly did actually turn up suitably dressed, to give the competitors a festive treat as she overcame strong, air resistance, to take the win.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gav Mulholland

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Last Sunday saw the old and the young gather at the start line in Penistone Hill Country Park for a  5 mile circuit up and around the Stoop standing stone, a fell race organised by Wharfedale Harriers.

CV women were again victorious with Lucy Collins (3rd lady), Jo Buckley and Jackie Scarf claiming the ladies team prize. Mark Wharton was first CV home in 38:11. The race was won by Jack Wood of Illkey Harriers (30:27) with Nicola Jackson (Ribble Valley Harriers) first woman.

Lucy Collins 3rd lady

And CV juniors excelled in their efforts too with young Harry Cliff securing 1st U9. Other CV youngsters included Ted Parker (U9), Thomas McKee, Olivia Falkingbridge and Fearne Hanson (all U 11s)

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Gill Dickson

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Mytholmroyd fell race, sponsored by Vocation Brewery

The highlight of this week’s local running calendar was without a doubt the Mytholmroyd fell race, sponsored by Vocation Brewery. Although the sun finally came out to play, after recent heavy rainfall, the 10-km/6.2-mile course had its fair share of puddles deep enough to half drown shorter runners.

This muddy race, expertly organised by CVFR’s Phill & Harley Beecroft, includes 411m/1348ft of climbing to keep runners warm in the December chill and a free can of beer for all runners at the end. This year, 166 runners reached the finish line. Ribble Valley Harriers Josh Boyle and Bingley Harriers’ MV50 Ian Holmes battled to the end, to take first & second places – finishing in an incredibly fast 47:19 & 47:25 respectively. Todmorden’s Andrew Worston took 3rd place, with CVFR’s Martin Howard, in his first race back after an ankle injury, running well to finish in 5th place overall (first U23) in 50:16.

Martin Howard – Mytholmroyd – credit Dave Woodhead

Despite strong runs from Calder Valley’s Paul Haigh & Elliot Corner (who both ran sub-55-minute races to finish 15th & 16th overall & 6th MV40 for the former),

Paul Haigh – Mytholmroyd – credit Jonathan Moon
Elliot Corner – Mytholmroyd – credit Dave Woodhead

Todmorden Harriers just pipped CVFR to the men’s team prize by 3 places – with both teams a long way in front of third place Wharfdale. Other good performances from Calder Valley included Mark Wharton, who came in just shy of 59 minutes to finish 25th overall (4th MV50), Steve Morran, who placed 57th overall (2nd MV60) and Joanna Stevens with 77th overall & 10th woman over the line.

Mytholmroyd the race sweepers getting into festive spirit- credit Mick Fryer

Away from the Valley, this weekend saw CVFR runners John Minta & Johnnie Watson take on the Exodus Ultra Marathon in Wales. This 160km / 99.4-mile run, complete with 7100m / 23294ft of climb takes in what is essentially the full Brecon Beacons Way. The race started at 7pm Friday night and saw racers take on some of horrific storms, with high winds, 70 mph gusts on the tops, and torrential rain for a big part of this endurance event. Unfortunately, Johnnie understandably pulled out a few miles before the 75 miles check-point when his jacket fell apart and with no more dry kit, he felt it too risky to continue for another night. However, John battled on, in what he described as the worst conditions he has ever experienced, in to finish in an impressive 5th place in 33 hours 33 minutes and despite having been up for well over 48h was keen to stress how this was “All good spine training“ for next year.

Even further afield, CVFR’s international nomad, Holly Page outright won a park run race in Wythenshawe, Manchester, in a muddy sprint finish on Saturday 1st December, cutting it a little fine by crossing the line 90 minutes before her plane was due to depart to take her to spend a few days in Belgium for some altitude training (-94m) and to ‘chat to a big hall of ultra-runners about how women CAN go off and do cool things and don’t just have to drive the support truck and massage the men’s feet ? No need for a meticulous masterplan or big budget, just have a crazy idea and go off and make it happen…’ Then she was off to the Canaries for Sunday, 9th December’s K42 Canarias Vertical Kilometre – a 45km ‘mission’ around the Anaga mountains. Despite describing her lungs feeling like those of a 90- year old smoker, Holly stormed this latest challenge to finish first female in 4h 48:43 – over 70 minutes faster than the second placed female runner!

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Catherine Jones

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