Saturday 29th saw the return of the yorkshire championships at Great whernside fell race in Kettlewell, the dales. Although a short race of 4miles, the route manages almost 1600ft of climb with many running surfaces under foot from sheep mown fields to slippery rock and boggy marsh, which ended up swallowing quite a few runners (or bog monsters). The weather was on the turn as 175 competitors warmed up for the start of the race late morning, with the clag covering the higher ground. Calder valley were out to defend their title as 1st team for the third year on the trot, led by stalwart Karl Gray, last years senior champion. Despite the steep start, the pace was blistering with Gray & team mate Gavin Mulholland leading closely followed by the likes of Ian Holmes and the Pudsey & Bramley team. By Hag Dyke farm the 1st group of men were pulling away with the lead constantly changing. By the trig point of Great Whernside Mulholland slipped into 2nd and descended into the lead past Leeds man Chris Birchall only to be caught by Holmes and Karl Bell of Howgill who had taken a shorter route. Past the farm on the return saw a massive scrap for all positions with Bell & Holmes breaking away and finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, leaving Mulholland to fight with Birchall and Mike Fanning of Borrowdale for 3rd, but losing out in the end to finish 5th overall with Karl Gray making a storming finish right behind and James Logue completing the third man (thats two irishmen out of three writes Mulholland) to take the team prize yet again. In the Yorkshire Category of the race Jo Waites again showed form, after a long lay off with injury, being the 1st lady home (2nd lady overall) and Gavin Mulholland managing an individual bronze as well. Brian Horsley also had a great run to take the Vet 60s title. A big thanks go to the organisers Pete Jebb and David Woodhead, and the ever present marshalls who so enjoy freezing to death whilst watching some suicidal runners. The Calder Valley gold medal team were made up of lads all over 40 and rumour has it that Shaun Godsman has disowned Lancashire in a bid to be a part of next years team.
Calder Valley Fell Runners’ Jo Waites was in Kettlewell for her 40th birthday party and the former ladies club captain had double reason to celebrate as she was part of a Calder Valley ladies team that picked up a bronze medal in the national fell relays. The relays was the second event of the weekend to attract Calder Valley’s fellrunners to Kettlewell with 182 competing teams from all over Britain sending their best off-road runners to do battle. The event was organised by Bingley Harriers and it was fitting that their team collected a gold medal in the ladies competition. With three of the top ten mountain runners in Europe in their ranks they started out as strong favourites, but the quality of the Calder performance was demonstrated by the fact that Bingley only edged past Calder Valley on the final leg. First off for Calder was their new recruit Trudi Entwistle who got the ladies off to a solid start handing over to long distance veterans Anne Johnson and Sally Newman for the paired second leg. Then Waites and club mate Jo Buckley took the baton for the navigation leg, putting the ladies in a great position for Gayle Sugden on the glory leg to bring home a well deserved team bronze. In very wet underfoot conditions the appropriately named Edinburgh based club Hunters Bog Trotters were second ladies team. In the men’ race there were also no surprises as Dark Peak were at full strength to take team gold. Backed up by some of the country’s fastest fell men and international orienteers they were five minutes ahead of perennial challengers Borrowdale Fell Runners. Last year’s winners Shettlestone Harriers had former world long distance mountain champion Jethro Lennox and new fell supremo Thomas Owens in their line up, but this year they had to settle for third. With Ben Mounsey missing, Calder Valley finished in a fantastic sixth place, with Tim Black on leg 1; Karl Gray and Shaun Godsman on leg 2; Gavin Mulholland and James Logue the star performers on leg 3 and Alex Whittem on leg 4. Borrowdale’s wily vets once again proved to be unstoppable in their category, claiming a gold medal once again. Calder Valley had another three teams in the events who all ran well at a superbly organised event on a bright sunny day for running on the Yorkshire fells. Jason Stevens
Calder Valley Fell Runners made it a convincing clean sweep at Saturday’s Good Shepherd Fell Race when their runners took the honours in both the individual and team placings. Calder’s James Logue and Anne Johnson demonstrated the fine form that they are currently in with both of them running the route three minutes quicker than the course records which they both held previously!
Unfortunately, these old records will still stand as the race has been shortened due to the construction work which is taking place at Withins Clough reservoir, which has closed the dam wall to the public, meaning runners head around the reservoir the opposite way to reach the checkpoint high on the moor. Apart from that slight tweak, the race heads up from Dauber Bridge, below Cragg Vale and up onto Erringden Moor. Two visits to Stoodley Pike then precede a long run back to the Good Shepherd church via Robin Hood Rocks, near Scout Road. The race takes some tricky twists and turns towards its end and despite the best efforts of the organisers, a handful of runners approached the finish from the wrong direction, as has been the case in the last few years. There were no such problems for James Logue, who was on top form early in the year and looks to have recaptured that form with a huge eight minute margin of victory from the unattached runner Marc Lowden. Saddleworth’s evergreen Vet 50 runner, Chris Davies, was third man back.
Anne Johnson also looks to have put this year’s injury woes behind her as she ran away with the ladies first place a full quarter of an hour clear of the second placed lady, Mel Blackhurst of Todmorden. Third lady was Pudsey’s Leanne Hague. Anne’s husband Bill also ran very well and is looking sharp for the British Relays next week as he ran in fourth to take some notable scalps. With Rob Dobson also running well in eleventh place, the Calder men were first team.
The ladies also won the team race, with Helen Lambert and Claire Hanson backing up Anne well.
CVFR Results: James Logue – 01:42:20; Bill Johnson – 01:52:15; Rob Dobson – 01:58:56; Garry Travis – 02:00:26; Anne Johnson – 02:03:06; Mark Wharton – 02:10:53; Nick Murphy – 02:18:30; Martin Whitehead – 02:18:32; Steve Grimley – 02:20:06; Dave Culpan – 02:21:35; Lance Parker – 02:21:52; Tim Hayles – 02:22:23; Helen Lambert – 02:22:26; Tony Steward – 02:32:04; Toby Sydes – 02:43:04; Claire Hanson – 02:44:19; Linda Hayles – 2:54:39.
Thursday sessions will start in earnest tonight at 6.15 p.m. for a warm-up,
anti-clockwise lap of Savile Park.
This is the planned schedule for the winter:
6th Oct: fartlek taster
13th Oct: Interval taster
20th Oct: 1 km time-trial session
27th Oct: Kenyan Indian-File Trees
3rd Nov: 90 second intervals
10th Nov: Pyramid
17th Nov: Fartlek
24th Nov: Relay
1st Dec: 180/60 second intervals
8th Dec: Pyramid
15th Dec: Fartlek
22nd Dec: 1 km time-trial session
Repeat an approximation of this 9 week cycle leading up to 1 km time-trial session towards end of February when everyone knocks at least 30 seconds off their december time.
See you on the moor, 200yards along the park road from St Jude’s church corner.