Calder Valley’s James Logue gave five times English fell Running championships winner Ian Holmes a close race at the Shepherds Skyline Fell Race on Saturday. Holmes has won the race eight times in the last nine years, the only blip being three years ago when he didn’t race, but this was one of the closest skyline races that the Bingley man has competed in with Logue leading the race for much of the ten kilometre route. The race route takes runners from the Shepherd’s Rest Inn in Lumbutts and up to the Stoodley Pike monument high on the skyline. From there a rapid descent to London Road precedes a tough climb back up to the moor before a breakneck return to the start. Logue, who has been in fine form of recent and the ever reliable Holmes were well clear of some classy runners in a huge field of 357 starters, including Leeds City’s Chris Birchall who was third, a minute and a half adrift of Logue. Tim Black had another impressive run with club mate Steve Smithies regaining some of the form he showed earlier in the year. Wharfedale Harriers, who are a club growing in stature, sent a strong team to Lumbutts and they duly picked up the men’s team prizes, just pipping host club Todmorden Harriers.
In the ladies race Anne Johnson, like Logue, is also back to her very best with a fine first win in this race although this was an even closer result than the men’s with Johnson just edging out Keighley and Craven’s Sharon Walton by two seconds. Johnson’s club mate Trudi Entwistle, who has recently broken into the ladies relay teams, also ran very well again to place as second Calder lady. Jackie Scarf ensured a successful team outing for Calder’s ladies, who won the team prizes.