The weather forecast leading up to Jason’s BG attempt didn’t look great and he nearly pulled the plug on it earlier in the week. Thanks goodness he didn’t as he was blessed with an almost perfect day for running and Jason posted the second fastest BG time of 2012 with a stunning time of 18 hours 46 minutes. His small team of pacers and navigators had a hard time keeping up with him on some of his legs as he climbed and descended well. As the day went on it was obvious that he was well inside his 21 hour schedule and it looked more like 19 hours. Dropping off the last summit of Robinson and down to Newlands Church a new challenge was thrown at him by Anne Johnson of getting inside her time of 18 hours 49 minutes. The road run was a fast blast and he raced to Moot Hall to just sneak inside Anne’s time and the 4th fastest ever recorded by a Calder Valley Member. A job well done Jason. Congratulations from all your club mates.
The Calder Valley Fell Runners member, who lives in the village, was the first female home in a 100-plus field last Saturday.
Page, who has won a series of races in recent weeks, was15th overall in 59 minutes 29 seconds.
There was drama in the men’s race. Alex Whittem looked like making it a double for Calder Valley but the clear leader took a wrong turn after five and a half miles and eventually finished seventh.
The honours went to Bingley Harriers’ Christopher Smale in a new race best of 52 minutes and nine seconds.
The fact that the race went ahead at all was testament to the hard work of the race organisers and the co-operation and generosity of local landowners Anthony Holt, Hazel Noble, Tony Ingram, and David Lumb .
Heavy rain throughout June had meant that the fields used for the final stages of the race and the all important finishing tunnel had not been mown. Further torrential rain on Friday added to the problems.
Local resident Mark Wigg used a 1948 agricultural grass cutter to create a track through the waist high grass on Friday evening, race organisers having agreed with landowners that the runners would keep to the track to protect the rest of the field.
Plans to safely park around 100 cars on nearby roads outside the village were also put in place with the usual field for parking out of use.
The six-mile contest was started by a sharp blast from the whistle of traction engine “Ciffy” who was raising money for Cystic Fibrosis and is likely to return for next year’s race.
Representatives of keen local rivals Todmorden Harriers and Calder Valley Fell Runners were joined by runners from across the region and further afield.
Runners set out from outside the White Lion Pub on Weaver’s Square at 11am and headed across the fields before crossing Draper’s Lane and descending 500 feet on a footpath to the Blue Pig.
This can be a white knuckle descent at the best of times but the recent rain made it particularly challenging.
After a brief respite over the Horse Bridge and across the road, runners were taken on the 1000 feet ascent past the Pecket Well War Memorial and on to High Brown Knoll.
Competitors were treated to a warm day, although the moorland remained resolutely waterlogged.
After a loop around the moor following the well established path, runners turned tail and headed back to Heptonstall by retracing their steps past the Memorial and ultimately up the final energy sapping climb from Midgehole to Lee Bank.
Smale was also the first over 40s runner while Peter Hughes (over 50s, 60:23), Jeff Hignett (over 60s, 61:44) and Bryan Pycroft (over 70s, 100:02) took the other male veterans prizes.
The women’s veterans prizes went to Jackie Scarfe (over 40s, 71:12) and Aileen Baldwin (over 50s and over 60s, 71:47).
Calder Valley took the men’s team prize through Andy Thorpe (second), Whittem (seventh) and Romain Pierrel (11th overall) and made it a double through Page, Jackie Scarfe (third) and Louise Marix-Evans (seventh).
The prize winners all received bottles of Copper Dragon beer and Smale and Page also received cut glass trophies at the prizegiving outside the White Lion pub.
Calder Valley positions: 2, Andy Thorpe 52:43; 7, Alex Whittem 54:51; 11, Romain Pierrel 57:32; 14, Roy Dobson 59:13; 15, Holly Page 59:29; 16, James Williams 59:57; 21, Graham Hill 60:59; 28, Phil Scarf 64:07; 31, Be4n Frechette 64:20; 40, Richard Sunderland 67:15; 41, Steve Grimley 67:45; 42, Tim Brooke 68:12; 49, Charlie Boyce 69:32; 51, Martin Whitehead 69:48; 57, Jackie Scarf 71:12; 60, Dave Culpan 71:52; 62, Paul Taylor 72:24; 63, Graham Lloyd 72:47; 67, Andy Thorpe 74:49; 71, Blair Garrett 74:58; 72, Louise Marix Evans 75:02; 75, Gillian Wisbey 76:22; 105, Toby Sydes 88:03.
It’s been a sorry couple of weeks for British sport…..The England football team were useless as usual in the Euros and Andy Murray lost in the Wimbledon final yesterday…..it’s good job the Calder Valley men’s team didn’t disappoint!!!!!
8 hardy CVFR souls travelled to Arrochar last weekend to compete in the mother of all fell races, Arrochar Alps (15.5miles and 8,000ft of hell).
Unfortunately there weren’t enough CVFR women to make up a team but HUGE congratulations to ‘La Capitana’ Helen Fines on another superb individual run. Our England international was in dominant form on Saturday, destroying all but 1 of the female opposition as well as taking a ridiculous amount of ‘Arrochar Scalps’! Helen showed the women AND the men how to run one of the toughest races ever included in the championship and she has earned some serious respect for her achievements. VERY, VERY WELL DONE HELEN! Your medals await!…
The day also belonged to the extremely hard working and committed men’s team who after this result have now MEDALLED IN THE BRITISH OPEN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IN!!!!!!!!!!! HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The team were led home by club ‘Legend’ Karl ‘Earl’ Gray, who never gave up on the race despite smashing up his ankle badly climbing over the gate across the dam at the bottom of the first descent. Looking at the picture of his ankle it’s hard to believe he managed to complete the race let alone get a top 10 finish! Our ‘man of steel’ finished in 8th overall and 3rd V40!…but this is Karl we’re talking about so don’t be too surprised 😉
Then there was Mad Legs Mulholland…the irish runt. Thankful for the fact he only weighs 7 stone he climbed his way to a top 15 finish and showed why Northern Ireland have chosen him to represent their fine country at the up and coming Snowdon International.
Timbo Baggins of The Shire found the race tough but kept on going to break into the top 35 and earn some valuable points for the team. Our ringbearing Hobbit was severely tempted to climb the Cobbler instead of Ben Narnia in order to cast the ‘one ring to rule them all’ into the fiery depths of the valley below the mountain. But alas he had a job to do for the club and he did it well.
Logie Bear was another injury worry and after struggling on the top of Ben Vain it was doubtful he would even finish the race- his calf was giving him trouble and he was in serious pain. The Loguester got round in one piece and he just managed to finish in front of 5th counter Timbo Black, who had excellent run with a much needed team performance, WELL DONE Tim! Tim wasn’t even going to run but apparently his Dad ‘made him’ and even drove him up on the Saturday morning. Black SNR we salute you!!!
Huge praise for Steve Smithies- a last minute sub for the vets team. Because Steve counted for the team he has all but guaranteed our successful Golden Oldies team another British medal in the V40 team category!!!!!!! Woohoo!!! A massive well done Steve- u da man!!!!!!
El Capitano had an absolute nightmare and has already wiped this weekend’s below-par performance from his memory. But he managed to finish the race and with the team medal in mind it was totally worth the effort!
This result has been WELL EARNED and it just shows how much the club has developed over the last few years. There is still chance to be a part of our most successful team- if we finish better than 3rd team overall in the last British champs race (Moel Wnion) then the result will eclipse our 3rd place overall at Slieve Bearnagh. Shaun, Alex, Brad etc. get involved!!!!!!!!
The legendary Allan Greenwood once said, ‘it’s not what the club can do for you, it’s what you can do for your club’.
A VERY proud, El Capitano xxx