Calder Valley Fell Runner’s Holly Page continued with her fine first year of running for the Mytholmroyd club with a fantastic win in the historic Burnsall Fell Race on Saturday. The race was inaugurated around 1870 and since that date runners have been racing from the busy Feast Sports show field up to the flag on the summit cairn and back again. The race is a lung bursting two mile route with a very technical descent, particularly near the top of the fell, where rocks and deep divots are precariously hidden in the knee deep heather.
International orienteer and Ilkley Harrier Hector Haines was first man, with two of the best descenders in the business fighting it out for second and third, with last year’s winner Ted Mason just beating the evergreen Ian Holmes. All of the men finished in fifteen minutes, which is somewhat slower than the scarcely believable course record of 12:59 set by Ernest Dazell in 1910. Holly’s time of 18:11 put her one minute clear of international athlete Katie Walshaw, with Holmfirth club mate Lucy Needham in third place. Only one Calder man was quicker than Holly and that was Romain Perriel who ran an eye-catching race to dip under the eighteen minute mark. Steve Smithies also ran well to finish in a credible time of 19:05
[Calder Results: Romain Pierrel: 17:58; Holly Page: 18:11; Stephen Smithies: 19:05; Robert Paradise: 19:14; Tim Brooks: 20:37 Blair Garrett: 23:43]
It was also great to see Gayle Sugden back to winning ways on Sunday’s Norland Moor Trail Race where she ran out winner over two minutes clear of Stainland’s Julie Field. Barnsley’s Shaun Dimelow was clear winner of the Norland race, with Meltham’s Andy Whitworth in second and Tristan Sheard in third.
Finally, club captain Helen Fines was not to be outdone by Gayle and Holly when Fines posted a remarkable third place in the Pendleton fell race, putting her an astonishing twelve minutes clear of the second placed woman. Only James Titmuss of Pudsey and Bramley and Paul Crabtree of Keighley edged ahead of the Calder club captain.
With many of Calder’s ladies running so well it’s hoped that they can still medal in both the English and British championships and emulate the men, who’ve picked up bronze in the British championships for the very first time.