Clear as a “Bell”

Helen Fines plus

Ben, Sally and Helen enjoying some after race banter & Helen in action (courtesy of Dave Woodhead)

Another race organised by Allan Greenwood is the Ovenden Fell Race, at 8 miles long and with 1,200 feet of climbing it’s a fast paced race over the moors around the Wind Farm.

Entries are made in the Causeway Foot Inn at Ogden, Halifax and an unexpected entrant was Carl Bell, Inov8 sponsored athlete and now running for Keswick Athletic Club following his exit from local club Howgill Harriers. Carl made the long trip from Sedbergh to keep race sharp and everyone was glad to see him on the start line except for maybe Calder Valley runner, and pre-race favourite, Ben Mounsey. Ben would have to run a perfect race to beat the Keswick man and as the runners lined up on the start line frenzied cries of “Don’t let Carl Bell end before me” boomed around Ogden Water”.

Ideal running weather was on offer on this beautiful bright morning but the course was tough with plenty of mud and bog to contend with. Carl, Ben and local youngster, Joe Crossfield, from Halifax Harriers, immediately hit the front as the runners ran along a one mile track before turning onto Ovenden Moor. After another mile Carl and Ben were clear of Joe and were now racing on Thornton Moor, heading for the race loop that climbs over Nab Scar. Around the loop Ben jostled with Carl and the lead changed hands numerous times but with the race hotting up disaster struck for Ben as a deep bog claimed one of his shoes and by the time he had retrieved it Carl had built up an unassailable lead.

Carl and Ben had unwittingly ran an extra few hundred yards as some prankster had moved a section of flags. Jon Wright of Todmorden Harriers was not fooled and ignored this mischievous act to take third place as less informed runners also ran the extra yards. Reports of an elf like creature signalling to Ben to ignore the miss-placed flags are being investigated.

Helen Fines won the ladies race by a country mile and was supported by Sally Newman and Kate Mansell to take the team prize. CVFR ladies had a clean sweep with Kate and Sally first vet40 and vet50 respectively. The men’s team prize was won by Wharfedale Harriers.

There was a record number of runners with 183 completing the race.