Even Irish “Stew” conditions don’t stop Gray & Fines

helen & JasmineIt was another busy weekend for Calder Valley Fell Runners with three events taking place, the flagship one being the ‘Silent Valley’ fell race held over in Northern Ireland. A long way to go you may think for a fell race but with it being a British Championship counter, and Northern Ireland being a popular away day haunt of CVFR, a strong red and white contingent made the trip over.

In conditions bordering on atrocious, biting cold, intermittent rain and poor visibility in thick clag contributed to a genuine Irish stew. Chuck in just shy of 5,000ft to ascend in 9.5miles and you can see why many found the going very tough indeed, with some getting lost a waylaid on the way. Not so Karl Gray and Helen Fines who put in truly superb runs; Karl finishing 4th overall in a field dripping with quality and Helen finishing as first lady in 42nd overall; both scooping up precious British Championship points in the process.

Back in Lancashire, a handful of CVFR competed in Rochdale Harrier’s excellent ‘Wardle Skyline’ race, a 7-mile route around some eye-catching scenery between Littleborough and Rochdale. Robert Paradise, a man to never knowingly miss a fell race, was first Calder man home in a solid 19th place, with Sally Newman first CVFR lady home (3rd overall) in 51st.

Paradise was in action again the day after at Bouldsworth Hill Fell race near Wycoller (8.2 miles/ 1394ft). He went one better coming 18th, but ceded best CVFR finish to Tim Black who finished in an impressive 4th place. First CVFR lady home was Sport Billy herself, Barbara Lonsdale in 40th place overall.

Closer to home, Kevin Hoult confirmed his ascent to the upper echelons of the Ultra Distance running ranks with a barnstorming win in the 37-mile Calderdale Hike race. Building on his recent 3rd place in the 33-mile Howarth Hobble, Kevin spearheaded a brilliant one-two for Calder Valley, finishing ahead of teammate Simon Bourne, to lift the massive trophy.