Calder Valley’s ultra-distance running exemplar Ian Symington finished a magnificent third in Saturday’s annual Howarth Hobble race. The legendary slog takes in 32 miles of the region’s finest scenery linking Howarth, Widdop, Blackshawhead, Cross Stone, Stoodley Pike, Heptonstall, Crimsworth Dene and back to Howarth for one of the toughest assignments on the fell calendar.
A measure of Ian’s run is that his brilliant time of 4:10:35 would have been good for a comfortable win in four of the last five year’s races; scant consolation for Ian no doubt, but he’s sure to be back next year for a tilt at the coveted crown. But as ever in these parts, be wary of men wearing purple vests and it was Borrowdale star Kim Collison who took victory in a marvellous 4:04:31, with Helm Hill’s Adam Perry taking second in 4:06:23. Claire Shelley took the ladies’ title with 81st overall, with Calder’s endurance ace Linda Murgatroyd carding an excellent 5:56:12 to come in 136th.
In the pairs’ race, Todmorden’s Nick Barber and Calder Canonball John Lloyd fought hard to come in 9th overall only two places behind winning pair Richard Pattinson and Steve Neill.