Calder Valley’s popular ‘Midsummer Madness’ fell running event was blessed with glorious sunshine this weekend with Calder’s James Logue yet again taking the crown for his combined score over the three days. The returning Logue left little to chance with 2nd 1st and 2nd respectively across the Wicken Hill Whizz, Reservoir Bogs and Tom Tittiman races.
The event, expertly staged by Calder guru Bill Johnson combines two short, steep and quick races, Wicken Hill Whizz and Tom Tittiman, with the more sophisticated ‘Reservoir Bogs on the Saturday. This gem of a race combines map reading and control finding, normally over a distance of about 9 miles, and invariably sees competitors taking in all parts of Midgley Moor – some of those reluctantly, and some more than once! The event has become popular with clubs as far away as Essex and the Midlands who come to savour our world class scenery and fell running.
In such an environment Logue is unsurpassed and demonstrated his prowess with a masterful display, beating close rival and fellow map-maestro Simon Bourne by nearly eight minutes into second place – a hugely authoritative win. In the ladies race, Queen of the contours Jackie Scarf showed the men how to read a map and to come home in a brilliant twelfth place.
Both led their respective CVFR team mates to the team prizes, the bare chested Mark O’Connor making up the men’s trio and Rachel Johnston and Joanna Marshall joining Jackie on the podium.
Friday’s race saw the second win a week for local physio Joe Washington, who has been in blazing form since his winter break. The Ripponden based speedster can take great heart in beating Logue into second place and looks in super shape as the summer months approach. The ladies will be hoping for a glimpse of his rippling muscles as the sun continues to shine. Mention must also go to Rob White, Calder’s Under 23 star who carded an excellent 3rd place.
In the ladies race, Calder’s new signing Lindsey Oldfield, daughter of local legend Steve, showed she’s no slouch herself with a flying run to finish 19th, just ahead of the rampant Helen Buchan in 23rd, the Calder ladies’ captain who is having the season of her life.
The heat was on in every sense for Sunday’s climax with the mercury well into the 80s and we were treated to a guest-star appearance by reigning BOFRA champ, Tod racing snake Shaun Godsman. Shaun is rarely bettered in races like this and hit the afterburners for a brilliant time of 27:24, Logue in second and Washington in 3rd.
Gayle Sugden stemmed the Lindsey Oldfield tide to take the ladies race with a very quick run of 32:30, with Lindsey coming in second in 33:33. It was also good to see Anne Johnson back in action after a long and frustrating lay-off with injury. A thoroughbred to grace any field, Anne showed that class never leaves you with a composed run of 35:18 to come in fourth lady and cement Calder’s team prize.
Special mention must almost go to Blackshawhead running man Ian Symington who competed in the mammoth Scottish West Highland Way race, a snip at 95 miles and 14,000ft of climb. Some people don’t go that far on their holidays.