Borrowdale fell race has been one of the benchmark Lakeland fell races for many years. The great and the good have taken part and tested their skills over the 16.8 mile/ 6562ft route which takes in the majority of Borrowdale’s majestic peaks, including Scafell Pike and Great Gable. It’s tough at the best of times but throw in rain, mist, and thickening clag such as was evident on Saturday, and you have a severe test of the fell runner’s craft.
Hats off then to the clutch of Calder Valley runners who tackled the beast head on. Cold, wet and miserable is no place to be atop a Lakeland peak dressed in no more than a Ron Hill singlet and a pair of skimpy shorts, but Tim Ellis, the Bard of Egerton, showed his fortitude to compose a poetic run with a superb 7th place. Although no match for runaway winner and current nonpareil Ricky Lightfoot (3:03:16), Tim was part of the second group comprising several of the other leading stars who fought valiantly round the treacherous route to finish in the splendid time of 3:17:19.
One of the stoic runs of the day came from Garry Traviss as he chases V50 points in CVFR club champs. He placed a fantastic 67th in a time of 4 hours 7 minutes and must sneaked in front of racing supremo Darren Fishwick of Chorley. Pretty amazing when you consider Garrys injury worries of cartilage-less knees and hips. Ladies’ skipper Helen Buchan led the Calder ladies home and yet again showed her resilience in this marvellous season of hers with a super run of 5:04:57. Holywell Green’s fell running machine, Dave Culpan girded his loins for a brilliant run, overcoming atrocious conditions and the encircling elements with a heroic run to come in 265th and add Borrowdale to his burgeoning list of races completed. When it comes to races completed, few can match Calder’s Mike Wardle and Rod Sutcliffe, who chalked off yet another Lakeland race in tandem, demonstrating their enviable fell craft and navigation skills to conquer the wind and rain.
A measure of just how perilous such races can be was evident when an Otley AC runner slipped 60ft down a gully as he descended from Scafell Pike. Battered and badly bruised he had to be ferried off the mountain by the mountain rescue services and we hope he is ok.
Elsewhere, Calder’s scouting network can be chuffed with their recent acquisition with Lindsey Oldfield winning last week’s Hellifield Gala race near Settle. Lindsey, a more than welcome addition to Calder’s high profile female squad, has wasted no time in settling into her red and white vest and was a comfortable winner of the ladies’ race.
Closer to home and in less hostile surroundings, Calder’s John Lloyd launched yet another new race in his Cannonball Events programme, with the first running of his Cock Hill Woods race out of the Roebuck pub near Todmorden. Calder’s young star Max Wharton romped home to claim another senor victory and expect to see his name more and more as he relieves himself of the shackles of youth restrictions. He really is some sight in full flight and he made light work of the picturesque 3.5mile route. Calder’s Joe Washington was on the podium once more in 3rd place as he continued his rampant recent form.
Fancy a go yourself? Visit www.cvfr.co.uk for further information.