Mytholmroyd Fell Race was the venue for the final race in the Calder Valley Fell Runners annual Club Championship. With Karl Gray running at the Lee Mill Relays, “Royd Rocket” Mark O’Connor was well placed to take the Championship crown.
In the Vet40 category it was possible for either Mark Wharton or Richard Sunderland to win. With Richard having a two point lead going into the race, Mark had to be the first or second Calder Valley Vet40 and beat Richard by two places to win.
The 7 mile race starts with a sharp climb of nearly 1000 feet from Redacre Bridge in Mytholmroyd to Churn Milk Joan on Midgley Moor. From the outset Mark O’Connor led the Calder vests to come back in 8th place and win the Club Championship in convincing style. Giles Simon also put in a storming run as second Calder finisher in 11th place.
In the battle of the Vets, Mark Wharton, chasing hard all the way, couldn’t beat Richard on the steep climb out of the Luddenden Valley and had to settle for second place for the second year in a row. These two have tussled for the top spot all year so it was fitting that the final race of the season was the decider. Richard was 3rd Calder finisher in 12th place and Mark was 4th in 14th.
Jackie Scarf from Calder was the first woman back in just over an hour with the men’s race being won by Chris Miller of Harrogate
Calder Valley Results
1 Chris Miller, Harrogate – 49.29, 8 Mark O’Connor – 53.58, 11 Giles Simon – 55.18, 12 Richard Sunderland – 55.28, 14 Mark Wharton – 56.51, 26 John Killerby – 60.25
30 Iain Powell – 60.57, 34 Bill Johnson – 61.50, 35 David Webb – 62.06, 39 Richard Ingram – 63.51, 43 Phil Scarf – 64.07, 48 Jackie Scarf – 64.53, 50 Brian Horsley – 65.15, 52 Tim Brooks – 65.32, 56 Andrew Wright – 67.45, 60 Blair Garrett – 69.33, 64 Jeremy Wilkinson – 70.19, 71 Tony Steward – 71.48, 74 Dave Culpan – 72.14, 79 Nathan Kennaugh – 74.02, 80 Rod Sutcliffe – 74.16, 81 John Nunn – 75.23, 84 Craig Hall – 78.28, 89 Paul Taylor – 81.22, 90 Steve Boyer – 81.32
Lee Mill Relays
A new fell relay race has been organised by the Rossendale Harriers. Heading out of the Rossendale Valley through the Lee Mill Quarry area and up to the Top of Leach, the race involves teams of 4 running the same six mile loop in turn. Calder Valley Fell Runners sent over two top teams hoping to set the bar for the future. The clag was down and the wind was getting up, with 25 teams running the route it was not a case of follow the leader, in fact many ran the route without seeing another runner.
The A team of Gavin Mullholland, James Louge, Karl Grey and Ben “The Bullet” Mounsey put in 4 of the six fastest legs to win the event outright as planned in 3 hours 4 mins and 7 sec. “The Bullet” ran the fastest leg of the day (44mins 33sec) and therefore won the £50 prize money. The drinks were on him then!!! With Horwich coming second (3:09:26) Calder’s B team of Tim Ellis, Joe Crossfield, Jonny Helliwell and Darren Kay also put in a top performance placing 3rd out of the 25 competing teams (3:21:33).