Crow Hill Reverse
Fell runners are straight forward people. When the route of the Crow Hill Fell Race was reversed, as it was a better route, rather than rename it, it just became the Crow Hill Reverse Fell Race. All the proceeds from the race go to the Ovarian Cancer Charity.
The race itself is fairly straightforward too, from Mytholmroyd, through Redacre Woods, up to the moors via Churn Milk Joan to Crow Hill before returning to Mytholmroyd. Only a 1000ft up and back down again. Traditionally held on the first Tuesday of August, this year was no different. All the proceeds from the race go to the Ovarian Cancer Charity.
So last Tuesday night, the 4th August, 168 runners lined up, the fastest ones hoping to win the king and queen of the mountain, the prize for which is to wear the crown on the descent.
Three Calder Valley runners challenged for the King of the Mountain, Joe Crossfield, Alex Whittam and young Jack Denton, with Joe Crossfield getting to the top of Crow Hill first and claiming the crown. He was also first back to Mytholmroyd to win the race overall.
Lynne Clough of Chorley was Queen of the Mountain beating Calder’s Lindsay Oldfield to the top.
|1||29.14||Joseph Crossfield||48||39.39||Andy Davies|
|2||29.32||Alex Whittem||70||41.25||Mike Dean|
|3||31.45||Jack Denton||71||41.25||Nathan Kennaugh|
|5||32.14||Martin Howard||75||41.49||Rachael Crossland|
|12||33.38||Tristan Sheard||92||44.11||Dave Culpan|
|15||34.09||Stephen Smithies||93||44.17||Brian Horsley|
|20||34.52||Iain Powell||99||44.50||Steve Woodhead|
|21||34.59||Mark Goldie||108||46.00||James Cooke|
|22||35.24||Giles Simon||135||49.46||Rod Sutcliffe|
|27||35.58||Toby Cotterill||154||55.01||Harley Beecroft|
|31||36.14||Chris Standish||165||1.03.04||Tamsin Cooke|
Boulsworth Fell Race
The latest race in the Calder Valley Club Championship took place last Sunday. The Boulsworth Fell Race is part of the Trawden Agricultural Show, so plenty of entertainment was laid on for runners once they finished.
A race for those who prefer more even ground, the majority of the route is on tracks and across hayfields before a sharp climb up Boulsworth Hill to Great Saucer Stones, along the ridge to Weather Stones before dropping back down to reverse the run out, finishing in the Show Ground. It still packs in 1000ft of climbing in six miles.
Many of the frontrunners didn’t think the route was long enough so they took an unscheduled detour on the run in. At least it gave slower runners a chance to catch up.
The race was won by Andrew Newton of Preston Harriers. First back for Calder Valley was Jon Smith in 5th place who gained maximum club points, followed by John Killerby in 19th. John just pipped Richard Sunderland before the line leaving Richard to come in 22nd. Jo Buckley was 27th overall and first woman back. The improving Jack Bridger was 39th. Mike Dean had a good run in 57th just beating Richard Ingram to the line.
In the junior races there were notable performances from Joseph Hobbs, 2nd in boys under 10s junior race and Fearne Hanson 2nd in the girls under 8s.
|5||00:46:46||Jon Smith||58||00:54:48||Richard Ingram|
|19||00:49:00||John Killerby||65||00:55:33||Gavin Roper|
|22||00:49:12||Richard Sunderland||82||00:57:37||Tim Brooks|
|27||00:49:44||Jo Buckley||89||00:59:46||Mike Wardle|
|39||00:51:50||Jack Bridger||110||01:05:27||Rod Sutcliffe|
|57||00:54:23||Mike Dean||117||01:07:17||Carolyn Shimwell|
It was a mixed bag this week for Calder Valley’s intrepid flock, with a Lancastrian flavour casting its shadow across proceedings.
Wednesday’s Lee Mill fell race in Rossendale is a popular midweek event that attracts many from both counties. It is run out of the Lee Mill Quarry site, and although hardly the Eden Project, the quarry provides an imaginative test for the local runners with the 6 mile route squeezing in over a thousand feet of climb.
However, once Calder’s intergalactic comet Ben Mounsey was spotted alighting from his car, the local bookmakers could close their doors, collect in the small red pens and announce ‘There’s your winner’ to all who fancied a flutter. The inevitable came to pass 42 mins and 19 seconds later as Ben yet again dismantled a strong field to win by over four minutes – a vast margin over a six mile race. Barely out of breath, the rampant England international explained, “I wasn’t going to race so quickly after Snowdon, the blisters on my feet have only just healed and are still a bit tender for hard fast running. However Lee Mill is in our club champs this year and I needed the points, plus it’s a great race and I know the organiser Richard. My plan tonight was to go out hard from the start and establish a big lead early on. Fortunately no-one seemed interested in my Usain Bolt start and I was able to cruise round the rest of the course comfortably after the first climb, although to be honest I didn’t feel at my best at all (think I ate too much tea!) but I’m sure a sub-40 time is doable round there.”
Richard Sunderland showed good form in 16th and looked in good nick after his recent race in the Dolomites. Former Red Star pin up Richard Ingram ran a splendid race in 32nd and can finally close the door on an injury plagued 12 months. A succession of ailments has held ‘Bert’ back, but he is back to something like his best now. Moreover, he pipped his fireman pal Jake Ackroyd into 33rd, Jake being another one who has had an excellent few months, somehow finding time in his hectic firefighting schedule to improve as a fell runner.
First Calder lady and first lady overall was Jo Buckley, showing something like her best form to finish in 24th, and along with pint sized Lindsey Oldfield in 45th with Rachael Crossland again showing well in 65th. The trio ensured that Calder’s ladies scooped the ladies’ prize yet again. Like Ben’s wins, this is also becoming a formality these days in local races. Rachael has improved no end this year after a busy calendar and is reaping the reward for her hard work. Another worthy of mention is Ripponden’s Running Man, Mike Dean who is no stranger to 200km training months. No surprise that then that his results has shown an impressive improvement curve this season and his 54th place here was one of his stand-out runs. Simon Fisher’s needle is also pointing upwards and an excellent 73rd place was his reward for a busy few months on the fells.
Also in Lancashire last week was the picturesque Worsthorne Moor fell race near Burnley on Sunday morning. Just shy of 7 miles and 1000ft, the race takes in the further reaches of Widdop & Gorple Moors. Calder Valley’s Mike Dean went literally one better finishing a superb 53rd to continue his good form and Calder’s Dave Culpan ran an excellent PB to come in 78th. Dave is another whose dedication to the sport is second to none, and it is rare to find a fell race without Dave Culpan in the field, and if there were a prize for best dressed fell runner, Dave would win every week.
Elsewhere, Alistair Morris and Barbara Lonsdale have just completed the European Adventure Racing championships in Ballyhoura in Southern Ireland, coming an excellent 18th out of 50 paired teams. The race, known as ‘The Beast of Ballyhoura’ is a formidable and feared test for the endurance athlete. They raced for 72 hours including running, kayaking, coasteering (whatever that is), swimming and mountain biking. The pair only managed two hours sleep throughout, some of it in a graveyard, which according to Alistair was a little bit dead, and had to stretch even their legendary adventuring skills to finish. Alistair and Barbara continue to scour the globe for ridiculously tough events, and it’s fair to say had they been born in Victorian times, they would surely have had a mountain range or a polar island named after them.
17 Calder Valley ventured over the border to Lancashire to line up at the deceptively tough Turnslack Fell Race.
A healthy field of 82 runners were greeted by the legendary organiser Kevin Shand, famed for his unconventional prizes which have previously included toilet rolls and pineapples. The race is an old school classic now in its 38th year and at £4 to enter it epitomises the low profile, low cost, racing that is the back bone of the sport. Starting from Calderbrook Church near Littleborough, the 8 mile route takes in a circuit of Shore Moor, visiting Crook Hill, Rough Hill, Free House Top, and Noon Hill following feint sheep trods and pathless moorland, up and down 6 steep climbs totalling over 2000 feet of ascent and descent. 2015 has unfortunately seen the devastating impact of the monstorous Crook Hill wind farm that has recently obliterated the wild landscape that was once such a haven from the industrial landscape below. Like a towering line of aliens the turbines dwarfed the snaking line of runners making their way round Turnslack’s roller-coaster route. The views may have been marred, but the scene was set for some fantastic fell running as a quartet of calder vetrans fought it out to finish within seconds of each other to help take the men’s team prize.
First home was a resurgent Steve Smithies (7th, 1.18.54) showing his form of old, followed by club mate Iain Powell (12th 1.20.18). Valley’s Simon Bourne is no stranger to gruelling long distance battles and was in his element as he came home 13th in 1,20.57, closely followed by John Killerby (15th 1.22.08) and Bill Johnson (18th 1.22.20). Unfortunately Valley’s race winning hopes were dashed when young gun Joe Crossfield suffered a rare set-back, feeling unwell he was effectively out forced out of contention, but to his great credit he soldiered on to finish in 79th place.
Calder valley Turnslack results
|Stephen Smithies||01:18:54||Iain Powell||01:20:18|
|Simon Bourne||01:20:57||John Killerby||01:22:08|
|Bill Johnson||01:22:20||David Beels||01:27:30|
|Richard Ingram||01:28:50||Gavin Roper||01:33:30|
|Simon Fisher||01:37:36||Mike Dean||01:37:37|
|Dave Culpan||01:38:43||Tony Steward||01:42:09|
|Mark O’Connor||01:44:15||Ben Frechette||01:44:16|
|Joseph Crossfield||01:46:15||Anthony Costello||01:46:46|