Epic routes demanding navigational expertise over remote and hilly terrain are growing in popularity for fell runners. As a result, events organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association are rapidly turning into unofficial fell races. And so it was that Calder Valley’s Dave Culpan and Mike Dean signed themselves up for the LDWA’s Marsden Moor Meander.
Starting at Marsden Parish Church in the Colne Valley, the route heads off on a grand tour of the hills either side of the M62’s loftiest stretch, visiting four checkpoints over 22 miles, with a respectable 3000 feet of climbing. The Valley duo set off with 30 others on the initial big ascent north over Slaithwaite Moor.
The route then dropped down and under the M62 at Boothwood to the first checkpoint, then progressed onto checkpoint two at Windy Hill. A tough section over fell running terrain gave Calder Valley’s men the edge on the gruelling slog over Dog Hill and Ripponden Moor.
They then crossed back to the south side of the M62 to tackle the empty expanses of Denshaw and Castlegate Moor on their way to checkpoint three.
Checkpoint four was on Standedge Moor, above the historic canal tunnel, before a fast and furious descent took its toll on tired legs with a hard track run back into Marsden.
Mike and Dave’s strategy of running and navigating together clearly paid off.
The Calder Valley pair came in with impressive times, Dean in sixth on 4 hours 16 mins and Culpan a couple of seconds behind in seventh.
For those inspired to have a go at one of the many LDWA events then the first port of call should be www.ldwa.org.uk.
Four Calder Valley FR runers took part in the 10.6 mile Turner Landscape Fell Race in the Lake District.
Result: 54, John Minta 2.11:53; 59, Helen Buchan 2.13:21; 70, Simon Fisher 2.23:08; 73, Phillip Beecroft 2.25:08.
Joe Crossfield flew Calder Valley colours on the continent this week as he swapped the Yorkshire Moors for Alpine Italy, taking on 200 international mountain runners at the Morgex Vertical 2000 metre race.
He obviously took some Yorkshire weather him as the mountains near Cuneo were hit by torrential rain, forcing organisers to halve the ascent as a safety measure. Joe took advantage of the wet conditions to storm up the1000m ascent, leaving experienced locals in his wake. Calder Valley’s up and coming star finished fourth in an amazing 44.54.
An inform Darren Kay won the Pilgrims Cross race for Calder Valley at Rossendale in 38 mins 20 secs for the six miler, which has 1,000 feet of climbing. Valley took the team prize in a bumper field of 202.
Calder Valley results: 1, Darren Kay 38.20; 12, Steve Smithies 44.07; 22, Lee Shimwell 46.21; 66, Mike Dean 51.34; 85, John Minta 53.19; 97, Phil Beecroft 55.30; 102, Simon Fisher 56.28; 108, Tony Steward 57.06; 120, Carole Fryer 58.41; 152, Dave Culpan 63.26; 162, Martin Millard 64.34.