Turnslack and the Turbines


Smithies back to good form. www.woodentops.org.uk

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

Name Time Name Time
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
Rod Sutcliffe 01:58:37