The International Snowdon Race is a fiercely fought fell race with elite mountain runners from around the world coming to do battle – and among the 548 competitors were seven Calder Valley Fell Runners.
Leading the way was the in-form Ben Mounsey who was wearing an England vest for the race and among the favourites. The route takes the runners up 1,000 metres of climbing to the summit of Wales’ highest mountain and straight back down, requiring a tough mix of stamina and speed. The wind, rain and thick cloud only added to the challenge.
England took the team gold, beating the high quality Italian and Scotland squads, with Mounsey finishing in an impressive 7th place in just under 69 minutes. Despite saying he The next Calder Valley runner was the legendary Karl Gray just a few places behind in 12th overall and first in the V45 category. Next back for Calder was Jason Williams in 26th, followed by Matt Roberts, Richard Sunderland, Calvin Ferguson, Blair Garrett and Helen Buchan.
Closer to home, Calder Valley’s summer handicap, a key fixture in the club calendar, gives everyone the opportunity to take the top spot.
Runners set off at different times based on their speeds over the last year, with the fastest going last. If everyone runs at their expected time all the competitors would cross the finishing line at exactly the same time. At 7 miles, 1,500 feet of climbing, and a combination of a steep descent, a brutal climb, a long fast flat section and an end through waist deep bogs and tussocks, it’s a classic local race.
There was fierce competition among the 48 runners taking part and, though they didn’t finish together, most were wading through the final bogs en masse, like a scene from a zombie movie. The race winner was young Erik Powell, showing that he is getting faster and faster. Impressively, he had already run the 1,500 meters at school sports day earlier in the afternoon. He completed the course in 1 hour 7 minutes. Second was Tony Stewart and Erik’s Dad, Iain, finished in 3rd – clearly a fell running dynasty in the making.
The fastest runners on the route were James Logue who completed the route in a few seconds over 50 minutes and, for the women, Holly Page who ran it in just over 57 minutes.
– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon –