Celebrating Calder Valley’s success

A contingent from Calder Valley Fell Runners headed over to Skipton to pick up no fewer than ten medals at the Fell Runners Association annual do hosted by local club Bingley Harriers. After an excellent season for the club, the evening was a chance to celebrate.

Though his energies this year have centred on international mountain running, Ben Mounsey took bronze in the English Championships.  This was the first time that any senior man had picked up an individual medal for the local club. Karl Gray, always at the top of the medal table, got bronze as a Vet 40 and joint gold in the Vet 45 category with the legendary Ian Holmes. Gayle Sugden, despite struggling with a back injury this season, took a well earned bronze in the women’s Vet 40 category.

A rapturous applause from his team mates as worthy winner Dick Spendlove took an impressive gold medal in the Vet 70 category. Calder Valley also took silver in the women’s team event. The Vet 40 men, after a slow start due to injury, took team gold. In the British Championships which involves running in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the club again showed strength in depth taking various honours.

From the Left, Darren Kay, Karl Gray, James Logue, Shaun Godsman & Gavin Mulholland

From the Left, Darren Kay, Karl Gray, James Logue, Shaun Godsman & Gavin Mulholland

Karl Gray was the only individual medal winner with bronze as a Vet 40. His contribution to the Vet 40s also meant that they came out top taking team gold. The senior men, who were not at full strength for part of the season, managed to take team bronze. It took team work and commitment from different club runners to secure all of the team medals that the club won at both championships.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon –

Battling the blizzards at Pendle

When the snow came down on Saturday most sensible people were tucked up in front of a fire. Not the fell running community, which took to the hills for the Tour of Pendle, a classic 17 mile fell race with 5,000 feet of climbing. It’s a hard race at the best of times, but with thick snow, blizzards and ice water under foot, this was not the best of times.

More than 400 runners braved the conditions with 20 from Calder Valley Fell Runners turning out, despite the weather, because it was the final long race in the club’s championships series.

Andrew Meek at the Tour of Pendle

Andrew Meek at the Tour of Pendle

With the route taking competitors up and down Pendle Hill four times, each time steeper than the last, it’s a race requiring endurance and consistent pacing.

Karl Gray, fresh from winning joint first in the English Fell Running Championships V45 category, had an excellent run. He took the conditions in his stride, battling as always with some of the county’s fastest runners all the way around. Gray finished in second place, just 10 seconds behind the winner, Ilkley Harriers’s Jack Wood – and one place down on his win at the Tour of Pendle two years ago.

Tim Ellis of Calder Valley was also looking strong early on in the race and in contention for a win, but was retired from the race before the finish.

The front runner hurtling down Germino Hill on the Tour of Pendle

The front runners hurtling down geronimo hill on the Tour of Pendle

Andy Wright, who was supporting Calder Valley runners on the day, said: “Other than the front runners there wasn’t too much racing for places going on; it was more of a battle against the conditions, everyone competing against the hill and the wind.”

Tim Brooks taking the direct "vertical" route

Tim Brooks taking the direct “vertical” route

With this the final long race in Calder Valley’s championship there were, nevertheless, a number of notable runs.

Tamsin Cooke, running at times with her husband Jim, kept the pace needed to beat the cut-offs and got the 6th counter she needed to win the club ladies championships. Mark O’Connor ran well across the course, finishing in an impressive 32nd. Ian Powell and Mark Wharton, who have been fighting for the club’s V40 championship win all season, were able to relax with their race positions confirming they will be crowned joint winners.

2 Karl Gray 158 M45 02:39:40
32 Mark O’Connor 395 M 03:06:17
73 Iain Powell 336 M40 03:17:18
139 Mark Wharton 227 M50 03:31:57
180 Jake Ackroyd 387 M 03:42:14
182 Garry Hodgkinson 279 M45 03:42:49
202 Anthony Costello 419 M50 03:48:42
204 Tim Brooks 280 M45 03:48:49
221 Toby Sydes 123 M45 03:54:10
237 Simon Fisher 126 M40 03:59:07
271 Calvin Ferguson 374 M 04:10:44
286 Andrew Meek 12 M50 04:20:18
288 Rod Sutcliffe 407 M65 04:21:58
328 Tamsin Cooke 382 W 05:10:25
329 James Cooke 52 M 05:10:25

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon –

Bog heaven on the Half Trog

Half Trog

Always a firm favourite on the local fell running race circuit, this weekend saw Calder Valley Fell Runners organise the Half Trog fell race – the younger sibling to the Full Trog race, which is held earlier on in the year in February.

Dave Beel's on his come back race after several months out.

Dave Beel’s in fine form on his come back race after several months out.

A bright sunny day greeted 108 keen fell runners, who set off over Midgley moor to navigate round this classic 9 mile course (1,400 ft of ascent): the going under foot was boggy to wet! James Logue of Calder Valley turned out and was looking to defend his victory from last year.

Dan Biggs keeps on knocking of the minutes on the Half Trog

Dan Biggs continues to knock of the minutes at the Half Trog, roll on 2017

A front three soon developed, being led by Logue, closely followed by Sam Watson from Wharfedale Harriers and Mark O’Connor of CVFR. The positions of these three runners then remained constant for nearly the rest of the race. Sadly for Logue, he was not able to defend his title from last year, as Sam Watson left his shoulder on the final sprint down from the moor to the finish in a time of 1:14:03. Logue finished only 9 seconds behind Sam, yet luckily was able to retain the course record and take first Veteran 40.   CVFR did well overall with Mark O’Connor and new club member Rob Allen taking 3rd and 4th place respectively, ensuring Calder Valley took the team prize.

CVFR Mean team prize James Logue, Mark O'Connor & Rob Allen

CVFR Mean team prize James Logue, Mark O’Connor & Rob Allen

First female back and 5th place overall was Birthday Girl Nicola Jackson of Preston Harriers, in a time of 1:18:44 – taking 15 minutes off the previous female record. Nidd Valley took the female team prize.

A special mention to the Veteran 50 winner Bill Johnson of Calder Valley, who finished in 7th position overall in 1:20:09; not bad considering he had been a very late night reveller at the Fell Runners Dinner the night before!

Bill Johnson improving on last years time by 4 minutes.

Bill Johnson improving on last years time by 4 minutes.

Bill had this to say:

“By the first checkpoint, High Brown Knoll, the leading CVFR runners’ positions were sorted: James, Mark, Rob and me were 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th. After the turn around near Cock Hill, Lewis Wright and Nichola Jackson came past me, and the first 7 places stayed the same after that. Lewis and Nichola would have gone past Rob towards the end, but Rob’s knowledge of the moors meant he took a better line and stayed ahead of them.”

2 James Logue 01:14:12
3 Mark O’Connor 01:15:32 41 Toby Sydes 01:34:29
4 Rob Allen 01:18:40 55 Anthony Costello 01:38:56
7 Bill Johnson 01:20:09 60 Nick Murphy 01:41:24
12 Iain Powell 01:22:04 62 Dan Biggs 01:42:26
13 Simon Bourne 01:23:37 69 Nathan Kennaugh 01:44:31
14 Lee Shimwell 01:23:41 79 John Nunn 01:57:07
23 Jake Ackroyd 01:31:03 81 David Culpan 01:57:48
30 Ben Frechette 01:32:10 86 Rod Sutcliffe 02:01:37
33 Stephen Smithies 01:32:37 90 (f10) Gail Tombs 02:03:01
34 Dave Beels 01:32:47 98 (f14) Sue Martin 02:44:10

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Paul Gilbert –

Powell’s had a stormer

Shepherds Skyline

Always a fiercely competitive end of season race, the Shepherd’s Skyline fell race was also the last short race in the Calder valley club Championship. Run from the Shepherd’s Rest Inn, Lumbutts last Saturday, the 7 mile route heads up to Langfield Common before heading to Stoodley Pike. A rapid drop to London Road is followed by a steep climb back up to Withens gate before returning across the moors to the Shepherds Rest.

A fierce northerly was blowing at Stoodley Pike where many spectators watched the race, cheering on the runners from the shelter of the monument. 36 Calder Valley runners raced with many championship places being decided.

Jon Smith taking another 100 points and firmly defending his club champoinship

Jon Smith taking another 100 points and firmly defending his club champoinship

Jon Smith was first back for Calder in 12th place taking 48.25 to complete the course. As the reigning Club Champion, the win here put him in an unassailable position to take this year’s championship from Mark O’Connor, the 2014 champion. Giles Simon and Ian Illstone were 2nd and 3rd back for CVFR in 22nd and 23rd overall. Jo Buckley was first woman back for Calder a fraction ahead of Anne Johnson both recording 57:04, 4th and 5th woman respectively with Lindsey Oldfield 6th in 58.04 both the women and mens team prizes came to the red and white hoops.

Tamsin Cooke had a good run, taking 1:21:18, 15 minutes faster then she ran the race last year. Cooke can take the women’s championship this year if she finishes the arduous Tour Of Pendle on the 19th of November. The men’s veteran prize will also be decided at Pendle. Mark Wharton and Iain Powell are currently neck and neck, if either of them is the first veteran back they will win that Championship. However it has been noted that Karl Gray is on the starting list, if he is first back it will remain a dead heat.

Tasmin Cooke preparing for the final ascent!

Tasmin Cooke preparing for the final ascent!

In possibly the hottest competed prize, James Cooke took the handicap championship out of Paul Haigh’s reach. Cooke is now three points clear of Haigh who can gain a maximum of two points at Pendle. Both men have shown great improvement in their running this year.

Calvin Ferguson racking up the club champ points

Calvin Ferguson racking up the club champ points

It was a great day for Barlick Fell Runners with the men’s race being won by Thomas Corrigan in 44.04 and the women’s by Sarah Tipler in 52.03.

Valley Results:

12 48.25 Jon Smith 125 62.22 James Cooke
22 50.33 Giles Simon 133 63.16 Jackie Scarf
23 50.39 Iain Illstone 134 63.30 Gavin Roper
25 50.41 Matthew Keyse 159 66.24 Nathan Kennaugh
30 51.21 Iain Powell 164 67.30 Calvin Ferguson
36 52.25 Mark Wharton 173 68.43 Graeme Woodward
40 52.38 Gareth Clarke 187 70.00 Gloria Ayuso
60 55.22 Paul Haigh 194 72.11 Helen Flage
67 56.15 Jon Emberton 207 73.48 Gill Dickson
71 56.49 Jake Ackroyd 209 74.12 Rod Sutcliffe
72 57.04 Jo Buckley 229 77.03 Carolyn Shimwell
73 57.04 Anne Johnson 238 78.30 Steven Cavell
75 57.17 Stephen Smithies 240 79.04 Richard Pierson
81 58.04 Lindsey Oldfield 247 79.56 Joanna Marshall
88 59.19 Chris Standish 250 81.57 Tamsin Cooke
99 60.12 Dan Pope 255 83.51 Eileen Mcdonach
113 61.16 Anthony Costello 256 83.53 Kate Pope
117 61.34 Toby Sydes 277 96.25 Ruth T-Davies

All photo’s courtesy of Dave and Eileen Woodhead at woodentops.org

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– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks –