KGB Dominate HB22

While Vladimir Putin was putting the finishing touches to his plans for world domination, The KGB were out winning the Hebden 22 last weekend. Karl Grey, Gavin Mulholland and Ben Mounsey ran together, and were first back, in the ever-popular early season challenge. Organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA), the event welcomed over 360 walkers and fell runners alike on a testing course through the fields and woodlands of the Upper Calder Valley.

Starting at Mytholmroyd the route heads to Old Town before visiting the Crags, Slack Top, and Blackshaw head. On reaching the canal the shorter 15 mile route heads back to Mytholmroyd. The longer 22mile route goes up onto Erringden Moor and circuits Crag Vale, before the return to Mytholmroyd. Over 4000 feet of climbing is involved on the long course with a testing 3000 feet on the short course.

KGB – Karl, Gav & Ben raring to go on the Hebden 15/22

Many Calder Valley Fell Runners use the event as an early season test. Obviously a good result for the KGB in four minutes under the three hour mark. Jon Smith and Richard Pattinson were also in the top 10. It was excellent to see women’s captain, Helen Buchan, back after being carried off by Mountain Rescue with a broken leg in October’s British Relays. Jo Marshall also did well getting round the long course in a shade over 5 and a half hours.

Simon Fisher at the HB22

In the short race John Allan was first back for Calder just 14 seconds behind winner David Lane in 2:24:36. Dan Marsden was 4th in 2:30:39. Angela Richards was first Calder woman back in just over 4 and a half hours

246 Finishers for the 22 mile route.

1 Ben Mounsey 02:56:00 69 Nick Murphy 04:20:24
1 Gav Mulholland 02:56:00 84 Helen Buchan 04:27:34
1 Karl Gray 02:56:00 91 Linda Murgatroyd 04:30:31
7 Jon Smith 03:19:52 112 Steve Smithies 04:48:24
10 Richard Pattinson 03:28:35 161 Joanna Marshall 05:37:08
13 Simon Bourne 03:29:05 167 Carolyn Shimwell 05:42:09
21 Iain Powell 03:38:01 168 Liz Lloyd 05:42:15
31 Mark Wharton 03:45:41 190 Kay Pierce 06:12:00
44 Jake Ackroyd 03:53:35 205 Ruth T.-Davies 06:38:05

116 Finishers on the 15 mile.

2 John Allan 02:24:36  
4 Dan Marsden 02:30:39 85 Charlie Boyce 04:31:00
16 Simon Fisher 02:49:10 89 Angela Richards 04:33:05
34 David Culpan 03:22:58 93 Jane Frechette 04:42:49

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks –

Splashing time at Stanbury

Stanbury Splash

Lindsay, Jake, Paul and Calvin at the Stanbury Spalsh

On a wet and foggy Sunday morning, 330 runners lined up to run the Stanbury Splash fell race, a 12 kilometre dash across the Howarth moors, made all the harder by the soggy conditions. Calder Valley Fell Runners’ women had another excellent race, taking the first ladies team prize. Jo Buckley was the fastest back for the club and first V40 woman, finishing the tough race in just over 58 minutes. Lindsay Oldfield and Anne Johnson, both completing in a little more than 62 minutes, made up the wining team, with Anne the second V50 back. Paul Gilbert, who is looking stronger in every race, said there was a lot of competition among the Calder Valley runners.

“There were five Calder Valley runners tightly packed in at the start – Anne Johnson, Lindsay Oldfield, Jake Ackroyd, Calvin Ferguson and me. Lindsay and Anne went out strong, with Jake on their shoulders and me about 50 metres behind. I thought that was the end for me, these folk normally beat me anyhow. Nonetheless, I pressed on. The pace felt pretty fast. I passed Calvin on the first steep climb up towards the Pennine Way and saw Anne in the distance. With the steep descent down to the second river crossing I came close and was able to push past her on the steep climb up to the halfway point.

“It was tough going passing Lindsay, so took a bold move up the banking and dropped down just in front of her. I thought that was it and had Jake in my sights, but on the gravel track back down to the final river crossing Lindsay caught right back up. I managed to pull away again on the steep descent and pushed hard thinking ‘don’t lose it at this point, not now.’ In the end I held on but couldn’t catch Jake, he had a super race. Pretty pleased – I’ll have that!”

Paul Gilbert on the Stanbury Splash

Thanks to for the Photo’s

Jo Buckley, 48th, 58:14
Jake Ackroyd, 85th, 60:35
Paul Gilbert, 91st, 61:56
Lindsay Oldfield, 100th, 62:18
Anne Johnson, 104th, 62:36
Calvin Ferguson, 157th, 67:23

The Trigger

Three hardy runners – Mark O’Connor, Simon Fisher and Gary Hodgson – competed in the Trigger, an epic 40 kilometre race across the Peak District moorland, from Marsden to Edale.

With heavy rain and a bitterly cold wind, this is a challenge of endurance, speed and navigation.

Mark O’ Connor said: “After a quick reccie of the start and a brief chat with fell running legend Nicky Spinks about my four hour target time, she politely told me I had no chance in these conditions.”

“Despite this I set off like I was doing a five mile race and led the way for the first mile out of Marsden. I did plan to settle down once onto Black Hill but felt really strong and kept pushing.  I caught a group of runners on the descent to Crowden and then tucked in for the toughest ascent, up Laurence edge. I was very happy to be sat in the top 10 past the halfway point and still felt very fresh.”

“Bleaklow took its toll with a tough three mile solo navigation section in the fog through waist deep icy cold cloughs, knee deep snow and sapping peat bogs. After Higher Shelf trig several runners appeared through the fog and foolishly I ignored the route choice of Jasmin Paris and ran into more navigational issues. Once back on track an extremely rough open fell section was followed by a long, long six mile up and down around Kinder to the finish. A very tough course with extreme conditions.”

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon –

The end and start of another amazing year

Karl Gray led home the Calder Valley Fell Runners contingent at the Auld Lang Syne race on New Year’s Eve.

Karl Gray Auld Lang Syne 2016

The 47-year-old Great Britain international came seventh out of 433 runners in the six mile race from Penistone Hill near Haworth.

Many of the runners wore fancy dress for a contest which includes almost 1000 feet of climbing, the route going via Sladen Beck to Top Withens and back.

Runners assemble in a quarry, accompanied by the sound of the bagpipes played by Calum Carslaw, for the traditional end of season contest.
The race was won for the second year in a row by Chris Farrell of Horwich in 41:31. Farrell was fresh from finishing second at the Ribble Valley 10k, where he just dipped under 30 minutes.

Chris Holdsworth was second on his 26th birthday and third was the 2013 winner Tom Addison before triathletes Lewis Byram and Jack Willis.
Gray clocked 44.33 and was edged out of over 40 honours by Farrell’s clubmate Nick Leigh, who finished one place and 20 seconds ahead.

In a high quality field Lucy Collins was first Calder woman back in 90th place and 9th female overall and she was followed by a three eyed alien aka Jo Buckley.

Jo Buckley Auld Lang Syne

Katie Walshaw from Holmfirth won the women’s race for the third year in a row.
Farrell and Walshaw will have their pictures on next year’s bottles of beer provided by race sponsors Daleside brewery, Calder’s Andy Wright was shocked to be overtaken by a chimney sweep, complete with brushes!

Linda Hayle Auld Lang Syne

Calder Valley FR results:

7, Karl Gray 44.33
69, Mark Wharton 53.27
90, Lucy Collins 55.01
100, Jo Buckley 55.36
111, Lindsey Oldfield 56.21
130, Steve Smithies 57.43
165, Andrew Wright 60.24
178, Molly Heitz 61.23
191, Calvin Ferguson 61.46
253, Andrew Meek 64.58
353, Linda Hayles 73.50

Calder Valley FR pair Douglas Zinis and Tristran Sheard had their own duel during the Giant’s Tooth Fell Race at Ogden on New Year’s Day.
A field of 145 took part in the three mile contest, which includes 400 feet of climbing and starts from the reservoir embankment. Zinis got the better of Sheard by two seconds as the pair finished 12th and 13th.

Paul Haigh (24th) and Dan Marsden (34th) also featured prominently for the club, which had 10 entrants. The race was won by Ali Burns of Valley Striders in 18 minutes and two seconds. Callum Harrison from the University of Manchester finished 17 seconds later and the frame was completed by Marcus Reedy of Rossendale in 18:23.

Calder Valley results:

12, Douglas Zinis 20:03
13, Tristan Sheard 20:05
24, Paul Haigh 20:58
34, Dan Marsden 21:41
65, Lucas Greenwood 24:42
82, Dave Culpan 26:18
86, Jude Whitelaw 27:03
89, Alistair Whitelaw 27:23
96, Antony McManus 28:10
117, Ruby McFie 31:11

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks –

Coley race was no Canter for Gray

Calder Valley Fell Runners’ Karl Gray has set his sights on another Great Britain appearance in 2017 after stretching his legs in Tuesday’s Coley Canter race.

Gray, still a mighty force over the fells at the age of 47, finished second to Salford Harriers’ Gary Priestley in the eight-mile contest near Halifax.

Calder Valley members have organised the festive race for many years. Gray has been in charge for the last eight or nine and was keen to support fledgling club Northowram Pumas in their first staging of the event.

He was pleased with his second place in a field of 73, having expected fellow international Priestley to be quicker than him over a distance short of his best.

Valley’s Gav Mulholland, who added some more star quality to the line-up, came third.

Gray was keen to test his fitness levels ahead of an attempt to gain GB selection for the World Long Distance Mountain Championship in Italy in the summer.

The physiotherapist from Hove Edge came 12th in last year’s event in Slovenia and helped GB to the silver medals.

The Coley race confirmed that he was “not in bad shape.”

He added: “Gaining selection for the world mountain race will be my main target next year.”

Gray is pleased that the Three Peaks race, a 26-miler in the Yorkshire Dales in late April, will again be the selection race.

He plans to take in the Wadsworth Trog and Heptonstall Fell Race along the way.

“If I am not selected for Italy I will probably do the Lakeland Classics,” he added.

Gray gave the thumbs up to the Pumas’ organisation of Tuesday’s event, which is now run from Northowram Fields Cricket Club, a couple of miles from the previous starting point at Shelf Hall Park.

The race links up with the original route at Coley Church and is a mile or so longer than before.

Gray said he and fellow Valley runner Ben Mounsey had encouraged Priestley to come across from Lancashire for the race.

“The weather was brilliant which made a nice change from the wind and rain when I used to do it. We had to cancel it twice because of ice.”

Gray said he, Priestley and Mulholland had forced the pace.

“I felt good going past Coley Church and Priestley Green so I tried to push on and we dropped Gav (Mulholland).

“Going up Judy Woods Gary got 20 metres on me and he maintained it to the finish.”

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Beastie –