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!”
Thanks to Woodentops.org.uk 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
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 –