Skippers back in action

Sedbergh Hills

A classic grassy course over some of the best parts of the Howgill Fells, Sedbergh Hills is bit of a tough race, covering 14 miles with over 6000ft of climbing. The route takes in the hills of Arant Haw, Winder and the highest point in the Howgills, The Calf. Calder Valley’s Richard Pattinson (V50) had a storming race coming in 4th place and first vet in 2 hours 28 minutes and 44 seconds, just eight minutes behind the winner, Garry Greenhow of Ambleside. First woman was Zoe Harding of Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds in 2 hrs 43mins 48 secs.
Calder’s Dougie Zinnis had a good race coming 43rd in 3hours 2 minutes, Gareth Clarke was 60th in 3 hours 11 minutes and Toby Sydes was 105th in 3 hours 34 minutes.


One of the oldest fell races in the calendar, the Burnsall Classic, was held last Saturday. Two Calder valley members took part in the fast and furious race that climbs 900ft in just three quarters of a mile before returning down the same route. Darren Kay was first v40 in 16:39 and an excellent 7th place overall. Blair Garrett was 76th in 23:17.

Blair Garrett in full stride at Burnsall

Victoria Wilkinson won the women’s race in 16:54 and 9th place overall. The men’s race was won for the second time by Sam Tosh of Rossendale in 14:28
Pendle 3 Peaks
A newer race, Pendle 3 Peaks is a 10 mile race climbing nearly 3000ft run out of Barley at the foot of Pendle Hill. Calder’s Calvin Ferguson finished in 1:54:40 in 43rd place and new member Bryan Searby was 83rd in 2:15:08.

Golf Ball

At the Rossendale Harrier’s Golf Ball race which is 5 miles and 900’ feet from Rawtenstall Calder’s team captain Shaun Godsman had an excellent run to place 2nd overall and 1st v40 in a time of 40.42. Shaun is getting back to fitness after a long lay off with a bad back injury.

Skipper Shaun Godsman at the Golf Ball

The race was won by an under 23 runner Callum Davidson from the host club in a time of 38.21. Carole Fryer who seems to be going from strength to strength placed 1st LV50 in 55.50. Just 45 seconds in front of Carole was Calder’s Anthony Costello who ran well.

Carole Fry

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

Boulsworth, BOFRA and British Champs success

Rob leading Iain at Boulsworth in the fight for the title

It was another successful week for Calder Valley Fell runners with wins and awards in British and club Championships and for the juniors too.

Firstly to Boulsworth Hill fell race, where Rob Allen was able to seal this years club Championship with a strong win against his two closest rivals – Iain Illstone and Dougie Zinnis. Rob finished 12th overall in the race, which takes runners from Trawden Agricultural show on tracks over to the base of Ladd Law, where runners climb sharply up – almost to the trig – and then back down on sweeping, soft moorland, before returning along fast tracks to finish.

Said Rob “Swelled by over forty from Clayton-le-Moors the numbers of over two hundred runners for Boulsworth gave the organisers a few headaches, with late arrivals only having their race number written on the back of their hands in biro. Nine Calder Valley runners lined up; after a couple of recent, close, battles with Iain Illstone, I knew who my main rival was for club champs points. Aware of Iain’s descending prowess on technical terrain, my tactic was simple; keep with him on the fell section until the fast final mile on gravel track and put in a big effort to finish. 

Dougie Zinis led out the Calder Valley pack to the bottom of the the main climb where Iain and I passed him. True to form, after hitting the high point of Saucer Stones together, Iain opened up a gap coming off Little Chair Stones. I managed to reel him in before the start of the track where my recce paid off; I had enough left in the tank for the frenetic run in. A lung busting sprint with Chris Snell of Clayton-le-Moors saw a dead heat for twelfth place, and a hundred points in the bag. A satisfying conclusion to the club champs for myself, and a cracking day out in the sun for all.”  
The battle now remains for second place ….

Will descending to take the title

Next, over to Arncliffe Gala for another installment of the BOFRA Championship series – the seniors race containing 459 ft of climbing in 1.9 miles. William Hall claimed another title by taking the BOFRA under 12s prize with yet another win at Arncliffe. Will has been 1st at all his races in the BOFRA series and is a massive talent – one to definitely watch out for. He took the title from Dexta Thompson of Blackburn Harriers.

Finally on Sunday there was Maesgwyn Muddle, the final counter in the British Championship series, which took place in Llanberis in North Wales. The race was approximately 10 miles and included 3,700 ft of ascent.  The weather was poor and very claggy, so there was very limited visibility on most of the course. Calder Valley v40 team needed to get a team round this race strongly to try and get into the national medals again.

Said Shaun Godsman “The race started fast along 2 miles of undulating track, after which you hit what felt like a mile of vertical climb followed by a steep fast descent back into the valley where you then start to climb and descend several times over welsh peaks taking in the famous Moel Eilio. After the final descent out of the mist there is a short climb and long run in to an uphill finish.

Gav and myself were able to push on in terms of our team; however, Gav ran off into the mist on his own race route (not the official route) and got lost for a while – long enough for me to claim the club lead. It finished myself in 19th overall and 4th v40, then Matty Roberts, Gav, Mark Taylor, Stephen Edwards, then Mark Wharton as team back up.”

This result gave Calder the overall v40 team win and 3rd open team. As a result, Calder v40s leap frogged Dark Peak and Todmorden Harriers in the medal table into an overall silver medal position after a hard year racing.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Paul Gilbert

Calder Valley legend KG 4 GB

On an international stage, Calder Valley legend Karl Gray represented Great Britain at the World Mountain Running Championships event in Premana, Italy on Sunday, finishing 33rd in the gruelling 20 mile mountain race.

Karl gray with team mates Strain and Wood

He was the second Great Britain runner to finish but the team was hampered by injuries.  Gray described the challenge as “amazing” and said that the course was really tough with 9500ft of ascent and descent.  A technical course was made even more tricky by thunderstorms and torrential rain.

Gray said: “With a huge amount of spectators on route, it made for a Tour de France style atmosphere from start to finish. “While I don’t think this was my best performance, I still had a good consistent run and was pleased in the end with my 32nd position.”
Gray said the British team had suffered some really bad luck.  One of the had fallen on the first descent and broke her wrist while one of the men had torn his calf muscle a third of the way into the race.  An unhappy day for the team was completed when Victoria Wilkinson narrowly missed out on a medal by dropping from third to fifth place on the last descent.  Gray added: “Overall it was a disappointing GB team performance but what an amazing experience.  “I felt really proud and privileged to represent my country at such a fantastic event.”  Gray was part of the Great Britain team which had taken the silver medals in Slovenia last year. “Earl” Gray clocked a fantastic 4:00.19 to

Karl Gray with the GB squad

Last Tuesday, rather than their usual pack run, the red and white strips were out in force at the Crow Hill Reverse race, a fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Charity. Twenty three CV runners joined the starting line of this 5 miles, 1001 ft of climbing, local race over Midgley Moor all the way to race’s summit, Crow Hill, and back again.

Always popular with CVFR and Todmorden Harriers alike, combined the 2 clubs represented over half of the 78 entries. This year too, the race was in the CVFR championships, generating a healthy dose of inter club competition.

The overall race winner was U18 Josh Boyle from Ribble Valley in an impressive 00:31:52.First CV back was Ian Illstone in 00:34:41 (7th) followed closely by club mates Rob Allan (8th) and Simon Ashton (10th) comfortably securing the men’s Team Prize. First lady was Todmorden Harrier’s Gemma Ford in 00:39:03. Calder Valley’s Karen Forster secured the LV50 prize and Catherine Holden FV40 prize. Said Catherine:

“It was a joy to run Crow Hill Reverse race; a short but steep little number that was much more fun on the way back down to the finish and the pub”

Catherine Holden LV40

So taking account of the most recent Club Championship races (Crow Hill Reverse and Old Crown Round), James Cooke and Lindsey Oldfield are currently first and second respectively in the CV Club Championships. Although both have completed all 6 race counters, there are a number of other runners who can still complete a full 6 counters, and who could all be in with a chance, depending on who turns up to the last 4 races in the Championships.

Crow Hill Andy Wright

In the Vets Table Toby Sydes is holding top spot, with 2 more races needed to make it count, though a number of club mates threaten his position so all could yet change. Jackie Scarf currently stands as the likely contender for the Lady Vets prize.

The next race in the BOFRA (British Open Fell Running Association) at Farleton Knott just south of Kendal in the Lakes District is a challenging race of just 4.5miles but with 1500’ of ascent. It rises steadily around Farleton fell to the summit before a breathtaking descent down the scree at Holmepark Fell. Once the runners land at the bottom, they start the long climb back up to the summit before retracing their way back through the bracken to the fast downhill finish.

An inform Mark Taylor placed 6th overall and 1st V45 and has come first in his age category in all the BOFRA races that’s he managed to do so far this season.

A great run by Dave Hammond saw him take a fine 21st place and 2nd V50. In the junior race William Hall showed how dominant he’s been in his age category by taking top spot. He’s now leading the under 12s and looks to be on course for yet another title this season to add to his U13s English Junior Champs.

Will @ Farleton

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

Bourne Breaks 24

Last Wednesday marked the annual CVFR Summer handicap, a legendary fun event, promising waist deep bogs, evil tussocks and the chance for runners to experience that ‘winning sensation’, regardless of ability.

Philip Wells last seen up to his neck in it (courtesy of Mick Fry)

Rather than the usual mass start, the handicap race has staggered start times, with each runner allocated a starting time based on their performance in recent races. In theory, everyone should finish together but this is seldom the case with all runners putting in extra effort to beat their club mates. Thirty two determined CV members started from Overden windmills carpark to complete the 6.6 mile route across the moor to High Brown Knoll and back, encountering the infamous bogs and tussocks as they went. Mike Wardle was first over the finishing line with Stella Chrisanthou the first lady and LV40. Said Stella:

“It was lots of fun and I got heaps of encouragement on the way round. I seemed to avoid the monster bog- I think I came off quite lightly compared to others! And I’d like to thank my fellow club mates for guiding me through the cow field- I wasn’t so keen on that bit!!”

Stella on the CV Summer handicap (courtesy of Mick Fry)

Jon Smith had the fastest overall time (52:05) with Helen Roberts the fastest lady (01:02:25).

Helen Roberts takes the plunge on the CV Handicap (courtesy of Mick Fry)

Later that week saw a handful of CVFR taking part in the epic Lakeland 50/100 mile ‘Ultra Tour of the Lake District’, renowned as the UK’s most spectacular long distance trail race. The circular route encompasses the whole of the lakeland fells, includes in the region of 6300m of ascent and consists almost entirely of public bridleways and footpaths. The route starts in Coniston and heads South before completing a clockwise loop which takes in the Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale and Buttermere before arriving in Keswick. From here it heads to Matterdale and continues over to Haweswater before returning via Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater to the finish at Coniston. It weaves its way through stunning valleys, coutours picturesque fells and cuts it’s own line through the amazing Lakeland topography. Some may consider that, with 40 hours available to complete this epic route, there is time to stop to admire the view but many competitors choose not to stop or sleep, challenging themselves to compete it in just over 24 hours. .

Simon Bourne sprint finishes the LL100

CV’s Ultra legend Simon Bourne is familiar with the route having attempted it previously. Not only did he complete it, he also came in 8th overall. Said Simon:

“I’m delighted to break 24 hours at the Lakeland on my 3rd attempt, having been training all year”

Elsewhere, CV’s Mark Taylor was first MV45 at Ambleside Sports Guides BOFRA fell race last Thursday, undertaking the 2 mile dash with 244 m ascent in just 16.10 minutes.

Mark Taylor 1st V45 (courtesy of Woodentops)

Turnslack also saw a handful of Calder valley taking part in the gruelling tussock, bog and fern bashing fun!

Turnslack Fell Race 2017 – Photo Credits: Steve Batesman


– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon