FRA Presentation Dinner

Calder Valleys mini beasts, Karl Gray and Gavin Mulholland were on parade at the weekend, smeared in matching red and white Butlin’s red coats, to collect their National awards for jointly winning the English Championships vet 40 title, with Mulholland winning the vet 45 trophy and the Earl finishing 2nd.

Calder Valley Red Coats. (From the back left) Ben Mounsey, Mark Taylor, Daz Kay, Steven Edwards, Gavin Mulholland, Karl Gray & Andy Swift

Aged 48 and 46, both were still able to compete at the sharp end all season with Karl coming 2nd in the brutal long race at Wasdale. Their form extended to the international scene with Karl representing GB for the 2nd year in a row, and Gavin leading the Northern Ireland squad in an attempt to feel like an international as well. The lads were also accompanied by the rest of the team to collect their team awards also. The vets team on the night included Mark Taylor (bofra v45 champ), Darren Kay and Endurance specialist Stephen Edwards , who were there to collect their medals for finishing first vet team in the English champs, and 2nd in the British champs. The open team who came 3rd in the English were also represented by yorkshires finest, Ben Mounsey and Andy Swift.

Karl the legend summed up the evening saying “it gets harder every year considering my age and the standards of competition at each race. We had many an epic battle and I will be training hard over the Winter to be ready for the 2018 season. There is a lot of talent in the valley considering our team as well as Tod Harriers vets, with their success in the Brits also”.

Both clubs partied hard into the early hours. Mulholland was seen leaving the hotel watching excerpts from the six  million dollar man, to psyche himself up for next year.

In other news Richard, I like long runs, Pattinson decided to show how good a super vet he is at the tour of Pendle, coming first in his age category, v50. Other runners included Darren Earnshaw completing the course for once, Calvin Ferguson, John Allan, Simon Bourne, Ian Symington, and Helen Buchan for the ladies.

Luke Melschko decided to go chase bikers at the harriers vs cyclists event held by bingley harriers.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gavin Mulholland

Due North with Mounsey and Spinks

13 CV women swapped racing for a Due North training weekend in Kettlewell recently, determined to pick up new fell running tips and advice.

Calder Valley Ladies on tour wit Nicky Spinks

Photos: CV women at start of a Kettlewell pack run

The weekend featured 2 legendary fell runners; the inspirational Nicky Spinkes (renowned in fell running history as the fastest person to run a Double Bob Graham Round) and the club’s very own hero and national champion Ben Mounsey. The opportunity for hearing about their quests, training programmes and fell running tips was snapped up by the club, with CV making up almost half of the course participants.  

The masterclasses by Ben and Nicky were interspersed with pack runs, mud,food, drink and plenty of smiles and laughter. 

CV with Nicky Spinkes (3rd from left, back row)

Said Gill Dickson: ’It was a great weekend, learning top tips from the experts and being with friends. Spending time with the legendary Nicky Spikes, hearing about her training programmes and uphill techniques, was fantastic. Ben’s descending demonstrations down sheer vertical scree drops was very impressive yet terrifying! I’ve got a long way to go before I can even contemplate running down drops like that!’

Womens Withins Skyline Success

Last Saturday, 47 Calder Valley runners of all ages joined the start line for the Shepherds Skyline fell race, hosted by Todmorden Harriers. It’s always a popular race but this year numbers exceeded expectations with 320 seniors and 92 juniors registering for the mud fest.

Holly Page 1st Lady

The Senior’s race is a fast, muddy course – with a steep descent off Stoodley Pike for the kamikaze descenders, immediately followed by a stiff climb back up the hill to keep the stout-legged fell runners on their toes. This 6 mile route takes in 1148ft of climbing whilst offering stunning views across the valley from the ridge line. The junior routes opts for a shorter version, albeit as muddy, on the nearby hillside.

VL40 winner Catherine Holden

CV ladies excelled in the race, scooping up the majority of the ladies prizes. CVFR Holly Page delivered an impressive performance, coming in first lady overall and first CV home in 48:52. Catherine Holden took the LV40 prize with Stella Chrisanthou in second. Anne Johnson took the LV50 prize and Jackie Scarf the LV55. Together, they also took the ladies team prize (Holly Page, Linsdey Oldfield and Catherine Holden). Said Catherine:

“It was a cold start and the 3 pints I’d had to drink the night before were agitating my pre-race nerves. All my body was screaming why do you even need to do this? But then the sun came out and after some number herding we were off. All race nerves were drowned out by adrenalin and heavy breathing up that first hill. I mostly enjoyed the race, especially the support from the die hard CVFR groupies en route. The second hill was a killer but then came the final descent; a fast paced trip and stumble back down to the pub. Hurrah!”

Anne Johnson 1st V50

Tom Owens of Shettleston Harriers was first back in 44:20. First CV male home was Iain Illstone, just behind Holly Page in 49:01.

In the Juniors, with almost 100 runners, 23 mini stripes also put in an impressive performance with CV juniors all coming in the top 5 for the U9s. It was won by the club’s Sam Annison, followed 4 seconds later by Clara McKee, first girl. Harry Cliff was third, newcomer Eddie Chrisanthou came fourth and Leo Hackett 5th. Further prizes were picked up by CV in the U11 with Charlie Pickins second and Thomas McKee third. In the U13, CV’s Patrick Casey secured 4th place.

CV Junior achievements go far with the club’s William Hall recently crowded U13s Champion at the BOFRA (British Open Fell Runners Association) Annual Awards ceremony in Barnoldswick last Saturday. Will won the under 12 age group and James Duffy came fourth (though would probably got third had the Wasdale race not been cancelled due to flooding). They were presented with their trophies by fell running legend Victoria Wilkinson. Said proud dad, Stephen Hall:

“A great night was had by all, celebrating success for all the adults and youngsters that had committed to an excellent race series.”

Photos (courtesy of Woodentops)

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

Bronte Way – The Final Counter

Bronte Way

The Bronte Way Fell Race is a one way race from Wycoller to Haworth following the footpath of the same name. It was the last race in the 2017 Calder Valley Club Championship for which 13 members turned out.

A fast race mainly over firm tracks, it still packs over 1100ft of climb in 7 ½ miles. Martin Howard was first back for Calder, and first under 23, in 16th place shortly followed by Iain Illstone in 20th place. Lindsay Oldfield was first woman back for Calder and second overall behind Annie Roberts of Todmorden. The race was won by Joe Dale of Victoria Park Harriers with the evergreen Ian Holmes in 2nd.

273 runners completed the race which meant that some of the flour arrows used to waymark the route ended up trampled into the mud. This led to a few people going ‘off course’ but all were accounted for at the finish.

Lindsay Oldfield Bronte Way – 2018 Club Champion

Full Calder Results:-

Pos Forename Surname Time
16 Martin Howard 01:01:03
20 Iain Illstone 01:01:40
30 Douglas Zinis 01:03:40
44 Mark Wharton 01:06:48
48 Lindsay Oldfield 01:08:20
110 Catherine Holden 01:15:10
133 Carol Fryer 01:17:21
170 Dave Culpan 01:23:50
174 Bob Howard 01:24:48
176 James Cooke 01:25:25
253 Eileen McDonach 01:44:00
257 Elina Eady 01:46:20
265 Tamsin Cooke 01:53:35

This final race in the Club Championships means that Lindsey Oldfield has stormed the women’s titles winning the Women’s title just one point off a perfect score of 600, as well as the Short Queen and Medium Queen. Short (up to 10km) Medium (10km to 20km) and Long (over 20km) are the three length categories in fell races.

The Club Champion was Rob Allen, closely chased by Iain Illstone and Dougie Zinnis. However Rob’s prowess at the medium and longer distances gave him a lead of 11 points in the final results. Paul Haigh took the Long King title while James Cook was both Short and Medium King.

The Handicap Championship is scored based on previous results so a good improvement in running is essential to win this title. Paul Haigh added this to his Long King title again chased by Iain Illstone and Dougie Zinnis. Toby Sydes won the Vets Championship and Rod Sutcliffe took the vet 50 title.

Calder’s Championship consists of five races at each length with a runner’s best two results to count. The Short, Medium and Long titles are the total score for each length.

2017 Final club championship table

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks