Training machine Godsman! Wins Windy Hill

Windy Hill Fell race lived up to its name – and then some – last weekend. With sleet, thick fog and strong winds, the nine-mile race was a tough one for the more than 200 brave runners that took part. Starting at Hollingworth Lake, the race takes the runners up to Blackstone Edge, across the moor to Windy Hill and then gradually down to the finish.
Calder Valley Fell Runners had a small contingent on the day, but made a big impact. Shaun Godsman and Alex Whittem took the lead from the off, and battled with one another and Rob James of Royton Road Runners for much of the way round. But as the race went on Shaun gradually pulled away from the pair, eventually finishing the race in 1:02, a minute ahead of Rob and Alex.

Training Machine – Shaun Godsman Winning Windy Hill Fell Race 2018

Commenting on his win Shaun said modestly, “I just ran and managed to get in front.” But with deep bogs and sections along the top of the moor where visibility was only 10 or 15 metres, it took a lot to run the route in such a good time.
Not too far behind was Calder Valley’s Stephen Smithies who battled with fell running legend Darren Fishwick much of the way around and finished in 23rd place, making him the first V50 home. Together the three secured the men’s team prize.
Ben Cliff, who is not just new to Calder Valley but is new to running, had an excellent result in what is only his fourth fell race. He finished in 48th place, a great result demonstrating some real potential.

Edale Open 5
A small number of Calder Valley Fell Runners also travelled to the Peak District for the Edale Open 5, a running and mountain biking challenge in which the competitors travel to as many checkpoints as possible in five hours.
Jackie and Phil Scarf were the first mixed pair. Barbara Lonsdale and Alistair Morris were third mixed pair. Jonathan Emberton had an excellent race, finishing second male solo.

Great day out for cvfr at the Edale Open 5

Barbondale Fell Race
Calder Valley’s junior runners were out in force at the Barbondale Fell Race, a short, steep race and the fifth race in the Kendal Winter League series. Calder Valley’s William Hall was second and James Duffy was fourth in the under 15s race, and Patrick Casey took third in the under 13s race.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Giles Simon

Bernard Pierce Memorial

This weekend was a busy one for the club, with plenty of races & results, despite the wintery weather.

The Bernard Pierce Memorial – Wadsworth Trog 2018. CVFR Dougie Zinnis.

Highlights included local classic, renamed for 2018 as the “Bernard Pierce memorial Wadsworth Trog” in homage to its creator (who sadly passed away in 2017), expertly organised by Calder Valley’s Jake Ackroyd. A beast of a race, starting from Old Town Cricket Club, with 19 miles (31km) and 3650ft (1110m) of partially marked course – the Trog is Infamous for its mud in the best of weather – and this year was a veritable bog slog. Several seasoned racers commented they had never seen it as such a quagmire before. The final uphill to the finish line merited crampons for the mud alone, without even mentioning the liberal powdering of the white stuff. 168 runners battled through white-out conditions to complete the race, won by Carl Bell of Keswick in an impressive 2:39:20.


CVFR’s Andy Swift once again put in a performance befitting of his name, finishing third overall; and with Ian Symington & Mark O’Connor placing 10th & 11th, the CVFR men stormed to shared victory (the only team with more than two runners in the top 15). The other three CVFR mens teams placed joint fourth, 14th & 19th on a strong day out for the club.

Mens team: Wadsworth Trog 2018 – Left to right, Mark O’Connor, Andy Swift & Ian Symington

Away from home, this Sunday marked one of only two Leicestershire fell races officially registered with the FRA. Charnwood Hills fell race 14 miles of cross-country includes just enough hills to qualify as a Category C race. Despite the Sunday sunshine, this year’s run was especially tough underfoot, with recent wet conditions making for mud-a-plenty. CVFR red-and-white hooped runner Jason Wilf Williams battled it out at the front to finish a well-deserved 3rd in his first fell race of 2018.

Photo 3 (credit Clive Mason) of Jason Wilf Williams running in this last weekend’s Charnwood Hills fell race.

CVFR – Jason Wilf Williams

This Sunday also saw three CVFR men taking to the mountains in Wales (Carneddau) to compete in the first of four navigation score events across moorland, fell and mountains in North Wales, the Peak District and Lake District (x2) that will make up the challenging 2018 Kong Mini Mountain Marathon Series. The exact location of each event is only announced one month before the race, and the best three results count towards a final league score. Calder Valley men got their campaign off to a strong start, with cracking individual results in harsh & testing conditions. Matthew Roberts did extremely well to finish 15th overall, scoring 500 points in just over four hours. Richard Sunderland came 8th in the V40 category, with 410 points and fellow CVFR Tim Brooks came in just behind at 12th V40 with 360 points.

Wales mini-marathon

Photo credit Richard Sunderland in Bethseda, Gwynedd, for the Kong Mini Marathon Series Event 1.

New member Mark Burton also deserves a mention, coming in 14th overall and 3rd v40 at Long Mynd.

CVFR Welcome Mark Burton

Cover photo credits:  Dave Woodhead @ Woodentops of  CVFR’s Andy Swift with P&B Joe Baxter slogging through the snow in the BPM Wadsworth Trog.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

Holly’s got the call

CVFR’s highlights this week include the GB Selection, local Hoofstones race and junior cross country events, which saw great performances from a number of our juniors all competing for their schools.

Mark O’Connor, Hoofstones winner 2018 (photo courtesy of Mick Fryer)

Hoofstones is an 8 mile navigational challenge in and around the highest point around Todmorden and gets its name from Hoofstones Heights Trig Point. It’s very hard going on the final climb to Hoofstones which is then followed by a tough cut across the moor with deep heather and tussocks for about 1 mile. With a route choice from checkpoint 1 – 4, runners must take decisive action on the route that will give them their quickest time possible, a tactic that worked well for first time winner, Calder Valley’s Mark O’Connor. He, along with team mates Lee Shimwell and Richard Ingram, also claimed the men’s prize.

A proud Mark said: “I didn’t know much about the Hoofstones fell race other than it was organised by a friend, Dan Taylor and is a local race, so I was keen to support it. At the start of the week before the race I knew that it was game on so I did a midweek reccie on the navigation part which ultimately played a big part to my success on the day.

My plan was to make my mark early on, on the better running terrain which was easier said than done!  On race day I set off quick and didn’t look back until the first 1000ft of climb . To my own surprise my legs felt great and there was no one in sight behind me so I concentrated on a good but sustainable pace. I had a little wobble on the navigation across the moor but then back on the track for the final descent I was able to ease off the pace and cruise over the line with a 5 minute lead for my first fell race win.

It’s a great feeling and even more so to share the team prize with my fellow Calder Valley team mates Lee Shimwell and Richard Ingram. I’d highly recommend this race for 2019 it has a great mix of terrain and options“

Annie Roberts of Tod Harriers was first woman home.

On the international stage, Calder Valley’s Holly Page has been selected as 1 of the 12 athletes to represent Britain at the World Trail Championships in Spain later this year. A fantastic achievement, all eyes will be on Holly as she runs the 50 mile course in the Spanish region of Penyagolosa on 12 May this year.

Holly Page makes the GB Team 2018

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson

The Final Cut – 270 miles!

The spine race: a 270-mile route from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, tracing the Pennine backbone of England. This distance did not deter Calder Vet 50 ultra running zombie Bill Johnson from competing and completing in 12th overall despite the dreadful weather, comprising double helpings of gales and snow for most of the event.
With no sleep in the final 40 hrs It was a huge relief for his wife Anne when he finally made it to the finish in the early hours of Saturday morning, after beginning the trek on the Sunday! Bill was rushed straight to the nearest health clinic for a well deserved pedicure.  Read Bill’s step by step account HERE

Locally, the ever popular Hebden 22 set off at 8am Saturday morning, also unphased by the harsh conditions under foot. Lone Ranger Ben Mounsey completed the 21 mile slog-fest individually in 3:04 hrs as he ploughed through the snow and mud to select the best cakes at all check points. Next in was Ian Symington in 3:23.5. Third man on the long course was Matt Cope after he ditched his comrades on the tops of Cragg Vale as Matt said he was unnerved by their camaraderie/manlove. First Lady to return for Calder was Dr. Catherine Texas Holden. The LDWA event is a firm favourite for all local clubs. Everything about the Hebden is perfect, from the tea and toast reception to the 3 course meal after.

The Hebden 2018 – Toby Cotteril

On Sunday, again despite testing Winter conditions, cvfr were out on the moors around Todmorden in the harriers 3 hour mini moors marathon navigation event. Notable performances included Rachel Johnstone 2nd woman and 1st LV50, Jon Emberton (who had teamed up with Mark Seddon) 2nd and 1st v50 (Pair). Amongst those in attendance were Calvin Ferguson and Tim Brooks.

And finally who would want to be a race organiser when there is snow and ice (and mud) to contend with. Captain Philip and wife Harley D. Beecroft bravely rescheduled the Mytholmroyd vocational fell race after it was cancelled before xmas for the same reasons. With loads of local cvfr talent the ladies and the men both took first team prizes with Lee Shimwell first back for the club in 8th place. By default, Anthony Costello was awarded (ate) as 2nd v50.
Joanna Stevens lead the race home for the ladies as she made her to return to the fells after a bout of motherhood

Mytholmroyd Fell Race 2018 – Paul Gilbert

There is also a rumour that Stephen Smithies was involved in a 5k race and collected first prize as vet 50.?

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gavin Mulholland