Calder Storm Ireland

Last Saturday, the red and white hoops could be spotted in Northern Ireland, across Calderdale and in Lancashire as CV runners across all ages successfully competed in a number of events.

Helen Buchan – NI British Champs (Photo Credits: NIMRA)

A grey misty day greeted 283 runners, including 11 CV, at the start line of the Mourne Highline race in N Ireland. A British Championships 2018 contender, this gruelling 10 mile race took competitors on a magical mystery tour of the Kingdom of Mourne, taking in grassy climbs, rocky descents, and airy ridges. Visibility remained poor throughout the day and competitors battled against strong wind as they picked their way between checkpoints. Attracting a strong field, CV proved their worth with the ageless Karl Grey taking first V40, V45 and 5th overall. Matthew Roberts was 4th overall with 01:36:56 closely followed by Karl and then Andy Swift in 6th. With Ben Mounsey fourth CVFR and Gavin Mulholland fifth CVFR, they scooped both the open and the MV40 team prizes. Helen Buchan, the former ladies captain, was 5th FV40, making an impressive come back after time out from injury.


Mourne Highline MV40 Team winners (L-R: Race organiser, Gavin Mulholland, Karl Grey, Shaun Godsman and Mark Taylor)

Nearer home, last Saturday saw the 2nd event in CVFR’s Ultra Championships in the form of Calderdale Hike. Organised as a long distance walk by 24th St Paul’s Scout group but also open to runners, this event offers 2 options- the ‘short’ route of a mere 22 miles or the longer option, this year being 40 miles to commemorate the events 40th anniversary. Starting and finishing at Sowerby Cricket Club, the longer version takes in both sides of the valley going as far as Todmorden and Lydgate before heading back via Bridestones, Peckett Well and Jerusalem Farm. Previously, men have outnumbered women at such events and the club’s Ultra Championships have rarely proved popular with the lasses. But Saturday was a turning point with 7 CV women at the start line, all of whom successfully finished too.

Ladies line up for Calderdale Hike (L-R: Liz Lloyd, Gloria Ayuso, Gill Dickson, Kate Pope, Harley Beecroft, Carolyn Shimwell)

Said Kate Pope, a recent convert to Ultra running: ‘I ran with Gloria and Gill. We are all Ultra novices, although I’d trained hard and knew what we were up against. We had a great time. We all had our low points and hit the wall at different stages (thankfully!) but we had each other to get us through those bits. None of us could imagine doing something like this alone! We weren’t able to recce the route before and ended up running just over 41 miles. We were quite relieved to see the finish!’

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gill Dickson