Lancs Lad and Lass

Lancashire Fellrunning Champions:
This week saw a bumper crop of races and impressive results for CVFR runners, notably with the publishing of the 2018 Lancashire Fellrunning Champions results, which saw outgoing Ladies Captain, Helen Buchan win gold in the ladies Vet O/40 category and CVFR’s Shaun Godsman winning Silver in the men’s Vet 0/40.

Lancs Lad and Lass Shaun Godsman and Helen Buchan

Over this last weekend, CVFR club members also ran well in Pendle, Wardle and Coledale Horseshoe in the Lake District. At Pendle, despite very wet conditions underfoot and a strong field – due to this race featuring in the Lancashire Championships – CVFR’s Alex Whittem and Shaun Godsman competed strongly to finish 6th and 7th overall respectively. Other notable individual results include Calvin Ferguson in 53rd and Blair Garrett 108th place. At Wardle, Mark Burton navigated warmer than expected conditions and a fast & slippery seven-mile (1250ft climb) to place 3rd overall and first V40 man. V50 runner Stephen Smithies was the first CVFR over the line at Coledale Horseshoe race, placing 70th overall out of 365 runners. Strong individual performances included Mike Clayton who finished 85th and Tamsin Cooke, the only female club member running in this weekend’s fell races, who finished in just over 2h 47 minutes.

Also in the Lake District this weekend, two further CVFR runners braved the elements to compete with 80-odd other runners braving the wind, snow and low-hanging clouds to slog their way up, onto and over Harrison Stickle, with all 2100ft of climbing in a 1 ¾ miles. An infamously tough race, both club members made the check points just off the summit. Dave Hammond, came in 32nd overall and an impressive 5th in the V50 category and Mark Burton, finished just behind him at 39th overall and a respectable 10th V40. Vetran Dave Hammond’s was happy with this, his first race of the year, and part of his preparation towards the first race in this season’s BOFRA Championship on 1st race in May at Sebough. Thanks go to all the marshals’ that had to stay up on the hill to ensure all runners passed through safely and to the Achille Ratti Climbing Club for a great event.

In the longer runs category, on Saturday, 7th April CVFR’s Melvyn Ward ran twice as far as ever before, completing the gruelling 61 miles (100km) of the kielder ultra trail in Northumberland (two loops of kielder water with a mixture of forest tracks, open moors and packed walking/biking trails), finishing this epic race in around 14 hours. Although at one point, worn down with understandable exhaustion in the swirling mist, he described feeling as if he was in something akin to the set of the Blair Witch Project and towards the end he would have ‘swaped his kit for a hug and some soup’, he concluded that overall despite the boggy, wet and cold conditions, ‘it was great fun’. On a serious note, the experience has given him an even greater respect for the talented club members who knock out long distances in record fast times.

CVFR’s Melvyn Ward ran twice as far as ever before

On the topic of the club’s experienced long-distance runners, several of these were racing even further away from home this weekend. On Sunday, 8th April, CVFR and Great Britain runner Holly Page was invited to join two Polish runners on the Salomon Sunnto team and complete the 30km first leg of a three-leg 73km Sztafeta Gorska relay in the spa village of Kudowa (a race crossing from South West Poland into the Czech Republic). Holly competed in style, finishing the fastest lady and overall 6th and her team coming 7th overall and 1st ladies.

Holly Page & her two Polish Salomon Suunto team mates celebrating their victory

At the tough Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series race in Exmoor on Saturday 7th April, CVFR’s Ian Symington claimed 3rd place in the Ultra Marathon in an amazing 5h 17 :25 seconds for the 32.8 miles and 6,415ft of ascent. It was also a fabulous result for red & white hoops MV45 runner Stephen Edwards, who outright won the marathon distance (and a pair of underpants as a prize!) in a thoroughly impressive 3 :54:50 (only just over 10 minutes off the overall record).7

Ian Symington and Stephen Edwards

Also on winning form this weekend were CVFR’s Barbara Lonsdale and Alistair Morris who won the mixed pairs Open 5 Adventure Race at Grassington (an event in which competitors have five hours to orienteer their way to as many controls as possible featured on an OS map given to them at the beginning of the race). Fellow CVFR club members husband and wife team of Phil and Jackie Scarf came in third in the mixed pairs category and were crowned overall 12th Series Winners, having won the previous two events.

The top three mixed pairs for the series based on their two best results.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Catherine Jones