Ladies Day for CVFR

Ladies Day for CVFR at Buckden Pike:

Saturday 16th June, CVFR ladies showed they were made of winning stuff at Buckden Pike – a Category A fell race comprising 6km & 486m ascent, which this year featured particularly dreadful weather, including hailstones of Biblical proportions. Despite this, over 60 individuals turned out to race, & CVFR’s women put in a strong performance with Helen Buchan first female V40 & Charlotte Wetton first female V35. Catherine Holden’s coming in second woman in the Vet 40 category sealed the deal for the red & white hoops, & saw them also take the overall ladies team prize. For the men, Martin Howard once again ran well, finishing in overall 6th place in 40:08 & Paul Haigh put in a strong personal performance to place overall 11th & second in the men’s Vet 40 age category.

 some of the CVFR competitors post race.

Bofra’s Kettlewell on Sunday 17th June may only be 1.4 miles, but it packs a punch for the distance: with an incredibly steep 600ft slippery of ascent, following by an even more treacherous final descent. In the end, only a few blades of grass separated many of the 98 competitors, with Toby Cottrill fighting all the way to the finish line to be the first red & white hooped runner home (15th place in 14:08). Fellow CVFR, Stephen Smithies was hot on his heels (runners 15-20 finished within five seconds of each other), placing 18th overall & winning the men’s Vet 50 age category. For the juniors, it was equally tight at the finish. In the U14s, 10 seconds made the difference between 8th & 12th place, with CVFR James Duffy finishing a respectable 12th in 11:17.

Making Extreme Mountain Marathons Look Easy:

Saturday 16th June also saw Calder Valley’s Holly Page once more competing internationally in the 5th race in the 17th Migurun Skyrunner World Series – a series of extreme races which all take place at above 2,000 metres (6,600ft), with an incline exceeding 30%. This week saw runners compete in the 34km (2,700m of vertical climb) Livango race on the Italian-Swiss border – Page finished a very respectable 5th place in a strong women’s field with an outstanding time of 4h 24 minutes & 23 seconds.

Photos Holly Page – credit Albert Jorquera (Skyrunning World Series)

After the race, the England international runner commented that whilst it had been ‘tough’ going, she had nonetheless ‘loved’ ‘running through the snow’ and ‘along the awesome ridges’ – she feels it is a ‘privilege’ to be able to not only race but also be able to ‘admire the stunning mountains all around’, which serve to not only make her ‘happy’ but also to ‘wake up’ the competitor in her – as can be seen by the current statistics: a relatively unknown quantity going into the series, Page is currently 2nd woman in Classic category & 3rd overall woman – a full 57 points ahead of the female runner in 4th place) – a strong position going into next Saturday’s Monte Rosa SkyMarathon (Europe’s highest race).

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Catherine Jones

British Champs 2nd Counter

From Hebden to Howtown via Tal y Mignedd

With three club championship events this week, it was a busy week for some Calder Valley runners.

The CVFR hoops were out in numbers for the Todmorden Harriers, iconic ‘Thats so Hebden Bridge’ Fell Race on Tuesday night. Will that new name stick?

CV group at Hebden Bridge finish

Making up one third of the entrants, 38 CVFR runners lined up, on a hot, Hebden evening, from the most experienced club runners to six plucky first timers. Many more club members were out on the course cheering them on (Photo 1: Some of CV Group at That’s so Hebden Bridge).

Starting and Finishing in Calder Holmes Park, this category BS, 10km classic route climbs 350m to Stoodley Pike then back via Erringden Moor, with a variety of terrain.
A new course record (40.30 mins) was set by Chris Holdsworth from Clayton-Le-Moors.

First back for Calder valley were U23 Alistair Pedley (9th overall) and Christina Turner (3rd female overall). It was also a good night for CVFR vets as they made off with great prizes donated by local businesses: Christina Turner (1st Female Vet 40), Jackie Scarf (1st Female Vet 50). Mark Wharton (1st Vet 50), Jonathon Emberton (1st Vet 55), Andrew Davies (1st Vet 60). Our first-time fell racers also enjoyed the celebratory post-race refreshments at Macpelah 

CV recruits L-R Natalie Rachel Lisa

Proceeds from the Hebden Bridge race will be donated to Khalsa Aid who did so much to help the town in the aftermath of the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Howtown Heat and Thunder
Ten CVFR runners made the 100-mile journey to Howtown near Ullswater for the Howtown, a 21.4km Category AL fell race

Catherine with team mates

L-R, Phil, Mark, Catherine, Tim, please insert name, Jonny at Howtown start).

This year saw a record-breaking field of 100 runners

100 entrants Howtown start

Described as an “enjoyable route in the far eastern fells” it has 1415m of climbing with a steep start up Loadpot Hill to the summit of High Raise, with scenic views down to Patterdale. It ends with the cruel ‘sting’ of Hallin Fell climb near the end.

In blistering heat, followed by a thunderstorm, Jonny Croston was first Calder Valley (17th overall), followed by Phil Wells (21st overall)

Jonny Croston 1st CVFR in thunderstorm at top of Hallin Fell, Howtown

Despite some impressive knee strapping, Catherine Holden put in another fine performance as first CVFR female (5th female overall), taking the first female Vet 40 accolade (Photo 7: Catherine Holden with team mates at the start). Summing up the day with other club runners by the lakeside, Catherine reflected on a “cracking fell race with a restorative swim at the end, but a lesson in route choice and not to follow the crowd.” Could this become the ‘new favourite fell race’?

Eggs and Beer at Tal y Mignedd – Club and British Champs
Over in Llanberis, Wales, intrepid Calder Valley runners also took on the short, out and back, 6.2k Tal y Mignedd, Category AS fell race this weekend. A British and club Champs race, this route is reported to feature a ‘violent ascent of 1800ft in just over a mile’ (can this be true?), with a kamikaze descent.

CVFR Math Roberts Photo Credits SixBySevenPhotography

Gav Mulholland reported Calder Valley success with 2nd place in the open team (Matthew Roberts, Gav Mulholland, Andy Swift, Karl Grey and Tim Ellis) and first place in the Vets category (Gav Mulholland, Karl Grey, Mark Taylor, Mark Burton). Eggs and beer were the prizes!

Claiming third Vet 40 spot, Gav Mullholland was quoted as saying “I hated the journey, but loved the race.” Ben Mounsey was 39th, after a great climb he suffered injury on the descent.

Weets Fell Race, Saturday 9th July
In a record turnout of 206 senior runners at the Weets fell race, Helen Buchan put in a fantastic performance to finish 2nd female.

Helen at Weets Fell Race

(Helen Buchan at the Weets Fell Race).

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach

Ultra Fells

The Bob graham. The legendary 42 summit circuit of the Lake District to be completed in 24 hrs. Sir John Allan and his crack team of fell runners set off from Keswick to climb Skiddaw Gt Calva Blencathra before leg 2 up Clough head and many more mountains such as Dollywagon Bowfell Scafell Pike, Pike o stickle, kiirk fell and other pythonesque names before the final, Robinson. The training all paid off as John finished in around 22 hrs ? After the event, whilst in a state of delirium, John may have proposed to his fiancé which he will no doubt contemplate when he regains consciousness.

At the LAMM (Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon), a 2 day navigation and overnight camp on The Isle of Harris, veterans Jackie and Phil Scarf were first in their age group with Barbara Lonsdale and Jo Buckley First Ladies pair with the whole event, including the weather, in top form.

On to shorter stuff with the 50 mile Cannonball Calderdale way ultra. It’s starts off rough (Todmorden) and ends bad (Tordmorden) but the rest is beautiful taking in Blackshaw head, Heptonstall, Wainstalls, bits you would rather not run, and then onto North Dean Woods, Norland, Cragg Vale and Stoodley.

Carolyn n Harley CW ultra 2018

Calder Valley annihilated the rest by winning in several categories starting with Kevin the bolt Hoult who went under 8 hrs setting a new course record and winning. Kevin put his success down to choosing this over a day of diy at home.  The club also picked up team prizes in the paired categories with Carolyn Shimwell and Harley Beecroft the winning ladies and Dougie Ziggy Stardust Zinis pairing with Luke Meleschko and Ian illistone with Luke putting in a strong sole effort at the end. Lee Shimwell also completed the course, as the Joker from Batman (with that Jimmy Hill grin).

Lee Shimwell CWU 2018

The short stops: Gavin Mulholland took on the home internationals on the slopes of the Howgills finishing 21st and 2nd for Northern Ireland, missing out on a bronze by a single point to Wales

And in Europe in Slovenia, Ben Mounsey came 5th v35 in the World Masters Mountain race. Ben is delighted to be old enough now to battle with the best. He said “It’s the greenest place I’ve ever been and the cleanest place I’ve ever been,  It has HUGE impressive mountains and breathtaking scenery. Loved it. I’ll be back.’

At Pen-y-ghent, Darren Kay was third and first vet 40 in 51 minutes.

Martin Howard chased some of the top names in fell running at Coniston Gullies, coming fifth. Super vet Dave Hammond was 29th and second v50. Will Hall was second in the under 14s. 

Holly Page continues to excel in the World Skyrunning series and lies second overall.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gav Mulholland

4k blackstone blast to 400k wrath ultra or did you choose the glorious Lakeland hills

Blackstone Edge

A classic local race, Blackstone Edge has been organised by the legendary Kevan Shand for the last 36 years.  The race is a quick 4 mile blast from Knowl Farm, Lydgate, to the Blackstone Edge trig point and back again.

Martin Howard, 2nd at Blackstone Edge 2018 (Photo by: Mick Fyer)

Getting has fourth 2nd place this year for Calder Valley, it can’t be long before Martin Howard wins a senior race outright.  Under 23 Martin finished in 33:06, less than 2 minutes behind Andrew Worster of Todmorden.  Romans Sostovs was second Calder in 13th place and Club Chairman Bill Johnson thord Calder in 22nd place.

Helen Buchan was second woman behind Annie Roberts of Todmorden.

Helen Buchan, 2nd AT Blackstone Edge (Photo by: Mick Fyer)

A slight disappointment at the prize giving as the extensive prize pot was missing the usual nine rolls of toilet paper, although Bill Johnson was pleased with his dozen eggs and Jon Emberton came away with a collander.

Helvellyn and the Dodds

A race up the third highest mountain in England was taken on by a few Calder Valley Fell Runners last Saturday.  15 miles from Threlkeld to Hevellyn and back the race includes a massive climb early on up to Clough Head, followed by a runnable jaunt along the ridge to Helvellyn.

Carl Bell of Keswick won in 2:14:26, and Keswick took the first five places.  Hannah Horsburgh also of Keswick won the women’s race in 2:33:03.  Helen Buchan was first back for Calder in 3:10:36 and 8th place followed by Rachel Crossland in 20th.  Mark Wharton, Calder’s first man back, looked to have had a tough race in 3:26:19

Cape Wrath Ultra

A epic 8 day multi stage ultra race, the Cape Wrath Ultra covers the 400km from Fort William to the most north-westerly point of the British Isles at Cape Wrath.  The route travels through deserted highland valleys and along the shores of remote lochs in the landscapes of Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland.

Calder Valley’s Phil Beecroft, always up for a long distance challenge, competed the route in 76 hours 37 minutes and 17 seconds to come in 68th place.  The only word from Phil since he finished was ‘brutal’.

West Nab, Juniors Championship

Saturday saw a number of Calder Valley juniors test themselves against some of the best runners in the country at the West Nab fell race in Meltham, being both an English Championship and the Yorkshire Championship race.

Clara McKee won the U9s outright by some distance and celebrating his first boy position was Ted Parker who came in second in spectacular style.  Lennon Wilson and Thomas Annison also ran well.

The U11 race saw Thomas McKee coming 9th with Sam Annison, Ollie Pickens and Finley Canning all coming in the top 30.

Patrick Casey came in 3rd in the U13s and Charlie Pickens 6th.  Leo Illstone, Evelyn Illstone and Fearne Hanson also did well on what was a very hard course.

West Nab Juniors

The U15s race saw Will Hall come in at 8th followed by James Duffy and Alex Duffield who both came in the top 20.

It was also the Yorkshire Championships for the U13s and over. Patrick Casey picked up the gold medal and Charlie Pickens the silver in the U13s and Will Hall was awarded with the silver medal in the U15s.

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Tim Brooks