Martin Howards’s 1st U23 at the English champs

Kate Burge ‘Sea to Summit’ English Championships Fell Race

CVFR Youth and Experience triumph in the ‘Sea to Summit’

Martin Howard continued his winning spree on Saturday to finish 1st under 23 in the Isle of Man’s Kate Burge ‘Sea to Summit’ English Championship Race (32nd overall). The race’s strapline is “It will be hard…. good…. that means it’s worthwhile.”

CVFR’s Mark O’Connor, Martin and Bob Howard relaxing after ‘sea to summit’.

Martin was part of a dedicated Calder Valley contingent (which included his dad, Bob) to take on the 14k Manx challenge, with 1200m ascent, 6 control points, an obligatory dip in the sea and culminating in a summit finish at 2036ft.

270 runners took part in the ‘Sea to Summit’ which is held in memory of a keen and accomplished local fell runner, Kate Burge, who was tragically killed in 2014, while cycling home from work in the Isle of Man.

CVFR’s Mathew Roberts put in a great performance to finish 6th overall in a time of 1 hour 20 mins.

Karl Gray led the CVFR vets, with 1st Vet 45 (12th overall, 1:21h), followed by Shaun Godsman (2nd Vet 45, 18th overall). Mark Taylor and Stephen Edwards ensured Calder Valley took 4 of the 5 top places in the over 45s.

CVFR enjoying fellfest after Sea_to_Summit

Tim Ellis and Mark O’Connor finished 19th and 46th overall respectively. Stephen Morran was 3rd Vet 60 (83rd overall) and Bob Howard (perhaps the only father and son running?) finished 19th Vet 55 (174th overall).

Keswick AC had a good day in the Isle of Man with top two finishes for the men, Carl Bell (1:15h) and James Appleton (1:17h) and first woman, Hannah Horsburgh (1:31h).

Wasdale ‘Horseshoe’ Fell Race

Helen Buchan does more than her bit on Wasdale

CVFR’s Helen Buchan put in a storming run in the heat of the Lakes to finish 1st Ladies Vet 40 in the mighty Wasdale ‘Horseshoe’ Fell Race.

Helen Buchan 1st LV 40 at Wasdale

This 21.1 mile, category AL race, with over 9000ft of climbing (that’s 430ft per mile!) is not for the faint hearted, but pays dividends for those who make it through the 8 checkpoints including Great Gable, with the last climb being Scaffell Pike!

Helen described it as “THE best race in the calendar…what else can you ask for in a fell race?” In blistering heat, the Wasdale runners were told to carry their own water due to lack of rainfall in recent months. Helen said “we all set off with at least 1.5 litres, making one of the toughest races in the calendar even tougher!

If this wasn’t hard enough, a condition of getting a finishing time this year was dependent on picking up an item of litter. This was to make amends for the litter concerns last year (when Wasdale was part of English champs) which had placed the race in jeopardy this year. Helen went above and beyond, picking up an empty tin of Mackerel. Who has a tin of mackerel up a fell on a boiling hot day?!

CVFR’s John Allan ran the Wasdale race too, an incredible achievement only five weeks after completing his Bob Graham round.

BOFRA – Alva Games, The British Championship Hill Race

It was a busy Saturday with two CVFR runners also venturing up to Stirlingshire in Scotland to race in the Alva Games, British Championship Hill Race. With 1200 feet of climb in just 1.6 miles this race is charmingly described as “a hill that gets steeper and steeper as the summit is neared, with the addition of thorny gorse and a muddy gully as obstacles.”

Ben Mounsey finished fourth and reflected on “A VERY tough day at the office! I had to settle for 4th place at the famous Alva Games in Scotland this afternoon. Struggled on the climb and never got going from the start – you win some, you lose some! Alva is such a good race though and worth it for this photo. Huge thanks to both the BOFRA and Alva games organisers and congrats to deserved winners Josh Boyle and @kirst_hall #alvagames #BOFRA #inov8 #getagrip #gseries #fellrunning.”

Ben Mounsey BOFRA Alva Game Scotland

Congratulations to Stephen Smithies, who put in a great run at Alva Games to take 1st Vet 50 (13th overall).

Stephen Smithies 1st Vet50 Alva Games Scotland

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach

Summer Series

A big week for Calder Valley Fell Runners’ Summer Series with three races taking place within 5 days.

Stoodley Pike was the first race held on the 3rd July.  Calder Valley’s Martin Howard took a well-deserved first fell race win here, after a series of five second places.  His club mates knew it would happen sooner or later and were really chuffed for him that it happened at such a historic, long-standing race.  U23 Martin was nearly a minute ahead of second placed Neil Crampton (Pudsey and Bramley) in 20.26.

oby Sydes, Catherine Holden, Richard Sunderland, Liam Williams

Don Ashton Memorial Tockholes.

Organised by Calder’s Calvin Ferguson, the race is a fast blast round the trails surrounding Darwin Moor and the Jubilee Tower.  Seven Calder runners headed over the border last Thursday evening.  With a record field of 143 runners, Calvin was pleased with the turnout, particularly as Don Ashton was his grandfather, and a local running legend.

Calder Results

16          Stephen Smithies             41:34
27           Lee Shimwell                     44:07
57           Toby Sydes                         47:50
64           Daniel Baron                     49:22
65           James Cooke                     49:33
88           Carole Fryer                       55:10
93           Tim Brooks                        55:41

Steve Smithies at the Don Ashton Memorial

Heptonstall Festival.

Well done to Pudsey & Bramley’s Joe Baxter on setting a new Festival course record in a sizzling 46:39; an outstanding performance given the withering heat and blazing sun. Sun hats off too to Tod Harriers Annie Roberts for her scorching 57:39 victory in the women‘s race, her second win this week.

Calder Valley’s Ian Symington revelled in the heat, coming in 7th place.  Along with the in-form Toby Cotterill (10th) and Matt Ray (11th) Calder Valley Fell Runners narrowly took the men’s team prize by 2 points from Wharfedale. 

Christina Turner at Heptonstall

Christina Turner continues her improving streak as first woman back for CVFR and 6th woman overall. Todmorden Harriers took the women’s team prize.

106 runners set off – most of whom came back to the post-race celebrations at The Cross, all rounded off by a Nightjar beer, Heptonstall music festival, and football watching. Memorable stuff, particularly the photographers, Dave and Eileen Woodheads’ England World Cup tunes forming the backdrop to the race summit at High Brown Knoll.

Top Summer Series points go to James Cooke, the only Calder Valley runner to complete all three races.

Moel Siabod

Four Calder Valley Runners headed for a weekend in Wales and decided to tackle the Moel Siabod Fell Race.  Starting from the Moel Siabod Café in Capel Curig the race goes through the woodland before heading up the ‘generally runnable’ 872 metre high Moel Siabod.  Catherine Holden was first V40 woman and Liam Williams also had a good run.  Results still to be published.

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Tim Brooks

Heat wave

The heat wave was not a deterrent for the CVFR endurance runners this weekend as they took on The Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, a two-day self-sustained mountain navigation race, that is held annually in the Lake District for pairs and experienced solo entrants, starting at the village of Grasmere. 

Going solo was legend of the compass Bill Johnson, showing off his trophies (and blistered toes) said “I played it safer because my feet were in bits, literally.  I was surprised and delighted to hold on to 3rd place and almost get 2nd… I guess everyone was suffering!

Bills beautiful feet!

In the pairs, Jackie and Phil gave each other a break, teaming up in male and female pairs respectively.   Amazingly, provisional results show Phil and partner Mark Ryde were 1st in   their class in a total time of 11.41 mins with Jackie Scarf and Debbie Ryde 6th overall and 2nd  ladies vet team. 

On Wednesday evening there was a large turn-out for church run race, Cragg Vale, with organiser Jackie Scarf very grateful for the £500 raised. 

Happy CVFR at home in the nearly dry marshes of Sunderland pasture

The no-see-ums (midges)made their presence felt as did Martin Howard who raced to second on the evening along with lots of other red and white hoops. 

Martin Howard and crew (2nd from the left)

In the BOFRA races, Ben Mounsey made a fiery return to the fells after injury coming first at the Kirkby Gala event.  Recovering after, Ben said he was seeing flamingos and needed a lie down. 

Bens Vulcan mind meld recovery exercise

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Gav Mulholland

Plenty racing to go around

Many CV runners swapped their usual Tuesday night training for the Bridestone race last Tuesday. This short but steep course goes past the famous Bridestone and takes in some of the lesser used paths in the upper Calder Valley. With steep climbs, fast tracks and demon descents, it has something for everyone. Lee Shimwell and Jo Stevens were first Calders back and the club secured both the women’s (Jo Stevens, Barbara Lonsdale and Jackie Scarf) and men’s (Lee Shimwell, Luke Meleschko and Jonathan Moon) Team prize.

Jo Stevens Bridestone (Photo: Ruth Thompson-Davies)

Then on Thursday, all eyes were on the setting sun to acknowledge the passing of the Solstice. And what better way to celebrate than to run up to High Brown Knoll to watch the sun vanish over the western horison, surrounded by friends and good banter. A new feature in the clubs Fun Runs, 2018 was the first Summer Solstice event and joins the more established winter solstice run as organised by the club’s solstice guru’s Tamsin and Jim Cooke. Always a good turn out, this year was no exception with 20 CV runners keen to race the sunset across the moors.

Last Saturday saw 9 CV head to the Lakes to join the elite field competing in the Darren Holloway Buttermere Horseshoe. A 2018 English and British championship counter, this race is one of the toughest Lakeland races in the calendar and makes a fantastic day out over the quiet Buttermere fells. At 22.2 miles with over 8,300ft climb, this isn’t for the faint hearted. CV’s Karl Gray was first MV45 home in an impressive 4 hours 10 minutes. Matthew Roberts was second CV home in 04 hours 13 minutes. Carl Bell from Keswick was overall winner in 03 hours 45 mins with Todmorden’s Annie Roberts first lady in 04 hours 50 mins.

Solstice runners

In awe of the Welsh 3000, a classic 24 mile fell challenge involving traversing all 15 mountains over 3000ft in Wales, from the Summit of Snowden to the summit of Foel-fras with 10k feet in between, a group of CV runners set off last weekend with a mission to complete it in less than 12 hours, whilst raising vital funds for charity.. Paul Haigh takes up the story:

 “We planned this a few months ago. But last month my Dad suffered an aneurysm of his artery and has been receiving palliative care in a Marie Curie hospice since. The care and support they give in here is amazing and they rely almost solely on donations to provide the £100m they spend on care each year. Our hope was to raise £100 per mountain, but whatever we raised is a drop in the Ocean compared to the care and support they give to every family in need of their help.” Their day started with a 5.15am alarm call in order to make the 3000ft walk to the top of Snowden – just to start the challenge. And 10 and a half hours later when the summit of Foel-Fras was reached it didn’t stop – they still had a 3.5 mile run back to the car!

Paul continues “In the end it was the sort of day you dream about. The sun shined high with wall to wall blue sky meaning breath-taking views could be soaked up in every direction. There was also little wind, which meant the knife edge of Crib Goch – notorious for Mountain Rescue – which was in the back of everyone’s mind was managed without incident. What made the day extra special though was running it which such a special group of friends, and all the support we had behind us, from Emma Smyth, a Calder Valley emigrant based in Snowdonia who volunteered to be our support for the day, to each and every one of the very generous donors that have helped raise almost £1500 for Marie Curie”

Team CV on Welsh 3000. L- R Toby Cotterill, Paul Haigh, Emma Smyth, Ian Illstone, Dou gie Zinis, Andy Wright on the summit of Foel-Fras

Elsewhere, Carole Fryer bagged another scoop for CV picking up the VL50 prize at the Sabden Trail race on Sunday.

Carole Fryer at Sabden (photo: Mick Fryer)

And on the international scene, Holly Page continued her repertoire of impressive wins, coming first in the Monte Rosa Sky Marathon in Italy. Said Holly:

‘Scaling a glacier was a bit different to racing in the Calder Valley… my legs are totally fine the next day but my arms and chest were  so sore from using poles for the first time and I’ve burnt all the skin off my elbows using them as brakes sliding down!’

– Calder Valley News Reporter: Dill Dickson