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