Blackstone Edge Fell Race saw Calder Valley out in force to take on this short (3.5 mile), but steep (1200 ft) local course. With valuable points up for grabs in the club championships, there was a lot to play for.
Calder didn’t disappoint, with Darren Kay and Martin Howard running 1st and 2nd spot as well as being part of the winning first and second men’s teams. Natasha Butterfield, Catherine Holden (running this race for the first time) joined and Carole Fryer to win First Ladies team.
Calder’s hard efforts were rewarded with a range of coveted, if somewhat unusual prizes with Martin Howard winning a frying pan, Stephen Smithies, a watermelon and Elina Eady a set of ski goggles. Andy Wright, showed his dedication to the sport, running in his work clothes, but may miss out on full championship points for flouting the club vest rule
Meanwhile, at the back of the pack, an early, but strong contender for Calder Valley ‘Navigational cock-up the year award’ was on show, with one novice Calder runner missing the turn and heading back up the hill for a second ascent. Just goes to show, even in a local race, it always pays to recce!
Further afield, Calder’s elite travelled to Blaenau Ffestiniog for the Ras y Moelwyn Fell Race as part of the British Championship series. Billed as the ‘best fell race in Britain’, this iconic race takes in the peaks of Moelwyn Mawr, Graig Ysgafn, Moelwyn Bach, and Moel yr Hydd. With stunning views, and 800m of ascent, the 15km route is reported to have it all – rocky ascents, fast trails and grass descents, even a bit of mud.
Gavin Mulholland was first back for Calder Valley (24th overall) followed seven seconds later by Adam Osbourne. Strong performances put them in a great position for V40 men’s team prize with Shaun Godsman (49th overall) making it three top ten finishers in the V40 category.
– Calder Valley News Reporter: Eileen McDonach