Calder Valley Fell Runners haven’t been racing or running together since the Covid lockdown began. One thing that came up was that there was nothing available for club members to do as a group, socially and physically. As we all love a good hill or two, a hill climbing challenge was devised.
The challenge was to find as much climbing as possible. Members were asked to create their toughest category in AS (min 1.5km up to 10km), AM (up to 20km) or finally AL (30km limit) race. The ‘A” standard for these distances is an average of not less than 50 metres climb per kilometre.
An additional challenge was for the club to run the equivalent of the height of all 214 of the Lake District Wainwrights from sea level on their local fells and that is total of 453,000 feet. CVFR sponsored this event and donated £1 for every 1000 feet climbed by club members who enter this competition. The money raised was donated to the Halifax Homeless and Community Kitchen.
Halifax Homeless and Community Kitchen opened in January last year and runs a kitchen in the town centre every Sunday serving meals and handing out food, toiletries and sometimes clothes to take away. The coronavirus outbreak means the kitchen has had to be closed for now, but the volunteers who run the project have begun delivering food to those in need across the town.
Club statistician Andy Wright said “As well as giving me lots of excuses to play with spreadsheets, it has been rewarding to see the effect this has had on our members. People are chatting to one another about their runs, pushing themselves outside their comfort zones, talking about the mental effect that lock down is having on them as well as competing with one another to see who can come up with the ugliest, hilliest courses.”
After a close week the CVFR runners pulled some amazing climbs out of the bag on the final day of the challenge allowing us to beat the Wainwright target with a combined total climb of 486,151 feet. Total running distance by entrants to the challenge was 2,054 miles. So £486 will be donated to Halifax Homeless and Community Kitchen.
Nicola Freemantle, organiser of HHCK said “The challenge looks amazing and the mental well-being and how people are talking and getting involved and feeling better is amazing. You are all so great. This money will go towards feeding over 500 people a week. That is 3 meals a day for 7 days. This is family referrals from social services, young carers and other sectors. We provide healthy meals with fresh fruit and veg.”
The routes with the most climb for each distance were short (under 6.2 miles) Darren Kay with a leg busting 4,321 feet climbed, medium (under 12.4 miles) Matt Kay with 4,656 feet climbed. For the long route (under 18.6 miles) Stuart Russell climbed a monstrous 7709 feet.
The steepest routes overall were Darren Kay’s run at 697 ft per mile, followed by Holly Page’s route up and down Hardcastle Crags at 552 ft per mile. Men’s Captain, Shaun Godsman covered 527 ft per mile.