An upward “Spire” gives Kev the win

Kevin Hoult at the finish line – photo credit Jamie Glazebrook

Whilst many competitive sporting events have had to be cancelled, some have managed to go ahead, including the rescheduled Spire Ultra – a 34-mile ‘Maypole’ run around the Chesterfield’s crooked spire. 63 solo runners and five relay teams braved last Saturday’s (31st October) wind, rain & mud to take part in this race, which had been significantly amended to take the pandemic into account (including marshalls in PPE, & runners setting off in socially distanced ‘pods’ based on their expected finish time).

Despite challenging weather, CVFR’s ultra-runner Kevin Hoult stormed to first place for the second year in a row – shaving six seconds off his previous personal best (although he was quick to point out that the route had been slightly shortened due to COVID restrictions). The red & white hooped runner described just how tough conditions were – whilst normally, competitors can see the famous spire in the distance for much of the race, this year, no such views were possible; with runners battling seriously stormy weather and epic mud to complete the course.

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Mounsey’s International Return in the Trofeo Vanoni Relay

A “masked” start to the relay

Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey jumped at the unplanned opportunity to compete in one of his all-time favourite races, the prestigious Trofeo Vanoni mountain running Relay.

As part of the Great British team, Ben (centre of the photo) joined fellow athletes Andrew Douglas (SCO with Blue No 12) and Zak Hanna (NI with Red No. 12) in the beautiful Italian village of Morbegno for this international race. Each leg involves running a lap of 7k with over 400 metres of climb. The team finished an excellent 5th position overall, in a highly competitive field. France took first place, with the top Italian teams taking second and third.

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