Local fell runners were keen to get back to racing last Wednesday evening at the Blackstone Edge race. It is a classic short fell race, the shortness of the 3.5 mile route belies the toughness of the terrain. After a short climb from Lydgate to the Roman Road the race takes a sharp turn onto a pathless section of moor and bog. Runners then battle the mud and tussocks on the steep 1200ft climb to the summit of Blackstone Edge. A short run along the ridge path leads to a pathless decent back to the finish.
Calder Valley Fell Runners were out in force. Bethan Gay was second woman back and Ed Hyland was ninth man, both recent signings for the club. Bethan said ‘I wasn’t feeling it to begin with but it was so good to get the buzz of a mass start again. The climb was a killer but I was happy to keep my place towards the end. Overall I was super pleased with how it went.’
The bog took its toll on Calder’s runners, with Toby Sydes ending up waist deep and Rachel Beaumont losing a shoe. Tom Adams of Ilkley comfortably won the race in 28.47, over two minutes ahead of the second placed Edward Corden of Stockport. The womens race was won by Katie Walshaw of Holmfirth in 34.48.
Full Calder Results
9th Ed Hyland – 32.37 – 41st Mark Wharton – 37.31 – 43rd Stuart Russel – 37.45
48th Michael Clayton – 38.12 – 53rd Bethan Gay – 38.35 – 60th Kieran O’Prey – 38.54
79th Phil Scarf – 40.47 – 83rd Jon Wilson – 40.57 – 89th Tristan Watson – 41.29
90th Toby Sydes – 41.32 – 94th Jon Underwood – 42.10
99th Tim Brooks – 42.30 – 101st Ambi Swindells – 42.33 – 104th Fiona Lynch – 42.51
117th Jackie Scarf – 44.47 – 131st Rachael Beaumont – 47.10 – 176th Andrew Smith – 56.52
A race less than half the distance of Blackstone Edge, Coniston Gullies is another classic fell race organised under BOFRA. Only 1 mile long but with over 900ft climbing up Long Crag north of the Lake District town of Coniston. The descent includes an infamous, scree filled gully described as ‘a sheer drop’.
Alex Whittem and Dave Hammond ran for Calder Valley Fell Runners last Sunday’s race. Whittem climbed rapidly but was overtaken on the descent to come in 4th place (15.34) behind the winner, Simon Bailey of Staffordshire (14.29).
Calder Valley juniors turned out too. Charlie Pickens was 11th in the under 17s race and James Aitken was 19th. Ollie Pickens was 8th in the under 14s.