Shepherds, Yorkshiremen and Double BG

Calder Valley Fell Runners –  6th September 

Two big events featured in many local runners calendars this last weekend. Saturday, 11th September saw many runners take on local challenge ‘The Lost Shepherd fell race’, from Good Shepherd Church in Mytholmroyd. Then on Sunday, 12th September, hundreds of runners flocked to Howarth to compete in the various races that make up the annual Yorkshire Off-Road Marathon.

Expertly organised by Craggrunner, the Lost Shepherd is a challenging 24km (14.9-mile) fell race over open moor and footpaths, complete with an eye-watering 820m (2690ft) ascent, which sees runners treated to not just one, but two climbs up to local landmark, Stoodley Pike. This year, 60 runners finished the punishing course, with Todmorden Harriers’ Donni Clarke running a cracking race to cross the line in 1 hour 46:44 – a mere three seconds ahead of second-placed (non-attached) runner Joe Stewart. First home for the red & white hoops was Ed Hyland, in 1:54:47. Although disappointed to finish fourth, Hyland acknowledges he ‘put in a good shift’, not least as he found himself alone on the moors for most of the route. Whilst he could see Illkey’s Oli Murphy in 3rd most of way round, Hyland just ‘couldn’t close the gap’ – but he’s already looking forward to running it again next year!

A smiling Ed Hyland – photo courtesy of Woodentops

Coming in fifth overall, was CVFR’s James Logue, who finished in just a shave over two hours taking first in the MV50 category, & beating his nearest age category rival by over 25 minutes! With Calder Valley’s Kieran O’Prey crossing the line in 14th place in the open race, CVFR clocked up the first three male finishers for any club.

In the ladies’ race, Calder Valley’s Rachel Beaumont was delighted to finish third (second in the FV50 age category) in 2:40:32. Competing in her longest fell race to date, Beaumont was delighted with a podium finish, having slowed right down after falling over one of the many rocks on the course. Despite this, she was quick to praise the race’s ‘perfect conditions & organisation’, & most happy not to get lost (the race is only partially flagged) & glad of the can of beer at the end!

Other noticeable red & white results include Mark Wharton’s first place in the MV55 age category in 2:46:33 & Mike Wardle’s second place in the MV65 race in 3:04:14. Just ahead of Wardle, & a smidgen over 3h a piece, both Ian Sparks and Lindsay McMillan ran well to finish in the top ten MV60 & fifth lady overall respectively.

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