Calder Valley Fell Runners – 27th September 2021
It has been a brilliant 10 days for Calder Valley Fell Runners with record breakers, junior championship success, some great team results at Calderdale Way Relay along with a host of podium finishes for the club at the English Club Championships.
English Fell Running Championship 2021
Starting with the Championship, the full results were published earlier in the week confirming what we already knew – the commitment and talent of Andrew Worster paid off this year with a dramatic 3rd place overall in the men’s championship. In his own words, he thought he’d blown it in the final race – the South Mynd Tour – with a serious navigation error towards the end of the race. Despite a time penalty his 9th place on the day was enough points to get onto the bronze medal podium. And don’t be surprised to see Andy romping home at the Centre Vale Park Run on a regular basis and staying on to help with volunteer duties at the end of the run.
The Championships have been foreshortened this year with six races available and runners needing to complete 4 ‘counters’ in the open and team categories with U23, V65 and V70 requiring three counters.
After a short but tough season, alongside Andrew’s success, Calder Valley runners swept up a whole batch of awards including 1st and 2nd in the MV45 (Darren Kay and Karl Gray), a clean sweep of gold, silver and bronze in the MV50 (Darren Kay, Karl Gray and Gav Mulholland) and 3rd place for Dick Spendlove in the MV75 category. Meanwhile, young star, Martin Howard collected a brilliant 3rd position in the MU23 category.
This level of talent wasn’t going to end the year without some notable team successes with Calder Valley’s men taking 2nd team prize with Andy Worster, Darren Kay and Karl Gray bringing home the points in the open category. The club won the V40 and V50 team prizes represented by Kay, Gray and Mulholland with the CVFR women taking 12th place in the Women’s team championship.
A whole host of other club members including Jonathan Emberton (6th MV60) represented the club with some great racing throughout the championship.
A fantastic end to the championship for the club’s stars following a difficult year for everybody.Read More
Calderdale Way Relay.
And then this weekend. If the Championship results aren’t good enough we’ve had the local event of the year – the Calderdale Way Relay. 51 miles that takes in the entire long distance path that circles Calderdale. The route is divided into 6 ‘legs’ some short and steep, others long and gruelling. Team members run in pairs with each team fielding 12 runners.
This Sunday, the race set off at 8am in a mix of sunshine and cloud – a warm, dry day for racing with conditions firm underfoot in even the darkest parts of the upper moors. Calder Valley entered four teams – Mens A, Mens B, Ladies A and Mixed. Having been beaten into second place the last time the event was staged in 2019, the club’s strongest runners had a point to prove and paired English Championships bronze medallist Andy Worster with speedster Chris Holdsworth on leg one – West Vale to Cragg Vale – with a view to getting an early advantage. And that the pair did breaking the record for the post-2010 stage and posting a time of 1hr 9mins 12secs for the 10.55 mile run.
That set the tone for the race leaving Wharfedale and Barlick to battle it out for second and third place as Calder Valley stormed home in 5.59.24secs for the trophy. Proudly holding the trophy in the group photo is 16-year old Elijah Peers Webb, a CVFR junior running in his first ever senior race. What a start! (Elijah is the son of one of the founder members and long-time club champion of CVFR Gary Webb. 16 year-olds may compete in this senior race but are limited to Leg 3, the shortest cross-country leg that doesn’t go out onto open moorland.)
With 63 teams competing in the relay, there were plenty of other battles taking place across all stages of the race. Not to be outshone by the Men’s A team, CVFR’s Mixed team took first place in the category in a time of 7.39.20 having fought hard from halfway round to reel in two teams that had got off to a stronger start. This was a stunning performance by a very strong team that achieved 10th position overall and really demonstrates the strength in depth at the club. With four teams competing on the day, the club had 48 runners and an army of supporters committed to a long and strenuous day out on the moors, trails and, occasionally, tarmac of the area. The Men’s B Team came in in 18th position overall and the Ladies Team achieved a good 5th place in a strong category.
This is the UKs largest club-run off road race and the organisation was yet again a real credit to Halifax Harriers who stage this annual running extravaganza.