Scores and Stoops

And they’re off into the mist

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 20 December 2021

Saturday saw a huge turnout of CVFR members, and other runners, for our annual Winter SCORE event. Many thanks to Phil and Jackie Scarf and team for organizing this fun and festive slog!

So, what is the SCORE event? Well, It’s a combination of running, navigation and observation skills, up on the moors. Individuals or small teams have to find their way to 17 (plus ‘start’ and ‘finish’) places, ticking off as many as possible within a 90 minute time limit. There are no rules about the order these ‘checkpoints’ have to be visited – so the trick is to do them in a time/distance-efficient way without getting hopelessly confused and lost! The race began at 10am with a mass-start from the car park at Withens Clough Reservoir, and ended at St John the Baptist Church just off Cragg Road (near the Hinchcliffe pub).

It was a misty morning when over 100 stalwarts powered off to score as many points as they could. The lovely thing about this race is runners can do it alone, or with friends – and there are even family teams: a fine gesture in the Christmas spirit.

The course is approximately 8 miles, but can be as long as 10 miles, depending on how the runners choose to tackle the checkpoints, which include such iconic sites as Erringden Moor, Sunderland Pasture, Stoodley Pike (or near enough!), High Green, Red Dykes, and many more.

Some of the happy prize winners

Congratulations to the overall winner Alisdair Pedley (316 points); James Williams/Gaz Perberton 1st male pair (262 points); Trudie Entwistle and Thomas, 1st family pair (233 points); Jocasta Fletcher/Christina Turner, 2nd female pair (175 points), and to all CVFR and other runners who took part. It would be a bit dull to list every CVFR runner so, with apologies to those not mentioned, here are a few who nailed the 2021 SCORE event in (and in no particular order):

Jonathan Emberton scored a cracking 272 points; Rachel Johnson stormed home with 216 points; Linda Hayles achieved an admirable 126 points; Tamsin Cooke, 145; Sue Martin/Angela Richards, 135; family teams Stella Cristanthou/Edward/Matthew, 216 – equalled by Ben Cliff/Harry/Noah, also 216; Mark O’Connor scored a remarkable solo 282 points; Kieran O’Prey/Jim Mosley a creditable 224 points. And your reporter thanks Oliver Beaumont for dragging him round to score 204 points.

Hot drinks, bacon butties, cakes galore were consumed at the finish, before we all went home to fatten up for Christmas.

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Merry Moors for Ed

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 13th December 2021

At first glance this looks like the 2021 version of Moors the Merrier. Don’t be fooled; 21 isn’t a year, it’s the number of miles to go from start to finish of what is a challenging but enjoyable event on the moors, valleys, and trails of the Upper Calder Valley. Entrants can opt to complete the event as a long distance walk or non-competitive runner with an early start time to give everyone a chance of finishing in the light or as a fell race with a slightly later start time and with all the fun of catching the walkers along the way.

Held on Saturday 11th December Moors the Merrier 21 is one of a series of good quality events put on by Craggrunners. Coming in the lead-up to Christmas, there is a definite festive theme to the event and this weekend there was a full complement of 124 walkers and runners with 47 opting for the early 8.00am start and 77 for the full fell race at 9.00am. There were three retirements along the way. 

As well as carrying full waterproof gear to account for the range of weather that can be experienced on open moorland, entrants had to bring two other items – a santa hat and a present for the bran barrel at the finish.

The event starts and finishes at Hebden Bridge Golf Course with the anti-clockwise route taking in Midgley, Wadsworth, Heptonstall and Erringden Moors through four checkpoints with a final big climb out of the valley bottom back to the Golf Club.

Ed emerging out of the mist at High Brown Knoll

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Great team effort at Mytholmroyd

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 6th December 2021

The Vocation Mytholmroyd Fell Race was held last Sunday, organised by CVFR’s Phill Beecroft and assisted by many marshals on the day.  A popular race, all 200 places were booked before race day.  Also, as Vocation Brewery sponsor the race, all runners were offered a free pint at the finish line along with tea and cake.  Calder Valley men’s captain, Shaun Godsman particularly appreciated the carrot cake made by Phill’s mum.

The race starts at the bottom of Redacre Woods.  A steep climb up to Hill House Farm and on onto Crow Hill via Churn Milk Joan is followed by a steep descent into Luddenden Dean.   Road runners have an advantage over the next mile or so as the race follows the level track along the valley to the Lower Gate House.  However climbing legs are needed as the route ascends back upto the moor via ‘The Steps’.  At an average incline of 25% and over 400 foot of climbing, the fastest runners can do this section in under 4 and a half minutes.  The race then crosses Dimmin Dale, skirts the edge of the moor to Hebden Bridge Golf Club before descending back down to the finish at Mythomroyd.  All in about 6.2 miles and 1600 foot of climb.

The winning men’s team

The race was won by Todmorden’s Donie Clarke in 48 minutes exactly with Calder Valley’s Ed Hyland in 2nd, Shaun Godsman 3rd and John Allan making the men’s winning team.  John Allan has just returned to fell racing after a couple of years concentrating on long distance cycling.  Calder’s Steve Smithies was the 1st V50.

Gayle giving her all after a long lay off

Helen Smith of Ribble Valley won the women’s race in 51:33. However Calder’s women also won the team prize with Natasha Butterfield 4th, Gayle Sugden 5th and Susannah Richardson 6th.  Gayle has also had a long break from fell racing but has obviously lost none of her ability.