Trigger happy

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 10 January 2022

This week saw a couple of the club’s hardiest ultra-runners finish preparations and set off on the Montane Spine race – one of the world’s toughest endurance races. This epic challenge sees racers run along the full Pennine Way, running non-stop from Edale to Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border. Many of the club ran up on Sunday to cheer ‘Spiners’ on or even keep them company for a few miles, as they passed through or near our Valley.

With so much attention turned towards supporting club members on the Spine and settling into ‘dot watching’ for the rest of the week (as trackers mark racers progress along this iconic and tough route), racing was largely on the back burner for the club. However, five brave club members – Ed Hyland, Fiona Lynch, Emily Ledder, Stuart Russell and Jonny Croston completed the redoubtable Trigger Race on Sunday 9th January.

For the Trigger Race, competitors run in the opposite direction to Spine runners – towards Edale – this time all the way from Marsden, over Black Hill, Bleaklow and Kinder. Whilst the linear route measures 21 miles with an eye-watering 1650m feet climb, the race includes quite a lot of navigation. Runners have to run a few set points and ways around landmarks such as Butterley Reservoir, but they are free to choose their own routes or ‘lines’ across the moors. Consequently, some racers are likely to run further and ascend a lot more – depending on their navigation skills and  the ‘lines’ they choose, as they run between the three trig points that give this race its name: Black Hill, Higher Shelf and Kinder North Sandy Heys.

The 2022 event marked the 10th year of this race, after the 2021 edition had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. This year, 162 runners signed up and set off in rain, wind, snow and clag, but only 143 crossing the finish line. 19 had to abandon the race en route, struggling with the tough course and baltic conditions.  One competitor needed to be helicoptered off the moors.

Jonny concentrating so as not to fall in the cold water

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