Red ‘n Whitewash

Calder Valley Fell Runners –  16 May 2022

Storming the Calderdale Way Relay

As usual, the mid May racing calendar was dominated by the Calder Way Relay (CWR). The biggest off-road racing event in the country, this team event sees racers run the length of the Calder Way (just shy of 50 miles/80km), which follows the old packhorse ways in a circuit around Calderdale.

Some happy runners after they’ve raced

The full course is split into six legs of varied lengths, profiles & ascents, and clubs submit teams consisting of 12 runners each, with two per leg. Pairs must run closely together or face disqualification. Racers who cross their leg finishing line before the ‘cut off’ time, pass a baton to the next pair in their team. However, after each leg’s cut-off time, all remaining runners set off in a mass start. Consequently, in addition to racing, it also presents quite a challenge to know exactly where your team is placed in the rankings as the day progresses, making for some nail-biting finishes and calculations.

For the 2022 edition, held this year on Sunday 15th May, CVFR were delighted to have sufficient runners for six teams (72 runners). This year, 88 teams finished the race – well over 1,000 runners in total!

Calder Valley Men’s (Open) A Team took overall first place, with the 12 men – Andy Worster and Chris Holdsworth (Leg 1), Martin Howard and Shaun Godsman (Leg 2), Alex Whittem and Elijah Peers Webb (Leg 3), Karl Gray and Gav Mullholland (Leg 4), Andy Ford and Stephen Hall (Leg 5) with Ben Mounsey and Ed Hyland on the final Leg 6. The team stormed the six-leg 50 mile relay in an impressive 6 hours 1 minute and 58 seconds. This astounding result saw them run the relay faster, by over 16 minutes, than second place Barlick Fell Runners A Team and a full 26 minutes quicker than third-placed Wharfedale Men’s A Team.

Taking the win for the A team – Ed and Ben. Photo Courtesy of Nick Small

CVFR’s veteran teams also ran out of their socks, despite a few injuries meaning rejigging the men’s team. The male vet’s team – consisting of Dan Marsden and Dan Jones (Leg 1), Stephen Smithies and James Williams (Leg 2), Lee Shimwell and Gavin Roper (Leg 3), Dougie Zinnis and Jonny Croston (Leg 4), Bill Johnson and Matt Kay (Leg 5), Kevin Hoult and Paul Haigh (Leg 6) crossed the line in a solid 11th place overall, to take first place in the over 40s race, in a combined time of just shy of 7 hours and 10 minutes.

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