Plogging & Staying on Track

A sport with a difference – Ben on ‘plogging’:

Another of CVFR’s international runners is also making the most of the current situation – in Ben Mounsey’s case to shine a light on the growing problem of littering on the fells and mountains, and encourage others to do something about it. Ben, who is sponsored by Sportshoes, has written a blog on the Sportswear company’s website to raise awareness of the revolutionary movement of ‘Plogging’ – a combination of jogging, whilst picking up litter along the way – which is beginning to gather pace and momentum internationally.

Founded by leading activist Erik Ahlström, plogging derives its name from two Swedish verbs – plocka upp (pick up) and jogga (jog) and offers a much-needed response to growing concerns globally about increasing amounts of discarded waste, littering and a rise in plastic pollution. People’s poor treatment of nature has come to the fore during lockdown with local and national news outlets decrying the spoiling of sites of natural beauty with discarded rubbish.

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Holly’s BGR Adventure

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International trail runner Holly Page decided, despite various small injuries and niggles, to scratch a long-term itch and attempt the infamous Bob Graham Round. Not for the faint of heart, the BGR – as it is affectionally known in the running community – is a challenge in the Lake District, starting and finishing at Keswick Moot Hall, and taking in a staggering 42 fells, 66 miles/106km and an eye-watering 26,900ft/8,200m of climb along the way. Runners have 24 hours to attempt the route and normally organise a team of pacers to keep them on target, carry kit and help with navigation.

However, as Holly was unsure physically that she was up to it, she didn’t want to ask other people to give up of their time. Consequently, and rather unusually, she set off on with just Tom Owens – the two of them carrying all the food and clothes they might need – with the mindset that it was simply “a lovely (albeit long!) day out in the mountains”. Holly recalls how navigating in the dark, and clambering over wet rocks at night in the pouring rain & thick mist was far from easy – even with a good headtorch visibility was often. down to less than two meters. As expected, Holly’s various injuries niggled; a further fall plus an incident with a barbed wire fence compounded these. But spurred on by the promise of her mother’s sticky toffee pudding and a desire to see if she could beat her father’s time on the same round, she gritted he teeth and kept going.

There were obviously ups and downs – both metaphorical and physical – but in the end, despite a badly swollen knee, Holly (and Tom) still found it enjoyable and were glad they had taken it on. In fact, they appreciated the little glimpses of the valley and the rays of sunshine/breaks in the rain all the more for the sub-optimal conditions: “it was all the more special and felt exciting to be just Tom and I on the hill battling the elements and munching sandwiches and sipping @activelifeenergy. Holly is loving comparing notes and photos with her Dad of his successful attempt many years previously (also wearing Adidas – and only an hour slower– despite his additional challenge of running in leggings), but is sensibly taking a week’s break from running, before seeing where her legs will take her next.

– CALDER VALLEY NEWS REPORTER: catherine jones

CVFR welcomes race wins & newest member

Calder’s Chris Holdsworth stormed home to victory in the Lakeland Trails Marathon, starting at Coniston on Sunday. This 26.2 mile route covers almost 3,000ft of climb. Despite a minor navigation error which cost him a few minutes, Chris showed his running class to take the win and the course record in an incredible time of just under 2hrs.47mins.

Chris on his way to a course record and great win

Chris was delighted with his win: “Started the year with a trail marathon and ended it at another at the Lakeland Trails Marathon (with a big fat Covid sandwich in the middle). After the long distance qualifiers were cancelled last month, I put my years’ worth of training towards today’s race…and what a race it was. Amazing race (well worth the accolade of one of Europe’s top 10 trail marathons) and so well organised, even with Covid…There’s not been enough chances this year to enjoy a post-race Dominos, so I’m going to slam that bad boy down my face and enjoy every minute of it. Roll on 2021 with lots of mountains, races and pizzas for all.”

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Tour of Toffee Town

Our talented artist Kate

Over the last few months, one of Calder Valley Fell Runners the very talented artist Kate Lycett has been busy working on a new exhibition at The Yorkshire Gallery.  The exhibition highlights some of the amazing places Toffee Town, aka the very place CVFR started – Halifax, has on its doorstep. As a bit of fun, and to support Kate and the very special place The Piecehall Kate’s exhibition is housed in, members of Calder Valley Fell Runners have set up a tour of Toffee Town. 

Details of the route can be found at https://www.instagram.com/p/CFj9dwCHfnU/ and https://strava.app.link/VlnLCxcxaab and can be recorded on Strava for a bit of fun competition.  The route visits some of the places featured in the exhibition including The Town Hall, Beacon Hill and Shibden Hall via the infamous Trooper Lane. Naturally the tour finishes at The Piece Hall to encourage runners to go visit this extraordinary historic place, grab a coffee and go see Kate’s exhibition whilst uploading your run and seeing who can prize the Crown before the exhibition closes.

– CALDER VALLEY NEWS REPORTER: tim brooks