Layla toughs it out for the win

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 29th November 2021

Last weekend should have been a bumper one for our runners but Storm Arwen swept in to spoil the party and force cancellations. However, we do have some triumphs to report.

But first, back to 14 November when James Logue came 2nd – a brilliant run – in the Anglesey Trail Half Marathon at Newborough Forest. Many congratulations to James, and thanks to Gail Tombs for reporting his success, as James is apparently too modest to do so!

On the evening of 27 November (yes, in the dark!) Layla Wray won (yes, won!) the 13.5 mile Peak District Tough Trails Starlit Race, an unflagged course on the fells above Settle, with 2346 feet of climbing. Layla says, ‘In the second half of the race, Storm Arwen made an appearance – snow and wind blasting me sideways, and a spooked cow bolting’. Layla’s time of 2hours 19 minutes beat all-comers, including the men, a sterling performance!

The glamour of fell running – Layla receiving her trophy in her socks

On 27 November, Jason Wilf Williams ran in the Betws-y-coed Trail Challenge – a tough 10k, particularly in the severe weather conditions. Jason says the race starts with a half mile of rough track at 13.3% gradient and, with the cold air, that really tested the lungs and legs. Jason took 2nd place overall with a time of 42.48 minutes, and 1st place in the Veterans 40 age group category. Great stuff, Jason!

Sunday was supposed to see many runners competing in the Lee Mills relays, but the organizers cancelled this event due to impassable snowdrifts. However, CVFR members have been out and about, braving the weather, on their training runs, in preparation for the Mytholmroyd race scheduled for 5 December. More news on this event next week!

Keep warm, keep running!


Bog Trog

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 15th November 2021

The big event for Calder Valley this weekend was undoubtably the Wadsworth Half Trog on Sunday 14th November. A tough yomp aver 15km of open moorland, a mad descent to Castle Carr reservoirs followed by an even tougher climb out of that particular valley back to the moors with the blessing of a long, straight run along one of Midgley Moor’s drainage channels before setting off again through the tussocks and bogs that are always a feature of the race. Leg sapping stuff.

Martin slip sliding his way to take the win – photo courtesy of Matt Kaye

The Half Trog is more than a warm up to the beast that is the Wadsworth Trog in February. It is less of an endurance and more of a sprint and this is clearly the approach taken by Calder Valley’s Martin Howard, winner of this event for the second time. From the off, up Popples Lane towards Bogs Eggs Edge, Martin led the field of 98 men and women – 1:09:41s later, he raced back down the lane to the finish line just above the Hare & Hounds pub. Agonisingly close to Karl Gray’s record, he will be looking to improve on that time by at least 13 seconds next year to get his name into the record books.

Andy Ford skipping across the bogs

Sunday was a great day for fell racing. Starting out clear and bright with a crispness in the air that stops runners over-heating and with vistas across the moors and valleys of the Upper Calder Valley. Sun soon gave way to mist making for a moody atmosphere as runners navigated the far reaches of the moor past the Winny Stone, then passing High Brown Knoll for a second time before dropping down to Dimmin Dale and Ferney Lee. Then up to Crow Hill and over to Sheep Stones Edge before a tough descent to the finish.

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Shepherds and Soyland

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 9th November

The ever popular Shepherd’s Skyline was run last Saturday from the Shepherds Rest at Lumbutts.  A fast 7 mile run to Stoodley Pike and back along the paths of Langfield Common in the wind and rain that you would expect in November.  It was a solid win for Calder Valley Fell Runner’s Andrew Worster who was nearly 2 minutes ahead of 2nd place Matthew Athersmith of Wharfedale.  Worster, who won bronze in this years’ FRA English Championships, had to show his turn of speed after the race as he had to head up to Penrith to collect his FRA medals that evening. CVFR ladies placed second team behind Wharfedale Harriers.

Andy in the middle of his team mates collecting their FRA medals

CVFR senior results

Pos Time   Name Cat  
1 45.05   Andrew Worster M  
27 56.18   Mark Wharton V55  
51 61.42   Stella Chrisanthou FV45  
53 61.47   Ben Cliff V40  
60 64.19   Toby Sydes V50  
87 75.59   Jocasta Fletcher FV45  
96 78.35   Charlotte Whetton    
115 90.36   Tamsin Cooke    

121 runners

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Calder Valley Fell Runners – 1st November 2021

The weekend had weather aplenty which did limit some racing, with a number of events in the Lakes cancelled. But as most fell runners will tell you, their sport is all about running through ankle-deep if not knee-high bogs! And CVFR certainly made a muddy splash at two races this weekend. 

Saturday, 30th October saw the 54th edition of the always expertly organised CraggRunner ‘Race you to the Summit’. This classic local 4.3-mile fell race, completed with over 800 punishing feet of climb, sees competitors start at the Summit Inn in Littleborough and run up to the White House pub near Blackstone Edge – where they touch the pub wall & turn around to run back to the Summit for a well-earnt pint!

A firm favourite with Calderdale clubs, organisers Craggrunner always ensures a friendly atmosphere & encourages those racing to run in fancy dress for Halloween. Moreover, with the event actually falling on the Halloween weekend this year, there was an extra push for people to get into the holiday spirit. Spectators got a real treat with many of the 133 racers turning up in full fancy dress – anyone wandering past may well have wondered if they had fallen into an alternate universe!

The start with fancy dress on display – photo courtesy of CraggRunner

An event in its 54th year in Autumn in Calderdale, has seen its fair share of adverse weather conditions & the average storm was not about to stop play. There was a great turnout from the club at both junior & senior level, with wins in both the men’s & the women’s race for CVFR. The junior races were held before the seniors, with U9, U11, U13 & U15 age categories (the over 15s joined the senior race). Whilst junior results were not yet published on going to press – the race organisers commended these younger runners, who gave it their all, despite definitely drawing the short-straw when it came to the weather!I

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