Brighouse barber Dougie is a “cut” above the rest

Dougie has become the only person to complete two loops of the Bob Graham Round in under 48 hours.

Doug Zinis, 41, a member of Calder Valley Fell Runners, took on the mammoth challenge last month, tackling two lots of 62 miles and 42 peaks in the Lake District, starring at Moot Hall in Keswick, and set a new course record in the process
“The double Bob Graham sprung to the front of my mind during the first lockdown,” he said.
“A friend sent me a recording that Nicky Spinks did of her record round in 2016 and put the idea in my head and so thought I’d give it a go.
“In July last year I attempted it for the first time but unfortunately injured my hip flexor, and I had to pull out at 80 miles. And in my mind it bubbled until deciding to have another crack this year.
“I picked September so it was cooler and called on previous support crew to help.
“In all I had 23 people helping in different roles and could not have done this without them.
“The day itself was good. I decided on an anticlockwise round first. At the start it was humid in the valleys but cooler on the tops which meant I could build my time advantage for when the night came and you naturally slow.
“I did the first loop in 21 hours, 44 minutes, which gave me a good buffer to try get under the record time of 45 hours, 30 minutes, so off I went, turning around on a clockwise loop.
“My aim was to now be consistent throughout to get back to Keswick in time. The weather was OK and navigation was good, so at the last leg change at Honister, I had three hours left to beat the record.
“I got the last three peaks ticked off as quick as I could and pushed as hard as I could for the last six miles, reaching the end in 45 hours, three minutes, beating the record by 27 minutes.
“I have been overwhelmed with the amount of messages of congratulations from all the fellrunning and ultrarunning community which makes the sport stand out from the rest.”

What a busy week for the stripes


Calder Valley Fell Runners – 30th August – 5th September

Well that was a busy week! A mix of local races, an two Championship events, a trail half marathon, the World Masters in Austria, a Bob Graham Round attempt plus lots of ad hoc running to keep the club’s virtual championship ticking over.

Hebden Sports

The week started well for Calder Valley Fell Runners and particularly for the evergreen Karl Gray at the BOFRA championship event in our sister village of Hebden near Grassington. Despite an British Championship race coming up at the weekend, Karl Gray, Shaun Godsman and James Logue took on and tamed the short, sharp 1.5 mile course with 400 feet of climbing. Karl powered up and down to take 3rd place overall and first MV50 in a time of 11.45 mins ahead of club captain Godsman in 5th place (12.15 mins) and James Logue, a respectable 8th position in 12.38 mins. As long as all three still had their legs working at the weekend Hebden Sports was a good sign for things to come at the British Athletics Hill & Fell Running Championship Race – the HB21 at Dufton.

Euan taking in the water in the U17s – photo courtesy of Woodentops

In the junior races, Euan Logue wasn’t going to be outdone by Logue senior coming in 5th in the U17s race in a brilliant time of 13.44.

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Winning team results at Black Combe

The last week of the school holidays has been a busy one for some of our red & white hoops, who have been in fine racing form. Showing us all that age really is just a number, veteran runner Darren Kay not only won his V50 age category in the Shipman Knotts race in Kentmere on Tuesday 24th August, but also took first place outright. This was the first time Kay had competed in this 3.7-mile/6-km race, with its 1312-feet/400m of climb, so he was understandably ‘delighted’ with the result. He also saw this A/S category race as ‘a good workout’ for the main event of the week: the 4.5-mile/7.2-km Black Combe Dash fell race on Saturday 28th.

As the penultimate race in this year’s English champs, the 2021 Black Combe fell race was made even more interesting by the absence of certain key runners, meaning more of the top spots up for grabs. The course maybe relatively short, but it still packs a punch, with an energy-sapping 600 metres (1968ff) of ascent over spongy ground in the first 3.5km and the last 4km a quick dash on trails and track to the finish.

Getting ‘somewhat carried away’, Kay led this hotly contested race out the blocks, setting off maybe a little too swiftly. He then settled in for the long climb to the summit, which he rounded in 9th place, before giving it ‘everything’ on the descent to finish in 41:47 seconds. This amazing feat saw Kay take first place in not only the MV50 & MV45 races but also second in MV40 category, only beaten to the line by fell running legend Robert Jebb.

Overall, in the open (non-veteran) men’s race, Kay finished seventh – an important result, given that this was a critical race for the CVFR men’s team. Going into the event, champs’ favourites, Keswick, led the team competition, with only Blackcombe & one further race left. To close the gap, Calder needed a win. But, as expected, Keswick did not make this task anything like a walk (or race) in the park.

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Race and Challenge success for CVFRs

Beater Clough

Todmorden’s Dan Taylor has set up a few fell races at the western end of the Calder Valley in recent years including Bridestones, Hoofstone and Orchan Rocks.  His newest race is Beater Clough, run for the first time last Tuesday evening.  The 7 mile race starts near the summit of the A646 and heads up Heald Moor before dropping into Beater Clough, heading through the woods south of Portsmouth before a short tour round Todmorden Moor.  The race the follows a reverse route back to the finish.

Karl on his way to ‘beating’ the rest

By all accounts it is a hard race with pathless moors and tussocks to traverse plus some 2000ft of climbing.  Calder Valley’s Karl Gray won this inaugural race in a time of 61 minutes and 19 seconds.  Karl’s time indicates what a tough route the race follows. Second was Tod Harrier’s Donni Clarke, followed by Ethan Hassel of Wharfedale.  Bryony Holt of Clayton-le-Moors was first woman back in 12th place.

Andy Pullan was second CVFR back in 18th place (76.42) with Darran Jugroop 3rd CVFR in 25th place (79.25).  Rachel Beaumont was Calder’s first woman in 5th place and 1st FV50. 

Dan says he is looking to run the race again on a Saturday morning early next year.

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