Good job January is ‘dry’! You know it’s February when the ‘beast’ that is, the Wadsworth Trog, is upon us! This classic fell race takes in 19 miles of rugged, local moorland and fells with 3640ft of tough climbing.
Calder Valley’s international star, Ben Mounsey summed up The Trog and his attempts to ‘tame it’: “What makes this route so challenging is the terrain. The boggy ground saps your legs of energy and it’s a constant battle with the tussocks and the mud. The weather is usually inclement on race day and you have to be able to navigate as very little of the route is flagged. Not surprising then that many people refer to it as ‘The Beast’. Only tough, seasoned fell runners need apply.”
With thirteen checkpoints and cut off times, speed and navigational skills are of the essence.
Start line of The Trog
CVFR’s bright star Martin Howard, on the eve of his 21st birthday, finished in style to take the win, on home territory, with almost ten minutes to spare. His impeccable timing also scooped him the U21 prize. Many happy returns (to Wadsworth Trog!)
Martin ‘enjoying’ The Trog
Not content with two trophies in the household, Bob Howard (Martin’s dad) took home the V60 prize too. Amazing family achievements!
Sarah Hodgson, Leeds City Athletics Club was first women back (10th overall). Calder’s new signing Cass Chisholm put in a great performance on her first club race to finish 5th woman (59th overall).
Cass loving the terrain
Tod Harriers scooped the men’s team prize and Keighley and Craven the women’s. Calder Valley’s, Paul Haigh battled a cold to finish 32nd, Mark Wharton 65th and James Cooke, 116th.
Jake Ackroyd, Calder’s race organiser reflected on the day: “High winds made this year’s Trog a real beast for the 161 runners who turned out. Success ran in the Howard family, with Martin first and his dad Bob taking first Vet 60. Thanks to neighbouring club Tod Harriers who were, as usual, strong in numbers, as were the Chevin Socialites who provided fantastic food yet again! And thanks to the many volunteers of the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, local Marshall’s and race sweepers for their rapid response rescuing a marshal from High Brown Knoll’
This helps remind us of the testing conditions we can face and the vital services that volunteers provide to keep us all safe on the fells.
Yorkshire Sun Rises in Montserrat
Meanwhile, CVFR’s Ben Mounsey did well to avoid the local Wadsworth bogs this year by taking on the Montserrat Sky Race 25km/1500m. Amazing sunrises and epic backdrops were the order of the day. Yorkshire put on a fantastic show with top three finishes: Tom Adams of Ilkley Harriers winning, 2nd Ben Mounsey CVFR and 3rd, Joe Baxter of Pudsey and Bramley. Sarah McCormack of Ambleside was the women’s winner.
Ben described his memorable experience: “Montserrat has left a lasting impression on me. It is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen, with glorious running trails and stunning views. Full marks to @klassmark for organising such an amazing event, we’ll be back next year for more of the same (especially the post-race food and drink!). Muchos gracias for a wonderful weekend!!!”
– CALDER VALLEY NEWS REPORTER: eileen mcdonach