“Dennis” didn’t stop them!!!

With the onslaught of another storm, in the form of Storm Dennis, very limited racing and lots of race cancellations. But what we did have on this Saturday was a bunch of hardy souls braving the fells, for the Calder Valley Resolution Run. It was the sixth instalment of the 9:30am jaunt on the moors. In the words of CVFR helper Christina Turner “It was wet and windy but still beautiful through the woods and across the fields in Heptonstall.  Great company and so satisfying to be out on the hills before breakfast on a Saturday!”. 

In other news, our international superstar Ben Mounsey bagged another win in Southern Spain. He fought off some of the finest trail runners the region has to offer. The race was Gegant De Pedra with challenging distance of 21km and an equally challenging climb of 1150m. And he went and set a new course record. Well done Ben!

‘Ben the Bullet’ off to a flying start

Straight from Ben’s mouth, his account of the race “It was my 2nd race in less than 15 hours, so the legs were tired and I had to work hard against some strong competition!.

It was a crazy route in parts, super-technical, with gnarly descents, steep climbs, make-shift wooden bridges and narrow drainage channels – just a sample of the terrain and obstacles we had to encounter.”


Howards Way at Wadsworth

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

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Handicap race to work up a thirst

Handicap winner Davies on the left with his vest on the wrong way!!!

Winter Handicap

Calder Valley Fell Runners held their Winter Handicap race last Saturday, a great warm up to the clubs’ annual presentation awards held that evening.  Runners start times vary depending on how well they have raced over the previous year, with the aim that everyone crosses the finish line at the same time.  The slowest runner starts first, and the fastest runner starts last.  The race heads from Mytholmroyd to Stoodley Pike and back, just over five miles and about 1000ft of boggy climbing.

It seemed that Lawrence Fennelly was on to take the win descending from Broad Head.  But he took a novel line to the finish allowing Jocasta Fletcher and Andrew Davis to reach Stubbs field first.  An exciting finish ensued with Fletchers leading but was overtaken by Davis yards from the finish line.

New CVFR signing Chris Holdsworth was the fastest runner back in 34 mins 28 seconds beating Karl Gray’s previous record.  Also beating the previous record was U23, Martin Howard in 35:17.  Cass Chisholm was first woman back in 50:11 and Tom Owen was first junior in 46:48

Presentation Evening

Throughout the year Calder Valley Fell Runners take part a series of club championship races.  The annual presentation evening, at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge, is a celebration of the best running of the previous year. 

Eileen, Catherine and Charlotte receiving their prices from Stat Supremo Andy Wright

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Dougie’s 1st place Montane Spine Challenger Adventure

It’s January 2019 and I’m addicted to Dot watching!! For days and nights on end I’m checking up on Simon Bourne in the Spine challenger. And in the full spine John Minta and Bill Johnson. Spine fever is upon us and I’m on it. 108 & 268 miles in the January weather #superhuman #inspirational

Simon finishes 4th  in the challenger 😁

In the full spine Bill gets injured 😥 and John gets 6th 😁. Totally different emotions and I feel them both 😥😁. How can anyone do that? How can you be prepared for that? Can I?

February and Spine entries are open!! And I’ve just entered the challenger🤪. Why the challenger? I felt at the time I could do myself more justice over 108 mile (providing I finish as this is my first 100 miler).

Training 2019

During the year of 2019 I did both the Bob Graham and the Paddy Buckley so was happy with the miles and climbing in my legs. Through September I made sure I ran easy with no weeks breaking the 30 mile barrier. I had a plan to train for 9 weeks doing 50 to 70 mile weeks, with a 2 week taper before the race. So from the last week of October I increased my mileage.

I recced the whole of the route in 4 sessions

  1. Edale to Whitehouse
  2. I ran from slack on the Pennine Way in reverse, doing 6 reps of Stoodley Pike’s face then to Whitehouse and then back to the car in Slack
  3. I did a night recce from Hebden Bridge to Horton, setting of at 10pm to get use to the night section carrying a full pack.
  4. Horton to Hawes and back and again carrying a full pack.

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