CVFR enjoy a weekend gala Hall

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 27 June 2022  

Kinder Trog

This is one of those races that you think you should enter because it’s one of the Club Championship counters but come the weekend – warm weather, lots of gentler gala fell races taking place elsewhere – and only the fit, brave or foolhardy take on Kinder Trog. Nine CVFR runners entered this 15.5 mile race with 2,952 ft of ascent (25km / 900m) and nine finished. The route circles the picturesque village of Hayfield in the High Peak and takes runners on a gruelling series of steep climbs – including Lantern Pike, Kinder Downfall and Kinder Low as it edges Kinder Scout – and tough, often rocky descents. The weather was favourable for a long, hard race after the heatwave of the previous week. In the race organiser’s words ‘good conditions for this long race today. Dry underfoot and not too hot though the strong wind was not always helpful’. And up on the higher ground, the wind was strong.

A bit of wind and a few peaks and troughs was not going to deter some of Calder Valley’s finest with Ed Hyland and Mark Burton coming in first and second overall and having a proper battle for the spoils with just 25 seconds separating them as they raced to the finish line at Hayfield’s Scout Hut in 2:04:10 and 2:04:35 respectively. Twenty-five seconds over a twenty-five km race is as close as it gets – the spoils went to Ed who notched up another perfect 100 in the club championships.

Further down the field, Louise Williamson (3:01:29) was 6th woman overall, first Calder Valley woman home and 2nd in the FV50 category. In the words of Charlotte Wetton (3:48:14), the only other Calder Valley woman who braved the race, ‘I am broken – it was hard!’. Mike Wardle took the MV60 honours in the club championships with a sterling run of 3:21:39 and 95th place overall.

1 Ed Hyland M 2.04.10
2 Mark Burton MV40 2:04:35
19 Dan Marsden MV40 2:25:00
39 Kieran O’Prey M 2:38:08
46 Mark Wharton MV50 2:41:17
72 Toby Sydes MV50 2:55:09
81 Louise Williamson FV50 3:01:29
95 Michael Wardle MV60 03:21:49
106 Charlotte Wetton F 3:48:14

Eldwick & Gilstead Gala Fell Race – 4.8km/168m

A victorious Will

What better way to spend a warm summer’s afternoon than a traditional local gala – barbeques, ice-creams, stalls and games galore and to top it off, a lungbusting dash to Hope Hill trig point. In amongst the Eldwick and Gilstead Gala is the delight of the Gala Fell Race, a 4.8km run with 168m ascent. The route starts off fast on tarmac before taking a well-worn footpath to the summit of Baildon Moor before plunging back down the hillside and rounded off with an uphill finish.

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It’s a PB for Fiona


On Saturday 18th June at 10am I set off from Capel Curig in Snowdonia to attempt the Paddy Buckley Round.  The route is a circuit of approximately 62 miles long taking in some 47 summits amassing approximately 29000 foot of climb.  The route takes in the well-known high mountain ranges of Snowdon, the Glyderau and the Carneddau as well as the slightly less visited ranges of Moel Siabod, the Moelwynion, Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge.  Unlike its cousins the Bob Graham Round or the Ramsey Round there is no time stipulation to complete, rather that it is completed in one go.

The weather gods were smiling all day as we set off.  There are 5 legs or stages to complete and I had a navigator and support runners to carry supplies on each leg.

Name check for my fellow Calder Valley club mates, Stuart Russell navigated the Capel Curig leg and Helen Buchan navigated the Snowdon leg with expertise!  I enjoyed the first three stages without experiencing many issues and was happily ticking off each top.  On the final two legs, during night and early morning, I experienced some tummy issues which made eating and drinking difficult.  However I was still able to make progress. 

Fiona well equipped for all conditions and she needed to be

Visibility was poor and winds were really high which added to the adventure and also slowed me down.  However we were rewarded by clear views as we made our way to the final two tops and dropped down into the valley and along the road to finish in a time of 26 hours 31 minutes.  It was an amazing weekend on the mountains with my favourite people. Lots of brilliant memories were made, and made all the training and weekends of recces and travel definitely worth it.

A very happy Fiona at the finish in Capel Curig

report in fiona’s own word

Big Round(s) Up

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 20 June

The weekend just past proved to be a memorable one for Calder Valley Fell Runners. Massive achievements. Where to start? Why not at the Buckden Pike Fell Race! This race, which took place on Saturday 18th, is a ‘counter’ in the English Championships. It’s a tough 6km (486 metre ascent) event in the Yorkshire Dales – starting and ending in Buckden Village. Sunny summer weather greeted both male and female runners.

Martin battling hard with local Toddie Doni Clarke

In the male event, Lochaber Athletic Club’s Finlay Wild took 1st place in a time of 30:39 breaking fell legend Colin Donnelly’s 34 year old record by 12 seconds. The first CVFR runner across the finish line was Martin Howard who came 13th overall in 33:30. Great runs also from Matthew Roberts in 16th and 2nd V40 in 33.50 with a 17th place for Gavin Roberts just 6 seconds behind. Another impressive performance by MV50 Karl Gray in 34.58 to take 28th and first MV50. He was pushed all the way to the finish line by team mate Gavin Mulholland in 29th with only 4 seconds separating them and a further 6 seconds to team mate Darren Kay in 30th. Ben Mounsey placed 33rd in 35:18,  and several more CVFR runners took part, representing the club in great style. Martin Howard was delighted to be 1st ‘counter’ for the senior men’s team who were placed 2nd behind Keswick. The men’s Vet 40 took another 1st  team spot. With Gray, Mulholland and Kay taking the top three places in the Vet 50s it’s déjà vu from last season in this team competition.

Dom, Karl, Ben and Gav looking happy in the sunshine – photo courtesy of Dave Woodhead

In the female event, Helm Hill runner Hannah Russell took 1st place, in a time of 37:11. The first CVFR female to cross the line was Natasha Butterfield (FV40) in a great time of 45:27, which won her 23rd place. A 34th place went to twin sister Susannah Richardson (FV40) in a time of 47:01. This was even more impressive as she’d been out running a leg of the Bob Graham the night before!!! Trudi Entwistle was took 45th spot and 7th FV50 in a time of 48.49 with Sarah Noot (8th FV50) coming 49th in 50:00, and Rachael Beaumont (12th FV50) ran a sterling 52:37 to take 64th place. With Championship points still to be confirmed from this race it looks like 4th for the LV40 team and a well earned 2nd for LV50s team.

Susie working hard on already tired legs – photo courtesy of Dave Woodhead

Great team performances by all the red and whites.

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Toby hammers the BG storms

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 13 June 2022

Slogging it out for good causes in extreme weather

Two more CVFR club members gave it their all in the last fortnight for charities close to their hearts.

The briefest appearance of the sun

On Friday, 10th June at 8pm, local jeweller Toby Cotterill set off on the beast that is the Bob Graham round – a route with a 200 year history, first run in its current form in 1932 by Bob Graham on his 42nd birthday. This 66 mile circuit takes in 42 mountains in the Lake District, and includes a mind-boggling 27,000ft of ascent (pretty much the height of Everest). To ‘successfully’ complete the round, runners aim to finish this physically and mentally challenging route in under 24 hours.

A very happy Toby and happy support

Cotterill stormed the round in 21 hours and 49 minutes – with ‘storm’ being unfortunately the optimum word. As if the distance and the terrain were not enough to contend with, the weather also definitely decided to not play ball. Leaving Toby and his support team contending with 50-60 mph gales on multiple exposed summits. As all experienced mountain runners do, they discussed the wisdom of pulling the plug on the exploit – not least as local races were cancelled. However, given their combined mountain experience, they decided to fight on and were rewarded with a successful round.

Cotterill on the iconic Moot Hall steps with his children and his home-made medal

Cotterill describes the final stretch into Keswick as ‘the finish of his dreams’, with his two children running the last bit with him up to the iconic start/finish steps at Moot Hall, plus random people cheering. He then found himself rewarded by a beer and the most special award he will ever be given, a hand-made medal loving crafted by his youngest.

This challenge was undertaken in memory of Cotterill’s wife Cat’s Mum – Gabrielle, who following a pancreatic cancer diagnosis last summer, didn’t even make it to Christmas. Pancreatic cancer has some of the worst survival rates of all cancers – only 3 out of 4 people survive even one year post-diagnosis.

At the time of going to press, Cotterill’s Bob Graham has raised over £1000 for this worthy cause.

You can donate to fight this terrible illness at @pancreaticcanuk or via Cotterill’s JustGiving:

Much further afield, Calder Valley committee member and club stalwart, Manhar Patel was the first (and only) red and white stripped vest to take part in the Uganda Marathon, on Saturday 4th June in Masaka. Patel is raising money for the Uganda Foundation, a charity which works to create projects to alleviate poverty in rural Uganda, by helping local people to save money and aiding local communities to become more self-sufficient. Rather than being funded by grants and external funding sources, the Uganda Foundation gives supporters the opportunity to go out and experience the projects for themselves, raising money as part of their trip.  

Manhar proudly displaying the club vest after a very hot marathon

When asked how he found it, Patel’s first reaction was a typical understatement, ‘Boy, was it hot!’ He reports never having drunk so much water in his life! Alongside the amazing feat of competing in a marathon in May in East Central Africa, Patel also did some volunteer work during the week at a local school supported by the marathon organisation, amongst other projects.

To find out more and sponsor Patel’s marathon, go to:

Midweek races galore

Tuesday, 7th June marked the 11th of 12 Joe Brown Midweek Series races (also known as the Tuesday Evening Series). Each race in the series is only up to four miles long and held at a different location in North Wales and billed as part of introducing newcomers to the joys of fell racing.

Math just leading Gav at Tal y Mignedd

This week’s event was another good race-off between Math and Gavin Roberts. It was also essentially the decider in this series, where the best five racing results count (all ‘thrown into a scientific calculator with some odd equation to give you all a percentage score’, to quote Math). Gav went into this race – arguably the best in the series, held at Tal y Mignedd, the site of the 2018 British Championship Race, slightly in the lead.

In humid conditions, Math set a decent pace from the off, just about holding Gav off to the summit on a climb that involves an eye-watering 1800ft of ascent in only a shave over 1.5 miles. On the descent, Math put the throttle down, hoping to gain as much time as possible on Gav, but also looking to beat Karl Gray’s descent time from the British Champs in 2018.

Math took the win in 33:12, beating his previous PB on the course by four seconds, but unfortunately still four seconds off Al Anthony’s Vet 40 record on the course, and importantly 12 seconds shy of Karl Gray’s blistering descent from 2018. Gav soldiered home in 2nd place, crossing the line in 34:06.

Math now has the lead in the series, though there remains one race for Gav to fight back. Watch this space!

On the same Tuesday night in Bowland in North West Lancashire Preston Harriers’ Paddy Pole Fell Race also saw Darren Kay flying the flag for Calder Valley. This 3.7-mile/6-kilometre race with its 336m/ 1102ft of climb was comfortably won by Matlock AC’s Billy Cartwright, who finished just shy of two full minutes ahead of the remaining 97 racers, crossing the line in 26:44. Kay ran well to finish second overall and first male veteran runner in 28:41 – nearly a minute and a half in front of the third placed runner.

Also in the mid-week races, but closer to home this time, Thursday 9th June saw four CVFR runners take on 83 others in the Kettlewell Anniversary fell race, expertly organised by North Leeds Fell Runners. This is a ‘short and sharp lung-buster’ of a race ‘but still great fun’ – to quote CVFR runner Olivier Beaumont, with the route packing 1500 ft of elevation into its five miles/eight kilometers. There was a strong turnout of runners for this challenging race over varied terrain (track, grass and several bogs). Tom Adam’s took the win – finishing in 35:35, nearly a minute and a half clear of any other runner. Calder Valley’s veteran runners Karl Gray and Darren Kay both ran strongly to take the second and third place, with all three podium runners finishing well ahead of the rest of the field. Grey not only took second overall but also the win in the MV50 age category in 37:02. Ten seconds later Kay crossed the line in third overall.

Dom and Olivier at the end of the Kettlewell Anniversary Race

There were also strong personal runs from CVFR’s Dom Camponi in 58th and Olivier Beaumont in 60th overall, with credible times of 56:27 and 57:18 respectively.