Cass ‘Laps’ up the plaudits

An action packed weekend of sterling performances by Calder Valley members. A combination of wins, course records and podium finishes.

Cass Chisholm put in a sensational performance at The Lap Trail Race smashing the female course record by nearly an hour and finishing 6th overall in a time of 9 hours and 3 minutes. The 47 mile Trail Ultra Marathon goes round the beautiful surroundings of Lake Windermere in the Lake District and has an ascent of around 2500m. This fantastic run saw Cass take a healthy lead of over 55 minutes on the second female home Helen Pike. 142 runners completed the race.

In her own words Cass said “The Lap was a fantastic race, well organised and a rewarding route, with amazing views the whole way round. It was great to be able to actually race and I gave it everything I had. Looking forward to celebrating with good friends, good food and a beer this evening!”

Clare Hanson going strong

On Sunday on the wind swept but sunny moors the very popular annual Yorkshireman Full and Half marathon set off from Haworth. All credit to the organisers in these COVID times in making this happen having staggered starts for all the runners. In the Full Yorkshireman solo category there were 87 runner and Calder Valley had the following finishers: Claire Hanson finished 3rd woman in 30th overall in 4 hours 20 minutes, Stella Chrisanthou 34th and 3rd vet 40 in a time of  4 hours 57 minutes, Linda Cooper 51st in a time of 5 hours 23 minutes, Harley Beecroft 71st in 6 hours 13 minutes.

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The ‘Stars’ Align for Calder Valley again


This summer has been like buses, you wait for one record-breaking run to come, and along comes a string of them. Calder’s international star, Holly Page showed her class on her Tour of the Mamores in the Scottish Highlands this weekend to set the new women’s record in 6:03:48. This is not one for novices!

Holly setting new women’s record on her Tour of the Mamores

Holly captures her amazing achievement and celebratory meal:

“The “Tour of the Mamores” had been on my radar for a little while and it looked like Sunday would be the only real opportunity for clear skies for a little while. Chatting to @finlaywild on a little bike ride made me think it was maybe feasible to bring the women’s time down so I thought why not give it a try.

The loop covers much of the first half of the Ramsay Round and incorporates the four tops of the classic “Ring of Steall”, going over 10 munros (and an 11th which was declassified!), taking in steep rocky ridges and of course a few slow, boggy hillsides. And yesterday I was treated to an epic cloud inversion and some stunning views.

I didn’t have much confidence that my body would make it all the way round after a fair few aches and pains over the last months so I was quite apprehensive before starting, taking it steadily to start with and aware of different “escape routes” I could take if ailments were starting to become intolerable.

But in the end I felt really good the whole way round, my legs were a bit tired from the start given I’d not had any rest but I didn’t have any moments of feeling “down” and towards the end I could enjoy that race-like feeling of pushing hard in the mountains rather than flailing around in bogs and pathless heather (though there was a bit of that!).

Holly making light work of the Mamores

I thought I’d be doing well to go sub-8 hours but in fact now there’s a new women’s time of 6:03:48 for somebody to go and have a go at  🙂

Holly sets the pace on the Mamores

A lovely day out indeed! I very much enjoyed my fish and chips and box of ice creams afterwards”

The future is definitely bright  for women’s fell running with established stars like Holly and new stars in the making at CVFR.

Emilia Wright (aged 15) and her mum Di have recently completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks- circuit from Horton in Ribblesdale Pen y Ghent, taking in Whernside on the way to Ingleborough. With 1600m ascent over 40km, the pair finished in approximately 7 hours 20. This is no mean feat at any age, let alone as a junior, or as a mum and daughter pair, overnight.

CVFR’s Emilia and Di Wright, with supporters Gill Dickson and Paul.

Emilia has been achieving incredible things in such a short space of time. She’s definitely one to watch as her mum Di sums up: “Emilia is thinking of taking on a Bob Graham Round in the future so we thought it would be good to see how she goes overnight…Also we did the 3 Peaks together last year by day together & that time it took us c. 8 hours elapsed – so getting quicker. A high point was the amazing starry skies coming off Whernside…We started in the light – (& rain) just after 8pm & arrived back somewhere before 3.30am in the morning.

Di also noted the role of Gill Dickson, Calder Valley’s best kept secret, who inspires many of our female runners with her passion for running and encouragement to keep pushing further.

One of CVFR’s brightest stars was also back on home soil to take part in the British Championships at Manchester Arena this weekend. Max Horton joined the elite field to finish 8th in the 800m heats.


The legend smashes the JN challenge

Last Tuesday in heavy rain, wind and mist, Karl Gray of Calder Valley Fell Runners set a new record time for the Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge. The Challenge route leaves Pooley Bridge at the northern end of Ullswater to traverse 30 summits over a distance of 48 miles and climbs 17,000 feet (77km, 5182m) before reaching Greendale Bridge in Wasdale.

The inaugural run from Pooley Bridge to Wasdale was made by Joss Naylor in 1990, at the age of 54; also in very bad weather with heavy rain and a strong SW wind Joss completed the run to Greendale Bridge in 11 hours and 30 minutes.

The challenge is offered to fell runners over the age of 50 to complete the run in set times according to their age group.  The previous under 55 record was held by Borrowdale’s Andrew ‘Scoffer’ Schofield who completed the route in 10 hours and 20 minutes.  Karl smashed this by a considerable time finishing in 9 hours 32 minutes.  In true fell running style, Scoffer accompanied Karl over the last two legs on the route.  Calder Valley’s Gav Mulholland and Ben Mounsey paced Gray over the first leg.

It has been a summer of breaking long distance running records.  The long standing Pennine Way record was broken twice, first by John Kelly then a week layer by Damian Hall in a time of 2 days 13 hours and 35 minutes.  Then Beth Pascall set a new women’s record for the Bob Graham Round in 14 hours and 34 minutes. 


Challenging themselves in lockdown

Traditional fell racing may mostly have been cancelled since March & for at least for the next few months, but that has not deterred runners from finding alternative ways of challenging themselves & racing.

Highlights from recent CVFR exploits include Math Roberts’ completion of the second fastest Paddy Buckley Round ever (a long-distance fell running challenge in Snowdonia) & the fastest by a local / Welshman, on Wednesday, 29th July. Roberts completed the eye-watering 100km (67.5-mile route), which includes an astounding 47 summits, in only 17h 37 minutes & 39 seconds (& only just over 2/3rds of the 24h allowed). This feat also included running a sub-4-minute mile & 50km of the 100 in only a sliver over 7 hours.

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