A taste of the fells


We’re so excited that our Taste of the Fells group starts Tuesday 3rd May for 6 weeks.

🇦🇹 Have you ever wanted to try fell running?
🇦🇹 Do you regularly run 5m/8k?
🇦🇹 Want to experience balmy summer evenings like this?

Now’s the chance to find out more – and what it’s like to run with a friendly supportive group in the the beautiful South Pennine landscape … and it’s FREE.

Appropriate for all speeds of regular runners who want to find out what it’s like to go up and down steep hills (hopefully in the summer sunshine

If you haven’t yet got a pair of fell shoes bring your grippiest trainers, and a cagoule or extra layer for the moors. And do stop for a drink with us afterwards.

To join in the fun all you need to do is be there at 6.30pm for 6.45pm at Mytholmroyd Community Centre, Caldene Avenue, HX7 5AF.

We’ll see you there – we can’t wait.

For more information email membership@cvfr.co.uk

Red ‘n Whitewash

Calder Valley Fell Runners –  16 May 2022

Storming the Calderdale Way Relay

As usual, the mid May racing calendar was dominated by the Calder Way Relay (CWR). The biggest off-road racing event in the country, this team event sees racers run the length of the Calder Way (just shy of 50 miles/80km), which follows the old packhorse ways in a circuit around Calderdale.

Some happy runners after they’ve raced

The full course is split into six legs of varied lengths, profiles & ascents, and clubs submit teams consisting of 12 runners each, with two per leg. Pairs must run closely together or face disqualification. Racers who cross their leg finishing line before the ‘cut off’ time, pass a baton to the next pair in their team. However, after each leg’s cut-off time, all remaining runners set off in a mass start. Consequently, in addition to racing, it also presents quite a challenge to know exactly where your team is placed in the rankings as the day progresses, making for some nail-biting finishes and calculations.

For the 2022 edition, held this year on Sunday 15th May, CVFR were delighted to have sufficient runners for six teams (72 runners). This year, 88 teams finished the race – well over 1,000 runners in total!

Calder Valley Men’s (Open) A Team took overall first place, with the 12 men – Andy Worster and Chris Holdsworth (Leg 1), Martin Howard and Shaun Godsman (Leg 2), Alex Whittem and Elijah Peers Webb (Leg 3), Karl Gray and Gav Mullholland (Leg 4), Andy Ford and Stephen Hall (Leg 5) with Ben Mounsey and Ed Hyland on the final Leg 6. The team stormed the six-leg 50 mile relay in an impressive 6 hours 1 minute and 58 seconds. This astounding result saw them run the relay faster, by over 16 minutes, than second place Barlick Fell Runners A Team and a full 26 minutes quicker than third-placed Wharfedale Men’s A Team.

Taking the win for the A team – Ed and Ben. Photo Courtesy of Nick Small

CVFR’s veteran teams also ran out of their socks, despite a few injuries meaning rejigging the men’s team. The male vet’s team – consisting of Dan Marsden and Dan Jones (Leg 1), Stephen Smithies and James Williams (Leg 2), Lee Shimwell and Gavin Roper (Leg 3), Dougie Zinnis and Jonny Croston (Leg 4), Bill Johnson and Matt Kay (Leg 5), Kevin Hoult and Paul Haigh (Leg 6) crossed the line in a solid 11th place overall, to take first place in the over 40s race, in a combined time of just shy of 7 hours and 10 minutes.

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Fastest Yorkie of the High Way

Calder Valley Fell Runner – 9 May 2022

Buttermere Sailbeck

The latest counter in the Calder Valley Fell Runners club championship races was held last Saturday in the Lake District. Buttermere Sailbeck is a great race that includes steep climbs and fast ridge running.  Starting at Buttermere Village the route heads across Sail Beck and climbs steeply to Knott Rigg where a mile or so of ridge running leads to Ard Crags and a flowing decent to Rigg Beck.  A canny runner takes a good drink here as there is no water further on the course.  A steep climb to Causey Pike follows with hands and feet on rock towards the top.  A gently rising ridge greets runners, going past Scar Crags and Sail to Crag Hill, the highest point on the route at 839 metres.  It is then generally downhill, easy running across Wandope Moss to Whiteless Pike before a steep decent back to Buttermere.  Only 9 and a half miles but over 4000 feet of climbing makes this a challenging medium race.

A well earned sit down after a tough race

Darren Kay was first CVFR back in 4th place and 1st V50, a great result in a strong field.  Kieran O’Prey was second followed shortly by Mark Wharton.  Cath Holden was first Calder woman back in 2:32:23 and also scooped the 3rd V40 woman prize.  Tamsin Cooke was second, and Charlotte Wetton third, these two having run together.  The next race in the Club Championship is the ever popular local Hebden Bridge Fell Race on the 26th May.

George Foster (holder of the second fastest Bob Graham Round time) of Matlock won in 1:31:14 seconds ahead of Rob Jebb (general fell running legend and holder of the Sailbeck course record) in 1:31:33. Under 23 Catrin Smith was first woman home in 1:56:00.

Many racers also had the pleasure of seeing John Kelly on his record breaking run of the Wainwrights.  Kelly was climbing Whiteless Pike as runners were descending.  He took almost 12 hours off the previous record setting a new best of 5 days 12 hours 14 minutes for the 214 Wainwright tops.

Full CVFR results

4th Darren Kay 1:35:16
70th Kieran O’Prey 2:19:41
76th Mark Wharton 2:27:56
80th Tim Brooks 2:32:17
81st Catherine Holden 2:32:23
84th Toby Sydes 2:33:02
90th James Cooke 2:40:56
92nd Stephen Grimley 2:43:24
96th Oliver Beaumont 2:49:02
107th Tamsin Cooke 3:36:00
108th Charlotte Wetton 3:36:02

Dales High Way

The Dales High Way is a long distance route of 90 miles that starts under the Lion at Victoria Hall in Saltaire and finishes at the Moot Hall in Appleby-in-Westmorland.  Punk Panther Endurance Events hold an ultramarathon along the route.  The scenery it passes through is stunning and includes Ilkley Moor, the summit of Ingleborough and going through the panoramic Howgills (for most this is during the night).

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Calder Valley ‘coin’ it in

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 2nd May 2022

Coiners Fell Races are back after a two-year enforced break and it’s as though nothing has changed in the intervening time. The weather was fair, the course was dry and the 2nd of May was a real festival of running with five junior races across 6 age groupings taking place in the morning and the senior race starting at 1pm, the day was given over to this great event on the slopes of Park Fold in Mytholmroyd.

Sweet throwing was a big hit at the end of the race

What has changed is the organisation – and there’s lots of it has changed with Di Wright and Ben Cliffe taking over the Junior event and Stella Chrisanthou the new organiser for the seniors. And well organised it was with the local scouts and Royd Ices providing refreshments on the field and young and old gathering to celebrate fell racing from a whole host of clubs from across the North of England.

Junior Races

First up were the Juniors with a mass start. The organisation for these races is fantastic as each age group – from U9 upwards running on a different course with the exception of the U17 and U19 who share a 5.3km race out onto Erringden Moor with a good 231m of climbing.

Top 3 U13 girls – photo courtesy of Woodentops

With just under 100 juniors taking part, the conditions were good and the races were fast and furious, so much so that three female records were broken on the day with Emily Gibbins of Ilkley creating a new U19 Girls record, Amelie Lane of Wharfedale Harriers breaking the girls U17 record and Calder Valley’s Clara McKee not just breaking the girls record but taking the overall record for the U13s course in an unassailable 11 minutes and six seconds.

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Bunnys, Rocks, Tops and Fells

Calder Valley Fell Runners – 3rd May 2022

The post Easter into early spring Bank Holiday has properly marked the start of the Fell Racing calendar with weekday evening and weekend events to pick from all across the north of the country. And true to form, Calder Valley athletes – juniors and seniors – have been making the most of the dry weather and light evenings to get out and test themselves against each other, other clubs, ultra-running records and for some, nothing more than the terrain.

Bunny Run Relays

Euan concentrating on not breaking the raw egg that is the baton in the bunny relay

This week started with another of the famous Bunny Run events in the old quarry above Haworth that now makes up the bulk of Penistone Park. Bunny Runs because the map of the event is shaped like an oversized, floppy eared rabbit. The final event in the spring series are the Bunny Run relays – wild groupings of young and older, fast and slow with plenty of fancy dress and a carnival atmosphere about the event. Plenty of CVFR vests on show in and amongst the teams on the evening.

Orchan Rocks

Alex racing hard at a sunny Orchan Rocks

Next up was Orchan Rocks. A 5.4km fast and furious sprint around in the hills above the Staff of Life pub in Cornholme circling the tumble of gritstone that makes up Orchan Rocks. CVFR was well represented with five runners in this event organised by Dan Taylor of Todmorden Harriers.

Alex Whittem (23.19) was the first back for Calder Valley and 2nd overall shortly followed by Jonathan Moon in 4th place in 25.16. CVFR just missed out on the team prize with Andy Davies finishing in 38th position and first MV60 in 31.28. Robert Shirton was hot on his heels in 40th position (31.51) with Calder’s second MV60, Steve Cavell, coming in a respectable 77th in a time of 40.53. The race winner was Doni Clarke of Tod Harriers.

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