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Fell Section

23rd UKA British Fell & Hill Relay Championships – 15/10/11


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This year’s Championships were hosted by Bingley Harriers and centred on the picturesque Dales village of Kettlewell. The event is a firm favourite in the fell-running calendar & drew over 180 teams from all over the UK, competing in teams of 6, featuring many of the top fell runners in the country.

The race itself is a 4-leg relay, presenting different tests and terrain on each leg, with part of the challenge being to match runners’ strengths to the demands of the course. Although last minute replacements had to be drafted in, Holmfirth entered 3 teams and after the disappointing experience a fortnight before at the Ian Hodgson relay, were hoping for better things this time around.

 

The weather on the day was perfect – starting off cold but clear and warming up as the race went on.

 

The first leg at 4.5 miles & 1100 feet was a fast & furious solo leg, with some teams opting to put out their fastest athletes to try & get a good start. Graham Howatson (for the Open team), Maz Khoueiry (for the Vets team) and Debbie Hall (for the Ladies team) were all running a solo leg for the first time and all put in great performances to bring their teams back in 76th, 103rd & 140th respectively.

 

Leg 2, at 9 miles & 2500 feet, was a pairs stage & brought one of the results of the day, with Helen Berry & Katie Walshaw finishing 51st & 1st ladies pair – a great achievement, especially considering Katie took a closer look than others at some of the bogs en route! The pairing of Jim Durrans & Gavin Baxter powered round to record the 45th fastest time for the Open Team, whilst Chris Beadle & Ian Goulding overcame their injury worries to finish 145th for the Vets Team.

 

Leg 3 was the navigation stage, which meant that the pairs were not given their map & details of the checkpoints until they were a mile into the leg. With the weather being kind, this was not as much of a problem as it could have been, although Bingley did their best by locating some of the checkpoints in shakeholes and gullies to catch out the unwary!  Tom Brunt & Bill Stewart have partnered each other many times & this certainly paid off in superb fashion, as they completed the stage 8th fastest overall, pulling the Open team further up the rankings. The Vets pair of Phil Hobbs & Nigel Moran confidently knocked off the 7 checkpoints, overtaking a number of other teams on the way round & finished 96th fastest on the stage, whilst the Ladies pairing of Lucy Needham & Paula Gould also ran well to finish 111th (16th ladies team).

 

The final leg was a fast solo sprint up & down Great Whernside – 5.5 miles & 1600 feet & not for the feint-hearted! Where seconds make all the difference, Alistair Rees ignored his aching calf & recorded the 42nd fastest time of the day, keeping the Open Team in a very creditable 28th position overall. John Adair, the veteran of the Vets team, enjoys the short, sharp stuff & belied his years by storming up & down the hill finishing 76th fastest, pulling the Vets Team up to 106th overall, beating a number of Open teams into the bargain. Karen Sinkinson says she prefers the longer races, but didn’t let that worry her as she broke the hour mark to finish 145th on the leg, to put the Ladies Team 101st overall & 11th ladies team.

 

Dark Peak won the Open event by some 5 minutes from Borrowdale, with Shettleston Harriers in 3rd, whilst Borrowdale Vets claimed the V40 title ahead of Dark Peak and Clayton-le-Moors. In what was almost a clean sweep, Dark Peak also took the V50 prize ahead of Mercia and Pennine. For the Ladies teams, hosts Bingley Harriers (finishing 55th overall) edged out Hunters Bog Trotters (61st overall) and Calder Valley (75th overall), with only 8 minutes separating them.

 

This event showcases all that people love about fell running, with runners of all standards from all over the UK coming together to compete. From the wail of the bagpipes heralding the start of Leg 1 to the flutter of Welsh and Yorkshire flags in the event field, there was a great atmosphere throughout, with all runners cheered in, wherever they finished. Next year, it’s a trip to the Shropshire hills, where Mercia Fell Runners will be hosts – something to look forward to!        

 

Results: 1st Dark Peak Mens Open, 3.23.50; 1st V40 & 7th overall, Borrowdale Mens V40, 3.41.25 & 1st Ladies & 55th overall, Bingley Ladies, 4.18.12 (182 teams overall).

 

Holmfirth Mens Open, 4.01.27 (28th):
Leg 1 - Graham Howatson, 42.22 (76th)
Leg 2 - Jim Durrans & Gavin Baxter, 1.25.41 (45th)
Leg 3 - Tom Brunt & Bill Stewart, 1.07.28 (8th)
Leg 4 - Alistair Rees, 45.56 (42nd)

 

Holmfirth Ladies Open, 4.46.09 (101st):
Leg 1 - Debbie Hall, 49.04 (140th)
Leg 2 - Helen Berry & Katie Walshaw, 1.26.36 (51st)
Leg 3 - Lucy Needham & Paula Gould, 1.31.03 (111th)
Leg 4 - Karen Sinkinson, 59.26 (145th)

 

Holmfirth Vets, 4.47.42 (106th):
Leg 1 - Maz Khoueiry, 44.59 (103rd)
Leg 2 - Chris Beadle & Ian Goulding, 1.42.42 (145th)
Leg 3 - Phil Hobbs & Nigel Moran, 1.27.21 (96th)
Leg 4 - John Adair, 51.40 (76th)

 

Phil Hobbs

 

 

 

 

 

About Us

Tom Brunt Fell Secretary

Fell secretary

Phil Hobbs

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Welcome to the fell running section. If you have an aversion to tarmac and the prospect of scrambling up steep-sided hills and careering down the other side on paths mainly populated by nimble-footed sheep, come rain, shine or snow sounds like fun, then fell running is for you. Holmfirth Harriers has a long and glorious history of running on the fells. Recent individual achievements include three consecutive wins in the Old County Tops for Tom Brunt and a silver medal in the Yorkshire championships for Helen Berry. On the team front we have had a series of solid performances in the FRA relays and the Ian Hodgson. In the 2009 Calderdale Way Relay the women were 4th and the men equalled their best ever performance with a magnificent 3rd place.

 

 

If you’ve anything of interest for this section of the site e-mail it in to Phil or Jacqueline.

 

 

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