Lad's Leap – March 17, 2012

helen-lads-leapThe English Fell Running Championship series got underway on Saturday March 17 with several Holmfirth runners looking to make a good start on home turf (or more accurately home bog). The race was a short 6 mile tester from Crowden on the west side of the Woodhead Pass and featured two climbs, some hard boggy terrain on top of the moor and two fast technical descents. Spring-like weather made for excellent conditions for both runners and spectators alike.

In the women's race, Helen Berry ran with her customary grit and determination and paced the race well, finishing 5th in a high calibre field in 55.39. With good support from Lucy Needham who had a strong run in 25th (picking up her first Championship points) and Paula Gould in 68th (just ahead of team-mates Karen Sinkinson and Debbie Hall) the women's team came 7th.

Over three hundred runners toed the start line in the men's race and with several narrow sections a good start was always going to be crucial. Unfortunately Tom Brunt, in fine form at the moment, tripped in the melee just after the start. After some hard work on the first climb he clawed back a few places but ended up a rather disappointing 29th in 48.14. The next amber vest to cross the line was that of new recruit Dan Stewart, 111th in 55.57 (though he wasn't eligible to count for the team competition). He was followed in rapid succession by Nathan Martin (125th), Andy Hauser (127th & 4th V55) and Andy Shaw (136th). Jim Sommerville ran well to finish just inside the top 300 and Bill Wade got his championship season off to a fine start finishing 3rd in the V70 category.

Full results (Holmfirth unless stated):

Women: 1st - Emma Clayton (Bingley), 52.35; 5th - Helen Berry, 55.39; 25th - Lucy Needham, 62.03; 68th - Paula Gould, 72.24; 73rd - Karen Sinkinson, 73.06 & 77th - Debbie Hall, 74.09 (112 finishers).

Men: 1st - Simon Bailey (Mercia), 44.16; 29th - Tom Brunt, 48.14; 111th - Dan Stewart, 55.17; 125th - Nathan Martin, 57.03; 127th - Andy Hauser, 57.07; 136th - Andy Shaw, 57.52; 299th - Jim Sommerville, 82.21 & 301st - Bill Wade, 84.21 (309 finishers).

Tom Brunt/Phil Hobbs


Photo by Shaun Priestley.


Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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