Cowpe Fell Races - 26 May 2012

The third round of this year's English Junior Championships took place on Saturday 26th May at Cowpe near Waterfoot, tucked away in the Lancashire hills. Hosted by Rossendale Harriers, the races covered much of the Whittle Pike senior race route and were definitely not for the feint-hearted – the instructions for the day could have been 'up as far as you can see, then up some more!'

Although there was plenty going on over the weekend with triathlons and track & field meetings taking place, we still had a great turnout of 15 juniors, all very grateful for the cooling breeze that helped them up the hill under a cloudless sky.

First off were the U16's & U18's – mainly because it would be a while before we saw them again as they were running 4 miles with over 1200 feet of ascent! After the U8's had had their short, sharp up & down the hill, it was the turn of the U12's/U14's. We had 3 runners in the U12's & they all battled hard on the tough 1.5 mile/400 feet course. In a very competitive field, Nicky Farquhar ran well to finish 19th in 14.41, ahead of Sunnivah Waterman, 37th & 7th girl in 16.11 and Harry Hobbs, 53rd in 18.11.

The U14's were running nearly 2.5 miles, with over 700 feet of ascent – a stern test of their stamina. Again, they all worked really hard & turned in some fine performances, with Andrew Farquhar first back, 12th in 21.50. Erica Byram had a great run, finishing 19th overall & more importantly 2nd girl, in 22.42, whilst twin sister Lucy was a little further back, 27th overall & 8th girl, in 24.13. The girls' team was finished off by Genevieve Durrans, 35th & 15th girl, in 27.13 and Daisy Mae Smith, 38th & 18th girl, in 29.32.

After what seemed an age, the U16's & U18's returned, all looking rather warm! First back for the Harriers was Lewis Byram, who commented that it was the furthest he had ever raced on the fells. In a quality field, the race was won by James Hall, Lewis's Yorkshire team-mate from Wharfedale, in a time of 33.56. Lewis himself was not far behind, finishing 9th overall & 3rd U16 in 35.38, beating most of the U18's into the bargain. Our 2 other runners found the going tough, but stuck at their task well, with Eddie Hinchliffe 23rd overall, 10th U16 and Robert Smith 32nd overall.

Finally, it was the turn of the U10's to test their mettle & those watching on the hill were not disappointed. With a climb of nearly 400 feet over a distance of less than a mile, Callum Durrans couldn't quite hang on to the leader, but had a great battle for 2nd place, just pipping his opponent from Stockport by 1 second to finish in 8.08. George Hobbs picked up quite a few places on the downhill section, finishing 13th in 9.29, whilst Millie Yates had another fine race, coming back 19th overall & 4th girl, in 9.55. Younger sister Ruby Yates completed the Holmfirth contingent, finishing 40th & 16th girl, in 11.48.

Next up for the juniors is the 4th round of the English Junior Championships at Clougha Pike on June 23rd, where we will be hoping for another good turnout as we look to improve on our current 4th place in the Club Championship table.

Phil Hobbs

Norman's Photos (See full set on Flickr here)

Deb's Photos (See full set on Flickr here)

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

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