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Clougha Pike Fell Races - 23June 2012)


The fourth round of this year's English Junior Championships took place on Saturday 23rd June at Clougha Pike, Quernmore near Lancaster. After the horrendous weather last week, there was some doubt as to whether the event would take place and although the village sports had to be cancelled, the fell races hosted by Bowland Fell Runners went ahead, with some slight changes to the courses to take account of the saturated conditions!
With the overall championship starting to hot up, we had a great turnout of 17 juniors, all hoping to add to both their individual & the team's points. On a cool but dry day, first off were the U8's & U10's, contesting a pretty furious out & back course. Callum Durrans had a great tussle with Alfie Thorpe from Broughton Runners & they were neck and neck coming into the final downhill stretch. Callum took the lead through the last gate & just managed to hold on to win the U10's by 2 seconds in 7.03. Not far behind, George Hobbs finished 13th overall in 8.24, with Lewis Hodgson 23rd in 9.54 & Elphina Waterman 25th in 10.52.
The U12's, U14's & U16's all set off together, which was a great sight as 86 runners made their way up the first hill from the road. We had 4 runners in the U12's & they all ran well in the very soft & slippery conditions over the 2.3 mile course. In a very competitive field, Nicky Farquhar finished 14th in 17.23, ahead of Sunnivah Waterman, 27th & 8th girl in 18.51, Harry Hobbs, 33rd in 21.45 and Fiona Hodgson, 37th in 25.07.
The U14's were running 3 miles, with over 650 feet of ascent and all put in some great performances. First back was Seth Waterman, 3rd overall in 20.09, followed by Andrew Farquhar, 8th in 22.01. For the girls, it was Lucy Byram's turn to shine & she destroyed the field, winning in 22.44, nearly a minute ahead of her nearest rival. Erica Byram also did well, finishing 5th in 24.02, with Genevieve Durrans 9th in 27.20 and Daisy Mae Smith 10th in 28.41. With Seth, Lucy & Erica all finishing in the top 5, Holmfirth also picked up the U14's team prize – some more Pete Bland vouchers that will come in useful!
The U16's had a tough 3.75 mile course, with over 800 feet of ascent. Lewis Byram was leading comfortably when unfortunately he took a tumble on the top section of the course. Thankfully, he managed to pick himself up & carried on to the finish, coming 4th overall & 2nd boy in 26.00, sporting a fell runner's bloodied knee! Eddie Hinchliffe managed to avoid any similar problems & finished strongly in a time of 29.21, 8th overall & 6th boy.
Robert Smith was our sole representative in the U18's, who ran with the seniors over the full 4.9 mile, 1300 foot course. Robert looked very comfortable as he set off and kept a decent pace going throughout the race, where he finished 74th overall, 8th U18, in a time of 51.25 – a solid performance in a field of 125 runners. Our leading female endurance athlete Katie Walshaw also travelled over to use the race as preparation for her forthcoming English & GB appearances. In a quality field, where the men's race was won in 36.05 by current England international Tom Addison, ahead of GB international Rob Jebb, she broke the ladies record to finish 1st lady, 19th overall, in 42.34 – bodes well for Turkey!
After this great performance, the team has moved up to 2nd place behind Helm Hill in the English Junior Club Championship table. With the final 2 rounds of the championship coming up fast, we need to make sure we get as many runners out as possible at Hawkswick on July 1st and Sedbergh on July 14th. See you there!

Phil Hobbs

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

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