Ian Roberts Fell Race 2013 - Report

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Ian Roberts Memorial Fell Race (10th March 2013)

After having had lovely spring sunshine for the last two years, I guess we were due a change & it duly arrived! More snow, ice & a biting easterly wind made for a chilly morning at Marsden Cricket Club, with hats & gloves the order of the day for this year’s Ian Roberts Memorial race. Not that the weather deterred many from coming, as 108 runners made the start line – must be something to do with the cakes?!

Ian Roberts 1

The 6.5 mile race route takes the runners over Marsden Moor via the Standedge Trail and was pretty wet underfoot. Add snow & ice to the bogs & tussocks and it is a tough little race. For the second year running, a visitor from over Halifax way took the race honours – Joe Crossfield, running for Halifax Harriers, is a rising star around these parts & after coming 3rd the day before at the Windmills Whizz race, he was determined to control the race from the off. Battling it out at the front with Andy Swift from Penistone, he led pretty much from the start and managed to hold off any challenge to win in 53.25, with Andy close behind in 53.35. Third place went to Sam Fisher from Howgill Harriers, another first-timer at this event, who finished in 55.42. The honours for first Harrier home went to one of our triathletes, Jonny McLean, who thoroughly enjoyed his first proper fell race, finishing 5th overall in 56.19.

For the ladies, Katie Walshaw finished off a busy weekend, having represented Yorkshire at the Inter Counties XC Championships on Saturday, by making it 3 wins on the trot, finishing 11th overall and 1st lady in 57.27. Close behind, was Ladies Captain Helen Berry who finished 27th overall, 2nd lady, in a time of 60.58, whilst 3rd lady was Sally Coldwell, 67th overall in a time of 69.47.

Ian Roberts 2We had 22 Harriers starting the race, so there were plenty of battles within battles around the course and top 3 category placings to go with them. Jim Durrans had another solid run, finishing 9th overall, 3rd V40 in 57.10, whilst Andy Shaw is relishing his super-vet status, finishing 10th overall & 1st V50, in 57.19. Allied with Jonny’s 5th place finish, Jim & Andy helped secure the team prize for Holmfirth. Clare Ash, putting her recent speed-training sessions to good use, finished 87th overall, 2nd FV40 in 77.18, and with Katie & Helen completed the Holmfirth Ladies 1st place team, whilst Bill Hunter, racing nearly every weekend at the moment, finished 95th overall, 2nd V60 in 83.46. Claire Whitwam & Alison Whitelegg always turn out for this race, even though it might not be their cup of tea! Proud to wear the amber vest, they finished with a smile on their faces (I think?!) and were 2nd & 3rd FV50 respectively.


The other age category prizes were shared around a number of clubs, with Richard Houghton from Macclesfield Harriers finishing 4th overall & 1st V40, Anthony Weston from Denby Dale Travellers 68th overall & 1st V60, Lisa Wilyman from Valley Striders 74th overall & 1st FV40, Jill Davies from Saddleworth Runners 89th overall & 1st FV60 & Nicky Snook, also from Saddleworth, 93rd overall & 1st FV50. Harry Dalby, David Buchanan & Scott Alder from Pudsey & Bramley were 2nd Mens team, whilst Claire Wightman joined Jill Davies & Nicky Snook from Saddleworth to claim 2nd Ladies team. 

The food afterwards lived up to its pre-race billing & there was more than enough cake to go round! Everyone who had helped in any way was roundly thanked & we also showed our appreciation to Marsden Cricket Club for allowing us to use their clubhouse. Thanks also to the National Trust, Natural England & Yorkshire Water for once again allowing us to race over the beautiful Marsden Moor.

Photos of the day - Courtesy of Norman Berry 

Phil Hobbs

Copyright Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club 2012