Fell Section News – February 2023

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Evening everyone – another month has passed, but at least February 2023 wasn’t a repeat of last year & the weather gods were much kinder to us this time around!

The seniors were in action at Flower Scar on Saturday 18th February in the second of this year’s championship races. We had previously included this race in the champs back in 2014, when it was a shorter distance, but since then it has been selected as an English Championship race, so the route has been extended, with even more climb involved – it is now 8.5 miles & around 2500 ft of ascent – a good test of everyone’s legs! Despite twisting his ankle on one of the later descents, Curtis Firth managed to hold off the challenge of Michael Sanderson & was first Harrier home, finishing an excellent 19th overall in 1.18.21, whilst Michael was not far behind, finishing 27th overall in 1.21.15. It was then another tightly-packed affair, with Jon Burdon (103rd in 1.35.36) sprinting off from Jim Durrans (113th in 1.37.19) and Ian Goulding (117th in 1.39.05). First lady Harrier back & not quite able to catch Ian, was Sophie Cromwell, who had another great race, finishing 118th in 1.39.08. It was then another small gap to Phil Hobbs (132nd in 1.42.45) & then last, but not least, making her debut for the Harriers, was Joanne White, who wasn’t even sure she was going to race after an underwhelming recce of the course the week before! Suffice to say she succeeded this time, finishing 184th in 2.04.49, so very well done – here’s to many more races! Just for interest, the course record was completely smashed by Chris Holdsworth, who knocked over 4 minutes off the previous best, finishing in 1.02.37 – super speedy!

The juniors were in action at the Hoppits Hill races on Sunday 26th February, where there was a full programme of junior races, as well as a short & sharp senior race. The results have just been published, so well done to Arthur Gibbs (1st BU9), Josiah Thomas (3rd BU9), Henry McFarlane (1st BU11), Hael Waterman (3rd BU11), Bethan Morris, Florence Gibbs, Paradice Waterman & Isaac Morris who all proudly represented the club.

The photo above is some of the juniors at Hoppits Hill (courtesy of Dave Woodhead).

Elsewhere, we had a few out & about, including Curtis Firth & David Milton at Pendle Way In A Day (where Curtis was 3rd in the 30 mile version), Phil Hewitt & Jim Durrans at Windy Hill (where Phil was 8th overall) and Richard Wheeler at the New Chew.

Don’t forget it’s the Ian Roberts Memorial race this Sunday 5th March. We have a full complement of volunteers, including some new faces, which is great to see. So if you’re not helping, then get yourself to Marsden Cricket Club for tea & tussocks! The forecast is for sleet showers & light winds, but hopefully no snow – we don’t want a repeat of the Beast From The East year of 2018! And don’t forget to bring a cake!!

In terms of our championships & racing in March, as well as the Ian Roberts, the seniors have Lad’s Leap on Sunday 26th to contend with, whilst the juniors have a month off before the first of the English Championship races in April.

And I forgot to mention in January’s report, but we’ve entered 4 teams once again for the Calderdale Way Relay, so once the Ian Roberts race is out of the way, I’ll be turning my attention to rustling up volunteers…!

Other local(ish) races in March/early April include:

Wolf’s Pit (Bamford, Hope Valley) – Sunday 19th
Chicken Run (Hayfield) – Saturday 25th
Trunce 1 (Oxspring) – Monday 27th
Five Trigs (Delph) – Saturday 1st April

Looking a little further ahead, entries for the Fairfield Horseshoe (which is an English Championship counter & is also in our champs) open on 18th March on SI Entries. I imagine it will fill up quite quickly, so keep the date in your diary!

See some of you on Sunday!



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