Fell Section – November 2023 Update

Afternoon all – latest Fell Update to keep you entertained for a few minutes!

November 2023 – took a while, but the rain finally relented & we had some proper late autumn sunshine with frosty mornings!

First up was the Yorkshire Vets Champs at Cop Hill on Sunday 5th November – no doubt Rob will be reporting on the Vets successes in his monthly round-up, but we had an massive 32 Harriers competing in total (including the first race for recent recruit Patrick Needham, looking very old school in Neil Midgley’s retro Harriers shirt & a welcome return in amber for Steven Asquith, who managed to give Beadle’s socks a run for their money)! As well as the YVAA awards, we also picked up a couple of open prizes as well, including Katie Walshaw (1st lady & 1st FV35), Helen Ilsley (1st FV45), Elaine Stewart (1st FV65) & Kevin Yewlett (1st MV70). In addition, Katie, Helen & Sophie Cromwell bagged the Ladies prize. Well done to all who raced – the going was officially heavy, which made it hard work in the field up to the Cop & through the boggy Wood of Doom!

Next up was the final race in this year’s Senior Champs, Leg It Round Lathkil, on Sunday 12th. General consensus was that this 7.5 mile, 950ft course was a good little race in a pretty part of the Peak District. First back for Holmfirth, extending his recent racing streak, was Tim Brook (8th overall in 50.57), comfortably holding off the challenges of Michael Sanderson (32nd overall in 55.19) & Adam Sunderland (40th overall & 2nd MV50 in 56.52). Close behind, Bob Dickinson (50th overall in 58.47) took home the family bragging rights, staying ahead of sister Stefanie (153rd overall in 73.33). Mark Henderson was taking part in his 6th race in the championship & finished 194th overall in 81.07, whilst last but not least, Bill Hunter was 217th overall in 85.44. There were 248 starters, so a popular race to boot!

Finally, it was the Lee Mill Relay over in Rossendale on Sunday 26th November. Big thanks once again to Jean for sorting out the teams – looks like it was a tricky combination of ice & bogs over there, as Louis Cromwell will testify! We had 4 teams out this year & all seem to have acquitted themselves well, with the V50’s of Chris Beadle, Adam Wakelin, Bob Dickinson & Adam Sunderland 1st Vets team & the Ladies team of Helena Croft (twice), Sophie Cromwell & Fran Whitworth 2nd Ladies team. Unfortunately, the prize-giving had to be cancelled, as a Leg 4 runner had gone missing, so it was all hands to the pump to locate her. Thankfully, she was able to use the whistle from her mandatory FRA kit to alert the mountain rescue team in the darkness and she was returned to base safe & sound.

All this means that the scores on the doors have been calculated for this year’s Champs and before announcing the winners, just a reminder of the scoring system! To qualify, you need to complete at least 7 races, to include 2 of each length (Short, Medium & Long), with your 7 best scores to count. There are also bonus points for taking part in the Fell Relays and any of the British/English Champs races not already in the Holmfirth champs. All clear so far? Good! So it’s many congratulations to Adam Sunderland, who has gone one better than last year, holding off the challenges of Michael Sanderson & Bob Dickinson, to top the Mens leader-board with an excellent 233 points, having taken part in 10 races, as well as all 5 Fell Relays. Well done to Michael, who scored 215 points and Bob, who scored 206 points – better luck next year guys! Special mention to Phil Hewitt and last year’s champion Tim Brook, who both took part in all 5 of the fell relays we entered, helping to make the Team Captains’ job a little easier! For the Ladies, Sophie Cromwell has also completed 10 races, as well as taking part in 3 of the Fell Relays, amassing an impressive 216 points, so well done to her on her deserved title.

For the juniors, their last outing was over at Shepherds Skyline on Saturday 4th which no doubt will have been rather boggy! Well done once again to Arthur Gibbs who was 3rd U11B and his sister Florence, who was 4th U13G. In terms of the Champs, we have a couple of juniors who have completed the required 4 qualifying races, so well done to Arthur Gibbs (U11B) & Florence Gibbs (U13G) on winning their categories.

I’ve started planning next year’s Fell Champs & as with last year, the Section Secretaries/Captains are liaising to try & avoid too many clashes throughout the year. First up (for seniors & juniors) is likely to be Stanbury Splash once again (on Sunday 14th January), as it’s such a good race to introduce people to the fells, followed by another reasonably local race on Sunday 11th February, Windy Hill, which starts in Denshaw & takes in the delights of Blackstone Edge & part of the Pennine Way before returning to the Rams Head Inn for hot soup & a pint!

Good to see a few out & about, including Jim Durrans at the Hadrians Wall Half Marathon, Keith Baird at Stybarrow Dodd, Bob Dickinson at Shepherds Skyline, Phil Brown at Soyland Moor, Phil Hobbs at Dunnerdale & Phil Brown (again) at Penmaenmawr.

Don’t forget it’s the Tinker Cup on Saturday 23rd December, which this year is being run in memory of Kevin Johns who sadly died earlier this year. If you’re planning on running, please help the handicappers by entering ASAP! And if you’re not running, then they’ll still need help on the day, so please volunteer & they’ll find you a marshal spot.

Finally, a few local races in December to have a go at:

Gravy Pud (Tintwistle) – Sunday 3rd

Mytholmroyd – Sunday 3rd

Stoop (Haworth) – Sunday 17th

Wormstones (Glossop) – Sunday 31st

Auld Lang Syne (Haworth) – Sunday 31st

If anyone fancies Mytholmroyd, then I’ve got a couple of spaces free in the car, so just give me a shout.



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