Fell Section Update – August 2023

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Evening everyone – it’s that time again – latest update for you!

August 2023 – not much of an improvement on July to be honest – so much for the Great British Summer!

First up for the seniors was another trip to Cartworth Moor for the Denis Stitt race on Thursday 10th, organised once again by John Ewart. Evening races always have a good atmosphere & this year’s race was no different, possibly due to either the warm, dry conditions or the random prizes on offer at the finish! John has reported elsewhere on the race itself, but we had an excellent turnout of 28 Harriers amongst the 72 starters, with the pick of the results including Richard Anderson (2nd overall), Katie Walshaw (4th overall & 1st lady), Tim Brook (7th overall & 1st MV40), Sam Williams (9th overall & 2nd MU21), Ruby Sykes (15th overall & 2nd lady), Adam Sunderland (16th overall & 1st MV50), Helena Croft (18th overall & 3rd lady), Joanne Jones (1st FV40), Julian Rank (1st V60) & Richard Smith (1st V70). We also picked up both of the team prizes – Richard, Tim & Sam for the Men and Katie, Ruby & Helena for the Ladies, so well done to all!

It was then a blast up the M6 on Sunday 20th for the Sedbergh Hills race, which this year was both a British & an English Championship counter, so we could expect a quality field to be taking part. This is one of the shorter Long races, but don’t let that deceive you, as it packs in roughly 6000 ft. of ascent (& descent) in its 14 miles. When you add in the effect of the camber on the hills & the fact that there is little flat running, this is a tough race!  Adam Sunderland, Chris Beadle, Sophie Cromwell & Fran Whitworth were representing the Amber amongst the 353 starters, with only Chris having raced the course before. First back for Holmfirth & picking up maximum points for his tilt at the Fell Champs title was Adam, who gradually pulled away from the others to finish 241st in 3.19.40. He did keep checking over his shoulder, fully expecting Chris to overtake him on the final descent off Winder, but Chris had taken it steady, gradually working his way through the field & finishing 281st in 3.37.22. Sophie & Fran were neck & neck for much of the race, but Sophie managed to pull away in the closing stages, coming back 299th in 3.42.41, whilst Fran (declaring the race to be the hardest she’s ever done) was 311th in 3.50.43. To give you an idea of the standard of the top racers, the race was won by Billy Cartwright of Matlock AC in 2.04.23, whilst the first lady was Nicola Jackson of Keswick AC, who finished 51st overall in 2.28.04 – swift!

In terms of the senior Fell Champs, after 12 races, the men are currently being led home by Adam Sunderland, who has completed 7 races, plus the Calderdale Way Relay, so is on 165 points. Hard on his heels, we have Michael Sanderson, Tim Brook & Bob Dickinson, on 146, 132 & 131 points respectively. For the ladies, Sophie Cromwell has completed 9 races, plus the Calderdale and is on 227 points (before any whittling down to her best 7 races), ahead of Fran Whitworth (134 points from 5 races) & Becky Burdon (128 points from 6 races).

The juniors had a visit to Burnsall on Saturday 19th, but I haven’t seen any official results yet, so I’m not sure if anyone made the trip up to the Dales. I do know that there was a great turnout at the Denby Dash on Bank Holiday Monday, so well done to Henry McFarlane (2nd overall), Anabelle McFarlane (4th overall & 1st girl), Oliver Wilson, Hael Waterman, Ben Wilson, Florence Gibbs, Bethan Morris, Riley Moxon, Arthur Gibbs, Paradise Waterman & Isaac Morris who all took on the Pirate Ship Challenge, as well as William Turner, who was 1st overall in the Denby Gallop – looks like it was a great day out!

Coming up in September, the seniors have the Lost Shepherd on Sunday 10th, followed by Shelf Moor on Saturday 23rd, as well as the Cross Keys Fell & Road relay on Saturday 16th, whilst the juniors have a month off. I’ve already started rounding up volunteers for the 2 fell relays in October – the Hodgson Brothers on Sunday 1st, where we definitely have 2 teams accepted, plus the British/UKA/FRA Fell Relays from Braithwaite, nr. Keswick, on the 21st, where the Mens, Ladies & V40 teams are confirmed & I’ll be looking to enter a V50 team when entries re-open on 1st September.

Elsewhere, good to see those out & about, including Richard Anderson at Crow Hill Reverse (where he was 2nd overall), Mark Henderson at Cracken Edge, Gavin Baxter at Salt Cellar, Tim Brook at Dovedale Dipper (where he finished 2nd & 1st V40), Curtis Firth & & Jo Robinson at (Wo)Man vs Barge (where Curtis was 3rd), Katie Walshaw & James Washington at Chip Chase (where Katie was 5th overall & 1st lady), Phil Hinchcliffe & Joanne Jones at Piethorne (where Phil was 3rd overall & Joanne was 1st lady), Jim Durrans & Matt Crompton at Crowden Horseshoe, Richard Anderson at the Scafell Trail Marathon (where he was 3rd overall), Tim Brook at Eyam and Tim Brook, James Washington, Chris Beadle, Andy Shortt, Sophie Cromwell, Kevin Yewlett & Janet Foreman at Trunce 8. Don’t forget, please let me know if you’ve been racing & I’ll give you a mention. Or even better, feel free to send in a race report to the website for everyone to read!

Finally, some local(ish) races for the next few weeks:

Longshaw Sheepdog Trial – Saturday 2nd
Blackshaw Head Fete (above Hebden Bridge) – Saturday 2nd
Trunce 9 (the fancy dress one)! – Monday 4th
Padfield (nr. Glossop) – Sunday 17th


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