December 2023 – more storms than you can shake a stick at. And so much rain! When will it end?! Although there were no championship races to compete in, there were still a few races in December to tempt people out onto the hills if they fancied it.
As with last year, a few of us headed over to the Mytholmroyd race on Sunday 3rd December, spurred on by the thought of a can of Vocation ale from the race sponsors for all finishers! It doesn’t get any easier, particularly the Steps of Mordor, with the icy/snowy conditions making it an interesting race! First back for Holmfirth was Tommy Holroyd, who is absolutely loving his racing at the moment and had another great run to finish 3rd overall & 1st MU23 in 51.12. Close behind was Tim Brook, who is racing pretty much every weekend at the moment & finished 9th overall & 2nd MV40 in 53.02. A little further back, it was the turn of the V50’s, with Phil Hobbs (58th in 67.42) managing to stay ahead of Jim Durrans (61st in 68.45) on the final downhill. Mark Henderson was the final Harrier & did really well in the difficult conditions, finishing 109th in 89.27. Note for the diary – this will be the final race in the 2024 Fell Championships!
New Year’s Eve saw the final race of the year & it was back over the Moss for Des Gibbons’ Wormstones race from The Beehive pub in Glossop. Advertised as 4 miles, but closer to 5 after a change in route, this is a real race of two halves (as Michael was heard to say)! Pretty much uphill for the first 2 miles to the flagstones above Harry Hut (topping out at around 1600ft), we then turned left and attempted to stay on our feet as we descended rapidly through the peat bogs! Haven’t seen any official results yet, but we had a great turnout from the club & first back, despite a broken night’s sleep with a teething young Joss, was Jamie Wood, who reckoned he was in the top 30! Following swiftly behind, with plenty of muddied legs to prove it, were Michael Sanderson, Adam Sunderland, Jack Sunderland, Keith Baird, Matt Crompton, Phil Hobbs, Jim Durrans, Diane Lee, Jean Shotter & Mark Henderson. Keith reckoned any Christmas alcohol in his bloodstream evaporated during the race & I’m inclined to agree with him! This is a great race & a good way to blow off the Christmas cobwebs – it’s certainly pretty popular, evidenced by the fact that the start was delayed by nearly 20 minutes to accommodate all the runners – final entry will have been close to 250, all eager for a pint & a curry once they’d finished!
The senior & junior calendars for 2024 have been updated to the website (many thanks to the Web Editors, who continue to do a great job)! As ever, we’re trying to get as many Harriers to take part in these races as possible, including the English Championship events & once again I’ve tried to mix it up, with local races, evening races & some further afield to choose from. There will also be additional points available for those representing the club at the fell relays & national Championship events. First up for everyone (seniors & juniors) will be a return to the perennial favourite Stanbury Splash on Sunday 14th, which holds no fears for anyone wanting to try out the fells for the first time!
Elsewhere, great to see a few out & about, including Keith Baird at Clough Head, Jim Durrans at Bollihope Carrs, Bill Hunter at The Stoop, Patrick Needham, Ian Goulding, Elaine Stewart, Neil Midgley & Richard Whale at Amble’s Revenge and Tim Brook, Sam Williams & Bob Dickinson at Coley Canter.
And don’t forget, if you’ve been racing, let me know & we can include you in the round-up. Or even better, write a race report yourself & stick it on the website!
Finally, some local(ish) races in the next few weeks to have a go at:
Lambs Longer Leg (AS) (Chinley, nr. Hayfield) – Sunday 7th
Hoofstones (BM) (Todmorden) – Saturday 20th
Tigger Tor (BM) (Ringinglow, nr. Hathersage) – Sunday 28th
Wadsworth Trog (BL) (Old Town, nr. Hebden Bridge) – Saturday 3rd Feb
See you on a hill sometime,