Fell Section Update – June 2023

In: News

Evening everyone – hope you’re enjoying the slightly cooler conditions today?!

Time for the latest Fell update to whet your appetite for the month ahead! Getting it in early, as no doubt you’ll all be tapering for tomorrow’s Heptonstall Festival race?! Bargain at £5 to enter, plus a free beer at the end – what’s not to like?!

So, June 2023 – another warm one, peppered with thunderstorms, but with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get out onto the fells. In terms of Holmfirth races & our Fell Champs, we had Duddon on Saturday 3rd, followed by the James Blakely/Harden Moss race on Saturday 24th June, whilst the juniors had the latest English Champs race, Hope Bowdler at Church Stretton on the 24th.

2 hardy Harriers made it across to Duddon on a very hot day at the beginning of the month to take on one of the Lakes Classics, which this year was also a counter in the English Champs. Having given himself a month to recover from the 3 Peaks, Tim Brook had a great race, despite suffering with cramp in the latter stages, finishing the 18 mile/6000 ft. course 70th overall & 22nd V40 in 3.42.05, whilst Keith Baird also struggled with cramp from the Three Shires Stone onwards, but battled it out to beat the cut-offs, finishing 246th in 5.27.46. Both of them said the heat was particularly energy-sapping, with little opportunity to take on any water once you’d got past 3 Shires – there were nearly 30 DNF’s from a field of 287 starters, which is a pretty high percentage!

We then had a great turnout at the James Blakely, with 12 Harriers amongst the 40 starters. On a beautiful day (for watching), there were some very pained expressions as everyone made their way back up the Trials field to touch the shepherd’s post after a fast & furious 5k! Big thanks to Penistone Footpath Runners, who put the race in their champs this year & brought 17 runners to take part, very successfully it has to be said, as they filled the top 3 places, which guaranteed them 1st Man, 1st MV40 & 1st MU21, as well as the team prize! Mike Fanning, running in Borrowdale colours, was 1st MV50, whilst our own Fran Whitworth was 1st lady, ahead of Judy Howells (1st Vet Lady). Special mention needs to go to Richard Whale & Tracey Newman, who came up with the crazy idea (probably borrowed from Chris Beadle) of doing 3 races in one day. After a steady Huddersfield Park Run first thing, they both headed over to Digley for the Summer Wine Trails School Run, before ending up at Harden Moss to round the day off in style, completing their adventures hand-in-hand as they crossed the finish line! They certainly earned their beer & burgers! Thanks as ever to those who volunteered to help on the day – these events can’t happen without you.

I haven’t seen any results for the Hope Bowdler junior races, but I don’t think anyone made it down to Church Stretton, which is a shame, as it was a good day out last time we all went down there a few years ago.

Elsewhere in the month, it was great to see plenty of Harriers racing, including Phil Wilson at the Ullswater Way (20 mile), where he finished 3rd overall, Bob Dickinson at the Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon, Katie Walshaw & James Washington at Edenfield (Katie was 13th overall & 1st lady, breaking the previous record by nearly 3 minutes), Elaine Stewart at the Stanza Stones 50 mile Ultra, Katie Walshaw, Phil Hinchcliffe & Jess O’Brien at Knowl Hill (Katie was 6th overall & 1st lady), Mark Henderson at Brown Wardle (& A Bit Moor), Tim Brook, Sophie Cromwell, Kevin Yewlett & Tracey Newman at Trunce No. 5, Katie Walshaw & James Washington at Whaley Waltz (Katie was 2nd overall & 1st lady, breaking a 10 year record by nearly 50 seconds), Dave Milton at the Lakeland 5 Passes Ultra, Jim Durrans at Kinder Trog and Tim Brook at the Bakewell Pudding Race.

Coming up in July, the juniors have the final 2 English Champs races – Clwydian (North Wales) on Sunday 9th & Big Stone over at Hayfield on Sunday 16th, whilst the seniors have Heptonstall Festival on Saturday 1st and Holme Moss on Sunday 23rd.

Advance warning, but entries for Hodgson Brothers Relay open on Friday 7th July, so I’ll be looking to enter 2 teams again. Although we were initially only allocated 1 team last year, the organisers did say we would be back to 2 as usual this year, which is good news. And although we know that the British Fell Relays will be in Keswick on Saturday 21st October, no details have been posted yet, so we’ll just keep watching that space!

Finally, some other local(ish) races coming up in July/early August:

Great Hucklow (nr. Buxton) – Sunday 2nd

Trunce 6 – Monday 3rd

Stoodley Pike (nr. Todmorden) – Tuesday 4th

Holme Valley Five Miler (Holmbridge) – Friday 7th

Thurlstone Chase – Saturday 8th

Peak Forest (nr. Chapel-en-le-Frith) – Sunday 9th

Widdop (including junior races) – Wednesday 12th

Big Stone (Chinley, nr. Glossop) – Sunday 16th

Trunce 7 – Monday 24th

Turnslack (nr. Littleborough) – Saturday 29th

Up The Nab (Glossop) – Sunday 30th

Cracken Edge (Hayfield) – Wednesday 2nd August

See you at Heptonstall!



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