Fell Section Update – May 2024

Evening all – here’s the latest Fell update for you.

May 2024 – winter, spring or summer? You decide!

As tends to be the case at this time of year, the juniors were going to be very busy, with 2 of the English Junior Championship races to go at, as well as the Yorkshire Champs. First up on May 6th was Coiners, on the hills above Mytholmroyd, which once again had been chosen as the Yorkshire Junior Championships, so was bound to be popular. Willow Moxon had a great run in the U9’s, where she finished 2nd FU9 & was rewarded with a huge bar of Dairy Milk & a box of Celebrations, which makes the uphill start all worthwhile! Niamh Sykes, Arthur Gibbs & Riley Moxon all ran in the U11’s race, with Niamh continuing her excellent recent form, finishing 8th overall & 1st FU11, whilst Arthur & Riley had a great battle, with Arthur finishing 28th & Riley 33rd. We also had Paradice Waterman running in the U15’s race, where she finished 28th overall, as well as Alice Parry and Eleanor Walker in the U17’s race, where they finished 19th & 20th respectively, so well done to all of you for flying the amber flag. Next up on Sunday May 12th was the English Champs race at Sedbergh & Niamh Sykes made the long trip worthwhile with another top 3 finish in the U11’s, where she was 14th overall & 3rd FU11 in a very competitive field! Finally, it was a slightly shorter trip to Crag Hall in Wildboarclough for the next English Champs race, Shutlingsloe on Sunday 19th. Once again, Niamh Sykes did the club proud by finishing 6th overall & 2nd FU11 in another stacked field, so very well done to her – let’s see if we can get some more support for her at Rossendale on Sunday 9th June.

For the seniors, it was the next race in this year’s English Champs, Pendle Cloughs on Saturday 11th. After some to-ing & fro-ing on the injury front, we had 7 Harriers lining up amongst the 307 starters on a very warm morning, for the 14 mile/4000 ft AL race up, down & around Pendle Hill. Jamie Wood has been in fine form of late, particularly on the uphills & looked strong as he knocked off the checkpoints, maintaining a pace just outside the top 50. However, a cock-up on the nav front between checkpoints 7 & 9 allowed Tim Brook to sneak past him on the final run-in to finish 65th & 23rd MV40 in 2.34.28, whilst Jamie was 66th in 2.34.58! Phil Hewitt is also running well at the moment and was next back, finishing 121st in 2.55.56, whilst Adam Sunderland took the opportunity to get a long race under his belt, coming back 200th in 3.18.05. It was then the turn of the ladies, with Fran Whitworth having another good race, finishing 238th overall, 54th lady & 17th FV50 in 3.38.20, whilst Stef Dickinson battled against the heat to come back 282nd & 32nd FV45 in 4.31.01. Unfortunately, Sally Coldwell twisted her ankle shortly after Checkpoint 2, so had to pull-out of the race, much to her annoyance, as she has never DNF’d before!

It was then time for the eagerly-awaited Calderdale Way Relay on Sunday 19th May, where we managed to put out 4 teams (48 runners) – the traditional Open, Ladies & Vets teams, plus the Cote de Holme Moss team, which this year was once again a full Mixed team of 6 men & 6 ladies. For the second year running, we only had a couple of changes once the teams had been announced and as we had plenty of reserves, the stress-factor was relatively low! As ever, we managed to ‘encourage’ some new faces to take part & whilst there might have been the odd cry of ‘never again’ (sorry Rosie!), the general consensus was a thumbs-up! It was very warm throughout the day, so sun-screen rather than waterproofs was the main kit requirement. At the sharp end, it was an incredibly tight race, with Rossendale turning back the clock to claim victory for the first time in over 35 years in a time of 6.10.24, ahead of Calder Valley (6.12.46) & Wharfedale (6.15.39). For the record, the Open team matched the previous 2 years’ results, finishing an excellent 6th overall, nearly 20 minutes quicker in 6.39.57, whilst the Ale Stars were once again 28th overall (4th Vets team) in 7.47.25 and the Cote de Holme Moss were 69th overall from 100 starters (in 9.37.23). However, pride of place must once again go to the Ladies team of Helen Standing, Sophie Cromwell, Fran Whitworth, Helen Ilsley, Kath Farquhar, Claire Wheeler, Katie Walshaw, Erica Byram, Amy Smith, Nikki Brown, Julia Jagger & Helena Croft, who had a tremendous battle with Wharfedale, finally overhauling them on Leg 6 to finish 37th overall & worthy champions in 8.14.05, with Wharfedale just 5 minutes behind in 8.19.46. Individually, results of the day included Jonny McLean & Patrick Needham 4th fastest on Leg 2 and Joe Minchella & Alex Robinson 5th quickest on Leg 3, whilst Julia & Helena had the fastest Ladies time on Leg 6 (& 24th fastest overall), as did Katie & Erica on Leg 4.

Elsewhere in the month, it’s been great to see plenty of Harriers getting out on the hills, including Tommy Holroyd, Tim Brook, Katie Walshaw, Patrick Needham & Mark Henderson at Coiners (where Tommy was 5th overall & 1st U23 and Katie was 14th overall & 1st lady), Curtis Firth at The Lap Windermere Ultra (where he finished 16th from 800 starters), Katie Walshaw, James Washington & Mark Henderson at Mount Famine (where Katie was 7th overall & 1st lady), Noreen Edery at Up The Odda Trail (where she was 1st FV70), Phil Brown at the Speyside 100 LDWA event, Richard Anderson at Ilkley Trail (where he was 2nd overall by just 1 second), Katie Walshaw & James Washington at Bowley Hill (where Katie was 2nd overall & 1st lady and James was 6th overall & 1st MV45), Elspeth Taylor at Bamford Sheepdog Trials, Jon & Becky Burdon at the Dovestone Diamond (where unfortunately Phil Hinchcliffe had to retire after dislocating his shoulder) and finally at the 3rd instalment of The Trunce, we had our newest member Jack Ilsley enjoying the evening, accompanied by Adam Sunderland, Chris Beadle, Louis Cromwell, Andy Shortt, Helen Ilsley, Debbie Hall, Kevin Yewlett, Janet Foreman & Richard Whale.

Coming up in June, the seniors have Howtown on Sunday 9th, followed by Harden Moss/James Blakely on Saturday 22nd and the Bakewell Pudding Race on Sunday 30th, whilst the juniors have the next 2 English Champs races, Rossendale on the 9th & Weaver Hills (Ashbourne) on the 15th. Don’t forget Howtown is entry on the day only, with just 100 places available. If you’re not going up the night before, then the organiser has said he’ll hold a few places open for anyone travelling some distance, so well worth dropping him a line this week, just to make sure – he’s called Jonathan Tombs & his email is jontombs@yahoo.co.uk (mobile: 07779 744667).

Finally, I’ve volunteered to organise the Harden Moss race again this year, so will need a handful of helpers on the day if anyone would like to volunteer! Please note the date is Saturday 22nd and not the 15th as originally advertised.

And some local(ish) races to get your teeth into over the next few weeks:

Trunce 4 (Oxspring) – Monday 3rd

Castleton – Friday 7th

Edale (Short) – Sunday 9th

Knowl Hill (Rochdale) – Sunday 9th

Bridestone (Todmorden) – Tuesday 11th

Ogden Midsummer Madness (Ogden Water, nr. Halifax) – Wednesday 12th

Brown Wardle (Whitworth) – Wednesday 12th

Buttermere Sailbeck (English Champs race) – Saturday 15th

Weaver Hills (Ashbourne) – Saturday 15th

Up The Nab (Glossop) – Sunday 16th

Tideswell – Friday 21st

Trunce 5 – Monday 24th

Cragg Vale –  Wednesday 26th

Eddie’s Revenge (Shaw, nr.Oldham) – Wednesday 26th

Eldwick Gala – Saturday 29th

Stoodley Pike – Tuesday 2nd July

Plenty to go at there! Hopefully see you on a hill sometime if I can shake this sciatica off!!



Calderdale Way Relay - Ladies Champions (plus some photo-bomber)!

Calderdale Way Relay Leg 1 - the early risers!

CWR - Leg 2. Where's Gav?!

CWR Leg 3 - hoping to avoid the mass start!

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