Race Day – Sunday 20th March 2022
Blessed with glorious spring sunshine & on a weekend with only a couple of other local races taking place, we were very pleased to see over 120 runners make the start line at Marsden Cricket Club for the 2022 race – back in its traditional March slot, so no vegetation chopping required! There was still a brisk breeze up Pule Hill, but with just a windproof top to carry, some fast times were guaranteed.
The 6.5 mile race route takes the runners over Marsden Moor via the Pennine Way & the Standedge Trail and was remarkably dry in most places, with just the occasional bog & wobbly bridge to contend with. Last year’s winner Rob James of Royton Road Runners was keen to defend his title, with the previous runner-up, Steve Knowles from Pennine, also back & hoping to go one better. Throw in to the mix Holmfirth’s own Tim Brook (3rd in 2021) and recent recruit Phil Hinchcliffe & you had the makings of a great race at the front. As it turned out, they were all led out by Saddleworth’s Chris Phillips, who had built up a decent lead before falling & twisting his ankle on the dreaded tussocks on the descent to Butterly Clough. After checking Chris was OK, Rob James & Ruandh Mon-Williams of Ilkley Harriers battled it out for the win, which Ruandh claimed in a new record time of 47.05, with Rob close behind in 47.36 (also beating the previous record), whilst third place & 1st V40 went to Tim Brook, who finished in 50.20.
For the ladies, Helena Croft is certainly reaping the rewards of an excellent winter’s training, finishing 21st overall and 1st lady in 57.22. Further back, Judy Howells from Wharfedale finished 55th overall, 2nd lady, in a time of 67.09, whilst 3rd lady was Kath Farquhar, 58th overall in a time of 69.22.
We had 19 Harriers starting the race, so there were plenty of battles within battles around the course and top 3 category placings to go with them. Tim Street & Phil Hinchcliffe were close behind Tim Brook, in 5th & 6th places respectively, so scooped the team prize between them for Holmfirth. With Helena & Kath (1st FV50), Debbie Hall, finishing 70th overall, 6th lady & 1st FV40 completed the Holmfirth Ladies 1st place team. Elsewhere, Rob Kersey was 1st V70, with Bill Hunter 2nd V70 and Barbara Hinchliffe 1st FV60. And it was great to see some old faces returning (Logan Anderson & John Field to mention but two) & some new faces in amber on the fells (Simon Platts & club captain Damo)!
The other age category prizes were shared around a number of clubs, with Joe Lawrence (2 Para) 31st overall & 1st MU23, Steve Knowles from Pennine 11th overall & 1st V50, Dave Clarke (U/A) 33rd overall & 1st V60 and in a first for the race, Malcolm Coles (FRA) was 1st V80!
The food afterwards lived up to its pre-race billing &, thankfully, there was more than enough cake to go round! Everyone who had helped in any way was roundly thanked & we also showed our appreciation to Marsden Cricket Club for allowing us to use their clubhouse once again. Thanks also to the National Trust, Natural England & Yorkshire Water for once again allowing us to race over the beautiful Marsden Moor. Thanks also to Richard Smith at Up & Running Sheffield, who sponsored the race by providing us with the waterproof numbers. After yet another fire on the moor in the run-up to the race, we told the runners at the start of the race that we would be making a donation to the National Trust & I’m pleased to say that we are able to send them a cheque for £150 to help continue the valuable work they do in protecting the local environment.
Steve ‘Mozzie’ Frith was out snapping on the course once again & took some great shots of the runners up on the catch. The link to his photo feed is below – if you like a particular shot, then let him know & perhaps drop him a donation – he’s raising funds for Mountain Rescue Search Dogs:
A couple of other “local” photos are also attached below and in our gallery.
Results (Holmfirth unless stated): 1st – Ruandh Mon-Williams (Ilkley Harriers), 47.05; 3rd & 1st V40 – Tim Brook, 50.20; 5th – Tim Street, 51.37; 6th – Phil Hinchcliffe, 51.59; 21st & 1st Lady – Helena Croft, 57.22; 22nd – Adam Wakelin, 57.31; 24th – Adam Sunderland, 58.02; 34th – Wayne Byram, 61.52; 41st – Simon Platts, 63.30; 51st – Ian Goulding, 66.07; 52nd – Keith Baird, 66.23; 58th & 1st FV50 – Kath Farquhar, 69.22; 68th & 1st V70 – Rob Kersey, 71.43; 70th & 1st FV40 – Debbie Hall, 72.16; 73rd & 1st FV60 – Barbara Hinchliffe, 73.13; 80th – Logan Anderson, 75.44; 83rd – Damian McQueen, 76.09; 97th & 2nd V70 – Bill Hunter, 81.37 & 100th – John Field, 83.14 (119 finishers).