Lee Mills Relay 2023

Men’s V50’s Victorious in Lee Mill Relays

Another year past and a superb showing from Holmfirth as 4 teams, 15 runners, ventured over the border into deepest Lancashire for the Lee Mills Relay race this past Sunday, 26th November 2023.

Given the nature of this race you may think that the number wishing to run would diminish, but far from it, with many of the 2022 teams coming back for more and we were able to field a Men’s A & B, Men’s V50 and Ladies teams!!!

There are 4 legs, each leg is the same, approximately 6.3 miles and 1200ft climb.

It is a moorland route, so no high mountains to climb, but it still very challenging terrain.

A quick start on some tracks before a slight detour on the 2022 route for safety reasons up and through the quarry, before heading out on to moors where there were plenty of mud and bogs of varying depth. Many of the trails and bogs were frozen which offered a different challenge to years past but there were still enough out there to see you end up thigh high deep in mud and with some nice reminders on the legs where you had gone through the icy tops!

The route after the start was very much as before with a long boggy drag to the trig point, before more mud and bog to a short steep descent followed quickly by an even steeper ascent leading to even more mud and bogs before the run back along the tracks into the finish.

The race conditions in late November can be very challenging and after lots of recent heavy rain, the bogs and mud were in tip top condition if you were unfortunate enough to find one not frozen, but the competitors themselves were treated to a crisp, almost windless, dry day.

The Club tent on days like these is a real blessing and thank you to everyone who assisted in grabbing a cracking spot next to the start line and helping to dismantle at the end.

Leg 1 saw Phil Hewitt first home for the men’s A team in 59.13 despite taking a slightly scenic route up on the tops. Second back was Michael for the Men’s B Team, just 45 secs behind. Helena ran a superb first leg of 1.01.20 which being the first of her two back-to-back legs, was incredibly 11 secs quicker than the time she ran in 2022. The ever-colourful Chris Beadle continued his recent excellent form (must be the new socks) returning in 1.03.23. for the V50’s.

Leg 2 witnessed Paul Sammonds running his first fell race (what a race to choose!!). He ran a very respectable 1.03.07 for the Men’s A team, chased hard all the way by Adam Wakelin for the V50’s who completed his leg in 59.01. Helena, in completing her second leg, personified grit, determination, fitness, and sheer commitment to the team and despite some nasty confrontations with the bogs finished the second leg in a magnificent 1.03.57, truly outstanding!! Mark Wilson ran for the Men’s B Team and finished in an excellent 1.05.52 on the back of not a lot of recent training.

Leg 3 brought out the big guns for the Men’s Team with Tommy Holroyd running the fastest time of the day for the Club with a superb 53.47. Bob Dickinson cemented the V50’s position with a solid 1.02.02, another great performance. Bragging rights in the Cromwell household were up for grabs on this leg with Sophie and Louis both taking on leg 3 and setting off within sight of each other. In a very fitting finale to the leg, they crossed the line together both posting superb times and galvanising their teams’ positions.

Leg 4 saw Tim Brook bring the men’s team home in 12th position overall finishing his leg in 54.43 after a rather late night the previous evening! The ever-consistent Adam Sunderland brought home the V50’s team for their win in a superb 59.59, some two minutes quicker than the previous year. James Washington managed to stay to the route this year and put to bed the last 12 months nightmares and counselling sessions to finish the leg in an excellent 58.14, Fran Whitworth brought the Ladies Team home in second position and despite some deep bog trouble, finished her leg in a very respectable 1.09.10.

Individual results are below:

Men’s A – Phillip Hewitt 00:59:13, Paul Sammonds 01:03:07, Tommy Holroyd 00:53:47, Tim Brook 00:54:43 – 12th in 3.50.50
Men’s V50 – Chris Beadle 01:03:23, Adam Wakelin 00:59:01, Bob Dickinson 01:02:02, Adam Sunderland 00:59:59 – 17th in 4.04.25
Men’s B – Michael Sanderson 00:59:58, Mark Wilson 01:05:52, Louis Cromwell 01:09:21, James Washington 00:58:14 – 20th in 4.13.25
Ladies – Helena Croft 01:01:20, Helena Croft 01:03:57, Sophie Cromwell 01:09:54, Fran Whitworth 01:09:10 – 29th in 4.24.21

Full results are here: Lee Mills Results 2023

Paul Sammonds

Adam Wakelin

Helena Croft

Mark Wilson

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