On the 25th July Holmfirth Harriers hosted the Holme Moss Fell Race again from Cartworth Moor Cricket Club near Holmfirth. After the cancellation last year due to the Covid pandemic, we were blessed that this was the first weekend where Covid restrictions had been completely removed.
The Covid restrictions did force us to make all entries pre-entry for the first time. However, this had the benefit of enabling us to contact all the runners before the race to emphasise all the runner requirements. The consequence of that was that the parking, kit check, race registration and start check all ran very smoothly.
After the predictions of thunderstorm earlier in the week, there was great relief that the weather was almost perfect, especially for the marshals at the checkpoints. The recent hot weather meant the underfoot conditions were good, with just the odd bog to keep it interesting.
The race is a tough ‘A Long’ category event over the Pennines, covering nearly 18 miles and 4000 feet of ascent and descent. The route goes from Cartworth Moor to Holme Moss, then over Tooleyshaw Moss and White Low to a water station at Crowden. It then climbs up to Bareholme, drops precariously down to Crowden Great Brook, then steeply up to the Pennine Way via the steep climb up Laddow Rocks. The route then follows the Pennine Way to Black Hill before turning back to Holme Moss again, then returns to the finish at Cartworth Moor Cricket Club.
From the 128 race entries 101 runners started the race.
Before reaching Laddow Rocks, the mens’ race was closely fought between Karl Gray and Gavin Mulholland from Calder Valley Fell Runners and Nathan Edmondson from Ilkley Harriers. By the second visit to Holme Moss, Karl and Gavin had broken clear of Nathan. From Holme Moss to the finish, Karl ran strongly to open up a gap of over 3 minutes, to win the race for the 3rd time in 2:40:30.
Karl Gray (91), Gavin Mulholland (92) and Nathan Edmondson
The ladies’ race was fought all the way to the finish between Kate MacFarlane from Penny Lane Striders and Imogen Jones from Pennine Fell Runners. They were given the same time of 3:30:42 as they crossed the crossed the line, and the decision was made to award the trophy to Kate.
Kate MacFarlane (55) and Imogen Jones (72)
While waiting for the results all the runners and helpers were rewarded with drinks and a great spread of food, plus a commemorative recyclable cup. Many thanks to all 52 marshals and helpers and the people who donated cakes and raffle prizes from Holmfirth Harriers. Also, thanks to Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, for whom we raised £310, plus all the land owners and stakeholders and our sponsor Brooklands Nursery at Totties.
Six Harriers took part in the race. Holmfirth Results:
13th Michael Sanderson, 3:29:10, 48th V45 Graeme Smith, 4:08:28, 74th 1st V70 Rob Kersey, 4:49:13, 78th V45 Nick Helm, 5:00:36, 79th 3rd FV60 Karen Sinkinson 5:03:41, 93rd 3rd FV50 Ruth Churchill Dower, 5:39:41.
Michael Sanderson (No 10 – Holmfirth)
Full Results are available on the Event Page