Ace Mulholland drives on to Holmfirth win

Calder Valley’s Gavin Mulholland ran a superb race at the Ian Roberts Fell Race near Holmfirth when he beat Alistair Rees and James Durran of the host club to take a well deserved victory.

The 6.4 mile route takes in some difficult terrain and most of the 850’ climb comes in one short, difficult haul up the local Pule hill.

The Calderdale teacher looks to be in the same form that saw him really establish himself as one of Calder Valley’s top runners towards the latter stages of last year when he beat Karl Gray.

In the women’s race Holmfirth’s Katie Walshaw had a spectacular run, finishing first and in fourth place overall in a new course record.

Helen Fines was third lady, with Holmfirth’s Helen Berry coming in second.

All eyes now turn to the Lads Leap Fell Race on Saturday when Calder Valley’s fell runners will be rubbing shoulders with the country’s top men and women in the first counting race of the 2012 English championships.

Stainland Lions used the race as a club championship counter so there was a good turnout of runners including quite a few trying their luck on the fells for the first time.

First home for Stainland, and getting back to his best following his last year’s injury problems, was Tristan Sheard in 56:42, followed by Dan Marsden 1:00:26 and Colin Hughes 1:04:52.

Underlining the battle for club points within the Stainland team, Hughes was followed just four seconds behind by John Bassinder, who was in turn just a further two seconds ahead of Martin O’Brien.

Mhairi-Clare Lyons was their first lady across the line with a great run in only her second fell race, finishing in 1:07:41. Second Stainland lady was Moira Alderson 1:25:16, and third, in her first ever fell race, Lisa Richardson 1:32:37.

Other Lions: Mark Preston 1:10:17, Paul Patrick 1:11:21, Paul Beverley 1:16:51, Steve Boyer 1:22:23, Jonathan Taylor 1:26:32, Brian Crowther 1:37:43, Jackie Barker 1:39:35 and Rachel Whiteley 1:55:23.

A SMALL band of Stainland Lions travelled to Cumbria to join 350 others for the Dentdale run which takes place over 14.3 hilly miles of mostly quiet lanes and byways.

First home for Stainland was Helen Lambert finishing this run in 1hr 59mins and 15secs, followed by Diane Waite 2:00:44, Alan Gibson 2:13:00 and Eileen Hiller first F65 in 2:15:45.

A MIXTURE of runners and walkers, some running solo and others running in pairs, set out from the famous steep cobbled street in Haworth to take part in the Haworth Hobble challenge.

The run/walk takes runners over Haworth Moor, Widdop, Todmorden, Lumbutts, Hebden Bridge and Hardcastle Crags, before returning to Haworth, a distance of 33 miles with over 4,000 feet of Pennine undulations.

Calder Valley’s Jason Stevens led the race from the windmills in Cliviger until the climb into Shackleton Knoll, despite a navigational blunder on the Todmorden Centenary Way and an inexplicable error when he missed the more gradual climb to Stoodley Pike from London Road, opting instead for the steeper more direct ascent.

Chester triathlete Duncan Harris ran a better paced race and the result would not have been in doubt as Harris passed Stevens with four miles to go.

Stevens added to his woes when he took a wrong turn in Penistone quarry and ended up adding a further five minutes to his time with an extra climb through the centre of Haworth back to the race finish.

It was a mixed day for the other competing Calder Valley runners; Anne Johnson and Chris Mawdsley had to retire through injury and Steve Smithies and Mark Goldie were reduced to walking when a knee injury stymied Smithies progress.

Simon Bourne had a decent run to finish in 13th and Kevin Hoult and Martin Huddlestone were well placed in the pairs class.

Lee Shimwell and Alex Cornish and long distance stalwarts Johnnie Watson, Phil and Jackie Scarf, Linda Murgatroyd and Clare Kenny enjoyed successful completions. Other Calder finishers were Jon Hairsine, Charlie Boyce, Peter Fitzpatrick and Philip Jones.