Valley ladies tame Scotland’s Devil

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CALDER Valley Fell Runners enjoyed yet more team success in the final counter of the British Championships, the “Devil’s Beeftub” in Scotland.

This race was the only short counter in the series, a bruising two mile race with 750 feet of climb. With two medium counters and a long counter in Wales, Nothern Ireland and England this was a long way to go for a two mile race.

Calder Valley Ladies claimed a notable success as they had enough counting runners to secure team gold, with Anne Johnson producing a brilliant performance for fourth spot.

Clare Kenny, in 13th and Sharon Godsman in 15th made up the team scoring. Other female Calder Valley finishers were Linda Crabtree and Linda Murgatroyd in 16th and 18th place respectively.

The winner of the ladies race was Keswick’s Pippa Maddams, the leading lady for the third year in a row.

In the hotly contested men’s race Borrowdale’s Morgan Donnelly was crowned men’s British champion for the first time with new English champion Lloyd Taggart in second.

The field that followed was a mass of confusion as the chasing pack behind the two leaders took the wrong route near the summit of the last climb because of the poor visibility and conditions on the high ground. Unfortunately this group of around 15 runners contained three of Calder’s elite runners, Shaun Godsman, Ben Mounsey and Gavin Mulholland, who all lost valuable time and position. Ultimately it cost the local club team medals in the championship as they lost out to rival club Mercia on the day.

Godsman eventually finished 11th after a blistering start to the race with Mounsey 22nd, James Logue 25th and Gavin Mulholland 26th. The men’s team finished in an agonising fourth place overall in the championships and missed out on a bronze medal for the second year in succession.

There was, however, something to celebrate for the men as super-vet Steve Oldfield finished in 42nd place and second V50 overall on the day. He finished the season in bronze medal position after yet another successful year.

Other Calder Valley finishers were Tim Black in 32nd, Mark Goldie 39th, Steve Smithies 41st, Brian Horsley 79th and Jimmy Oldfield 94th.

BEN Mounsey made a bold bid to defend his off road Yorkshireman Half Marathon title by trying to win the event for the fifth time in six years.

The race started and finished in Haworth with runners visiting the windmills above Ogden reservoir before returning back across the moor via Oxenhope.

In extremely windy conditions he led the field for the first 14 miles and built up a commanding lead over the rest of the opposition. Unfortunately, he suffered from cramp on the remaining mile and paid the price for racing two days in succession after a lengthy lay off through injury.

n the end he had to settle for second place as Abbey Runners’ Matthew John took the win for the first time. Stainland Lions John Bassinder was also an impressive 43rd in the same race.

Quentin Lewis of Baildon took the win in the Yorkshireman full marathon with excellent results for Stainland’s Roger Fleming in 39th and Jimmy Smith in 46th. However, the star performer for the club was once again Aileen Baldwin who at nearly 60 years of age proved she can still compete with the best as she finished ninth lady overall.

Halifax Harriers’ over 45 ladies team consisting of Linda Crabtree, Katrina Oddy and Elizabeth Mitchell were the outstanding team for the Calderdale club at the Yorkshire Veterans Road Relay Championships at Saltaire where they ran superbly to finish second overall.

First away for Halifax was Crabtree who ran strongly to finish in 20:16, then Oddy took over with an excellent run, coming home in 19:07, with the final runner, Mitchell, making it back in 20:53 to secure thew silver medals.

The race took place in and around Roberts Park on a mixture of tarmac and gravel paths as well as on the canal and riverside. Each runner ran a lap of 2.9 miles with the changeover on the central promenade of the park.

Results for the other teams representing Halifax Harriers were: Ladies over 35 - (8th), Mens over 35 - (5th), Mens over 40 ‘A’ team - (7th), Mens over 40 ‘B’ team - (10th), Mens over 50 team - (9th).