Calder Valley’s men took the team prize at the deceptively named Good Shepherd Fell Race at Mytholmroyd on Saturday morning.
A lung-bursting 14 mile race across empty hill sides, including two tough ascents of Stoodley Pike, had a healthy entry of 99 runners.
Starting out from Dauber Bridge in Cragg Vale, Calder Valley’s men disappeared into a veil of damp fog which threatened to lead the Shepherd’s flock astray on the long, unflagged sections across Withins Moor.
A four man group quickly pulled away from the pack. It was led by Calder Valley’s Tim Ellis, closely followed by club mate James Logue, along with Chris Farrell of Horwich Harriers and Pudsey and Bramley’s Richard Pattinson.
The visiting runners, perhaps mindful of the Sherlock Holmes-style peasouper, tucked-in behind the locals, allowing Ellis and Logue to shepherd them round the unmarked parts of the route.
Eventually Farrell and Logue pushed ahead of Elllis and Farrell seized victory in 1:41:33, and snatched the course record from Logue, who crossed the line only nine seconds behind. Ellis was third, just ahead of Pattinson.
Calder Valley’s dark horse Graeme Brown surely marked his card for A team selection in sixth (01:46:35) to help clinch the team prize.
Paul Hobbs led the Todmorden Harrers contingent home in 10th place in 1:59:54.
Lorraine Hopley of Rossendale won the women’s race in 02:14:53.
The rest of field filtered back having enjoyed yet another great dayout on the South Pennine moors, to be greeted by volunteers offering soup and drinks.
Organisers of this wonderful charity fund-raiser, hosted by the Good Shepherd church, can now look forward to its 10th anniversary with optimism, as the event re-establishes itself in the fell running calendar.
Local results (Calder Valley unless stated): 2 James Logue 1:41:42, 3 Tim Ellis 1:41:51, 6 Graeme Brown 1:46:35, 8 Ian Symington 1:54:47, 9 Joe Washington 1:54:55, 10 Paul Hobbs (Tod Harriers) 1:54:57, 13 Joseph Crossfield 1:56:46, 19 Liam Gough 1:59:39, 21 Dan Taylor (Tod Harriers) 1:59:54, 23 Jonathan Emberton 2:00:18, 26 Bill Johnson 2:02:02, 27 Paul Biddulph 2:02:12, 47 Tim Brooks 2:17:22, 59 Michael Dean 2:29:30, 66 Tony Steward 2:31:24, 67 Andrew Meek 2:31:37, 70 Brian Horsley 2:32:18, 81 David Leslie (Tod Harriers) 2:46:01, 89 Sue Roberts (Tod Harriers) 2:58:34, 97 Reg Czudek (Tod Harriers) 3:42:00.
Calder Valley’s Alex Whittem was 20th in 1:24:48 and Trevor Murgatroyd 33rd in 1:38:30 at the Scafell Pike race, a very steep and technical 4.5 mile race in the Lake District.
Low cloud made navigation a challenge and the ground was very wet.
Hunters Bog Trotters’ Murray Strain led a field of 58 homeand women’s winner Hazel Robinson (Ambleside) was an amazing ninth overall.
Valley’s Liam Gough came third in 22.28 and Robert Paradise seventh in 23:45 at Sunday’s three-mile Beefys Nab race at Leeming near Oxenhope.
Wharfedale had a 1-2 through Mark Sennett (21:44) and Paul Crabtree (22:06).
Paradise turned out again on the same day, finishing 12th in the 2.75 mile Embsay Fell Race near Skipton in 22:48.
James Kershaw was 25th in 24:38 and Dave Hammond 29th in 24:55, Trevor Murgatroyd clocked 26:01 in 35th and Sharon Godsman was 49th in 27:55.Charley Godsman was 18th in the under 14 race in 20:46 and Ben Godsman 23rd in the under 12 race in 11:11.