Calder Valley Fell Runners produced some superb performances at various races across the region last weekend.
Blackshawhead star Jo Waites demonstrated her class by winning the 23-mile Rombald Stride Winter Challenge for the fourth consecutive year, making light work of the tough terrain in a superb time of 3hrs 9mins.
After recent tribulations with injury, Waites is now firing on all cylinders once more and can no doubt look forward to many more victories.
Elsewhere, the first club championship race of the year visited the Mickleden Straddle, held at Langsett, 10 miles south west of Barnsley.
Ladies’ club captain Helen Fines romped home to take the females’ prize with a stunning new course record of 1:54:24.
The race is not for the faint-hearted with 14.3 miles and 2431 feet of climb. The fact that Fines finished 14nth overall gives an idea of the quality of the race.
Fines was well supported by Jackie Scarf and Helen Buchan, enabling Calder Valley to take the ladies’ team prize.
More laurels followed in the men’s race with a fantastic Calder Valley one-two.
Tim Ellis beat a strong field to win in 1:39:27 and club captain Ben Mounsey was not far behind in second place. The men’s team were second overall.
Completing the clean sweep was Jason Williams, who won the Lads Leap Fell Race, held at Crowden just off the Snake Pass.
This illustrated that fell racing isn’t all about speed, especially in a thick fog with various route options.
Williams combined sound navigation and common sense, a touch of fortune, and a sterling second half to come in first.
A few of the leading pack got lost, including local fireman and top runner Shaun Godsman, who mislaid his bearings upon the moor.
Mickleden Straddle – CVFR finishers: 1.Tim Ellis 1:39:27, 2.Ben Mounsey 1:41:10, 13.Tim Black 1:53:25, 14.Helen Fines 1:54:24, 15.Ian Symington 1:54:38, 17. Graeme Brown 1:54:48, 26.Stephen Smithies 2:00:20, 32.Robert Paradise 2:03:25, 40) Mark Wharton 2:07:22, 44.Martyn Huddleston 2:08:14, 67.Phil Scarf 2:14:45, 80.Richard Sutherland 2:16:18, 87.Tim Brooks 2:18:18, 95.Michael Dean 2:19:40, 96.Brian Horsley 2:20:28, 104.Mike Wardle 2:21:45, 116.Andy Thorpe 2:35:35, 128.Ryan Colbeck 2:26:54, 130.Jackie Scarf 2:27:26, 135.Helen Buchan 2:28:45, 137.Kate Mansell 2:28:50, 153.Martin Whitehead 2:32:67, 167.Dave Culpan 2:38:12, 172.Jimmy Oldfield 2:39:29, 177.Louise Marix Evans 2:40:18, 179.Tony Steward 2:41:35, 203.Gillian Wisbey 2:50:32, 204.Toby Sydes 2:50:43.
The 2013 Yorkshire Veterans Athletics Grand Prix got under way with the first race hosted by Horsforth Harriers.
It was held on a tough cross country course of around five miles, which was a hilly mix of fields, woodland and plenty of mud.
Stainland Lions were keen to build on last season’s showing and fielded 23 runners among the 200 starters.
This series of races attracts runners from some of the strongest clubs in the county with its friendly atmosphere and fierce competition for the various individual age groups and team prizes.
Stainland put up an excellent showing in spite of having a lengthy injury list and many members in the throes of their long distance training for spring marathons.
Their women filled five of the top 20 places with Tanya Seager having an excellent run, as she has done all throughout the winter cross-country season.
She finished fourth lady and first F35 in 35 mins 37 secs, only 48 secs behind the winner, Pudsey’s Karen Pickles.
Next lady home for the Lions was Amanda Zito in seventh and first F45 in 39:30, followed by an amazing performance from Aileen Baldwin to take 11th place overall and first F60, only a day after after she had finished as first F60 in the 22 mile Rombalds Stride across Ilkley Moor.
Baldwin was followed for the Lions by Sally Caton in 41:45 for 13th place and a good run from Louise Turner saw her push into 19th place in 43:39.
First man home for the Lions was Tristan Sheard, rapidly regaining his form after last season’s injuries and showing the course was well suited to his fell running talents by finishing in 20th postion in 34:50.
He was followed by John Bassinder in 37:02 and Dick Spendlove, in his first race for his new second claim club, who came home in 38:40.
Other Stainland runners: Mark Preston 41:04, John Thompson 41:59, John Hirst 45:10, Paul Patrick 45:51, Steve Hallam 45:52, Karen Marsella 46:19, Steve Crowther 47:12, Dave Hudson 48:06, Jonathan Taylor 48:54, Steve Boyer 49:04, Alan Gibson 53:16, Alison Pearson 55:47, Dawn Medlock 55:49, Carol Lord 56:16 and Jackie Barker 61:00.
Halifax Harriers’ Linda Crabtree made a welcome return to racing, finishing in 46:00 with team mates Peter McCormick (50:03) and Fiona Murphy (51:29) behind.