Athletics: Mulholland drives himself to victory

Calder Valley Fell Runners kicked off their annual club championship with the first long race of the series at the Long Distance Walker's Hebden race.

The event is open to both runners and walkers alike and for most participants it is a good opportunity to get out into the Calderdale countryside and participate in a friendly, sociable walk. For Calder's fell runners the event was much more competitive with runners competing for local pride as well as points in the club championships.

The race itself started in Mytholmroyd and climbed to Old Town, followed by a section through Hardcastle Crags to Blackshaw Head. From there the event crossed Erringden Moor before a long loop around Cragg Vale took participants back to the finish.

Gavin Mulholland, winner of last year's club championships, continued from where he left off with a fine first place, finishing the 22 mile route in a very swift 3:04.

Ben Mounsey was second in 3:09 with Simon Bourne fourth man and third Calder Valley runner in 3:15. Linda Murgatroyd, Barbara Lonsdale and Jackie Scarf crossed the line together in 4:14.

CVFR Times: Gavin Mulholland - 3:04, Ben Mounsey - 3:09, Simon Bourne - 3:15, Kevin Hoult -3:15, Garry Traviss - 3:31, Stephen Grimley - 3:36, Paul Biddulph - 3:42, Charlie Boyce - 4:05, Graham Dyson - 4:09, Linda Murgatroyd - 4:14, Craig Worley - 4:14, Barbara Lonsdale - 4:14, Tim Hayles - 4:14, Jackie Scarf - 4:14, Clare Kenny - 4:38, Martin Whitehead - 4:46, Dave Culpan - 4:48, John Riley - 4:54, Linda Hayles - 4:54, Philip Jones - 5:00, Jeremy Wilkinson - 5:13, Neil Croasdell - 5:13 , Helen Lambert - 5:54.

A NUMBER of Calder Valley Fell Runners competed in the Stanbury Splash, one of the popular annual races which are put on by former fell running husband and wife team Dave and Eileen Woodhead.

The race marked the first time since 1996 that the phenomenal Ian Holmes of Bingley Harriers has not won the event. This year the 45 year old just lost out to the much younger Chris Steele of Borrowdale and Stuart Bond of Dark Peak.

Calder Valley's Steve Oldfield was first Vet 50 and first Calder man to show while in the ladies race Jo Buckley put in a phenomenal run to outsprint team mate Helen Fines and win by over a minute.

This was a great result and it is already looking like the competition to be the top lady is going to be a closely contested battle.

TWO half marathons both challenged and split the loyalties of the Stainland Lions running club.

With some excellent running conditions for this time of year, fast times were on the cards and the Lions rose to the challenge.

The Knavesmire Brass Monkey half marathon in York proved popular and places were filled within five hours of entries opening.

Julie Field produced the outstanding run, finishing in 1:30:01 and destroying her previous personal best of 1:36:48 at Liversedge 2010 and showing good form ahead of the London Marathon.

Mark Pigford opened his season purposefully claiming both the overall and M40 club record for the half marathon in an impressive 1:21:01. All time personal bests were achieved by many other club runners including Jon Collins, David Hutchings, Dave Webb, Maria Harron, Jimmy Smith and Paul Patrick.

Stainland results: Mark Pigford 1:21:01, Jonathan Collins 1:24:12, David Hutchings 1:26:21, Dave Webb 1:26:40, Jess Riley 1:29:26, Julie Field 1:30:01, Maria Harron 1:36:54, Mark Preston 1:37:10, Jimmy Smith 1:37:39, Diane Waite 1:40:36, Paul Patrick 1:43:18, John Hirst 1:45:31, Roger Fleming 1:46:59, Sally Caton 1:55:32, Sue Barritt 2:00:51

The Shell Four Villages half marathon in Helsby, Cheshire saw 1626 finishers and amongst them was Sue Manning who achieved a personal best by an impressive 10 minutes.

The pinnacle in increased performance was reserved for Amanda Speight, slicing a huge 30 minutes off her time achieved at the Great North Run. Lesley Henderson achieved an admirable fourth place in her age category and Wendy Goodwin achieved a personal best easing comfortably under two hours.

Stainland results: Julie Hollingdrake 1:47:38, Susan Manning 1:46:55, Wes Dale 1:49:21, Alan Gibson 1:49:42, Wendy Goodwin 1:57:20, Janet Carter 1:57:42, Amanda Speight 1:58:39, Amanda Taylor 2:00:26, Lesley Henderson 2:01:54, Carol Lord 2:03:12, Stephen Dodd 2:09:58, Judith Greenwood 2:12:47, Lynne Carlin 2:17:15, Julia Newsome 2:17:28, Stephen Gorman 2:19:38, Avril Smith 2:45:57.