The highlight of this week’s local running calendar was without a doubt the Mytholmroyd Fell Race, sponsored by Vocation Brewery.
Although the sun finally came out to play, after recent heavy rainfall, the 10-km/6.2-mile course had its fair share of puddles deep enough to half drown shorter runners.
This muddy race, expertly organised by Calder Valley FR’s Phill and Harley Beecroft, includes 411m/1348ft of climbing to keep runners warm in the December chill and a free can of beer for all runners at the end.
This year, 166 runners reached the finish line. Ribble Valley Harriers’ Josh Boyle and Bingley Harriers’ MV50 Ian Holmes battled to the end, to take first and second places, finishing in an incredibly fast 47:19 and 47:25 respectively.
Todmorden’s Andrew Worster took third place, with Calder Valley’s Martin Howard, in his first race back after an ankle injury, running well to finish fifth and first under-23 in 50:16.
Despite strong runs from Calder Valley’s Paul Haigh and Elliot Corner, who both ran sub-55-minute races to finish 15th and 16th overall, Todmorden Harriers pipped calder Valley to the men’s team prize by three places. Both teams were a long way in front of third-placed Wharfedale.
Worster was among 23 Harriers who took part in the contest from Burnley road up to Wicken Hill, Churn Milk Joan and over to Crow Hill.
Worster clocked 48.28 and Chris Goddard and Duncan Cannon completed the successful Todmorden team.
Rosa Blackwell was the first Tod lady back in 1.07.32 and was sixth female overall.
Other good performances from Calder Valley included Mark Wharton, who came in just shy of 59 minutes to finish 25th overall (fourth MV50), Steve Morran in 57th (second MV60) and Joanna Stevens in 77th and 10th woman over the line.
Fifteen Stainland Lions took part including the unstoppable Aileen Baldwin, who completed the race despite having done the 23 mile Regular Irregular the previous day.
Stainland ladies’ team took third prize, and Ed Hyland finished in eighth place overall, which he said was “not bad for a road runner.”
Queensbury RC’s Stacey Cleal came 76th and was ninth female while clubmate Andrew Smith came 161st in 1:47:48.
Stainland Lions times: Ed Hyland 51:52, Richard Hand 1:00:08, Leon Severn 1:01:31, Clare Smith 1:07:49, Andrew Earnshaw 1:08:14, Dave Culpan 1:10:22, Jim Harris 1:11:15, Paul Patrick 1:12:09, Martin O’Brien 1:15:22, Aileen Baldwin 1:18:10, Virginia Young 1:23:17, Paula Statham-Drake 1:27:14, Steve Boyer 1:30:11, Angela Lee 1:32:39, John Hirst 1:34:00
Todmorden Harriers times: 3, Andrew Worster 48.28; 12, Chris Goddard 54:26; 20, Duncan Cannon 57:35; 37, Dom Leckie 1:01:31; 41, Tristam Langlois 1:03:20; 42, Rob Holdsworth 1:03:25; 49, Darren Graham 1:04:18; 55, Stuart Wolstenholme 1:05:00; 56, Andy Forbes 1:05:11; 62, Anthony De Hevingham 1:06:48; 67, Rosa Blackwell 1:07:32; 78, Peter Bowles 1:08:53; 81, Duncan Ritchie 1:09:50; 83, Ricky Parish 1:10:00; 84, Robert Halstead 1:10:14; 87, Mark Whitaker 1:10:37; 100, Ian Maclachlan 1:13:08; 108, Robin Gray 1:15:09; 120, Derek Donohue 1:17:29; 134, Kim Ashworth 1:21:37; 141, Simon Anderton 1:24:34; 148, Sue Roberts 1:28:42; 165, Rosie Holdsworth 2:03:09.