England call-up for Calder Valley trio

TWO of Calder Valley’s leading runners have been been selected to represent England at the International Snowdon Race in July.

Elland schoolteacher Ben Mounsey and Haworth GP Jo Buckley have been in the form of their lives this year, with both runners winning races and setting new records and PB’s.

Mounsey has stepped up his number of Lakeland races this year and the bigger climbs and harder underfoot conditions have paid off and catapulted Mounsey into the top 10 of English Fell Running.

Buckley, on the other hand, has been representing her second claim club Bingley Harriers at cross country and in road races and the faster paced running has paid dividends on the fells.

With only four men and three women making it into the national team, it’s quite an achievement for the Calder club to have two runners wearing the England vest. This is even more remarkable considering that Calder’s club captain Helen Fines was also picked to represent England in the world long distance mountain race in Solvenia which takes place this weekend.

Fines and Mounsey were in action at the Hebden Bridge Fell Race and it was fitting that the two international runners won the race in new course record times.

The race started in Hebden Bridge Park and wound up through woodland, before runners picked up the Pennine Way to Stoodley Pike. The route then took runners across Erringden Moor, before it dropped back to the finish field, a six mile run with 1,200 feet of ups and downs.

There was a big turn out from Calder Valley with 46 of the 166 who turned out affiliated to the club. Mounsey cruised to victory in 42:37, with Calder’s Gav Mulholland second in 44:02. Todmorden’s Sean Carey was third, with club mate John Wright first V40 in fourth.

Jason Stevens and Tim Black enjoyed a good tussle, with the veteran runner just able to pass Black on the final climb, the two men finishing just six seconds apart in sixth and seventh in 45:27 and 45:33. Andy Thorpe ran well, especially considering he still had the weekend’s epic Duddon Fell Race in his legs, finishing in eigth in 45:57.

With three men in the top six, Mounsey, Mullholland and Stevens won the club prizes.

In the ladies race, it was even more emphatic with Calder Valley taking the top three places, despite a strong showing from Stainland and Todmorden.

Fines took the course record in 51:48, but it was great to see Anne Johnson back racing with a solid second place in 55:15. Performance of the day from the ladies may have been from Joanna Porter, the Hubberton based web developer, surprising Johnson with a strong finish in 55:33.

As the race was a counter in Calder Valleys club championship, there were some great performances from the club’s most improved runner Jake Roy and Jon Emberton, who turned 50 last week.

CALDER Valley athletes Phil and Jackie Scarf, along with Cragg Vale friend Doug Gurr, completed 42 Lakeland peaks in under 24 hours in the Bob Graham Round event.

With invaluable support from many fellow club members and friends along the whole route, Jackie finished first of the trio in 23:35, followed by Gurr, then Phil in 23:42.