Godsman beats 200-plus field

Pictures:''Shaun Godsman leads the way at Windy Hill
Pictures:''Shaun Godsman leads the way at Windy Hill

CALDER Valley Fell Runners’ small contingent made a big impact at last Saturday’s Windy Hill Fell Race at Littleborough.

Shaun Godsman and Alex Whittem filled first and third places in a field of 203 with Rob James of Royton Road Runners sandwiched between them.

At nine miles and 1281 feet of elevation this course is a real favourite with its fast trails and runnable fells and it always lives up to its name.

Godsman won by more than a minute in 1.02.01 with Alice Swift of Chorlton Runners the first woman home.

Sleet, thick fog and strong winds made it tough for the brave runners that set out at Hollingworth Lake. The race takes the runners up to Blackstone Edge, across the moor to Windy Hill and then gradually down to the finish.

Godsman and Whittem took the lead from the off, and battled with one another and James for much of the way round before the former gradually pulled away.

Godsman said modestly: “I just ran and managed to get in front.”

With deep bogs and sections along the top of the moor where visibility was only 10 or 15 metres, it was a good effort to finish in such a good time.

Not too far behind was Calder Valley’s Stephen Smithies, who battled with fell running legend Darren Fishwick for much of the way and finished 23rd, making him the first V50 home.

Together the Calder three secured the men’s team prize.

Ben Cliff, who is not just new to Calder Valley but is new to running, had an excellent result in what is only his fourth fell race. He finished 48th, demonstrating some real potential.

First back for Todmorden Harriers was Howard Darwin in 49th place. He was fourth v50. Sarah Vickers was first FV35 in 63rd overall.

Todmorden results: 49, Howard Darwin 1:20:02; 63, Sarah Vickers 1:23:04; 64, Chris Dewhirst 1:23:21; 77, Stuart Wolstenholme 1:25:54.

Skipton Cross-Country League and other athletics reportsw in Friday’s ‘Courier’