Harriers draw praise for successful Calderdale event

The massed start of the Calderdale Way Relay
The massed start of the Calderdale Way Relay

One thousand runners descended upon Calderdale to take part in the Calderdale Way Relay, organised by Halifax Harriers.

Starting at Clay House in West Vale, the 50 mile circular route takes in Norland Moor, Cragg Vale, Stoodley Pike, Todmorden, Blackshaw Head, Wainstalls, Shibden Valley and Shelf before returning to the finish at Heath Rugby Club.

The course is split into six legs, with teams of 12 running in pairs.

The pace was furious leaving Clay House and by the time runners reached the top of Norland Moor, the leaders, Gethin Butler and David Rigby of Preston held a commanding lead. They arrived first into the Cragg Vale as they had done last year with Andy Fleet and Adam Breaks from Calder Valley lead ingthe chasers, some six minutes down.

By the time the leaders reached Blackshaw Head it was Sale Harriers who were in front with Preston in second. Clayton le Moors got away in third but Todmorden, just a few minutes behind could clearly smell blood.

At Wainstalls the first three were in a settled order that would remain right to the finish and Sale arrived triumphantly at Heath Rugby club in a time of 6:15:46 seconds.

Clayton le Moors overcame their moment of adversity to finish second with Robin Tuddenham bringing the baton home for Todmorden Harriers in third.

First Ladies team home was Wharfedale Harriers in a time of 7:52:15.

Stainland Lions gave strong support with 60 members running in five teams.

The Stainland “A team” of six men and six ladies finished 11th position overall, in a total time of 7hrs 6mins and 47secs.

Tanya Seager and Lucy Thompson excelled on leg five picking up Ł100 prize money at the end for beating the Harriers’ target time of 62

minutes for a ladies pair by finishing in 61:58.

Other runners in the mixed team were; Leg 1; Steve Hall and Mark Pottinger, Leg 2; Mark Pigford and Ed Hyland, Leg 3; Amanda Zito and Emma Panton, Leg 4; Julie Field and Danielle Kobak, and Leg 6; Richard Hand and Tristan Sheard.

There was also an exceptional display of Stainland team spirit from Lion Steve Boyer who, having run the Sowerby scorcher the previous day, responded to a 6am call to stand in for an indisposed member and running the 10.5 mile leg one for their D team before going on to run his planned 9.5 mile leg four later in the day.

Other Stainland teams; Stainland B 39th Overall 8.13.06, Stainland C 56th Overall 9.03.34, Stainland D 69th Overall 9.55.55, Stainland E 78th Overall 11.16.22.

Full results can be found on the Halifax Harriers website.http://www.halifaxharriers.co.uk/results/calderdale/relay-2013/