Fell runners battle the heat in brutal Alderman's Ascent

The heat was certainly on for those taking part in the Alderman’s Ascent, which also formed the third round of the English Fell Race Championships.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 10:46 am
Calder Valley's Martin Howard is helped to recover after the race. Pic: Paul Brannigan

Alderman's Ascent is an 8k, 5-mile route with around 1,450ft of ascent. The route climbs to the Pots and Pans Monument and heads over the moor to the summit of Alderman's Hill. A brutal descent to the bottom followed right away with a killer climb back up to the shoulder of Alderman's before the runners head back home.

Leading the way for Calder Valley Fell Runners' women was Bethan Gay (12th woman), Cass Chisholm (18th woman) and prize-winning Jocasta Fletcher (3rd FV45). Hannah Horsburgh of Keswick won in 39:12, followed by Sara Willhoit of Mercia and Sarah McCormack from Ambleside.

Todmorden Harriers' Annie Hassell finished 15th in a time of 51:42. Rebecca Patrick was 19th and 2nd FV50 in 53:45. Mel Blackhurst grabbed the 3rd V55 spot and 29th overall with a time of 56:37. Rebecca Senior continued her comeback with a credible 37th spot in a time of 59:32. Harriers women were third team overall.

Adam Osbourne cools off. Picture: Paul Brannigan

In the men’s race, Valley's Andrew Worster took 11th place. Joseph Dugdale (U23s) of Cumberland Fell Runners took the win in 35:52 followed by Keswick’s Jacob Adkin (35:55) and Billy Cartwright from Matlock (37:06).

First back for Todmorden Harriers was evergreen Jon Wright in 71st place (47:52). Dave Collins was the first V65 back in a time of 57:20, placing him 139th overall.

Valley's V50 team marched on with prize winning performances by Darren Kay (1st MV50), Karl Gray (2nd MV50) and Gav Mulholland (3rd MV50). Kay is on top form this year and looks well placed to take the V50 national gold. Math Roberts (2nd MV40), Adam Osborne (3rd MV40) and Dick Spendlove (1st MV75) also ran well.

Calder's men also took third open team prize with counters Andrew Worster, Darren Kay, Math Roberts and Karl Grey. The next English Championship race is the Pete Bland Kentmere Horseshoe on August 1.