Local runners celebrate landmark event in 10th Trigger Fell Race

A field of more than 175 competitors celebrated the 10th anniversary running of the Trigger Fell Race on Sunday.
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Runners navigated their way from Marsden, over Black Hill, Bleaklow and Kinder to Edale visiting three trig points en route.

The distance Is estimated at 21 miles, with a climb of around 1,650m, which places it in the most challenging fell running category (AL) for both distance and ascent.

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Three hardy Calder Valley Fell Runners completed the unforgiving race and endured all that the January weather had to throw at them.

Calder Valley Fell Runners' Oliver Beaumont braves the elements in the 21-mile Trigger Fell Race. Picture: Brian Barnes.Calder Valley Fell Runners' Oliver Beaumont braves the elements in the 21-mile Trigger Fell Race. Picture: Brian Barnes.
Calder Valley Fell Runners' Oliver Beaumont braves the elements in the 21-mile Trigger Fell Race. Picture: Brian Barnes.

Michael Clayton was the first of the three to finish, in a time of 5 hours and 12 minutes. Darren Earnshaw crossed the finish line 25 minutes later and Oliver Beaumont completed the trio’s efforts, finishing the race in just under six hours.

Joseph Oldfield, from Matlock Athletic Club, was the overall winner, completing the race in a very impressive 3 hours 16 minutes.

An annual highlight of the colder months, the Calder Valley Winter Score Event also took place on Sunday, challenging around 50 runners to test their navigation skills as well as their endurance capabilities.

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Participants have a three-hour window in which to find a series of markers, or controls, dotted across the moors. Controls were spread over Midgley Moor as far as Hardcastle Crags and Wainstalls.

Runners can visit the controls in any sequence, so working out the fastest route can make a big difference, and not all controls are allocated the same points, making some more important than others.

Typically, runners clock up anything between 20k and 30k in their quest to tick off all the controls.

This year’s winner was James Logue, who finished just five points ahead of Karl Gray. Mark O’Connor completed the top three in the men’s category.

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Holly Page and Hetty Horton shared the women’s prize, with Emily Ledder securing third place.

Race organiser Bill Johnson set-up a unique challenge, with lots of tricky locations to pinpoint.

Meanwhile, Sam Hartley completed the Centre Vale Park Run in Todmorden – her first run in five months and her first since becoming a mum.

It was also her first race as a Calder Valley Fell Runners member.

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Two runners from Stainland Lions also took on the Trigger Fell Race, navigating their way from Marsden over Black Hill, Bleaklow and Kinder to Edale, visiting three trig points along the way.

Lions’ Jim Harris knocked more than 40 minutes off his previous course time, crossing the line in 5:34:33, closely followed by clubmate James Penson in 5:35:13.

Dreary weather failed to stop Todmorden Harriers from taking part in the first race of the 2023 Grand Prix last Sunday.

A combination of an early year half marathon and a cold, wet forecast might have put some people off but seven Harriers braved the elements to compete in the Central Lancs New Year half marathon.

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The event comprises a fairly flat route round quiet country lanes north of Preston and there was a tail wind that helped during the first half but hindered runners when they turned for home.

Increasingly heavy rain resulted in some cold competitors crossing the finish line but among the 330 who completed the race, Harriers’ Robin Tuddenham and Mark Anderson celebrated fine wins in their respective age categories.

Harriers results: 33 Robin Tuddenham 1:26:54 (1st MV50), 43 Pete Rolls 1:31:01, 47 Mark Anderton 1:33:17 (1st MV60), 69 Tom Saunders 1:37:01, 86 Stuart Wolstenholme 1:41:30, 95 Chris Pickens 1:43:29, 141 Robert Halstead 1:49:46.

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