Alex leads a Valley 1-2-3 in Blackshaw Head race

Karl Gray (104) on his way to fifth place in Wales on Saturday
Karl Gray (104) on his way to fifth place in Wales on Saturday

Calder Valley had the first three men home at the Blackshaw Head Fell Race with Alex Whittem successfully defending his title.

Whittem overtook Max Wharton on the climb back into the Fete show field.

Joe Crossfield eased into the finish field, just glancing over his shoulder to make sure he’d out kicked Todmorden Harriers’ Nick Barber to make the final podium place.

There were also top 10 finishes for Calder Valley’s Adam Breaks, Ian Symington and James Williams.

In the V60 category Calder’s Brian Horsley lost to Harry Atkinson of Bingleyby less than the length of the fete’s tug of war rope.

In the blustery conditions the resurgent force that is Gayle Sugden blew away the rest of the field in the women’s race, but it’s been a tremendous first season for second placed Lindsay Oldfield running for the mighty Rams.

Harriers sent many volunteers and runners to the event and Barber and Paul Hobbs had excellent runs in fourth and sixth.

Todmorden’s Rebecca Patrick has made a habit of picking up prizes this year and she won the ladies age 40-45 category.

Tod’s Mark Anderton and Matthew Annison provided the day’s most exciting finish and the officials could not separate them, both clocking 49.48 in joint 45th.

Roger and Paula Haworth had a rare opportunity to run in the same race and one which raised money for Candlelighters, who supported the Haworth family during their son’s illness.

Tod results: 4, Nick Barber 38.52; 6, Paul Hobbs 40.14; 31, Dave Collins 46.01; 32, Roger Haworth 46.09; 33, Tom Barker 46.09; 38, Michael Harper 48.30; 41, Rebecca Patrick 49.04; 45, Matthew Annison and Mark Anderton 49.48; 84, Paula Haworth 58.36; 101, Reg Czudek 66.56; 108, Nina Fedorski 69.10; 110, Dave O’Neil 71.45.

The final medium counting race in the 2014 British Fellrunning Championships took place at the Maesgwm Mudddle on Saturday and Pudsey and Bramley’s Rob Hope and Bingley Harrier’s Victoria Wilkinson confirmed their champion status by winning this testing race in Wales.

Calder Valley’s Karl Gray took fifth place at the Muddle and he continues to perplex his clubmates with his age defying performances as he picked up another V40 medal in the overall series.

The silver medal was tantalisingly within reach at the start for Gray, but Morgan Donnelly of Borrowdale came second in the race to close out runners-up spot in the series.

There was a notable run from Calder’s man of mischief Gavin Mulholland who squeezed into the top 10.

The elf-framed Mulholland is a fast climbers and he was well placed after the brutal 2,200 feet of the first climb. From there he gave no quarter.

Three Calder men made a ‘Mark ‘ - Mark Goldie, Mark O’Connor and Mark Wharton while Helen Buchan and Karon Forster also had fine runs.