Calder men runners-up in iconic Dales event

Action from the run
Action from the run

Members of Calder Valley Fell Runners and Todmorden Harriers joined more than 700 on the start line for the 60th running of the iconic Three Peaks race on Saturday.

Valley finished second among the men’s teams, led home by leading V40 runner Karl Gray in ninth place, while Craig Stansfield was best for Tod in 75th.

The gruelling 24 miles/5276ft course from Horton in Ribblesdale picks off Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and then Ingleborough before an arduous six mile descent over unforgiving limestone pavement back into Horton.

Fantastic crowds cheered off the runners and early rain gave way to clear skies as a star studded field swept up the path toward Pen-y-Ghent.

The race unfolded into a dual between previous winner Tom Owens and the marvellously named Ricky Lightfoot with international Lightfoot claiming victory in an eye-watering time of 2hrs:53:16.

Bingley’s Victoria Wilkinson won the women’s race with a sparkling run of 3:21:32, giving her 17th place overall.

Calder Valley are always well represented and their second team place was superb.

Gray, although not firing on all cylinders this year, showed the way while Alex Whittem has a storming run in 12th place. Kevin Hoult (36th) and Graeme Brown (53rd) were the other counters.

Calder’s Steve Grimley, Jim Mosley and Bert Ingram swapped places umpteen times but arrived at the Whernside summit in befuddled unison.

Grimley eventually took the spoils with a splendid climb up Ingleborough and rapid descent back to Horton.

Calder ladies skipper Helen Buchan took an acrobatic tumble coming down Ingleborough, injuring her knee and collar bone.

Her running mate Kate Mansell, who had similar strife last year, assisted her back to the finish in just over five hours.

Stansfield led the Todmorden effort in 3.45.53 while Paul Hobbs was 81st in 3.47.29; 237, Peter Bowles was 237th in 4.14.00, Mark Anderton 559th in 5.10.59; 649 and Elise Milnes 649th in 5.21.14.