Collins puts injury woe behind him in new race

Todmorden Harriers. Dave Collins (right)

Todmorden Harriers. Dave Collins (right)

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Todmorden Harriers’ Dave Collins was in good form at the first running of a race organised by local company Cannonball Events on Sunday.

Windy Hill Fell Race started from Littleborough rugby club near Hollingworth Lake.

The race is a Category B medium length event over nine miles and with 1281 feet of climbing.

Organised by Team Cannonball head honcho John Lloyd, the race went off without any major problems.

The route took runners under the motorway then immediately back on themselves and up a steep path to go over the M62.

A fast, mostly downhill section followed, before the runners turned to start the big climb to Blackstone Edge Trig point via the Roman Road.

The route then followed the Pennine Way down and along to cross the motorway again by the Saddleworth junction. After a minor climb, runners went down and along to the last climb up Windy Hill. From there to the finish it was mostly downhill, if a little muddy.

Calder Valley’s Gav Mulhulland led the way over Windy Hill, but was overtaken on the descent by Spencer Riley of Clayton, who is back to his best after breaking his foot last year.

First lady was Helen Leigh of Blackburn Harriers who finished narrowly ahead of Rachel Chambers of Sale in a sprint finish.

Five Todmorden Harriers took part and Collins led them home in 54th place, showing great form and proving his injury worries were behind him.

Michael Harper was next back in 78th place, a solid run showing how his training has been going well of late.

Nextup was Dan Taylor, returning after an injury lay off in his first race of the year. Dan struggled on the hills but picked it up on the flats and downhills to finish 102nd.

There was a memorable battle between the last two Todmorden competitors, Simon Galloway and Mick Craven, with Simon coming home a minute ahead.

John Lloyd thanked everyone and said he hoped to run the race again next year.

Cannonball Events run many races, ranging from a one mile fun run to a 51.5 mile ultra around the Calderdale Way. See www.CannonballEvents.co.uk for further details.

Todmorden results: 54, Dave Collins 1.11.40; 78, Michael Harper 1.14.22; 102, Dan Taylor 1.17.33; 124, Simon Galloway 1.21.39; 128, Mick Craven 1.22.39