Mounsey, Mulholland and May catch the eye

Ben Mounsey on his way to victory on Saturday. Pictures: Woodentops

Ben Mounsey on his way to victory on Saturday. Pictures: Woodentops

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Ben Mounsey and Gavin Mulholland made it a 1-2 for Calder Valley FR in Saturday’s second running of the Windy Hill Fell Race from Rakewood near Littleborough.

There was also a brilliant debut from Pauline May for Todmorden Harriers. She was the third woman home and beat the Tod men with Michael Harper second for the club three minutes behind in 67th place.

The race is well organised by Cannonball events and the enthusiastic John Lloyd.

The route for this speedy nine-mile leg burner goes under the Rakewood viaduct and takes in a fast, fairly level stretch to the bottom of the ‘Roman’ Road.

There is then a march up to the airy heights of the Blackstone Edge escarpment before crossing the M62 by footbridge. A rapid undulating descent follows, past the Windy Hill transmitter back to Rakewood.

In a large field of 215 runners, new course records were set by Mounsey in 54 mins and 22 seconds and by Heidi Dent of Howgill Harriers in 1:05:47.

Mounsey, as usual, led from the outset and vaulted the first cattle grid.

Mulholland skipped around in second and with Joe Washington fifth, Calder easily took the men’s team prize.

Lindsay Oldfield was Calder’s first woman home, followed by Rachel Johnston who was also first V50.

The closest Calder battle was between Nathan Kennaugh and Philip Beecroft with only six seconds separating them.

Calder Valley results: 1, Ben Mounsey 54:22; 2, Gavin Mulholand 56:13; 5, Jo Washington 1:00:36; 11, Mark O’Connor 1:02:54; 16, Steve Smithies 1:05:27; 43, Richard Sunderland 1:10:39; 53, John Killerby 1:12:04; 61, Jake Ackroyd 1:13:54; 66, Mike Dean 1:14:27; 72, John Minta 1:15:10; 79, Lindsay Oldfield 1:15:35; 116, Nathan Kennaugh 1:21:10; 117. Philip Beecroft 1:21:16; 124, Rachel Johnston 1:21:55; 132, Dave Culpan 1:22:44; 138, Toby Sydes 1:24:14; 166, Helen Buchan 1:28:18; 184, Trevor Murgatroyd 1:31:46; 190, Craig Hall 1:34:09.

Todmorden Harriers positions: 46, Pauline May; 67, Michael Harper; 77, Richard Butterwick; 103, Simon Galloway; 104, Ben Holmes; 107, Josh Murphy; 154, John Barker; 211, Reg Czudek.