The Stoop fell race, organised by Dave and Eileen Woodhead and their magnificent team, drew large numbers to the cricket club on the top of Penistone Hill overlooking Haworth on Sunday morning.
The traditional freezing temperatures usually associated with the event had given over to thick coatings of mud following the warm, wet weather of recent weeks.
In the words of the long time race organiser Dave conditions were “a bit tacky”.
This didn’t put off over 450 runners from clubs far and wide toeing the start line at 11.30am, with 16 Todmorden Harriers athletes and 13 from Calder Valley adding to the throng.
Sporting the obligatory Santa hat, the runners took off down the track to cross the road before heading in a reasonably direct line to the Stoop stone, before heading back across the moors to the cricket club.
The heavy rain of recent weeks made for some impressive mud splatter and several comedy slides.
The Stoop has a reputation for bringing together the big guns of fell running for some ultra-competitive racing, in a temporary suspension of the season of good will.
The 2015 race was no exception, as Pudsey and Bramley’s Rob Hope tangled with the likes of Tom Adams of Ilkley, and Bingley’s Ian Holmes. Hope was first home in 31.08, four seconds ahead of Adams and Mercia’s Simon Bailey, who both finished in 31.12.
Preston Harriers’ Nichola Jackson was first lady in 38.08.
The first three finishers for Todmorden were Jon Wright (27th in 37.05), Andrew Worster (31st in 37.18) and Robert Tyson (77th in 40.36).
The top three ladies for Todmorden were Kath Brierley (207th in 49.15), Amy Godden (224th in 50.08) and Jane Leonard (276th in 52.47).
Calder Valley’s elites had a day off, but a host of red-white hooped vests, survived the bogs to enjoy the post-race festivities back at the Sun Inn.
Mark Wharton was first home for them in 71st with Jo Buckley next in 90th.
Calder Valley results: 71, Mark Wharton 40.08; 90, Jo Buckley 41.33; 98. Ben Frechette 41.55; 137, Richard Ingram 44.43; 162, Tim Brooks 46.48; 178, Anthony Costello 47.17; 187, Paul Haigh 47.43; 191, Toby Sybes 47.52; 210, Nathan Kennagh 47.25; 235, James Cooke 50.40; 279, John Nun 53.04; 330, Charlotte Whetton 55.53; 342, Lindsey Oldfield 56.24.
Todmorden results: 27, Jon Wright 37.05 ; 31, Andrew Worster 37.18 ; 77, Robert Tyson 40.36 ; 130, Richard Butterwick 43.52; 177, Stuart Wolstenholme 47.17; 183, Matthew Annison 47.28 ; 198, James Riley 48.37; 207, Kath Brierley 49.15 ; 224, Amy Godden 50.08; 253, Jonathan Daniels 51.18; 276, Jane Leonard 52.47; 337, Kim Ashworth 57.05; 370, Hannah Godden 58.25; 381, Sionhan Doherty 60.40; 387, Louise Ardy 60.47 ; 417, Emily Annison 65.34.
Earlier, the quarry was packed with future talent as the juniors joined in the fun.
Calder Valley’s James Duffy was first under 10 whilst Eilo Beesley had a good solid run to be seventh boy, with team mate Alex Duffield only 10 seconds behind as 10th under 12.
Other Valley juniors to run well included the Blacker clan of Billy, Beth and Molly, Lucas Greenwood, Patrick Casey, Olivia Sygle, Cherry Sygle, Tom Owen and Keir Taylor.
Todmorden’s George Daniels was 38th in the under eights.