Nick leads home Harriers contingent - and men snatch team prize

NICK Barber was the highest placed Todmorden Harrier at the Midsummer Madness Series, as the men’s team snatched the team prize on the final day.

The three race series, organised by Calder Valley Fell Runners, comprises three fell races held on consecutive days.

The first on Friday evening, from Mytholmroyd, was the Whicken Hill Whizz, a steep three-mile climb up to Sheepstones trig point and back.

Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey won in 20:05, half a minute ahead of club mate Alex Whittem. Todmorden’s Sean Carey held off a challenge from Calder Valley’s Max Wharton to finish in third place.

Nick Barber was the next Todmorden runner in eighth, ahead of Dwane Dixon in ninth. Three more Harriers were in the top 15 with Alistair Rhodes-Dawson in 12th, Paul Hobbs 13th and Paul Brannigan 15th.

Sarah May finished first lady in 25:33, with Helen Hodgkinson and Chris Preston finishing eighth and ninth.

On Saturday for the seven-mile Reservoir Bogs the runners got a map of the checkpoints and had to choose their routes.

Ben Crowther was the first Harrier in 12th, with Paul Hobbs in 13th. Nick Barber was 15th despite losing his map part way, to finish in fourth place for the series.

Helen Hodgkinson was Todmorden’s first lady finisher in 10th, with Elise Milnes in 13th.

In the four-mile Tom Tittiman Fell Race on Sunday Nick Barber was again the first Todmorden man in fourth place, lifting him into third place for the series overall.

Paul Hobbs was seventh and Ben Crowther eighth finishing the series in fifth and sixth to take the series team prize.

Darren Graham and Marcel Ellison were also seventh and eighth overall.

Helen Hodgkinson ended the final race 12th, taking her into sixth for the series.

The 13.5 mile Hendon Brook road race took place on Sunday near Colne, attracting several Todmorden Harriers.

Salford’s Tom Cornthwaite completed the route in 1:19:04, over seven minutes ahead of the rest.

John Lloyd led for Todmorden in fifth in 1:30:29, with Paul Brannigan 11th and first v45, and Martin Stork in 15th.

Mel Blackhurst finished in 1:53:28 as third lady, with Sarah Glyde fifth. Chris Preston finished strongly taking 14th lady just ahead of Elise Milnes. Moyra Parfitt finished first vet 65.