Strong Harriers contingent at race debut

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The new Heptonstall Fell Race saw a strong contingent of Todmorden Harriers tackle the 15.5 mile course.

The race, which was organised to help raise funds for the church restoration fund, attracted a good first turnout of over 200 runners.

Starting from the main street, the race followed a large loop to the north of the village, taking in a variety of Pennine terrain including steep-sided wooded valleys, upland pasture and pathless moorland.

While much of the route was flagged to guide the runners, misty and drizzly conditions added to the difficulty.

The race featured over 3,000 feet of ascent, with the toughest climb of the day coming in the last half mile, as tired legs were tested by a long steep climb out of Hebden Dale towards the finish field.

It was a day of second places for the Harriers, with no less than five Todmorden runners finishing second in their respective age categories: Jon Wright (v40), Dave Collins (v50) and Richard Blakeley (v60) for the men, with Kath Brierley (lv40) and Louise Abdy (lv50) for the ladies.

Jon Wright had a strong run to finish fifth overall.

New member John Lloyd finished 18th and Paul Hobbs crossed the line in 30th place.

Kath Brierley led the way for Todmorden ladies finishing fifth lady, with Lisa Parsons 13th and Helen Hodgkinson 17th.

Todmorden Results: 5 Jon Wright 2:00:13; 18 John Lloyd 2:10:04; 30 Paul Hobbs 2:17:43; 32 Dave Collins 2:18:43; 56 Paul Brannigan 2:27:16; 63 Ben Crowther 2:28:41; 64 Clive Greatorex 2:28:43; 69 Andy McFie 2:29:40; 70 Dan Taylor 2:29:40; 106 Kath Brierley 2:41:53; 118 Paul Smith 2:45:03; 120 Andrew Bibby 2:45:23; 129 Mick Craven 2:46:59; 141 Derek Donohue 2:50:14; 148 Simon Galloway 2:54:27; 155 Lisa Parsons 2:56:09; 164 Paul Cruthers 3:04:53; 170 Helen Hodgkinson 3:08:13; 176 Stuart Boulton 3:11:57; 177 Richard Blakeley 3:12:45; 178 Peter Ehrhardt 3:16:22; 182 Patsey Reilly 3:22:37; 185 Fiona Armer 3:25:55; 189 Louise Abdy 3:35:07.

Calder Valley’s Shaun Godsman went into Lancashire for the second successive weekend and came away again with a first prize.

The previous weekend he won the Stan Bradshaw Memorial race in Pendle in a close contest.

Last weekend the Todmorden fireman was too hot to handle as he blazed around the Fiendsdale Fell race in Chipping, Bowland to win in a new course record