Fell running - Calderdale Way, Harriers and Valley

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Calder Valley FR retained the men’s team title and their women finished second in Sunday’s 31st annual Calderdale Way Relay.

Halifax Harriers hosted Britain’s largest club-run off-road event and 88 teams of 12, running in six pairs, completed the scenic 51 mile circuit.

Calder’s A team led from start to finish, despite a slightly below strength team.

Ben Mounsey and Gav Mulholland built a comfortable lead across Norland Moor, handing over to Darren Kay and cannonball John Lloyd.

These two put in a solid leg from Cragg Vale over to Todmorden, handing over to new pair Richard Pattinson and ‘Royd rocket Mark O’Connor.

They came within a whisker of the course record, leaving O’Connor visibly spent.

Veteran Karl Gray and new signing Math Roberts breezed round leg four over Midgley Moor in the fastest time of the day and Joe Washington and James Logue had an outstanding leg five between Wainstalls and Shelf.

Joe Crossfield and Matt Pierson completed the job between Shelf and West Vale, bringing Calder home in 5hrs and 53 mins, ahead of Barlick A Fell Runners.

Calder Ladies were second to a very strong Holmfirth A. Helen Buchan was the lioness, leading by example when running legs one and three.

She set the tone for outstanding runs from Jackie Scarf, Karen Forster and Rachel Johnston, who ran a brilliant leg two and Gayle Sugden and Jo Buckley, who flew round leg four in fine style. Molly Travis partnered Buchan on leg three.

Anne Johnson and Lindsey Oldfield were the fastest ladies round leg five, and the closing leg was smartly dusted off by Rachel Crossland and Bryony Baron, for a total time of 7:57:23, just six minutes or so behind Holmfirth.

Calder men’s B team were 17th, in spite of Steve Smithies and Ian Wood going on safari on the closing leg six. The C were 45th in 8:00:58.

Todmorden Harriers had three teams and the men’s A team finished a very credible ninth with a total time of 6:41:59. The B team clocked 7:34:01.

Tod ladies were an excellent fifth.

Six runners from Todmorden Harriers, along with a couple of Rossendale Harriers, took part in the 37-mile Old County Tops race in the Lake District on Saturday.

Competitors race in pairs over the summits of Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Coniston.

Todmorden’s Craig Stansfield and partner Jason Craven (Rossendale) battled through initial sickness to finish a very credible 25th in 8 hrs 33 mins.

Tod’s Stephen Pullen and Dave Garner fought their way around in 9 hrs 30 mins whilst Michelle Fuller(Tod) and Davina Raidy(Rossendale) finished in 11 hrs 30 mins.

Ben Crowther suffered an injury and he and Tod partner Dwane Dixon had to retire.

Harriers’ James Riley slashed a minute off his best time for the race, finishing 70th in a strong field of 230 runners at the brutal 10.5 mile Cader Idris race in Snowdonia.