Kevin Hoult threw down the gauntlet to Calder Valley Fell Runners clubmate Ian Symington in Saturday’s Haworth Hobble.
The event was the first in the club’s Ultra Championship, won last year by Symington, but Hoult drew first blood by finishing third, one place ahead of his Valley rival.
In a sprint finish, after 33 miles of racing, Hoult clocked 4:22:02 with Symington 21 seconds behind. The race was won by Chris Singleton of Trawden in 4:09:10.
Another of Calder’s distance demons, Simon Bourne, was 10th in 4:45:20 and Martin Huddlestone was the fourth Calder runner in 19th in 4:56:00.
There were 18 Todmorden Harriers in action on the moors, some competing solo and others running as part of a pair with fellow Toddies or friends from other clubs.
John Allen was their first male home. He finished 42nd in 5.12.03. The second senior male was David Terner-Swift (46th in 5.16.02) with Dwane Dixon and Ben Crowther finishing as a pair in 5.16.37.
Liz Hainsworth was first lady home for Todmorden. She finished in 178th in 6.23.34.
The second senior female was Kirsty Patten, 190th in 6.33.20, with Clare Harris finishing as third lady in 6.46.08.
The women’s race was won by Bonnie Van Wilgenburg in 5:06:36. Calder’s only female representative, Linda Murgatroyd, came 161st in 6:02:41.
Conditions on the gritstone trails and moorlands surrounding Haworth, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge were generally good, although there were muddy sections.
One of the most enjoyable things about ultra races is the variety of food on offer at the checkpoints. As well as the usual fare of cakes, donuts, and tea, also available at the Hobble were beer, curry and single malt whisky!
Other Calder runners included John Minta and Mark Wharton, both in training for the 60 mile Fellsman race held at the end of April.
Club Chairman Bill Johnson was disappointed with his time but still managed to complete in less than six hours.
Mark O’Conner, after keeping in with the front runners for the first 20 miles, had to retired with cramp.
Adrian Shaw, Jonnie Watson and Jon Underwood all broke the 6:30 mark.
Manhar Patel came 241st. He last ran the race 10 years ago, only 18 minutes quicker.
Todmorden results: 42, John Allen 05:12:0; 46, David Terner-Swift 05:16:0; 47, Dwane Dixon & Ben Crowther 05:16:37; 68, Steve Pullan & RInaldo Colunbi 05:27:25; 84, Andy McFie & Mark Wharton (CV) 06:23:3; 178, Liz Hainsworth 06:23:34; 190, Kirsty Patten 06:33:20; 201, Lisa Parkinson (Rossendale) & Beverley Holmes 06:37:23; 213, Clare Harris 06:46:08; 218, Jonathan Daniels 06:49:18; 234, Elise Milnes 07:04:38; 256, Jayne Boothman & Isobel Pollard 07:14:37; 279, Jilly Davidson 07:50.