Red-hot Mounsey sets new Trog race record

Ben Mounsey
Ben Mounsey
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Another weekend and another victory for Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey in the Wadsworth Half Trog race, staged out of Lane Ends at Old Town.

Ben continued his blistering purple patch of recent weeks and smashed the record in the process, taking over three minutes off James Logue’s already swift record set last year.

One hundred and nine runners took the chance to enjoy the event in tandem with the excellent Hare & Hounds pub who hosted in style and generosity. The runners were treated to a peerless day’s racing set in perfect weather, the only drawback was the fact they had to slog across for the mighty Midgley Moor for 9.5miles and 1500ft of climb.

Sodden by two days of heavy rain, the Moor was in no mood to make life easy, but if anyone can make light work of such conditions its Mounsey.

However, club mate and expert navigator James Logue was in no mood to relinquish his crown.

Ben blasted away in trademark style, up toward High Brown Knoll and beyond.

Combined with some canny midweek reconnaissance with local sat nav Mike Wardle, this ensured that Ben took the best lines from Ferney Lee Farm to the Sheepstones Trig point above Mount Skip, and then hit the afterburners for home.

What the Trog lacks in climb it makes up for in tough underfoot running; throw in some deceptive nav choices and the changing complexion of the moor each year, then you have one of the calendar’s classic races.

In the ladies race, Gayle Sugden danced over the moor to claim first place a superb 21st place overall, and along with Sally Newman and Gillian Wibsey ensured Calder ladies took the team prize.

It was a clean sweep for the club as Mounsey, Logue and Royd Rocket Mark O’Connor combined to give the men the spoils.

Other notable runs came from local V60 Dave Beels who carded a sound 22nd place and new Dad Jim Mosley in 36th.

John Minta ran a superb 41s having flagged the full route the day before while Blair Garret and Andy Thorpe had a right old tussle to finish 65th and 66th respectively. Similarly Andrew Meek and Tony Steward were only a place apart in 78th and 79th, and Dan Biggs knocked an amazing twenty-five minutes off his time from last year.

First Todmorden runner home in a very creditable seventh position was local cartographer Chris Goddard.

He was followed in by John Allen and Dave Collins, who had to make up a few minutes after missing the start whilst warming up.

Having been out of racing for a while, Derek Donohue and Mick Craven, enjoyed their own tour of the moor. Lucy Hobbs led the Todmorden ladies’ home, finishing sixth lady, followed closely by Melanie Blackhurst, in action the second day running.

Other Todmorden results: Fiona Armer – 80th, Paul Cruthers – 81st , Elise Milnes – 90th , Reg Czudek – 102nd

Calder’s globetrotting super woman Linda Murgatroyd took place in the Aitana-Puig Campana, a mountain endurance race staged from Finestrat near Alicante in Southern Spain. The Ultra race route is a vertiginous 85km and 5500m of climb. Despite an early setback, Linda finished thirdrd female V40 in 15 hrs and 16 minutes .