Runners relish winter test

Todmorden Harriers'  Graeme Brown at the Wadsworth Trog. Picture: Woodentops.
Todmorden Harriers' Graeme Brown at the Wadsworth Trog. Picture: Woodentops.

It was all hands on deck on Saturday as Jake Ackroyd, organiser of the Wadsworth Trog, called upon Calder Valley FR members to volunteer and man check points around the valley.

The fun starts from the cricket club in Old Town. The race covers 31km and 1111m of climb over a snow covered course.

It takes in the moors over to Warley reservoir, then Cock Hill before a loop of Wadsworth Moor and Bronte territory to Walshaw and Shackleton knoll before returning back via Lumb hole waterfall and across Midgley Moor to the finish.

Some of Yorkshire and England’s finest runners were out to build up their strength for the coming fell running season and there were 25 Todmorden Harriers in a field of more than 160 runners.

Jack Wood of Ilkley won in 2.36 with Karl Gray, the course record holder, first vet and fourth overall for the host club.

Ultra runner Kevin Hoult was next in for Calder Valley and young Martin Howard, after a good first half, got cramp but still came home 43rd.

On the ladies side, Sharon Taylor had a massive victory margin over her rivals. She went sub three hours with ultra runner Nicky Spinks first vet. The first local lass was Calder Valley and Lancashire county runner Helen Buchan.

This was the first fell race in Todmorden Harriers’ Grand Prix and a large contingent turned out, all wrapped up to brave the freezing snowy conditions and well fuelled by the free cakes provided en route.

The beautiful sunny conditions soon lifted spirits and there were even instances of sunburn!

The first Toddie back was Graeme Brown in 3:00, eighth overall. Three minutes behind was Andrew Worster, followed closely by Paul Hobbs in 3:05 and Nick Barber in3:08.

Rebecca Patrick was first Tod lady back, fourth lady overall in 3:37 and first V40. Melanie Blackhurst finished in 3:48 and took the V50 prize.

Patrick, Blackhurst and Kate Mansell (3:55) took the women’s team prize.

Todmorden results: Graeme Brown 3:00, Andrew Worster, 3:03, Paul Hobbs 3:05, Nick Barber 3:08, Chris Goddard 3:15, Dan Taylor 3:17, Dom Leckie 3:24, Darren Tweed 3:24, Rebecca Patrick 3:37, Duncan Ritchie 3:38, Ben Holmes 3:41, Robert Halstead 3:44, Melanie Blackhurst 3:48, Roger Haworth 3:52, Stuart Wolstenholme 3:54, Kate Mansell 3:55, Lucy Hobbs 3:58, Pauline May 3:58, Zoe Dijkamn 4:05, Paul Brannigan, 4:07, Robert Holdsworth 4:11, Robin Gray 4:21, Simon Anderton 4:25, Kim Ashworth 4:34, Elise Milnes 4:44.