I thought this was going to be a quiet week with just a couple of write ups to pass along but how wrong I was! It’s been an action-packed week with lots of great results for our club members in a wide range of races and events.
Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay – Sunday 5th October
70 teams competed and 4 teams were fielded by Clayton-le-Moors Harriers
Leg 1 Round Up from Breton Holdsworth
After a couple of changes my Leg 1 partner was finally confirmed as the excellent young Jordon McDonald. We travelled up to Patterdale together and once dawn broke we could see how nasty the weather was looking and only 7 degrees. A cracking introduction to the Lakes for Jordan! The race this year started from the playing fields again, and I had been warned to get a good start as it turns to single track on the climb, basically we started at a sprint and got onto the trail within the top ten.
After climbing for what seemed like forever, we managed to overtake a few though also lost a couple of places. We then had “that” downhill, impressively we pretty much stayed on our feet on the way down and didn’t lose any more places. Then we hit the track into the finish where we put on another sprint which according to my gps was 4.52 minute mile pace for 0.7 miles and brought us in 8th just 1 second behind 7th place.
Leg 2 Round up from Chris Holdsworth
I have raced a few times at relays over the course of the last year. Each time I’d either been on leg 1 or the last leg so I had a renewed excitement for this year’s Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay. Myself and leg 2 partner, Matt Perry, awaited the pairing of Breton and Jordan McDonald at the end of leg 1. The skies had begun to open up as we started our warm up with fellow leg 2 runners Lee Smith and Ryan Wilkinson. We had decided to keep our coats on until the last minute – little did we know that it would come sooner than we’d thought!
Breton and Jordan had a storming run, surprising us by coming in at 8th place. Hurriedly, we removed our jackets and the hand over to Matt set us on our way. As we were ahead of Barlick, it was my aim to keep as close to them as possible. We steadily ran our way back up the track knowing that we had 3000ft to climb.
I was feeling good and was eager to overtake a few more teams as the undulating paths made their way to the foot of the first mammoth climb. At this point, Barlick had edged their way back ahead – a development which made it my priority to keep as close to Matt Lalor and Stephen Chew as possible. The poor relay partner that I am, I had left it to Matt to recce the leg and thus navigate the route. (I knew he was reliable from our time racing Stan Bradshaw against one another. Had it not been for him, I’d still be wandering up Pendle somewhere!)
Our roles complimented each other well, I pushed on up the hill whilst he kept me grounded and directed me well. Once we made our way to the summit, Barlick had disappeared into the clag ahead, leaving us to tussle with a couple of other teams. Stubbed toes and difficult descents down the scree was a tough test for our endurance shortly after the first checkpoint, but we slowly began to track down more teams. One of which was the re-emergence of Stephen Chew on the rock climbing ahead. Literal rock climbing by the way… I stood staring at a rock for at least 15 seconds, wondering how on earth Matt had gotten up it.
Once the rocks were climbed, we again lost Barlick to the clag, which in turn made us lose sense of the correct path. After a couple minutes of deliberation and a conversation with a walker in the fog, it was only when a herd of runners broke through the mist behind us that we were confident to take the path ahead and dib into the second check point.
From here it was all mostly descent, which was my least favourite part of the course. An attempt to speedily bypass the pack of runners had me slip on a rock and go hurtling swiftly to the jagged stones below; a theme that would continue as we jostled for positions down the final descent. Four times I fell flat on my back due to slippy rocks underfoot and at this point I was relying on Matt to drag me back home. Bruised and battered, we made it back to the end of leg 2/start of leg 3 having lost 4 places in 01:15:45, handing over the dibber to Garry Wilkinson and Jacob Boyle to begin their climb up Red Scree.
Really enjoyed this leg (the uphill parts over the downhill parts) Having enjoyed leg 1 last year and leg 2 this year it would seem there is a theme emerging! I look forward to leg 3 next year…
Leg 3 Round Up from Michael O’Donnell (Forrest)
The Very long way – Andy & I set off very fresh & made a decent time to CP 1 -top of Red Screes. I know the route, no bother, but then came our big mistake. Andy was running really well. I used the dibber, he set straight off a different way to where I was going to go. I presumed he was trying to short cut it as there had been talk of it with Gaz (Wilkinson) so I didn’t say anything when I should have shouted him back, to the safe way Gaz had shown me on a reccy last year.
To cut a long story short we ran to a point where we could see Ambleside & then were extremely lost for about 10 minutes. I am just very grateful to Andy for being able to navigate well with a map & compass when he saw a quarry which was on the map. Our time to CP1 was good, I’d have thought CP2 to the finish was good too . CP1-CP2 was probably the slowest of the day.
We managed to catch a few teams on the way back but it was definitely a very steep learning curve. Please learn from our mistake. Better to stick to the safe route choice if conditions are bad & always voice your opinion no matter how senior your partner is, which was my mistake.
Leg 4 Round Up from Dave Motley
We took over from Garry & Jacob and started quick along the track, we quickly climbed up to Hart Crag passing one of our competitors easily. The more we climbed the worse visibility got, to the point where visibility was down to 5 metres. Not knowing the leg due to a last minute leg change within the team I put my entire trust in Dave Nuttall, who because of the conditions, wanted to follow the main footpath to Hart Crag rather than traverse diagonally over the fell, this decision worked out and we hit Hart Crag with ease.
At Hart Crag we had a choice of 3 or 4 different ‘trods’ and Dave was a little unsure, however a quick compass bearing and we were off to Fairfield. The track seemed to become wider and running became good, I opened up but unfortunately Dave N couldn’t follow, I suspect this was down to the last remnants of a bad cold. He wanted to drop out Friday Night but battled through due to me not knowing the leg. We reached Fairfied and then onto St Sunday Crag via Gavel Pike, Dave was a little unsure so again compass at the ready and a passing Bowland team helped us reach the final descent. Unfortunately ‘team Bowland’ just got away from us on the descent and we finished overall in 13th, same as 2013.
Back at the show field, Bacon Butties and beer commenced with the usual banter. This went onto to the evening as 8 of us went on the ‘Wilky Beer Bus tour’ celebrating Lee Smith’s birthday via pubs at Ambleside, Long Preston, Barnoldswick & Whalley.
As Captain I would like to say a massive Thank You, firstly to Dave Nuttall for running when recovering from Man flu and then to the rest of the team for some outstanding performances, most notably from Jordan Mcdonald. It’s an absolute pleasure to Captain and represent this club with a bunch of fantastic lads….CHEERS!!!!!!
Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Team A finished 13th with a total time of 04:19:56
|1||Breton Holdsworth / Jordan McDonald||00:40:27|
|2||Chris Holdsworth / Matt Perry||01:15:45|
|3||Jacob Boyle / Garry Wilkinson||01:00:05|
|4||Dave Motley / Dave Nuttall||01:23:39|
Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Team B finished 46th with a total time of 05:23:35
|1||Dave Bagot / Jon Hanson||00:46:50|
|2||Lee Smith / Ryan Wilkinson||01:34:16|
|3||Michael O’Donnell / Andy Orr||01:38:37|
|4||Neil Hardiman / Ryan Belshaw||01:23:52|
Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Ladies finished 63rd with a total time of 05:46:23
|1||Katy Thompson / Jean Brown||00:56:50|
|2||Anna Kelly / Avril Duckworth||01:35:46|
|3||Lisa Richardson / Marion Dixon||01:27:12|
|4||Wendy Dodds / Alison Dugdale||01:46:35|
Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Team Z finished 65th with a total time of 05:55:11
|1||Andrew Howarth / Robert W Mitchell||00:53:15|
|2||Mark Nutter / Peter Booth||01:35:31|
|3||Andrew Firth / Richard Bellaries||01:46:17|
|4||Ivan Whigham / Ralph Baines||01:40:08|
English Schools Fell Running Championship 2014 – 28th September
Well done to junior members Briony Holt, Millie Stubbs and Isaac Wilkinson who took part in this event. It is a huge credit to our junior section to have members competing at this level. Briony Holt finished 2nd in the Year 8/9 Girls category with a time of 00:25:39, Millie Stubbs finished 14th in the Year 7 Girls category with a time of 00:19:08, and Isaac Wilkinson finished 20th in the Year 7 Boys category.
Race Report by Andrew Holt
Briony was really excited to be able to enter this event as an individual. It was to be held locally, and we were able to recce the route along with her fellow clubmate, Millie Stubbs. We followed the route given on the map. This wasn’t your classic fell route, but it was more than challenging with rocky steep paths and a long ascent onto and around the moor. It felt long and other people we saw also reccy-ing the route were surprised at how difficult this route was.
On the day, the weather was near perfect for spectating, a little warm for running maybe but the ground was dry and grippy underfoot, which made up for the cool rain. The sun came out later for the older runners, making the run even harder.
Millie Stubbs was up first in the year 7 group. She finished an impressive 14th girl, showing both her talent and determination as she has only run a handful of fell races this year.
The year 8-9 group ran next, Briony’s group. I could see the runners start around the field and, what seemed like an eternity later, the first runner appeared. The field was already spread out considerably.
Briony was second girl, her plan to stay behind Esme Davies (FRA under 14 English champion) for as long as she could obviously hadn’t worked. She was in front of Katie Atkinson however by several meters,but twice this season Katie has caught up with Briony on the downhill section. Briony passed me several minutes later on the downhill section and was now several places in front of Katie. She was pushing very hard and looked strong and, barring a mishap, was on for a podium finish.
To Millie’s and Curtis’s encouragement Briony entered the sports field on her own, and in her own, mildly disappointed words managed a “little bit of a sprint”. She finished an amazing 13th place overall and second girl behind Esme Davies. This was one place higher than we expected, and is an amazing achievement.
World silver medal mountain sky runner (a marathon distance up the side of a mountain!) Emma Clayton was around the field all day and kindly handed out the medals, encouraged the children and came across as a proper good egg, and put the finishing touch to a very well organised yet challenging day for all the runners involved.
All in all a wonderful day, and fair reward for all the hard work and training put in throughout the season. Special mention to Curtis too for his U16 win at Thieveley pike on Saturday, and of course to Marion, Jason, Andy, Sam and Brad for their coaching and support throughout the year
Burnley Fire 10k – Sunday 5th October
It was a perfect day for this race. Fine, cool and not too much wind as 243 runners lined up at the start. There was a superb showing from the club with an impressive 31 members taking part. It was an equally impressive finish with club members taking 1st and 2nd places, with a further 3 members finishing in the top ten! Well done!
Race Report from Irene Roche
The start of the race has a very fast section for a couple of kilometres before a gradual climb up past Towneley Park. This is followed with a long descent down through Walk Mill, the legs are nicely warmed up before the challenge of running a very steep Mount Lane followed by a further climb up to the top of Higher Red Lees. After passing the Kettledrum it is steady running through Pike Hill with a fast down hill from the Ridge to the finish.
Team Clayton certainly shone brightly today. Another year and another great finish in first place for Jonny McKenna with a time of 35.11. Following in second place came Andy Stubbs also claiming the first V45 prize. Team Clayton took the spot light in claiming six places overall out of the first eleven in the race and also with the number of our lads who took part. An excellent achievement!
Now for the ladies. Again, pleasing to see a good turn out for Team Clayton “on the road”. Anne-Marie brought the ladies home in the excellent time of 46.04, whilst I managed to claim the 2nd Team Clayton lady (and receiving a huge box of toiletries for 1st LV55), Jean Knightly followed behind achieving a personal PB for the course. Well done Jean! And…more celebrations with the arrival of Rachel Todd at the finishing line. A new 10K PB for her – and what a course to achieve it on. Well done Rachel! And… with Jackie finishing in great style (currently ranked first for the Clayton Ladies Palladium points) and Marion achieving first LV65 in the race, the continuing improvement of our relatively new Clayton Ladies (Helen, Adrienne and Nicola) a very successful day out for all our Ladies.
On final note, the inspiration of the day was spotting Kitty Garnett on her way to the finish. Kitty’s smile is so contagious, so much so that I insisted on capturing her on camera. After all, she had achieved first LV75! An inspiration to us all on how to keep on racing and enjoying the sport. Well done Kitty!
Saddleworth Edges Fell Race – Saturday 4th October
Three Clayton-le-Moors Harrier ladies entered.
Race overview from Vicky Heys; this was a tough 8 mile course starting on a incline from a field. I came 3rd lady overall and 1stV40, then Angela came in and then Natalie. There was some very “friendly” weather – rain, hail and wind but will certainly do it again.
Rivington Trail Half Marathon – Saturday 4th October
Well done to the 3 Clayton-le-Moors Harriers that took part in this event, now established as a trail classic the Rivington Trail Half Marathon goes from strength to strength attracting a wide cross section of runners from good club athletes to charity runners taking more than 2 1/2hrs to complete the challenging route.
Run Preston 10k – 965 Runners Late Results
Another good turn out for Clayton-le-Moors Harriers at this popular local event.