Calderdale Way Relay
A thousand runners from as far away as Tring in Hertfordshire descended upon Calderdale last Sunday to take part in the Calderdale Way Relay, the largest club run fell race in the country. Starting at Clay House in West Vale, the 50 mile circular route takes in Norland Moor, Cragg Vale, Stoodley Pike, Todmorden, Blackshaw Head, Wainstalls, Shibden Valley and Shelf before returning to the finish at Heath Rugby Club.
The course is split into six legs, with teams of twelve running in pairs for safety reasons. The event is a huge organisational undertaking for Halifax Harriers but well worth it when the enjoyment of the Calderdale landscape is plain to see on the runners from all the other clubs...87 entered in total. Thankfully the race is embraced by the local communities with the Hinchcliffe Arms in Cragg Vale opening for breakfast and the good people of Blackshaw Head taking the opportunity to put on cakes and coffee to raise funds for the village.
It’s a rudely early start for a Sunday morning with the off at 8 o’clock. The pace was furious leaving Clay House and by the time they reached the top of Norland Moor, the leaders, Gethin Butler and David Rigby of Preston held a commanding lead. They arrived first into the Cragg Vale as they had done last year. Andy Fleet and Adam Breaks from Calder Valley led the chasers, some 6 minutes down.
It’s a very long race though and by the time the leaders reached Blackshaw Head it was Sale Harriers who were way in front with Preston in second. Clayton le Moors arrived in third only to find that one of their ongoing team mates was indisposed within the confines of a portaloo. A frantic minute and a half followed with shouts of Dave Dave Dave...much to the amusement of the other teams. Clayton got away but Todmorden, just a few minutes behind could clearly smell blood.
At Wainstalls the first three were in a settled order that would remain right to the finish. Though the leaders, Sale would eventually pull out a lead of 13 minutes. They arrived triumphantly at Heath Rugby club in a time of 6 hours 15 minutes and 46 seconds. Clayton le Moors overcame their moment of adversity to finish second with a certain Robin Tuddenham, Director of Communities for Calderdale Council bringing the baton home for Todmorden Harriers in third.
Another notable face could be spotted running from Cragg Vale to Todmorden. Eagle eyed pop pickers might have noted Boff Whalley, Chumbawamba guitarist, author and playwright running for Pudsey and Bramley. His book about the joys of galloping across moorland “Running Wild” is well worth a read.
First Ladies team home was Wharfedale Harriers in a time of 7:52:15. Perhaps the most notable performance of the day though was by the Stainland Lions ladies pair of Tanya Seager and Lucy Thompson. This year Halifax Harriers put up 1,800 of bonus prizes for teams that could break the overall record or pairs that could break the record (or target time) for a given leg. The flying Stainland ladies covered the leg from Wainstalls to Shelf in 1:01:58, beating the target time by two seconds and scooping the £100 pot. The friendly local rivalry between Stainland Lions and Halifax Harriers will, no doubt, have made this even sweeter.
As for Halifax Harriers runners, we struggled to get three teams together this year and runners with the requisite two functioning legs were seemingly thin on the ground. There were some incredibly brave performances: Andy Irving a sprinter with a freshly torn hamstring, ran the 10 mile long leg 1 from West Vale to Cragg Vale. On the same leg, Jonathan Millard worked really hard to get to the finish, enduring all kinds of torment along the way. Ben Crowther ran leg 3 with debilitating shin splints and Sally Cowton left everything on the course....collapsing at the finish. To all those runners that competed, a huge thanks and well done. This is our club’s premier event in terms of numbers and prestige and for various reasons we had a poor turnout amongst our own runners this year. It would be great if we can do much better next year.
A huge thank you to race director Chris Burrell and his team of fellow organisers/helpers and marshalls. I can't stress enough how much work goes into the CWR. Chris has decided that this year will be his last....though strenuous efforts will no doubt be made to help him change his mind. The feedback from other teams on the Fell Runners Association forum is universally gushing with praise. If you'd like to be more involved with putting this fantastic event on next year contact Chris, Dene or any of the race committee. Come on, you know you want to.
The results are up on the Calderdale Way Relay page of the website. Photos are up on our flickr stream (hit the button on our home page).
There are additional photos courtesy of Baildon Harriers, the link to which can be found with the results.
Max is no. 1
Just a brief note to say well done to Max Wharton for winning the U18s race at Settle over the weekend. This also doubled as the Inter Counties championship which Max, along with his pal James Hall from Wharfedale, won for Yorkshire. In the senior event, Joe Crossfield finished a very creditable 49th, running as a junior man.
The Johnson's Triumph
In a series of meetings held in Rochdale organised by Andy O'Sullivan MBE, Simon Johnson (M45) one of our veteran athletes won a multi terrain 5k race. The race was held over 2 laps of Cowm Reservoir in Whitworth, Rochdale. Simon led from the gun to tape to finish in a time of 17:25 having 23 secs in hand over the 2nd athlete. This was not the only success on the night as Simon's eldest son Harry Johnson aged 11 (2nd junior), finished 24th overall in a time of 19:40 and youngest son James Johnson aged 9 won the fun run held over 1 lap of the Reservoir race. This completed a triple delight on the night for Halifax Harriers.
The Halifax Harriers fielded a big group of runners at the Esholt 5k race on Wednesday 8th May, covering a good cross section of the club. The race was the first of the trilogy of the Saltaire Striders' John Carr 5k series and was part of the Harriers' annual Race Challenge. Weather conditions were good, and of the 19 Harriers in the race, there were many PBs on the slightly undulating course with a long downhill final kilometre. The first Harrier home was Paul Sutcliffe in a time of 17:19 followed by Sarah Cumber in 17:57, being second female overall and first in the F40 category. The Harriers achieved first and second in the M65 category with Geoff Cumber coming first in a time of 19:16 and Raymond Hall coming second in a time of 21:09.
Club records for 5k were set by Sarah Cumber F40 (17:57), Geoff Cumber M65 (19:16) and Katrina Oddy F45 (19:38)
British Tetrathon Championships
On Saturday 11 May 2013, Alice Sismanovic of Heathfield School represented Yorkshire in the Youth D, U12 Girls British Tetrathlon Championships, at Solihull in Birmingham. This was conducted under Modern Pentathlon GB rules, where Youth D consists of girls aged 11 and 12. Alice is currently still 10.
The choice of the five diverse and unrelated sports that make up the Modern Pentathlon arose out of the romantic, tough adventures of a liaison officer whose horse is brought down in enemy territory. Having defended himself with his pistol and sword, he swims across a raging river and delivers the message on foot.
The competition commenced in the pool where Alice had a slow start and finished in sixth, with a time of 37.08.
The 14 competitors then moved onto the shooting range, where they were joined by the Youth D boys. The competition commenced with 25 children pistol shooting at a target 10 metres away to achieve the highest score possible out of 100. Alice had a superb shoot with a score of 81. This was the joint top score for the girls, and now put her in in forth place.
Once finished the competition moved straight into the combined run and shoot. This is where the competitions have a set time to knock down five targets in five shots, then set off at two second intervals on a run of 800 metres. Alice got off to a great start knocking down four of the targets. In great anticipation all the athletes were set off at two second intervals. Alice had a great run being second girl to finish. Once the times had been adjusted to take into account the time delays, Alice had moved up into joint third place.
The competitors then had a short break before the final fencing competition. A fencing certificate is required for this event, so 21 children took their positions on the fencing pistes. All the children fence one another with a match consisting of two strikes. The competition was very intense with an array of talent. After a long, and exhaustive competition, the athletes awaited the final scores.
As the scores were read out at the awards ceremony, Alice had done remarkably well coming first in the fencing with a score of 28 victories and 12 defeats. This had given Alice third place overall, with a score of 4136 finishing only 50 points behind the winner.
Well done to Alice for a fantastic result in her first year of Youth D competition. This now means that due to her achievement last month, Alice is now ranked third in the British Isles at both Triathlon and Tetrathlon.
Northern Track and Field
Halifax Harriers senior athletics team got off to a promising start to the season in the first Northern league meeting at Stretford on 5th May. A very good turn out with some good performances.
In the ladies section Lorna Gill and Rochelle Irish continued last years good form with victories in the triple jump A and B string respectively, both following up with strong performances in the 100m. Claire Ryan and Holly Martin also posted good results in the 200m with Claire also running the 400m with a strong debut performance from Hannah Roby to claim 2nd in the B 400m. Claire Denham also continued on from last year to put in strong performances in all the throws picking up a good haul of points. Lorna, Rochelle, Hannah and Claire Ryan also performed well in the relays finishing 2nd in both.
In the men's section Paul Willis set the tone with victory in the 400m hurdles followed by victories in both races of the 800m for debutant Brad Travis and veteran Paul Sutcliffe, Brad, who has gained national honours on the fells followed this up with 2nd in the 1500m and 5000m in a great individual points haul. In the sprints Luke Sutcliffe showed his potential again narrowly losing out for 2nd in the 100m and 200m with another debutant, Dan Beasley winning 200m B and 3rd in 400m A supported by Paul Sutcliffe in 3rd in 400m B race. Our other fell international, Joe Crossfield supported Brad in the 1500m with 3rd in another good debut on the track, most notable debut was by Ciaran Wilson Baig who led from gun to tape in a PB of 9:44.7 to win the 3000m Steeple chase. In the relays both teams put in strong performances to finish 2nd in both to finish off a good day. In the field the injured Tom Frazer gained valuable points setting a fine example and others contributed in their own way in helping the points accumulate. Halifax eventually finished joint 3rd in the match one point behind the team in 2nd.
Spenborough and District 306 points
Horwich 245 points
Stockport 244 points
Halifax 244 points
Altringham 206 points
Bradford and District 192 points
Longwood 191 points
Joe first back for Harriers
Sunday the 28th of April saw eight harriers turn out in changeable weather for the rearranged Epilepsy Action 10k in Bradford. This popular city centre run mainly follows Canal and Valley Roads from the city centre, heading out to Shipley, though as one experienced old Bradfordian Harrier warned “with a couple of sneaky pulls.” Following the turn, the course is more straightforward and flat, though even the most experienced runner found themselves battling troublesome (and rather cold!) head and crosswinds on the homeward stretches. First Harrier back was Joseph Crossfield in an impressive 37:37 from the gun, for a finishing position of 18th. Mike Aylott was next back for the Harriers in 47th, at 40:46. First female Harrier was Emily Mattinson, showing steely intent by posting 54:55 in her first race for the club. Despite shaking off the Paris marathon comedown blues, Paul Hopkinson ran strongly for his 43:54, and was 9th home in the M50 class. Other Harriers times; Jon Millard 41:12, David Nutton 44:57, Phillip Whettlock 45:44 and Rachel Sykes 55:49.
3rd Place for Alice
On Saturday 20 April 2013, Alice Sismanovic competed in the British Modern Triathlon Championships in Solihull, Birmingham having won the North West and Yorkshire qualifiers. Competitors came from all over England, with Alice competing in the Youth D, U12 Girls category. This is a National competition under Pentathlon GB rules, where Samantha Murray started on her road to the London Olympics.
23 Girls took part in this age group and Alice started with a great shoot, scoring 80 points to put her in 4th place.
Next up was the combined shoot and run event were Alice finished in a creditable 9th place with a time of 2.50.52. She was the only girl to achieve the maximum 5 knock downs, which enhanced her score to put her in 4th place overall.
The final event was the 50m swim with Alice competing in the fastest heat. The girls set off at a blistering pace and Alice came 6th, were she achieved a personal best time of 35.02 seconds.
As the final results were posted on the wall, Alice had amassed a score of 3254 points which propelled her into the Bronze medal position.
At the final awards ceremony Alice was presented with a cut glass shield, and is now ranked third in England in the U12 Girls category. This was a fantastic achievement on her behalf as she is still a first year Youth D competitor.
Alice competes locally for Halifax Harriers, Halifax Swimming Club, and is a member of Sowerby Bridge Gun Club.
This weekend Alice is competing at the Yorkshire Tetrathlon Qualifiers in York were Fencing is now added to the above events.
World Record for Carl
The sun shone and conditions were excellent for the thousands of runners in the London Marathon, in yet another fantastic day in the capital. Before the mass start of the race a 30 second silence was observed by all the runners in memory of those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon. Then it was time for the runners from all parts of the world to start their journey round the streets of London, some running for charities and others looking for personal best times or to break world records. Halifax Harriers Carl Smith’s target was the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon by a runner dressed as a lifeguard. He carried an inflatable buoy and had a whistle round his neck. The record was 3 hours 26 mins which Smith easily broke in 3:00:01.
The first runner back for Halifax Harriers was new member, Adam Walker, in 2:50:58. He ran an excellently paced race with almost even splits for the first and second halves of the marathon.
The star performance of the day was by Sarah Cumber, who continues to improve each year, and, once again, showed why she is one of the best female runners in the country for her age. Her time of 2:53:58 was a club record and placed her as 6th F40 in the marathon.
Gareth Burrell, running in his first marathon, showed what can be achieved with the correct training and determination, with a time of 2:55:22.
Other results for Halifax Harriers were:-
Geoff Cumber 3:21:41 (5th M65), Andrew Wiggins 3:27:06, Richard Plunkett 3:40:11, Nigel Rigg 3:43:36, Lee Buckwell 3:45:18, David Wright 4:13:47, Raymond McCarthy 4:30:41.
Busy day for Jess
On Saturday 22nd of April, Jess Hirst made the trip down the M62 to Liverpool Wavertree Athletics track for the bi-annual Jumps and Throws meeting. This meeting tends to bring out some of the best throwers and jumpers from the North of England and North Wales so competition levels were high.
Jess started the day finishing 4th in Shot Putt with a new outside pb of 9.53mtr. As expected all her rivals from the North had turned up with Gemma Kinsley (Wigan) winning with 10.55mtr, Leah Hilman (Pendle) 2nd with 10.07mtr and Amber Rimmington (Deeside AC) 3rd with 9.59mtr.
Hammer followed, Jess this time finishing 2nd with a season best of 38.07mtr behind Amber Rimmington who won with 40.12mtr, 3rd was Leah Hilman with 37.92mtr. Consistancy was the key for Jess with all 4 throws landing within 0.5mtr of each other.
Final event was Discus. Again Jess finished 2nd with a throw of 26.95mtr, behind Amber Rimmington who threw 29.41mtr. 3rd was Gemma Kinsley with 26.05mtr. The previous week had seen Jess throw a new pb of 28.65mtr but by the end of a long day energy levels were suffering.