Symington relishes marathon test and notches Hike victory

Todmorden Harriers' James Riley at the Coledale Horseshoe race in the Lake District

Todmorden Harriers' James Riley at the Coledale Horseshoe race in the Lake District

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Calder Valley’s Ian Symington followed up his fourth place in last month’s Haworth Hobble with a magnificent win at the 37 mile Calderdale Hike.

The longest and toughest of local fell races has been run by the 24th St Paul’s Scout Group since 1979 and they offer fantastic hospitality and catering at an extremely well run event.

The 37 mile “long” route is a particular favourite of that rare breed of masochist, the ultra-distance fell runner.

The race now features as the second event, after the Hobble, in the prestigious “Run Further” series.

Runners have to find their own way between check points without the aid of flags.

This year’s competitors faced a new route in addition to gale force winds, hale, and rain as they lined up at dawn, for the 7am start at Sowerby Cricket Club.

As storm clouds gathered the 200 runners began a gruelling tour of Rishworth Moor, Windy Hill, Blackstone Edge and Turnslack Moor, before trekking along part of the Rossendale Way to Todmorden Moor, and onto Cornholme, Mount Cross and Lumbutts. They passed below Stoodley Pike to Erringden Grange, Mytholmroyd, Nab End Quarries, and back to the cricket club.

Nothing was going to come between the reigning Run Further champion and his goal and Symington seized maximum series points in a staggering 5 hours and 31 minutes.

Valley’s Mark O’Connor was third whilst Linda Murgatroyd and Elise Milnes were joint third women.

Calder Valley FR had three runners in the top nine at the Wardle Skyline race organised by Rochdale Harriers.

The race over moorland terrain from Wardle, north of Rochdale, attracted 186 runners. Pudsey and Bramley’s Neal Crampton won in 48:10. Jon Smith was first Valley runner in sixth in 51:29.

Steve Smithies was eighth in 51:39 with Iain Glendenning next 16 seconds behind in an event which was part of the Calder Valley club championship. Jo Buckley was the first senior woman in 37th in 55:29.

Other CV results: 20, Mark Wharton 53:44; 21, Ben Frenchette 53:47; 30, John Killerby 54:55; 37, 48, Jake Ackroyd 56:36; 58, Richard Ingram 57:00; 73, Mike Dean 58:30; 84, Daren Sargent 60:07; 87, Tim Brooks 61:06; 100, Andrew Wright 62:25; 104, Andy Thorpe 62:37; 108, Helen Buchan 63:17; 112, Dave Culpan 63:42; 114, Graham Lloyd 63:56; 115, Mike Wardle 64:02; 121, Toby Sydes 64:47; 124, Craig Hall 65:10; 133, Rachael Crossland 65:48; 135, Brian Horsley 65:56; 142, Andrew Meek 66:51; 145, Gillian Wisbey 67:07; 147, John Nynn 67:12; 157, Helen Lambert 70:14; 164, Andrew O’Donnell 71:52; 170, Rod Sutcliffe 73:33; 173, Carolyn Shimwell 73:36; 175, Graham Davy 74:04;