Calder Valley’s fell runners headed north of the border to Dumfriesshire to tackle the latest instalment of the British Fell Running Championship.
Awaiting them was the gruelling Durisdeer fell race, squeezing over 4,000ft of climbing into just 9.1 miles and ensuring that calf and quad muscles were given a thorough Caledonian seeing to.
Over such steep terrain, the impish Gav Mulholland, perhaps Calder’s finest climber, comes into his own and can take great pride in his outstanding sixth place finish, crossing the line in tandem with the one and only Karl Gray.
Math Roberts, visibly jiggered by the whole assignment, carded a valiant eighth, and man of the moment Ben Mounsey trooped in 10th, ensuring that yet again Calder’s A men were right up there with the big boys.
Tim Ellis continued to demonstrate his consistency with an excellent 13th and all knew they had been in a right old scrap.
Old warhorses Shaun Godsman and Darren Kay deserve special mention for competing under the cloud of injury to ensure that Calder’s V40s remained in the reckoning for overall gold.
Eye witness reports suggest that Shaun had rediscovered his mojo during the post-match celebrations.
For the ladies, Karon Forster again showcased her skill in the tougher races with a mighty impressive run in 2hrs 18 mins.
Captain fantastic Helen Buchan showing that she’s well on the mend from an injury plagued season with a splendid 2:27.
On Sunday, more sedate proceedings were taking place at Norden over near Rochdale at the Knowl Hill fell race, part three of Rochdale Harriers’ popular three day event comprising a road, trail and fell race.
Calder Cannonball John Lloyd, running’s answer to Barry Hearne, took the spoils on the Friday by winning the road race with a trademark display, blasting out of the blocks up Edenfield Road and romping home in 35:37.
A decent fourth place on Saturday’s trail race meant John was in with a shout of the overall win come Sunday’s fell instalment.
Rossendale’s Sam Tosh took Sunday’s crown with a blistering course record of 41:10 – an outstanding time over the demanding terrain of Knowl Hill.
John came in 18th but can be pleased with his third place overall over the three days.
Calder’s Andy Thorpe showed signs of a return to form in ninth, but perhaps run of the day came from Calder’s brilliant Gayle Sugden, who continues to stretch the superlatives in this stand out season she is having.
Gayle was second lady in 17th place and was only a couple of minutes behind Holmfirth star Katie Walshaw, who was eighth.
Next Calder lady was who else but Sally Newman, with yet another fine run to finish fourth lady.