Todmorden Harriers’ Chris Goddard took top honours when Calder Valley Fell Runners members Phil and Jackie Scarf held their annual Winter Score event last Sunday.
Despite inclement conditions, the event attracted 47 entries, mainly individuals, teams of friends and family members from the two local clubs.
Competitors were provided with a map and had up to two hours to find as many of the 26 controls placed around the local countryside as possible.
There were strict penalties incurred for each minute a runner was late back to St John the Baptist in the Wilderness church at Cragg Vale, which kindly provided a base for the event.
The Winter Score is as much about planning and tactics as skill as a fell runner.
This year’s event was additionally challenging.
Snow on the ground made it extra tricky to find controls and an abundance of ice saw runners struggling to stay on their feet.
Local writer and fell-running legend Goddard won the event in 1h 54 mins with 52 points.
He was closely followed by Calder Valley’s Tim Brooks, who won the men’s V40 category.
Brooks came in three minutes after the two hour mark and a three point penalty left him with a score of 51.
A few runners from both clubs clocked up scores of 41 points.
They included Phil Hodgson from Todmorden Harriers, winner of the men’s vet 60 category, and mixed V40 pair Richard Sunderland and Catherine Holden.
Other impressive performances included the father and son team of Ian and Eric Powell (Calder Valley), who came in five minutes short of the two hour mark with 36 points to take the family prize, and John Crummett (Todmorden Harriers), who won the men’s V70 with 30 points.
The competition for first lady was an extremely tight affair with three of Todmordern Harriers’ female runners scoring 34 points.
Kath Brierley narrowly edged out fellow V50 Mandy Goth, having returned to base four minutes before her clubmate. She was first female and first female V50 by a whisker.
Everyone agreed that the Scarfs had staged a challenging event, getting people out of the house on a misty, grey and damp December day.
Runners were also grateful to the church members who provided cups of tea, butties and cakes as well as a warm welcome.
Todmorden Harriers’ Richard Butterwick was out racing at the Joyce Ashworth Memorial 5k in Whitworth.
He won the race in 21.58 whilst Myra Wells came 17th in a time of 44.41.
Clubmate Louise Greenwood took on the Tour of Helvellyn, a 38 mile mountain race with 2000 metres of elevation, She came 135th.