CALDER Valley’s international star Holly Page showcased her talents on a local stage at Saturday’s Shepherd Skyline fell race, hosted by Todmorden Harriers.
More than 230 budding ‘shepherds and shepherdesses’ of all ages gathered on the start line for the popular event with 34 from Calder Valley- evenly split between juniors and seniors - and 16 from Harriers.
The senior course was fast but muddy, with a kamikaze descent off Stoodley Pike, immediately followed by a stiff climb back up the hill to keep the stout-legged fell runners on their toes.
The six mile route has 1148 feet of climbing whilst offering stunning views across the valley from the ridge line.
A loose horse running wild at the top of Stoodley added to the excitement. The junior routes were shorter, but as muddy, on the nearby hillside.
Calder Valley dominating much of the prize giving.
Page delivered her usual impressive performance as first lady in 47:54 and was ninth overall. She was chased home by Harriers’ birthday-girl Annie Roberts.
Ilkley’s Nathan Edmundson won the men’s race in a superb time of 43:02.
First home for Calder Valley was Shaun Godsman in third, securing the MV45 prize. Mark Burton scooped the MV40 prize and Valley took the men’s team prize through Godsman, Burton and Jon Smith and the women’s prize through Page, Ellie Eady and Eileen McDonach.
The first Harrier home, in an excellent 12th place, was Paul Hobbs. Phil Montgomery was third Harrier in 52:59.
It was great to see a wealth of new Todmorden talent coming through with Ben Holmes, Sam Lund and Theresa Casey having impressive first outings.
Another note worthy performance came from Valley’s Helen Flage in her first fell race since the birth of her daughter earlier this year.
She said: ‘It was quite a milestone for me. It felt great but I was much less sure footed and more cautious on the down hills but that will come back. The main thing was my lungs and legs worked!”
Harriers results: 12, Paul Hobbs 49.04; 20, Annie Roberts 51.33; 34, Philip Montgomery 52.59; 41, Tristan Langlois 55.42; 54, Ben Holmes 58.29; 67, Chris Dewhirst 60.53; 78, Ian Maclachlan 62.39; 81, Chris Standish 62.50; 97, Simon Anderton 65.05; 101, Samuel Lund 65.58; 103, Ricky Parrish 66.16; 109, Daniel Norcliffe 67.31; 122, Theresa Casey 72.23; 123, Jane Leonard 72.51; 140, Sue Roberts 77.36; 148, Mandy Goth 80.00.
SIXTY EIGHT runners took part in the junior race, 18 from Calder Valley.
Harry Cliff won the under-nines race by less than a second with Valley team mates Joseph Stone and Leo Hackett third and fourth.
Three Calder Valley juniors were in the top 10 in the under-11s. Thomas McKee finishing fifth despite losing one of his shoes in a bog. Ollie Pickins came sixth and Sam Annison eighth.
Charlie Pickins was first under-13 with Tom Owen, Leo Illstone and Fearne Hanson also in the top 10.
Valley’s Alex Duffield was second under-15 with team mates Addison Willis, Elija Paec-Webb, Maya Brunt and Emilia Wright also in the top 10.
More athletics reports in this week’s Halifax Courier and Todmorden News.