The only way is up ….

This years Junior Uphill Championship Race was held on Great Whernside near Kettlewell in Wharfedale. There was a great turnout with 305 juniors competing. Fortunately the weather was kind, with just a few brief showers before the races set off and then the sun shone. The ground was also much drier than normal.

Calder Valley Juniors put in some excellent runs in particular the under 9s and the under 13s.

In the under 9s race Clara McKee won the girls race in 4:38 two seconds ahead of Bethan Buckley of Keighley and Craven AC. Samuel Annison was 4th in the boys race. The under 11 boys saw Charlie Pickens, George McFie and Thomas McKee came 10th, 12th and 14th respectively.

William Hall won the under 13s race in 8:37 nearly half a minute ahead of his nearest competitor. William is possibly the best fell runner of his age in the country at the moment. Good results also in the under 13s from Patrick Casey (6th) and James Duffy (9th). In the under 15s race Eilo Beesley ran well to place 39th.

Well done to every junior who took part. You are all super stars.

full results here

Sedbergh Gala success for seniors & juniors

happy hoops after Sedbergh

Sedbergh Gala Fell Race

There is something special about Sedbergh Gala Fell Race. In less than three and half miles it climbs around 1,000 feet and is over, for the fastest runners at least, in about twenty minutes. The first in the BOFRA (British Open Fell Running Association) series of super-short, super-steep fell races, Sedbergh is known for the eyeballs-out speed it requires.

Nicknamed the ‘bullet’, Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey has that in abundance, and didn’t disappoint. Pre-race favourites Mounsey and clubmate Darren Kay went toe-to-toe, battling it out from the start. Mounsey led the way on the runnable climb, but at the summit only a second separated the Calder Valley pair. Both men took a slightly different line on the descent and it was here that Mounsey managed to open up an unassailable lead.

He won in an excellent time of 19:48, just 7 seconds in front of Kay in 19:55, as both men dipped under the 20 minute mark. In-form Jack Smith and former BOFRA champion Ted Mason, both Wharfedale Harriers, trailed in 3rd and 4th respectively. Their teammate and reigning female champion, Kirsty Hall, took the honours in the women’s race in 23:25.

The junior race saw an equally strong performance from Calder Valley, with three club runners placing in the top ten. Continuing his excellent season, William Hall won the under-12s race, though it was a close competition, with William taking the win by just one second from Sam Conroy (Keighley and Craven) in a nail-biting sprint finish. James Duffy and Patrick Casey both had excellent runs for Calder Valley too, finishing 5th and 7th respectively.

Ben’s win came after a successful race the day before when he was on official duty, as an Innov-8 sponsored athlete, at the Lakeland Trail event in Staveley, South Lakes. Competing in the 17-kilometre race, Ben said “conditions were dry and although it was windy, it made for excellent racing. I was leading after five miles but took a wrong turn (no marshal!) and returned to the race in 2nd position, finishing in 1:11:59 behind eventual winner, Jonny Cox of Eden Runners in 1:10:07. Only a week after completing the 3 Peaks fell race, my legs were in bits.”

Truly golden day for William as he is crowned under 13s Yorkshire champ

In the Pennines during the late 1700s the counterfeiters known as The Coiners made fake coins to supplement their incomes. There was certainly nothing fake about the present day Coiners in the form a junior fell race which was the next counter in the Junior English championship and also a Yorkshire Championship race. In what was forecast to be a miserable day it was pleasing for the race organiser and helpers alike that the sun was shining, although a tad windy, as they went about constructing the race field of tents and finishing funnels for the onslaught of juniors. It turned out to be a record field of 416 enthusiastic kids wanting to race and do their best in the gorse clad moors of the Pennines. The routes are challenging for all age groups with proper fell running terrain involved. They all head up the steep grassy slopes of Daisy Bank and depending on age category some tramp over the moors with the older age group going to iconic Stoodley Pike and back.
Start with the under 9s new recruit Clara McKee had a great run to take 1st girl home and 8th place overall in a time of 5.10. Sam Annison was 1st boy home and had to work hard to beat his team mate Clara by a slim margin of 2 seconds. Charlie Pickens is making great strides in the under 11s and placed 7th in a time of 9.46 Only 3 places back was George McFie (9.55) with Thomas McKee 22nd (10.39), Ben Hodgkinson 48th (12.01), 51st Ollie Pickens (12.08), 68th Fearne Hanson (13.01), 70th Finley Canning (13.07), 71st Kenton Jones McCalla (13.10), 75th Wynn Standish (13.16). In the under 13s it was back to business for William Hall who took 3rd place in 11.22. He took gold and was crowned under 13s Yorkshire Champion. His team mates fought hard for top spots with James Duffy placing 9th (12.11), Patrick Casey just one place back in 12.14, a 15th spot for Alex Duffield in 12.55, 39th Farrell Brown (14.05), 56th Elijah Peers-Webb (15.07), 81st Matilda Baldaro (15.56), 84th Evelyn Illstone (17.22), 87th Sylvie Smith (17.46) and 101st Hattie Pope (20.55). In the tough age category of under 15s Erik Powell ran well to take 34th place in 21.01 with Eilo Beesley was 39th in 21.24. Maya Brunt found this tough but battled on to take 82nd place (26.05) with Ruby McFie 86th (26.36). In the under 17s category Lucas Greenwood placed 37th in a strong field.

All race results available at