Pendle Fell Race 2014 & The Rest of the Weekends Action

ByChristopher Holdsworth

Pendle Fell Race 2014 & The Rest of the Weekends Action

Pendle Seniors Fell Race 2014, Saturday 5th April

‘I had unrealistically hoped of running the majority of this climb, as I had finally succeeding at doing this in a training session exactly 3 weeks ago.  I had previously never thought  that this was possible…’

I arrived promptly to get parked and registered after pre race warnings from the race organisers that it was likely to be busy due to the mass of people gathering in the village of Barley for the first race of the 2014 English Championships.  My warm up was timed perfectly with catching the leader of the ladies race, Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley Harriers, who had a healthy lead over her competitors as she headed left off the track as part of a changed route which meant instead of the mile long fast finish, runners were sent up a final short climb around the woods next to Lower Ogden reservoir to finish in the field behind the water works.  The first Clayton lady to pass me as I continued jogging along the track was Jean Brown who put in a great effort finishing 34th in a time of 46.03.  She was followed by:

69th                 Wendy Dodds         50.25

85th                 Alison Dugdale        53.21

105th               Linda Lord               55.54

113th               Katy Thompson       58.56

118th               Nichola Horsfall       59.52

133rd               Karin Goss              1.03.48

I returned from my warm up to a packed and buzzing start line, full of eager runner’s ready get on their way.  After upping my mileage over the past few months in preparation for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, I felt confident of being able to run hard around the 4.5ish mile course, although I was wary to save a little in the legs for final short climb just before the finish. The new race route meant that as well as English Championship points, the leading runners had added motivation of a record being up for grabs, after the previous record of 29.44 had remained unbroken since it was set back in 1984 by Jack Maitland.


We were soon set off on our way, and everyone seemed to have the same idea of making a fast start and not getting boxed in along the track and despite my best efforts I still made a slower start than I would have liked.  The first mile quickly passed and after making up quite a few places along the track, we turned right and began the 1st of 2 climbs up Pendle Hill.  This climb was fairly gradual but I still struggled to get momentum going and despite losing a few places, I was spurred on by trying to stop the Clayton vest of Paul Shackleton from disappearing out eye shot into the clag that covered the top of Pendle


At the top of the climb we turned off just before the trig down a fast decent back to the foot of Pendle Hill.  We then turned left just before the steps and were faced with the notorious ‘Big End’ climb up the face of Pendle Hill.  I set off running the climb and gained a few places back that I had lost on the decent.  I had unrealistically hoped of running the majority of this climb, as I had finally succeeding at doing this in a training session exactly 3 weeks ago.  I had previously never thought this was possible but was spurred into giving it a go after been given a motivational training talk from Clayton legend Geoff Gough back at the British Fell Relays in Wales whose statement of ‘whatever you can walk, you can run” still sticks in my head when doing hill training.  However I hadn’t made such a fast racing start in my training session and so soon tired on the climb, and reverted to trying to keep up a fast walk as the lactic acid burned in my legs.

The climb eventually ended and we were greeted by a large crowd who cheered us on towards the trig where we turned left and headed back down the 1st climb.  I lost a few places on this tricky decent but was kept pushing swapping places a couple of times with Clayton’s Paul Shackleton.  Before we knew it we were back on the road, feeling far less fresh than before.  I held my position on the flat before turning left up the final short climb.  This was a real killer and I had no energy to try and cling onto the couple of runners who went past.  We then turned right and passed through a few very muddy fields, before entering the final field behind the water works, where we looped around the edge before crossing the finish.

The race was superbly organised and marshalled, and there was a great turnout of supporters who provided welcome encouragement on the fell.  The runners at the front put on a fantastic spectacle, with constant interchanging of positions around the route and only just over 3 minutes separating the top 10 runners.  This year’s race winner was Tom Addison of Helm Hill Runners, who led home an extremely fast field in a time of 32.55.  He was closely followed by Rob Hope (Pudsey and Bramley), Simon Bailey (Mercia) and Tom Adams (Ilkley) who were all less than a minute behind. The first Vet 40 was Morgan Donnelly (Borrowdale) in 5th place, closely followed by Rob Jebb (Bingley).  Youngster James Hall showed tremendous potential finishing 7th ahead of Rhys Findlay Robinson (Dark Peak) and Tim Ellis (Calder Valley), with Bingley’s Ian Holmes rounding off the top 10.

Leading home the Clayton pack was Spencer Riley who despite his focus on long distance training for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, was still able to put in a great effort and sneak into the top 50 with a time of 38.00.  He was closely followed by the ever improving Chris Holdsworth who finished 67th with a time of 38.53.  Rounding off the top 3 for Clayton was Matt Perry who was 71st in a time of 39.09.  There were some fantastic efforts made by the many Clayton representatives, with the 2013 Pendle Aggregate Trophy winner, Peter Dugdale epitomising the true Clayton spirit completing the race the day after flying back from South Africa.  The other Clayton results included:

49th                 Spencer Riley           38.00

67th                 Chris Holdsworth     38.53

71st                 Matt Perry                 39.09

113th               Andrew Stubbs        41.35

129th               David Bagot             42.15

134th               Paul Shackleton       42:26

158th               Geoff Gough             43:22

162nd              Brian Horrocks         43:29

182nd             Jack Holt                   44:53

192nd             Dominic Carr             45.18

196th               Richard Briscoe       45:22

198th               Mick Dobson            45:40

233rd               Mark Nutter              47:47

241st               Peter Browning         48:34

242nd             Kieran Carr                48:38

245th               Mark Taylor               49:34

271st               Dugald McCallum     51:00

274th               Andrew Dugdale       51.14

284th               Ian Connell                52:21

301st               Peter Dugdale           53:49

307th               Andrew Firth              54.39

324th               Stephen Fish             58.10


Thanks to David Bagot for this weeks race report!


Pendle Junior Fell Races, Barley, Sunday 6th April.

‘As we walked up the field to the starting area we knew the juniors were in for a tough day with conditions under foot quite bad. The juniors got together into their age groups and set off to inspect their race routes with many returning looking like they’d already raced’

Another fantastic effort from our juniors at the Pendle Junior Fell Races with 22 brave boys and girls taking part. Welcome to Joshua McKay who was making his Clayton debut. Special mention has to go to Briony Holt, Harry Mason, Jordan McDonald and Jacob Boyle for securing top 3 positions in the Lancashire Championships.

We arrived around midday to overcast sky’s and a cool breeze but nothing compared to what was install for the older juniors in the later races. In recent year’s at the Pendle races we’ve had sunny blue sky’s, snow and today heavy rain showers with much of Pendle Hill hidden in the clouds. As we walked up the field to the starting area we knew the juniors were in for a tough day with conditions under foot quite bad. The juniors got together into their age groups and set off to inspect their race routes with many returning looking like they’d already raced.

The U8’s got us underway with a brilliant run from Finley Stubbs who was 2nd boy (1st M7) with Joshua McKay 12th boy (2nd M6).

In the U10’s Jackson McKay was 6th boy (5th M9) closely followed by Christopher Brown 9th boy (7th M9), Ella Dorrington 12th girl (7th F9), Amelia Dugdale 19th (13th F9), Grace Root 25th girl (8th F8), Eloise Clegg 26th girl (16th F9) and Lydia Wood 39th (23rd F9)

Next up was the U12’s race with Briony Holt taking 3rd girl (2nd F11), Millie Stubbs 15th girl (7th F11), Harry Mason 32nd boy (12th M11), Adam Quinn 37th (14th M11) and Daniel Bradley 44th boy (18th M11).

As the U14’s prepared themselves the weather began to change but we were still hopeful that it would keep fine. The rain began to fall on the way up to Buttock Farm making conditions under foot even worse. This did nothing to put the juniors off with them showing grit and determination. Tom Bradley was 20th boy (14th M13), Alice Pier 19th girl (5th F13) and Eleanor Root 22nd girl (16th F12).

Finally it was the turn of the U16’s and U18’s to brave the conditions, with the U18’s going all the way to the Trig point and back. In the U16’s Jordan McDonald was 11th boy (8th M15), Curtis Holt 20th boy (9th M14) and Beth Quinn 30th girl (10th F15).

A great run from Jacob Boyle saw him finish 6th boy (3rd M17), with George Pier after taking a couple of tumbles on the way finished 17th boy (12th M16).

A truly great effort again from ALL you juniors. Thank you once more to ALL the parents for your continued support and encouragement for the juniors.

 Aquathlon, Salt Ayre, Lancaster, Sunday 30th March.

Grace and Eleanor Root participated in their 2nd Aquathlon at Salt Ayre in Lancaster. It was a perfect day and for once the sun was shining. Grace competed  in the Supersprint event coming 9th overall and 7th girl out of a mixed field of 15. Big sister Eleanor took part in the Tristar 3 event. She had a good swim leaving the pool in 3rd place but lost a little time in transition dropping her to 5th. She did however manage to pull it back on the run coming 3rd in her wave. Her final position was 24th overall and 12th girl out of a mixed field of 34.

Well done girls.

Thank you to Jason Piers for this weeks race report!


The Rest of the Weekends Action

This week saw a high volume of weekend races taking place. Dave Motley had an emphatic personal triumph at the Greater Manchester Marathon completing the race in the sub 3 hour markRead about the culmination of his hard work and efforts, along with other Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, in his captivating race report here.

Roger and Andrea Brewster competed at this years Leamington Regency 10k. They both completed the course in impressive time of 0:39:21 and 1:01:19. Another 10k being contested this weekend was 3 Bridges by Steve BiscombMartin Brady and Kevin O’Brien. All had brilliant runs with Steve narrowly missing out on a top 20 finish. Full results found here.

Harriers Richard Stevenson and Kevin Davies played an away game this weekend, competing at the Marathon de Paris. Once again Clayton-le-Moors members proved their mettle on the marathon stage by achieving great times 3.08.49 and 03:27:23 respectively.

Down in Lincoln, Breton Holdsworth had another top 3 placed finish, this time at the Grantham Cup 10k. He finished 2nd overall, posting a time of 00:41:50, over three minutes ahead of 3rd place.

Lastly, Junior member Leon Passco had a tremendous run at Burnley Park Run, setting a new PB in 18:13. As a spectator to his 1st placed victory, his effort and pace was a sight to behold – an exciting future prospect in the ranks!

Well done to everyone who ran this week, many miles were put in over this weekend and a whole lot of effort! Keep up the good work!


About the author

Christopher Holdsworth