Stockport Road Relays 2014 & The Rest Of The Weekend’s Action

ByChristopher Holdsworth

Stockport Road Relays 2014 & The Rest Of The Weekend’s Action

Stockport Road Relays

“Yes, the hard part’s over!” I thought. Mistake number three. After flattening out we turned a corner to be faced with another steep incline. “Oh dear”. My confidence had now been zapped and I was starting to lose my place…”

3600 metres. 2.2 miles. However you write it down it really doesn’t seem like much. “How hard can it be?” That was my thought as I lined up at the start line. This, it soon transpired, was my first mistake.


Courtesy of Breton HoldsworthJacob Watson

Mistake number two came after lining up next to fellow Harrier Michael Hogan who asked ‘have you recce’d it?” As I had turned up with about 10 minutes to spare (and consequently sending Captain Breton into a minor panic) I answered “nope, didn’t have time”. Oh dear. “There’s a pretty steep hill after the first mile”, warned Michael. He was not wrong.


Courtesy of Breton Holdsworth – Andy Armstrong

The first mile consisted of one lap round the track followed by a flat section round the park. This ended with a steep drop which I confidently sprinted down, not thinking anything of it. This was dispatched with swiftly and easily (almost too easily come to think of it). My Garmin bleeped and I’d recorded my fastest ever mile. By now my confidence was reaching new highs! That was until I remembered Michael’s warning…


Courtesy of Breton Holdsworth – Richard Stevenson

My confidence was soon shattered as we reached the steep incline during mile 2. Managing to keep within the group was proving very tough, with many of the runners starting to puff and pant I kept thinking to myself “no matter how hard I’m finding this, it’s the same for them”. As we reached the top of the hill I couldn’t believe this mantra had worked! “Yes, the hard part’s over!” I thought. Mistake number three. After flattening out we turned a corner to be faced with another steep incline. “Oh dear”. My confidence had now been zapped and I was starting to lose my place. The climb was tough going and with almost no energy left in the tank I finally managed to reach the top.


Courtesy of Breton Holdsworth – Breton Holdsworth

The course by now had flattened out and it wasn’t long until we reached the final sprint back to the track. Crossing the line I wish I’d have had the energy to warn teammate Richard Stevenson of the toughness of this seemingly short and sweet course, however there was nothing left. 2.2 miles. How hard can it be? Brutally hard. More importantly, would I do it again? In a heartbeat.1610799_10205069484760884_124920466217288004_n

Courtesy of Breton Holdsworth – Jon Hanson

Senior Women finished in 24th with an overall time of 50:21

  1. Rebecca Rawcliffe 16:22
  2. Jean Knightley 17:30
  3. Irene Roche 16:29

Senior Men Team ‘A’ finished in 31st with an overall time of 52:10

  1. Jacob Watson 12:54
  2. Richard Stevenson 13:15
  3. Alex Cran 13:38
  4. Breton Holdsworth 12:23

Senior Men Team ‘B’ finished in 38th with an overall time of 54:34

  1. Michael Hogan 13:50
  2. Jon Hanson 13:48
  3. Richard Briscoe 13:55
  4. Andrew Armstrong 13:01


Courtesy of Breton Holdsworth – Jacob Watson

Thanks to Jacob Watson for this week’s excellent race report! Full results are here.


The Rest Of The Weekend’s Action

As this is my last week of writing ‘The Rest of the Weekend’s Action’ , I thought I’d go into a little more detail with the race I was involved in at the weekend. After all, it was an English Championship Fell Race!


Courtesy of Andy Holden – Angela Shian

Not that I had realised before blissfully agreeing to attend the race, having been persuaded to do so by the eager new fell runner Adam Hamer. The race was The Hodder Valley Show Fell Raceand lo and behold, some of the best fell runners in the country were all in attendance. Having a quick warm up before the 4 mile, 1500ft fell race began, I bumped into Matt Perry, who had also unknowingly decided to race without consulting all the details first. As we made our way to the pen, from which we were intended to start the race, it became clear there was to be a stampede towards the exit on the other side.


Courtesy of Andy Holden – Vicky Heys

Oh dear. The race began, and the numpty in front of me fell over his own feet. There was no time to adjust, and down I went too. My earlier writing of “bumping” into Matt foreshadowed what was to come, as my tumble also brought down my fellow Harrier causing a most calamitous start for the both of us. Now towards the back of the pack, and a great number of runners between where we wanted to be, we had to bide our time through the early bottlenecks, frustrated at our early mishap.


Courtesy of Andy Holden – Linda Lord

Not wanting to let the disastrous start get to my head, the opening of the field brought about an almost 5k pace from myself. I was now charging past what felt like a hundred runners, just to get back to a position where I would have originally intended to be. This daft pace took place all on an incline, and by the time I reached the first monstrous climb, I was categorically “goosed”. My legs, where they would have usually felt most comfortable, were now in no shape to be climbing these ridiculous hills, and for the next twenty minutes I was plotting my resignation from fell running altogether.

It was so damn hard….

Let it be known, Hodder Valley Fell Race is one of the toughest fell races I have been apart of, made only harder by the sheer amount of talent on show. After enduring thigh killer climbs and knee twisting descents, I managed to beat the course record by 2 minutes – but so did 33 other men…


Courtesy of Christopher Holdsworth

Now that I’ve set the scene on how tough the race was, as well as the amount of talented runners on display, you can appreciate how well the Clayton-le-Moors ladies did to achieve the 2nd placed team! This was achieved after brilliant performances from Vicky HeysAngela ShianJean BrownWendy DoddsLinda LordKarin Goss and more!


 Courtesy of Andy Holden – Linda Lord

Unfortunately the results have not come out for ladies yet, so I can’t write all your names and times. Well done to all who participated in this very tough, albeit short fell race!

The men also performed really well in what were also very hot conditions with no breeze. Men’s positions and times are as follows:

34 Christopher Holdsworth M 38.44

47 Dave Nuttall MV45 39.49

53 Matt Perry M 40.22

122 Geoffrey Gough MV55 45.11

130 Ivan Whigham MV50 46.07

132 Ralph Baines MV45 46.12

137 Kieran Carr MV65 47.27

144 Peter Browning MV55 48.46

158 Ian Robinson MV60 50.10

171 Dugdale McCullum MV65 52.16

182 Andrew Firth MV55 54.06

184 Rick Moore MV50 54.48

185 Peter Dugdale MV55 54.56

191 Andrew Walmsley MV60 57.49

193 Robin Nicholson MV45 59.34

197 Stephen Fish MV60 61.46

199 Robert Hirst MV60 65.30

202 Adam Hamer M 74.21

A special mention goes to Adam Hamer, as although he finished last, this was only his second fell race (what a race to choose) and previous results show that he would have been far from the back any other year. Well done!

The other big fell race of the weekend was The Yorkshire Marathon 2014. We had eight Harriers competing in total – three in the full, three in the half and a pair! For the full option, Paul Hesketh was our first runner through the finish in 03:58:45, followed shortly by Colin Shuttleworth in 04:02:56. Putting in a fantastic effort and finishing in just under the six hour mark was Adriene Olszewska in 05:55:28. Brilliant times for the hilly Marathon course!

In the half marathon option, Dawn Terry was our the first Harrier back, finishing in 02:26:06. Sue Allen and Peter Costello both finished the half marathon at the same time, completing the course in 03:27:50. Our official pairing competed in the full marathon, with Jeffery Pickup and Martin Terry finishing the race in 04:43:44. Well done everyone!

There was another half marathon being held this weekend, as three of our Harriers competed at Garstang. Steve Biscomb, finishing as the 1st V60, completed the race in an impressive 01:37:51. Alan Clarkson was the next through in 01:38:55, with Brian Wildman bringing us home in 01:44:36.

There was ANOTHER half marathon that our runners competed in this weekend (funny how unique similarities occur each week) – Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon in Wales was the venue, where over 1500 competed! Fabienne Richmond and Ted Orrell made the trip over, with both posting excellent times. Fabienne finished in 01:33:36 and finished 8th out of 160 in the F35 category. Not only that, but she finished 181st overall! Ted Orrell finished in 01:52:29, and was the 1st M75! Excellent running there!

Lastly, although the results aren’t currently out, Jonny Mckenna competed in the Spen Greenway 10k. Looking at his strava results, he completed the race in 00:34:32 and finished in 4th place! Sorry if there was anyone else and I’ve missed you, please let me know if you raced as well by emailing me here.



Courtesy of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers

Don’t forget, this Thursday is the clubs AGM! The junior race is at 6:40pm, with the senior race at 7pm – both will be staged at the Seedhill Race Track. The AGM will be held after at Nelson Cricket Club at 8pm. Please attend if you can!


Courtesy of GW Fitness & Rehab

Also, this weekend is the Pendle Memorial Fell Race, which aims to raise money towards the stone’s restoration. As much attendance as possible from our Harriers would be a great help towards raising the money, and you can either sign up online, or pay £6.50 on the day. People who would like to walk the course are welcome to do so for £2, and just need to fill in an FRA form on the day.

Departing Message

That’s it for me! I am no longer the Media Manager at Clayton-le-Moors Harriers. If you’d like to fill my boots, you can do so my attending the AGM on Thursday!

Thanks for reading all my posts these past 8 months, I’ve enjoyed seeing how everyone has progressed each and every week in the weekend’s results. There have been a great array of new talent at Clayton-le-Moors Harriers emerging too, so keep up the good work!

See you all for the 5000M track race!

Thanks again,

Christopher Holdsworth



About the author

Christopher Holdsworth