December Roundup

ByHelen Stevens

December Roundup

December was a very quiet month for racing , with no cross country fixtures and just a handful of fell, road and trail races.

Read the Race Reports section to hear about our fellow team members’ race experiences.

As many of you will know, Clayton Harrier Simon Halliday tragically died earlier in the month in a caving accident. We’ve included a short article in the Roundup, but have also created a separate page with more memories, including a couple of articles written by Simon himself.

Please send any Race Reports or other articles to

Simon Halliday 1970-2020

by Jon Sharples, added to by Colin Woolford

Simon Halliday

Simon Halliday

Simon Halliday brought his infectious enthusiasm to Clayton le Moors Harriers in January 2004. He was already an established and highly competent caver but was keen to improve his fitness and endurance. Referring to himself as “a fat caver often found at the bar”, he took to fell running like a duck to water and was always keen to seek out and conquer the next challenge. He transformed his fitness and completed some of the toughest, hardest races in the fell running calendar, including the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Langdale, Borrowdale, Wasdale, the Bens of Jura and Old County Tops with
relative ease. A willing group of Clayton runners joined Simon’s Lake District training regime which became focused on tackling the famous Bob Graham Round, BGR, (72 miles, 42 summits, 29,000 feet of climbing and descending in less than 24 hours). This was a challenge that Clayton le Moors Harriers has a long and proud tradition in.

On 12th May 2007 Simon supported by his team duly completed a summer round in weather and circumstances that were quite challenging on the day. Not content with that Simon announced that he was going to attempt another BGR in the cold and darkness of winter, hoping to be only the 10th person to do so. So on 22nd December 2007 (The shortest day of the year!) the team was mustered again and an epic run began. The weather was challenging from the outset with ice, snow, and mist making progress difficult. At halfway Simon was some way behind schedule and the consensus was
that a successful round could not be achieved. However, Simon thought otherwise. So over the next dozen hours the schedule was gradually clawed back and Simon sprinted to the finish at the Moot Hall in Keswick with 3 minutes to spare! Simon wrote proudly and passionately of his BG experiences with the “Clayton BG Machine”.

Afterwards Simon continued to be an active fell runner with Clayton for several years, always seeking out and completing new challenges such as the Three Peaks Yacht race and the Scottish Islands Race. Then gradually other challenges appeared on the horizon and Simon moved on to be a successful Triathlete, Ironman, long distance cyclist and finally a caver again. In his day job he was a Master Builder and worked in the family business. He always kept in touch with Clayton Harriers and as recently as November 2019 had a run with Barley Badgers, Clayton’s Tuesday training night
group of headtorch fell runners, of which he was a founder member.

Whatever Simon turned his attention to he did so 100% and he did it well. He leaves a wife Toni, a son Connor and a daughter Isabella. Our thoughts are with them.

Simon will be very fondly remembered and is very sadly missed.

Tributes to Simon Halliday

The English Fell Championships

A few of us are keen to get more people involved with the English Fell Championships, especially but not exclusively male V50. It’s a good chance to see some new places, pitch yourself against the best around and run for your club. The more you can do the better, especially in the far flung races and later races where enthusiasm drops and you can scoop up some points. To score individually you should try to do 4 races and each of the 3 distances.

The races are spread through Cleveland, The Peak District, The Lake District and Shropshire

Date Category Race
04-04-20 M Guisborough 3 Tops
16-05-20 S Alderman’s Ascent
13-06-20 L Ennerdale Horseshoe
04-07-20 M Blencathra
29-08-20 S  Arnison Crag Horseshoe
20-09-20 L South Mynd Tour

For Women’s team Chamionships the first 3 in the club count. In the Mens open category the first 5 of the club count, 4 in the V40 and 3 in all other categories.

Race Reports

Kong Series Race 2 – SOB

by David Edmondson

This is a Kong Fell Race that visits: Stile End, Outerside and Barrow. I made it just over 4.5 miles with just over 2000 foot of climb. There were a few Clayton runners present although I was the youngest at a sprightly 52, maybe something fun was happening elsewhere? So I lined up with Jon Sharples, Andy Firth and Wendy Dodds.

Slogging up the first climb.

Slogging up the first climb.

Interesting weather for this race with the first accent up Stile End straight into a stiff wind and a few ice pellets thrown in. I started nice and easy and gently wound it up. My descending is gradually getting better after some time away from fell racing but wearing x talons didn’t help on the steep muddy slopes of Barrow, I slid a good 20 yards on my backside towards the finish. My feet are too wide for mud claws these days: feet generally get wider as you age!

I managed a respectable second V50 and 36 overall out of 181. Ambleside dominated the results with Scout Adkin and Matthew Elkington winning and they were easily first in both team competitions.

A link to the Results is in the Results Roundup.

Ribble Valley 10K

by Carl Carey

I decided to book this race back in July (and again in October when I’d forgotten I’d booked it!) because I’d been running a lot and wanted to see how I’d do compared to the last time I did it in 2016.

Up until that point, I’d been running pretty well, having broke some of my personal records, 5k and half marathon times, as well as all my Grand Prix races, but had yet to enter a fast time for a 10k race. Flat and fast Ribble Valley was my decision, hoping to finish the years running with a flourish, and hopefully a time of 44 or 45 minutes, 2 minutes faster than my previous. Seems reasonable I thought as I was now fitter and a bit quicker since then! The only problem with that was the Christmas period, really loving my food so having to be really strict (ish!). The month leading to the race was a busy one at work for me, so had to miss John’s excellent Tuesday and Thursday training sessions, resulting in me having to run on my own from home! The last few weeks before the race, it seemed my legs were made from lead every time I ran, and I began to doubt I would make even 45 minutes, let alone 44! It didn’t help that I was analysing times from previous races. Judith told me off and told me to just get on with it ?

The week before the race, I received my number and chip through the post. This was getting serious, and didn’t help my nerves! I’d put some weight back on that I’d worked so hard to shift, my legs were heavy every time I ran, and I just wanted to get it out of the way now!

The day of the race came, got up early, had my peanut butter and banana bagel then went back to bed, but couldn’t get back to sleep so got up and got ready. Leaving reasonably early, we got a good parking spot and decided to go look and then I could get ready. Was pleased to see quite a few Clayton faces there, some with niggles and ailments but determined nevertheless!

We lined up, at the time asked, but it seemed like forever before we set off. Then, we were off! I started my watch as I passed the timing mat, then tried to settle into my race. People were passing me left and right, but experience told me to ignore them and not get dragged along at this stage. I must admit at about 2k in, I panicked a bit when certain runners caught and passed me, and I felt it was difficult at that point, but decided to press on and see how it goes. Resisting the temptation to look at my watch ( I found it doesn’t help) I suddenly came alive at the 4K marker and started to pick people off I knew were similar to me.

Carl at the start of the RV10K. Photo by David Belshaw

Carl at the start of the RV10K. Photo by David Belshaw

Surprisingly I started to see people I never usually see in races and started to worry if I’d been going too fast. 6 and 7k saw me pass quite a few people and I started to wonder if I’d be able to maintain the speed, especially when my watch buzzed to tell me I’d done the last kilometre in 4 minutes! With 2k to go, I’d passed a few of my team mates, all of us encouraging one another, until I’d caught a team mate who’d struggled a bit, but nevertheless was still quick. He told me to press on, but my lace had come untied so was conscious of tripping over that! I wasn’t going to stop though, so close to the finish, and after numerous warnings off other runners about my lace, rounded the corner to go uphill towards the finish, with no idea of my time. Judith and my girls were on the hill shouting “you can do it daddy!” and I managed a smile (which Judith later said she thought I must be ok as it’s usually a frown). As I’m getting closer, I hear the commentator call my name and shouting put it in and you’ll get sub 43! What!! Tears streaming, guts busting, I make it over the line, 42:33 chip time, not believing I’d smashed it, by nearly 5 minutes! It was Christmas again for me, I could scarcely believe it, and had tears in my eyes when I told Judith the result. She laughed and told me that she knew I’d do it, but I think she was also pleased that I wouldn’t be moping around the house disappointed!

Carl putting the effort in at the end of the RV10K. Photo by David Belshaw.

Carl putting the effort in at the end to achieve his PB. Photo by David Belshaw.

As always, a well organised race which was sold out, and had 1500 runners, but difficult because of the Christmas period! I think Judith is now glad that I’ve stopped talking about it, as I was getting on her nerves!

Ribble Valley 10K

by Jason Pier

This was the race I’d been building up to for the last few months. My final attempt at running a sub 40 minute 10k in 2019. The year had started with me never having completed a 10k in under 44.34

My training for the last few months has consisted of regular 6 – 8 mile runs, speed work at the track along with my usual treadmill sessions. In all honesty I’ve found the track sessions hard going, but looking back its helped me to maintain a regular pace for each kilometre.

The last couple of weeks leading up to the race have been a real struggle. Being a night shift worker for some reason I’ve struggled to sleep for longer than 4 hours a day. This has lead to me feeling so drained and lacking energy, so you can imagine I wasn’t expecting to run well at all.

Race day arrived and I’d finally managed to have by my standards a decent sleep of 6 hours. Up at 6.00am, breakfast and a walk with the dog, i set off to pick up Michelle Abbott and Calum en route to Clitheroe. We arrived in plenty of time to get parked up close to the start area, where we gathered with Judith and Carl Carey. After a good 2k warm up to test out the slight niggle I’ve felt recently in my hip I was ready to race.

Jason at the start of the RV10K

Jason at the start of the RV10K. Photo by David Belshaw

The race started and away we went along the road before heading down over the river at Edisford Bridge, then passing the campsite and out into the countryside. To achieve a sub 40 I needed to be under 4 minutes per kilometre. The first kilometre went well 3.46 so in my head I had a few seconds in the bank. I was so focused on maintaining a regular pace I honestly don’t remember much about the route. I reached the 5k marker in under 20 minutes so knew I had to match that for the second half of the race. Doubt starts to creep in and that you’re going to tire. Each kilometre marker passed and I was just under 4 minutes each time. Before long the 9k marker arrived, time for one last push down the hill fast as I could to give me the momentum to climb up the other side.

That done and it was just a matter of sprinting the final 300m to the finish. “Come on you can do it, just imagine you’re at the track” I kept saying to myself. The finish line seemed to take an age to arrive, over I went to finish in a time of 39.41 minutes. Absolutely buzzing, couldn’t believe it. Never ever thought at the start of 2019 I’d end the year running sub 40 for a 10k. More improvement to come yet, so new year, new goals to set. Well done to all my fellow club members on your performances at the Ribble Valley 10k.

Jason storming to a 10K PB

Jason storming to a 10K PB. Photo by David Belshaw

Finally I feel it only right to end this report by thanking a few people who have helped me along the way in 2019 to achieve my goals. Thank you to Gary Moore who got me out of a rut at the start of the year and helped me to enjoy running again. Kev Davies for your support and words of encouragement at the track even though I only ever see the back of you. My wife Jane, who’s had to put up with me being out most weekends training or racing. Marion Wilkinson, who has always believed in me to achieve my goals even when I have doubted myself. You’ve given up so much time to coach and advise me on all aspects of my running, whilst dealing with personal issues of your own. For this I’m eternally grateful.

Happy New Year to everyone at Clayton. Let’s work together and make 2020 a great year for our club.

Results Roundup

1st December – Myerscough 10 – Results

8th December – Mytholmroyd Fell Race – Results

3rd Team – Andy Laycock, Ryan Bradshaw, Craig Stansfield.

14th December – Hurst Green Turkey Trot – Results

1st MJ – Charlie Parkinson; 2nd MJ – Robbie Smedley; 3rd MJ – William Nicholls; 3rd M50 – Craig Stansfield; 1st M55 – Ivan Whigham; 2nd F35 – Michelle Abbott; 1st team – Charlie Parkinson, Robbie Smedley, Craig Stansfield.

14th December  – Kong Winter Series R2 SOB – Results

22nd December – Ian Holloway Cowm 5k – Results

27th December – Wansfell Pike Fell Race – Results (Word Document)

1st FV70 – Linda Lord.

29th December – Ribble Valley 10K – Results

3rd MV55 – Kevin Davies; 3rd FV60 – Nicola Dugdale; 2nd FV70 – Karin Goss; 3rd M75 – David Scott; 3rd FV35 – Rebecca Rimmington.

31st December – Bowstones Fell Race – Results

Parkrun Roundup

 14th December 2019  Burnley  Adrian Cheetham  VM40-44  17:17
 21st December 2019  Burnley  Adrian Cheetham  VM40-44  17:05
 Centre Vale  Neil Whalley  VM45-49  20:43
 Hyndburn  Martin Brady  VM55-59  23:58
 Kath Wallis  VW60-64  24:05
 28th December 2019 Pendle  Jeffrey Pickup  VM65-69  26:24

Junior Parkrun Roundup

 22nd December 2019  Burnley  Francis Woodruff  JM10  08:39

About the author

Helen Stevens author