CVFR’s U9s storm to victory in English Junior’s Champs race


At Clougha Pike on Saturday 16th June, Calder Valley’s Ben Cliff flew the flag for Calder Valley’s seniors, putting in a good personal performance to finish 24th overall & 6th in the men’s V40 category. However, the English Junior championship race event belonged to the red & white U9s, who crowned themselves once again in glory – leaving the rest of the field for dust. Clara McGee once more beat both boys and girls outright, to finish 1st in 3:29 – a whopping 37s ahead of the 2nd girl, with Ben Cliff’s son Harry the first U9 boy home, only 11 seconds after Clara.

Other strong performances from the red & white junior hoops included Ted Parker (7th U9 boys race), Thomas McGee (10th U11 boy), William Hall & Alex Duffield (8th & 15th respectively in the U15 boys race), Olivia Falkingbridge (13th U11 girl), plus Patrick Casey & George McFie (11th & 13th respectively in the U13 boys race).

Short but deadly:

Bofra’s Kettlewell on Sunday 17th June may only be 1.4 miles, but it packs a punch for the distance: with an incredibly steep 600ft slippery of ascent, following by an even more treacherous final descent. In the end, only a few blades of grass separated many of the 98 competitors, with Toby Cottrill fighting all the way to the finish line to be the first red & white hooped runner home (15th place in 14:08). Fellow CVFR, Stephen Smithies was hot on his heels (runners 15-20 finished within five seconds of each other), placing 18th overall & winning the men’s Vet 50 age category. For the juniors, it was equally tight at the finish. In the U14s, 10 seconds made the difference between 8th & 12th place, with CVFR James Duffy finishing a respectable 12th in 11:17.

Another win for pocket rocket McKee

On  a glorious day on Saturday 19 May 18 eager CV youngsters had a go at a Club Champ race, the 5th in this year’s series. Malham Kirby Fell Race is a typically steep and short Dales route on hard dry ground at Malham Kirkby. All routes were out and back and up and down. All CV juniors did brilliantly, and did the club proud. CV’s mini athlete, Clara McKee did her usual outstanding performance and won the U9 race outright, with Harry Cliffe second and first boy.

Its Yorkshire Gold for Paddy

West Nab English Juniors Championship race

On Saturday May 26th a number of Calder Valley juniors test themselves against some of the best runners in the country at the West Nab fell race in Meltham, being both an English Championship and the Yorkshire Championship race.

Clara McKee won the U9s outright by some distance and celebrating his first boy position was Ted Parker who came in second in spectacular style.  Lennon Wilson and Thomas Annison also ran well.

The U11 race saw Thomas McKee coming 9th with Sam Annison, Ollie Pickens and Finley Canning all coming in the top 30.

Patrick Casey came in 3rd in the U13s and Charlie Pickens 6th.  Leo Illstone, Evelyn Illstone and Fearne Hanson also did well on what was a very hard course.

The U15s race saw Will Hall come in at 8th followed by James Duffy and Alex Duffield who both came in the top 20.

It was also the Yorkshire Championships for the U13s and over. Patrick Casey picked up the gold medal and Charlie Pickens the silver in the U13s and Will Hall was awarded with the silver medal in the U15s.



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CVFR juniors seek their fortunes at Coiners

On the bank holiday a lots of juniors turned up to seek their fortune at the Coiners fell race hosted by Calder Valley and race organised by Al Whitelaw. .

Our juniors were the sun cream of the crop.

It’s always a well attended race but the fact that this was an England trial for the U17s and U19s coupled with the glorious weather saw over 200 juniors test themselves on our local moors. The races test all juniors on the proper fell terrain but with this year being dry on the lead up to the race the monster eating bogs went hungry!!!

The U9s race saw 15 of our youngest juniors set off in a field of over 40 runners with many racing for the first time. Clara McKee proved her class yet again coming first overall and beating the course record whilst she was at it.  Harry Cliff came 2nd boy continuing his medal winning streak. Award for the biggest smile whilst racing must surely go to first timer Elizabeth Dole-Ayuso who clearly enjoyed every minute of her debut.

The Mckee family had a double celebration as older brother Thomas won the U11s in a nail biting finish. Charlie Pickens came in 5th in the U13s with George McFie and Tom Owen hot on his heels as always.

Will Hall comfortably won the U15s with James Duffy at 5th and Alex Duffield at 6th boy.

Muddy Blacko Hill doesn’t deter our juniors

Harry Cliff going well

The racing snakes were out in force on Saturday with CV juniors well represented at the Blacko Hill race in Lancashire. 22 CV youngsters turned up for this English Champs Junior counter event. Despite the routes being longer than usual and the course extra muddy with lots of stiles, the juniors embraced the challenge and ran well. Harry Cliff, clearly following in his dad’s footsteps, took 2nd place U9 out of a field of 68. Other budding U9 athletes included Leo Hackett (13th), Lennon Wilson (14th), Joseph Rochester (20th), George Brice (23rd) and Bethany Swarbrick (17th girl).

Most of the U13 boys came in the top third with Patrick Casey 10th, Charlie Pickens 11, George McFie 13th and Tom Owen 17th. Equally impressive performances were seen in the U15 with William Hall 8th and Alex Duffield 20th.

Said Alex Duffield’s dad, Colin:

“I’m super proud of all our runners, loads of whom have moved up an age category and were lined up with the best in the country. There were some really top results and all the juniors ran their socks off. Some literally ran their shoes off, at least one of ours came back with only one shoe! It was really muddy out there!”

Will goes the distance at KWL

Fewer of the CVFR juniors were out this last week, although between them, they covered a number of races. On Saturday, 7th April, at the Pendle Fell Race, CVFR, Fred Slater was the only under 9 runner and Fearnie Hanson the only U13, coming in a respectable 22nd and 38th (17th girl) in their respective races, with both gaining invaluable race experience for the future. Amongst the older juniors, Alex Duffield put in another strong run, coming in 10th in the U15s, in his second race of the week.

William Hall was the only junior hoop to head to the final KWL race at Elterwater – a 1.6km with 200m of climbing and plenty of grass, rocks and bogs thrown in for good measure. Will raced strongly, placing second in the U15 category – a mere 15 seconds behind the race (and overall U15 league) winner Ollie Sanders of Helm Hill. Whilst official results had yet to be confirmed at time of print, it is looking like Will has tied for second place overall, a result that is all the more amazing, considering he only moved up from U13’s in the past year.

Tuesday 3rd April also saw the second of three Easter Bunny Runs – with this year’s fun organised for the first time by Wharfedale Harriers, following the retirement of fell-race organising legends, Dave & Eileen ‘Woodentops’ Woodhead. With points meaning chocolate prizes galore, these races are a firm favourite amongst junior runners (12+), with all runners getting a free cream egg and the chance to improve on their previous week’s results.

Elijah Peers-Web running long lap race (credit Dave Woodhead)

James Duffy was the first CVFR runner to finish, placing a solid 5th in his first year in the U15 category. Fellow CVFR U15s, Alex Duffield and Elijah Peers-Web also ran good races. Alex was just pipped for 10th U15 place by 7 seconds (finishing 64th overall) and Elijah Peers-Web came in 12th U15 (76 overall).  

James Duffy (credit Mick Fryer)

– Calder Valley News Reporter:Catherine Jones