Snakes are up there with the best at Clough Head


Nineteen of our CVFR juniors made the journey to the Clough Head Juniors Fell Race this weekend in Keswick. The race being the first of the six FRA English Junior Fell Running Championship races meant that each field contained the highest calibre runners.  Yet again the juniors did us proud in all races. The races had the backdrop of the most stunning Lakeland scenery up above the old Threlkeld quarry and our runners were blessed with a clear and dry day.

There was a pretty brutal climb in the U9 race to enable it to be kept within the maximum1km race distance but our runners coped with it well. Our two youngest runners, Georgie Illstone and Charlotte Cliff (whose 6thbirthday was the day of the race meaning she qualified to run) both crossed the line with beaming smiles. Georgie pipped Charlotte by two seconds, with them finishing 7thand 8thgirl respectively. Potential for some good healthy rivalry between these two going forward. In the same race, Charlotte’s brother Harry stretched out a good lead at the top of the climb and then descended well to take the victory by some 26 seconds.

All four of our runners in the 1.7km U11 race finished in the top half of a 62 strong field. Joseph Stone continued his fabulous recent form since moving up an age category, finishing 10th overall. This effort was even more impressive considering he suffered an army roll fall down the hill injuring his knee. Clara McKee, another runner who has just moved up from the U9s, flew down the hill with her usual purposeful yet graceful style to claim 2nd overall and first girl; a good minute ahead of the secondplace girl. At one point she even looked like she was going to claim overall victory. Sam Annison and Ted Parker also competed well coming 13th and 28threspectively.

In the U13 2.9km race, of the 82 at the start line, 3 CV juniors came in the top 15. Charlie Pickins, who had a look of raw determination as he passed through first gate,finished 7th, George McFie 11thand Thomas McKee 14th. Ollie Pickins came in 30thand Olivia Falkinbridge with her strong sprint finish was 42nd(8thgirl out of 33). Wynn Standish came in 49thand Fearne Hanson 57th(17thgirl)   

The U15 3.6km race saw Alex Duffield finishing 19thout of a field of 64. Tom Owen  was 28th(another one with a strong  sprint finish), Leo Illstone 39th, Emelia Wright 54thand Evelyn Illstone 61st

Nationals experience for 3 snakes

Three of our juniors were selected for the West Yorkshire Year 7 team for Saturday’s National Cross Country Finals at Prestwold Hall, Leicestershire. Representing their country for the first time, Charlie Pickens, George McFie and Tom Owen came in at 81st, 111th and 126th respectively in a packed field of just under 200 of the country’s best runners.

It was an amazing experience, although Charlie described it as ”the hardest race I’ve ever run”.

They head back to the fells this Saturday in Keswick with the start of the FRA English Championship races.

Muddy, wet cross country but boy did they loved it

Our CVFR junior have done us proud at the West Yorkshire xc finals. Following a number of local cross-country trials in Mytholmroyd, and a Calderdale cross-country finals in Halifax over the winter, 12 CVFR year 3 to 6 Juniors were selected to run for Calderdale in the West Yorkshire Cross-Country Championship finals in Temple Newsam, Leeds on Wednesday 6th March. They all did a tremendous run in challenging weather conditions in true xc style of rain and mud against more than a 100 -150 fellow cross-country runners in each race, from Leeds, Kirklees, Bradford and Wakefield with some very impressive results. Harry Cliff won 1st boy in his year 3 race and Clara Mckee finished in 2nd place in year 4 girls, both received medals. The others who did an excellent run were year 3 boys Leo Hackett (29th) , Lennon Wilson (37th), Joseph Rochester (54th) and George Brice (61st). Joseph Stone (5th) from year 4 boys, year 6 girls Olivia (18th),  and Fearne Hanson (29th) and year 6 boys Thomas Mckee (13th), Ollie Pickens (59th) and Wynn Standish (66th). 

“Snakes” do well at Ilkley

Luckily the mist cleared to provide perfect running conditions at the very popular Ilkley Moor Fell Race with these races providing excellent tough courses for all ages groups. Fondly known as the “racing snakes” group this was the first championship race for Calder Valleys junior who enjoy going to races. The race distances for each group are different according to the age category, with it being shorter for the younger ones up to longer distances and more climbing for the older ones. 

Our top performance on the day was from Harry Cliff who stormed the Under 9sto get a very assured first place in 3mins 31 seconds and new course record. His team mate, in the same age category, Rafe Dobson placed a great 8thin 3min 58secs.  

CVFR Racing Snakes @Ilkley

Other excellent runs from the following: 

In the under 11s Joseph Stone was 5th in 7min 14secs; 14th Sam Annison 7min 35secs and only 5secs behind in 15th Leo Hackett, 23rd Ted Parker 8min 13secs; In the under 13s 5th place for Charlie Pickens in 6mins 30secs and 9th George McFie in 6mins 42 secs, 16th Ollie Pickens 7min 24secs, 6th girl and 19th overall Olivia Falkingbridge 7min 31secs, 21st Wynn Standish 7min 45secs, 9th girl and 25thoverall Fearne Hanson 7min 51secs, 20th girl and 43rd overall Eve Dobson 9mins 10secs; Under 15s Alex Duffield placing 7th in 13min 56 secs, 9th Elijah Peers-Webb 14min 12sec and 13th but not unlucky Tom Owen in 14min 46secs, 21st Leo Illstone with his twin sister Evelyn placing 29th overall and 12th girl ; and in the under 17s Maya Brunt, 3rd girl and 11thoverall in 17min 07sec. Particularly impressive runs from Joseph Stone, Leo and Evelyn Illstone, Tom Owen and Maya Brunt as they’d each stepped up into the next age bracket. 

A wonderful start to the season.

Reporter: Thirza Hyde

Harry tackle Parkruns

CVFR’s juniors concentrated more on parkruns this last weekend. Notable results included Joseph Stone, who finished 4th in the Huddersfield Junior Parkrun in Greenhead Park. In Halifax, Harry Cliffe continued his slew of impressive fell running performances with an incredibly strong run in his first time at this race. Harry not only knocked 1.5 minutes of his previous best 5k time at Brighouse parkrun in 22 minutes & 26 seconds, but now holds the 2nd  fastest ever time for under 10s for the Halifax race. Finishing 15th overall out of 246 runners – piping Dad Ben to 16th overall by only 1 second – is all the more impressive bearing mind that Harry only turned 8 in January! 

Calderdale Junior Inter Schools Championship

Wynn working hard

Several Calder Valley Juniors took part in this competition last Thursday.  The top 10 individuals go through automatically to West Yorkshire Games in Leeds. So well done to all the racing snakes.

Year 3 
Harry Cliff 1st boy
Leo Hackett 7th boy
Lennon Wilson 13th boy
Joe Rochester 14th boy
George Brice 15th boy

Year 4  
Clara McKee 2nd girl

Year 5  
Sam Annison 16th boy

Year 6
Olivia Falkinbridge 8th girl
Fearne Hanson 9th girl
Thomas McKee 3rd boy
Wynn Standish 23rd boy

(we now know that quite a few of our snakes have definitely qualified for West Yorks Games)