Calderdale Way Relay Champions 2013
Sale harriers had two podium finishers in this year's Calderdale Way fell relay. The first podium finish was the Men's team who took the title for the first time in the clubs history. The club joins the hierarchy of esteemed fell running clubs, including Bingley, Calder Valley and Salford. The second podium finish was the mixed A team who came third in their category.
The club has always had potential to do well in major fell championships, however it's always played second fiddle to other disciplines. With the right captaincy and a bit of pestering the tide looks to be turning. The 36 runners who put their foot on the line was the strongest line up the club has ever had, and they didn't disappoint at all.
The race began on a warm and windless day at 8am when 100 teams set off from Heath rugby club in Stainland and headed west. The men's team got off to a flyer with Rob Flannery and Steve MaCarron finishing in 5th. They handed over to Carl Barber and Pistol Pete Crawford who pushed the team into second place and onto the podium, however could they hang on? They could, and Mike Hatch and Marathon Man John Mossley took the lead on leg three catching Preston easily and creating a 4 minute lead over them. The next three legs didn't relinquish this, and it was Callum 'he loves it' Rowlinson and James 'fell virgin' Wignall to bring the baton home by over 11 minutes on second place.
The club also had two mixed teams in the competition, both hopefully looking at improving on their times of last year. The mixed A ran a blinder and finished 22 minutes quicker than last year, third in their category and commanded a top 30 position overall. Highlights were the partnerships of Jan Nichols/Helen Armitage (who were first ladies home), Elton Davies/Steve Townley and Sian Holland /Sarah Douglas, all running really well. The mixed B team also improved on last year, this was highlighted when they managed to keep ahead of the mass starts unitil leg 5, whereas last year they didn't make it beyond leg 1!
The success of this year's relay is really down to the tireless efforts of coach Dave Rodgers who is beginning to see the potential of athletes from Crossford Bridge. Getting big groups coming down to sessions is beginning to pay off. Last year, the men's team finished fourth, however this year they cruised to victory by over ten minutes. Who knows where this could lead to? Hopefully victory in Wales in the Welsh Castles.
Posted 20/05/2013 09:25