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Calderdale Way Relay

Sun 19 May 2019, Halifax Preston Harriers had three teams competing at the Calderdale Way Relay, which is Britain’s largest club organised off road event. Hosted annually by Halifax Harriers, it was formerly held in December, but moved to its current May position in the calendar in 2011. The race comprises 6 legs with a pair of runners from each team on the individual legs, following the route of the 50 mile Calderdale Way long distance footpath, up-hill and down, with changeover points at Cragg Vale, Todmorden, Blackshaw Head, Wainstalls, Shelf and finishing back in Halifax. There are cut off times for the legs after the start, to ensure that the whole event keeps moving but the times for the teams are added together so there is no penalty if a team misses the cut off leg time start. For the first time, chip timing was introduced, and although there were a few problems, the race could be tracked in real-time.

Preston Harriers A team finished 16th overall with the standout performance being from Simon Robinson and Marc Teasey on the 4.5 mile leg 3 finishing in 7th place. The B team finished 44th overall. Again, the leg 3 pairing resulted in an excellent 21st place finish for Roger Taylor and Neil McDonald. They handed over to John Griffiths and John Rainford, whose storming run over the 10 mile leg 4 put them ahead of the A team pairing on the day. For the first time Preston Harriers had a C team running the race, which was a Mixed team of 8 ladies and 4 men, who finished 76th out of the 100 teams entered. Katey Foster and Emma Essex-Crosby finished 40th on the almost all uphill leg 3 to Blackshaw Head and it features very little flat ground at all, and that`s only just before the finish. 97 teams completed the event; the winners were a strong Wharfedale Harriers A team in 6:00.23 and the last team finished in 11.33.12.

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