Calderdale Way Relay 2021

26 Sept 2021, Halifax Preston Harriers had 2 teams at this years Calderdale Way Relay, normally held in May. The race is 51 miles and involves 6 legs where each leg is run in pairs and runners must stay together. Distances vary from 4.8 miles to 10.6 miles, starting near Halifax with changeovers at Cragg Vale, Todmorden, Blackshawhead, Wainstalls and Shelf. The teams had a distinct cosmopolitan flavour. Alongside the locals from the Preston area, we had runners from Wales, Northern Ireland, Germany, Russia, Hungary, and Poland.

Gethin Butler and Mariusz Kovacs got the team off to a solid start finishing 19th in 1:35:08. The short 4.8 miles, mainly uphill, leg 3 gave an opportunity to 16 year old Vladimir Wiggins to make his debut with the seniors, running with John Griffiths (Vet 50), finishing in 51:56. The standout performance of the day came from Alistair Palmer and Wes Wilkinson finishing 8th fastest on leg 4 in 1:21:48. Andy Acklam and Maciej Jarno completed the last leg for a final team position of 24th in 8:14:50.

The B team was a Mixed team with 6 men and 6 women running. They were led off by the two Steve’s, Needham and Mort, who completed leg 1 in 1:48:31 to hand over to the girls, Emma Essex-Crosby and Katey Markland. They had an excellent run over Stoodley Pike and down to Todmorden to finish in 1:29:03 for 35th position on that leg. Jim Doherty and Roy Parkinson completed the tougher leg 4 over the moors to Wainstalls before handing over to Anna Keller and Olga Wiggins, for the 7.5 miles leg, finishing in 1:29:16. The older statesman pairing of Alan Appleby (Vet 70) and Mick McLoughlin (Vet 65) ran the last leg to give a finish time of 9:45:21 and 43rd position, out of the 63 teams running.

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