Let Battle Commence!

Flower Scar – 7th March 2015 – 5.6miles / 1542ft of ascent

Here we go again, the English Fell Running Championships 2015, and first up this relatively unknown little gem in Todmorden.

The excitement had been building for weeks & in fact Neil my lift provider for the day was so excited we arrived just as they were unlocking the car park gates. This did give us the bonus of an elevated VIP spot where we had a panoramic view of the great & the good arriving, and the general buzz of the season opener on a gorgeous spring day.

Behind us sat a tree lined escarpment, the last decent on leg 2 of the Calder Way Relay for those in the know, but today to be our first climb once out of the start fields. It’s a narrow, steep, muddy path so the organiser had sensibly decided to run separate races for the men and women.


Once up the climb it was to be a tussocky dash to the top of Flower Scar itself, followed by a drop back down towards the valley and then a contour around to a final sting in the tail scramble, before the headlong plunge back to the finish.

The women were off first & straight away Annie Conway & Sarah McCormack of Ambleside hit the front where they stayed until the end finishing first & second respectively. Behind these 2 dominant runners Claire Green put in a great effort to finish 10th overall & claim a bronze medal in the Yorkshire Championships. The rest of the P & B team weren’t far behind, Rachel Pilling 23rd, Suzy Sharman 41st, and Caroline Harding 102nd.


In the men’s it was Simon Bailey of Mercia who led from the front for the win with our own Rob Hope hot on his heels for 2nd overall and 1st male vet 40. His good form continuing from last year, for what looks like yet another season of competing for the very top honours.

Rob was quickly followed by Matt Lockyer in 22nd spot, in what must be one of his best ever finishes, and then Joe Baxter in 30th, in what is definitely his best ever finish as it’s his first one. Well done Joe! Graham Pearce 32nd, and Neil Crampton 73rd completed the team.

Lots of back up to these 5 further down the field including John Navis, Martin Hurst, Ed Barber, David Anderson and Mike Rees all completing their first championship race for the club.

Thanks go to:

  • Neil Armitage – for the lift and prodigious tea making.
  • Mike Rees – provision of recuperative cake.
  • David Anderson – missing a turn & getting lost on a flagged champion ship race with over 3 hundred competitors.

Reults and more photos to follow.


Men: Rob Hope 2nd (1st MV40) 39:17. Matt Lockyer 22nd 42:29. Joe Baxter 30th 42:41. Graham Pearce 32nd 42:47. Neal Crampton 73rd 46:07. Neil Armitage 88th 46:45. Charlie McIntosh 91st 46:52. John Navis 94th 46:57. Martin Hurst 131st 48:48. Niall Bourke 149th 49:41. Graham Pilling 181st 52:08. Ed Barber 187th 52:25. David Anderson 234th 56:26. Mike Rees 278th 62:28.

Ladies: Claire Green 10th (3rd F in Yorkshire!) 50:08. Rachel Pilling 23rd 53:50. Suzie Sharman 41st 56:07. Caroline Harding 102nd 65:23.

Full results available here: Men / Women.

PS – see here for a link to the rest of the races in the series, get your entries in now!


Rob storming home with Morgan in hot persuit. Photo by Paul Taylor.

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All Woodentops photos c/o of Dave & Eileen Woodhead — thanks as always for their photography and encouragement.

(Sorry there are a few people missing, and there are no witty captions… Two updates in one day, I’m tired!)

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