Races from the short to the insanely long

This week’s highlights are Mags Beever winning both the Greenhead Park 5K race series and the Saltaire Vets race, and James Penson completing the Lakeland 100.


Greenhead Park 5K Series

Mags Beever ran consistently well throughout July to finish 1st Lady overall in the Greenhead Park 5K series.  Mags ran in three of the four races, finishing in under 20 minutes on each occasion with a best time of 19:43.  Other Lions who took part in the series are Lorraine Naylor (Race 2, 22:30, 2nd W45), Jonny Cartwright (Race 3, 20:21) and Gaby Ferris (Race 4, 23:16, 1st F45).


Lakeland 50

Aileen Baldwin took on the Lakeland 50 this weekend, one the greatest ultra running challenges in Europe.  It's almost double the distance of a marathon at 50 miles long, on rough terrain and with 10,000 feet of ascent to deal with.  Aileen ran with her usual commitment to finish in 15 hours 11 minutes.


Lakeland 100

Meanwhile, James Penson, in another of his trademark challenges, took on the Lakeland 100.  This is the Lakeland 50 with a bonus extra 55 miles.  There’s a massive 23,000 feet of ascent – including the summit of every hill you’ve never heard of in the Lake District.  James completed this epic feat in 38 hours 33 minutes.


Saltaire Vets Race

The Yorkshire Veterans’ Athletics Association Grand Prix continues, with the Lions still topping five of the six team categories.  At last week’s race which took place at Saltaire, Mags Beever finished 1st Lady, and there were a number of age category wins for the Lions.

Posted on July 31, 2018 .

Thunder! Thunder! Thunder Runners HO!!!

Lots of races to catch up on this week, including the epic Thunder Run relays.


The Thunder Run Relays

Two teams of Lions took on the epic Conti Thunder Run Relays this weekend.  24 hours of continuous 10K laps resulted in some great performances and some ridiculously tired people. Nobody got more than two hours sleep at any point.

The Lions’ A Team (Richard Crombie, Dan McGregor, Roy Lunt, Joanne Hirst, John Hirst, Tim Walker, Tony Mott) completed 24 laps between them with an average time of 1:00:44 per lap, and Team Crazy Lions (Karen Thorne, Sally McGregor, Catherine O’Shaughnessy, Jenny Walker, Simon Gadd, Tracy Mott) completed 21 laps between them with an average time of 1:11:21 per lap.

Whilst this is a running event, it doesn’t happen without great support in the shape of resident chef Byron Thorne who selflessly gave up his time and sleep to furnish the teams with bacon butties and cups of tea on demand.


Brighouse 10K

There were some fast times recorded at Sunday’s Brighouse 10K, which is known for its pb potential.  Chris Hall, Gavin Foster and Derek Parrington won the men’s team prize, and there were category wins for Stefanie Hopkins (1st F40) and Derek Parrington (1st M50).

Results Chris Hall 38:49, Gavin Foster 39:00, Derek Parrington 39:02 (1st M50), Stefanie Hopkins 44:42 (1st F40), Stuart Clinton 48:11


Summer Handicap Race

The Lions’ annual Summer Handicap race took place this week.  57 enthusiastic Lions took part, including some new members who had no idea what they were letting themselves in for, having only just finished the beginners’ course.  There were many more Lions out marshaling the course and helping with the organisation on the day too.  The runners inspected a map of the route and then predicted their finish time (no watches allowed during the race!), before heading off into the woods.  The 5 mile route was entirely off-road, with 800 feet of ascent, a river crossing (because who doesn’t love a river crossing) and some tricky, technical descents.  The winner was Will Rushworth, whose time of 42:25 differed from his pre-race estimate of 42:37 by just 12 seconds.


Round Res Challenge

Two Lions took on the Round Res Challenge on Saturday, doing multiple laps of Scammonden Reservoir.  Various distance options were available on the day, and new Lion Dick Dunn chose the half marathon distance for his Lions debut, whilst Julie Field opted for the 10K distance, finishing in 2nd place.

Results: Richard Dunn 2:21:20 (half marathon), Julie Field 46:40 (10K)


The Arthur James Shaker Race

Formerly known as the "Saltaire Shaker", this 8 mile loop follows sections of the Leeds to Liverpool canal towpath, with an undulating woodland section.  Martin O’Brien was the only Lion present, clocking 63:29.


Holme Moss Fell Race

Kevin Robinson took on the Holme Moss Fell Race.  This seriously tough race is 29K long with 4000 feet of ascent.  There was thick cloud on the tops for much of the race although it had burned off by about 2pm making a very hot last hour or so.  Speaking after the race, Kevin said, “It’s a tough race but I was at least 40 minutes faster than last year.  Gotta be happy with that!”  Kevin recorded an (unofficial) time of 3:51:12.

Posted on July 24, 2018 .

Lions dominate at Helen Windsor

This week saw team and individual prizes for the Lions at the Helen Windsor 10K, a very impressive performance by Gavin Foster in the Leeds 10K and no let-up from the sweltering heat.


Helen Windsor 10K – fizzy drinks and crisps!

Sixty five Lions attended the popular Helen Windsor 10K last week.  This race is a real favourite for many Lions, with its beautiful runnable course and friendly atmosphere.  This year it had the feel of a child’s birthday party to it, with fizzy drinks at the water station and packets of crisps for the runners at the finish line.  Despite being gassed up with the fizzy water, the Lions ran well in the 25 degree heat to take the men’s team prize and a number of individual prizes.  There were age category wins for Derek Parrington, Tanya Blake, Aileen Baldwin and Judith Greenwood.  There was fabulous support all round the course from Lions spectating on foot, on bikes and in the beer garden of the pub on the route.  Some of the faster Lions even waited near the end of the course after they’d finished to “run in” with the steadier runners.  New Lion John Bannister made his debut for the club on the night.  It would be easy to confuse him with long-standing member John Bassinder, but luckily they run at quite different speeds, one posting 46:55 while the other finished in 46:56.

Results: Ed Hyland 36:55 (2nd place overall), Stephen Hall 37:45 (3rd place overall), Derek Parrington 38:55 (10th place overall, 1st M50), Gavin Foster 39:47, Sean Thompson 40:18, Chris Hall 40:56, Dan Marsden 41:18, Craig Miller 41:24, Andy Baird 42:01, Phillip Moyles 42:21, Tanya Blake 42:37 (2nd Lady, 1st F45), Leon Severn 43:28, Jim Harris 44:17, Suzanne Patterson 44:38, Richard Crombie 45:12, Gerry Banham 45:31, Gareth Knight 45:52, Tony Mott 46:16 Sally Caton 46:30, Stefanie Hopkins 46:44, John Bannister 46:55, John Bassinder 46:56, David Farrar 47:09, Ian Johnson 47:16, Andrew Mackrill 47:27, Gaby Ferris 47:32, John Ingles 47:40, Martin O’Brien 47:50, Ian Hoskins 48:12, Maria Harron 48:17, Helen Armitage 48:33, Aileen Baldwin 48:33 (1st F65), Will Rushworth 48:44, Michelle Rogerson 48:58, Stuart Clinton 49:05, Michael Dunning 50:20, Paul Corns 50:36, Jonathan Pybus 50:51, Jan King 51:12, Catherine McHugh 51:22, Cat Daniel 51:47, Angela Lee 53:44, John Hirst 53:59, Sharon Marlor-Gage 55:25, Roy Lunt 56:07, Sandy Gee 57:09, Paul Armitage 57:34, Susan Cash 58:03, Gail Schofield 58:22, Rikki Hammond 59:21, Richard Brewster 59:54, Paula Pickersgill 60:34, Janet Carter 62:25, Richard Lambert 65:11, Richard Brear 65:16, Alex Whyte 65:26, Anne-Marie Killeen 65:49, Ken Chilcott 66:10, Judith Greenwood 66:11 (1st F70), Trish Hallowell 66:25, Wendy Paulson 67:56, Anne Cawdron 69:00, Debbie Hinds 69:06, Gail Fawcett 70:29, Jackie Barker 71:52


Heptonstall Festival Fell Race

It’s hard to find moorland that isn’t on fire at the moment.  Happily, at Heptonstall, it was just the runners’ lungs that were burning as they tackled the Festival Fell Race in sweltering conditions on Saturday.  Starting in the village, the 6 mile route plunged deep into a valley before finding its way to the top of a nearby peak.  It then returned in similar fashion, meaning runners finished with an almighty uphill struggle.  Total ascent 1,600 feet.  The terrain was a mixture of cobbles, grassy fields, muddy slopes, rocky bridleways and open moorland, some of it pathless.  The race was part of a family-friendly music festival with live bands in the ruined church and Weaver’s Square, along with beer tents, street food, and children’s entertainment.

Results: Martin O’Brien 1:09:48, Leon Severn 1:13:01, Aileen Baldwin 1:13:15, David Culpan 1:13:41, John Bassinder 1:14:19, Andrew Mackrill 1:21:38


Warslow Beer Festival Fell Race

Jonny Cartwright completed the Warslow Beer Festival Fell Race in the Peak District on Saturday in a time of 77:59.  Wife Nicki can normally be persuaded onto the fells with Jonny but on this occasion was having none of it.


Leeds 10K

It’s flat, it’s fast, it’s where people go for a pb.  Gavin Foster was first Lion and a very impressive 39th overall (out of a huge field of 5555 runners).

Results Gavin Foster 38:16, Jan King 50:25, Richard Brewster 58:50, Michael Porter 59:09, Michelle Eyre 60:58, Allison Hesketh 64:31, Phil Richards 65:35, Clare Jolly 67:00


Vicursa Marinera 7K

And finally, just one Lion ran the Vicursa Marinera 7K road race in Port de Pollenca, Mallorca.  A last-minute entry after a less-than-ideal race preparation of a late tapas lunch, two large glasses of Sangria and a Crema Catalan, Steve Boyer still managed to complete the course in 38 minutes.  The flat course along the seafront and back streets was attended by 500 runners, with plenty of cheering onlookers, despite the 30 degree heat.  Good job the race started at 9pm!  Steve enjoyed trying out the podium for size and was more than pleased with his finisher’s goodies, particularly the €15 sun-lounger voucher.

Posted on July 10, 2018 .

Lady Lions continue success

This week saw fantastic performances by Sally Caton and Helen Armitage at Eccup 10 to secure 1st F45 and 1st F50 respectively in a crowded field, and another successful Vets Race with a win for Mags Beever, as the Lions battled on through the heatwave.


Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge

The Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge is a 22 mile fell race/challenge walk starting in Kettlewell and taking in the summits of Birks Fell, Buckden Pike and Great Whernside.  Kevin Robinson and Aileen Baldwin opted for the fell race, while Sandy Gee (who was racing the next day) completed the route as a challenge walk.

Results: Kevin Robinson 4:08:10, Aileen Baldwin 5:33:47


Eccup 10 Mile

Two dozen Lions took on the Eccup 10 Mile race on Sunday, many in search of club championship points.  The course takes in rural closed roads and a scenic route around Eccup reservoir and is always a sell-out.  There were impressive category wins for Sally Caton (1st F45) and Helen Armitage (1st F50) in a crowded field.  James McNutt just pipped Gareth Knight to be first Lion.

Results James McNutt 1:15:09, Gareth Knight 1:15:19, Sally Caton 1:15:43 (1st F45), Martin O’Brien 1:17:41, David Farrar 1:17:59, Helen Armitage 1:18:15 (1st F50), Maria Harron 1:19:10, Stuart Clinton 1:19:36, Michelle Rogerson 1:21:23, Ian Johnson 1:21:51, Jan King 1:26:01, Tim Walker 1:27:12, Catherine McHugh 1:29:01, Lesley Hodgson 1:29:40, Roy Lunt 1:30:37, John Hirst 1:33:16, Paul Armitage 1:39:50, Jenny Walker 1:42:12, Alex Whyte 1:49:50, Ken Chilcott 1:51:01, Trish Hallowell 1:53:58, Wendy Paulson 1:54:09, Jackie Barker 1:58:35, Gail Fawcett 2:04:53


Lindley 10K

Also taking place on Sunday was the Lindley 10K which marks the end of Lindley Carnival weekend.  Starting in the centre of Lindley, the route takes runners up to the M62, down a huge hill towards Huddersfield before the final leg straight up another huge hill back to Lindley.  Reassuringly, the finish line is almost directly opposite the A & E Department of the hospital.  Stephen Hall was 1st Lion, finishing in 10th place.  There were category wins for Derek Parrington (1st V50) and John Bassinder (1st V60), and Michelle Eyre chose this race to make her debut in a Lions vest.  Sandy Gee was unexpectedly named 2nd V55 - but don’t look too closely at what gender the organisers think he is.

Results: Stephen Hall 39:26, Derek Parrington 39:47 (1st V50), Chris Hall 40:54, Mak Dhinsa 45:20, Jim Harris 45:25, John Bassinder 48:13 (1st V60), Sandy Gee 57:54, Michelle Eyre 58:59, Susan Cash 59:12, Helen Harris 59:17


Dambusters 10 Mile

Two Lions made it to the start line of The Dambuster 10.  Enjoying good weather, the course was a very simple, undulating loop on road and trail around Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire.  Angela Lee and Steve Boyer crossed the finish line together in a time of 1:43:14.


Ripon Triathlon

Gavin Foster completed the Ripon Triathlon in 2:40:03.  It was Gavin’s first Olympic distance triathlon, and speaking afterwards he said he felt it was “a good target to beat next time, with plenty of room for improvement”.


A Win for Mags at South Leeds Vets Race

Captain Gav and his compact crew of veterans ran at South Leeds last week, race 4 of the series.  Thankfully, the route was mostly in the shade.  Mags Beever won the ladies’ race, while Tanya Blake was 2nd Lady and Gavin Mulholland was 3rd in the men’s race.  Stainland currently top all but one of the team classifications.

Posted on July 4, 2018 .

Too hot to race

Slightly less racing than usual this week.  Firstly, everyone’s been down at Heath celebrating the club’s 30th anniversary instead, and secondly, it’s just WAY TOO HOT.


Hat Trick of Fell Races for David Culpan

David Culpan was undeterred by the soaring temperatures and took on not one but three fell races this week.  He was the sole Lion at the Beamsley Beacon race (5.5 miles with 1100 feet of ascent) and at the Kinder Trog (15 miles with 3000 feet of ascent).  Supervet Aileen Baldwin joined him at Bridestones (4½ miles with 1100 feet of ascent).  Conditions at all three races were sweltering hot, particularly Sunday’s Kinder Trog, and David did well to manage a course pb there this year despite the heat.

Bridestones unofficial results Aileen Baldwin 52 minutes, David Culpan 52:12

Beamsley Beacon result: David Culpan 52:00

Kinder Trog result: David Culpan 2:55:00


Humber Bridge Half Marathon

The Humber Bridge Half Marathon is East Yorkshire’s largest half marathon.  The event is set against the magnificent Humber Bridge, formerly the longest single span bridge in the world (but now languishing down in ninth place and about to drop out of the top ten altogether, although the race marketing material doesn’t mention this).  Starting in Hessle, the route takes runners over the bridge, around scenic Barton and surrounding countryside, before the final leg back over the iconic bridge to finish.

Results: Stuart Clinton 1:51:27, Amjid Khan 1:57:46


Swansea Half Marathon

Thousands of runners took on this half marathon which follows the sweep of Swansea Bay.  The route is described as “flat and fast” but not when it’s 30 degrees it isn’t.  Ian Hoskins and Michelle Rogerson coped well with the heat and crossed the line together.

Results: Ian Hoskins 1:47:50, Michelle Rogerson 1:47:52


Total Warrior

Something a bit different……..James McNutt took on this 12K obstacle race around Bramham Park in Leeds, tackling 25 punishing obstacles including walls, cargo nets, mud-filled trenches and a giant ice bath.

Result: James McNutt 2:16:47


Penistone 10K

Virginia Lewin chose the Penistone 10K as her debut race for the Lions, running well in the heat to pick up the 3rd F65 prize in a time of 62:40.

Posted on June 26, 2018 .

Victory for the Lionesses

In a week where the UK’s crisis of inactivity was in the news, the Lions were bucking the trend, getting out there in numbers to race up and down the fells and round our local roads.  This week’s highlights were a fantastic win for the Lions’ ladies team at the Joe Percy 10K and another ultramarathon in the bag for Rebecca O’Neill.


Joe Percy Invitational 10K

The Joe Percy 10K is a very popular, inter-club road race around Thurstonland and Farnley Tyas in South Huddersfield.  The Lions fielded a large team of around 70 runners.  The Lions’ ladies team pipped Halifax Harriers to the win, with strong performances from winning team members Mags Beever, Tanya Blake, Suzanne Patterson, Stefanie Hopkins, Sally Caton, Lorraine Naylor, Gaby Ferris, Helen Armitage, Aileen Baldwin and Victoria Armstrong.

As well as the team win, there were individual prizewinners on the night:

1st F35 Mags Beever
1st F50 Helen Armitage
1st F65 Aileen Baldwin
2nd F45 Suzanne Patterson
2nd F50 Rachel Lumb
2nd M65 Jan King
3rd F60 Janet Carter


Jonny Cartwright wins Ginathlon

Jonny Cartwright won this year’s Ginathlon, a 6km mixed terrain (roads, tracks and trails) fun race with feed stations every 1.5km stocked with optional ice cold gin & tonic!  Wife Nicki was 2nd Lady.  Cheers Mr and Mrs C!
Results: Jonny Cartwright 28:37, Nicki Cartwright 36:47, Jude Faulkner 63:30


Dark Peak Trail Race

Seven Lions competed in the Dark Peak Trail Race, a 25K trail run with over 2,000 feet of ascent.  The event is run on the footpaths, tracks and trails within the ‘grittier/higher level’ surroundings of the Northern/Dark Peak District starting and finishing from Hayfield and including The Sett Valley Trail, The Pennine Bridleway, Lantern Pike and Chinley Churn.  This is a hilly, moorland trail run amongst stunning Northern Peak District scenery.

Results: Rachel Lumb 2:46:47, Moira Alderson 2:46:55, Laraine Penson 3:02:15, Steve Boyer 3:10:08, Angela Lee 3:14:10, Sharon Marlor-Gage 3:14:10, Rikki Hammond 3:14:13


Settle Hills Race 2018

Settle Harriers organise the Settle Hills race which promises a bit of everything – grassy paths, tarmac at the beginning and end, rocky paths, tussocky moorland and some very steep climbs and descents – altogether an enjoyable route.  Jim Harris was the sole Lion taking part (as a Father’s Day treat), finishing in 1:11:44.


Settle Saunter 23 miles

Also in Settle, the Saunter is an annual race along footpaths and bridleways in the Yorkshire Dales through picturesque rural villages and hamlets and open countryside.  The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Settle.  There are various distance options, and Aileen Baldwin opted for the 23 mile version, finishing in equal 9th place in 5 hours 7 minutes.


London to Brighton bike ride

Andrew Mackrill completed the annual London to Brighton bike ride.  The 54 mile route meanders through the Surrey and Sussex countryside, starting at Clapham Common and ending in Brighton.


The Canal Canter Summer Extravaganza

This is an out and back canter on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, starting and finishing at Kirkstall just outside the centre of Leeds.  Various distance options are available.  Rebecca O’Neill opted for the ultramarathon distance, her third marathon or longer in 10 weeks.

Results: James McNutt (half marathon 1:53:15), Andrew Falkingbridge (20 miles 3:50:54), Rebecca O’Neill (32.3 mile ultramarathon, 5:58:34)

Posted on June 19, 2018 .

Two Vets and a Bob

Another really big week of racing for the Lions.  Highlights include wins for Tanya Blake at Coniston Trail Half Marathon and Gavin Mulholland at Kirkstall Abbey, strong performances by Ashley Cavalier and Derek Parrington at the Calderdale Way Ultramarathon, a valiant attempt at the epic Bob Graham Round by James Penson and his loyal support crew, and not one but two Vets’ races in the same week.


The Bob Graham Round

James Penson made his third attempt at the famous Bob Graham Round this weekend.  The BGR is a fell running challenge in the Lake District, where runners are tasked with reaching the summits of 42 peaks in 24 hours.  James is a seasoned ultra-runner, having completed the Marathon des Sables and numerous other extreme distance events, and he had great support from Lion friends running sections of the route with him, but after 13 hours and 60km, he became unwell and had to retire.  James is an inspiration to other club members, and no doubt he will be back for another attempt.


Kirkstall Vets and Whitby Vets

Not one but two Vets’ races this week, with Kirstall Abbey on Tuesday evening and Whitby on Sunday.  The Whitby race is a keenly anticipated annual fixture, affording the club a day out at the seaside and a chance to run on private land in the beautiful grounds of Mulgrave Castle.  The castle is an ancient ruin (not unlike the runners!), and, unlikely though it sounds, was owned until very recently by supermodel Elle MacPherson, who apparently leased the shooting rights to the estate and might have enjoyed having a go at the Yorkshire Veterans’ race in her back garden had she been at home.  Whitby is one of the few places in the UK to have even steeper gradients than Halifax, and the Mulgrave Castle course features a memorable uphill finish.  This unrelenting wall of a hill reduces the majority of the runners to an undignified Death Shuffle in front of all the finish line officials, spectators and photographers.

Vets’ Captain Gavin Mulholland took the win at Kirkstall Abbey, and there were category wins and placings for a number of Lions at both events.  The Lions are currently sitting pretty in the Yorkshire Vets’ League, leading five of the six team categories.


Calderdale Way Ultramarathon

First, a quick recap: last month saw huge numbers of runners take on the Calderdale Way Relay Race –a six leg relay event run in pairs, which covers 50 miles of the Calderdale Way.  But on Saturday, this same route was raced all in one go as an ultramarathon.  Running one leg of the relay is gruelling enough, so hats off to Ashley Cavalier who ran all six legs by himself in a single day.  Ashley’s excellent run secured him 6th place.  Derek Parrington took the shorter (but still ultra distance) route option, also finishing in 6th place.

Result (50 mile route): Ashley Cavalier 10:05:17
Result (28 mile route): Derek Parrington 5:28:38


Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon

The Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon starts and finishes at Threshfield near Skipton.  With over 2,000 feet of ascent, the route follows well established footpaths, including the Dalesway, and the views from Scott Gate, Mastiles and Boss Moor are quite breathtaking.  Aileen Baldwin and John Ingles endured wet and muggy conditions on the day, with Aileen picking up the 1st F65 prize (and going on to race again in Whitby the very next day, where she also won the 1st F65 prize, because she’s awesome).

Results: Aileen Baldwin 2:07:03 (1st F65), John Ingles 2:12:24


Coniston Trail Half Marathon

Tanya Blake put in a superb run to finish 1st Lady (and 8th overall) at Coniston Trail Half Marathon.  Billed as “the most picturesque half marathon in the UK”, the beautiful route sets off from Coniston along a 13.1 mile journey through National Trust woodland.  The course then returns to Coniston down ancient bridleway trails to the shores of Coniston Water, before returning to the finish at Coniston Hall.  Speaking after her win, Tanya said, “It was unexpected.  Very tough in the heat but stunning scenery!”  Craig Miller was hot on her heels, finishing in 24th place overall and 3rd M40.

Results: Tanya Blake 1:38:20, Craig Miller 1:42:46


Huddersfield Marathon

Nearer to home, new Lion Kevin Robinson was taking on the hilly Huddersfield Marathon.  Notorious as the toughest road marathon in the UK, the two lap route has a hilly opening few miles before a kinder run in to the finish.  Kevin’s time was enough to give him a top twenty finish.

Result: Kevin Robinson 4:25:15


Yorkshire Mountain Bike Marathon and Fast and Flat 100 Miles

The club’s cyclists were also out in force this weekend.  On Saturday, Sally McGregor, Karen Thorne, Claire Guest, Sarah Lunt and Richard Crombie took part in the Flat and Fast 100 mile sportive around Doncaster and parts of South and West Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.  Tony Mott completed the Yorkshire Mountain Bike Marathon, cycling the 40 km route in 3 hours 10 minutes.  The route, which passes David Hockney's famous Thixendale Trees, starts and finishes in the grounds of Birdsall House in the Yorkshire Wolds.



Posted on June 5, 2018 .

Another bank holiday weekend of action

Another red hot Bank Holiday weekend with plenty of Lions in action.


Hollingworth Lake 5K

Two Lions completed Race 4 of the popular Hollingworth Lake 5K series this week.

Results: Andrew Mackrill 21:53, Tara Sherwood 29:15


Hare and Tortoise Relay Race

Gerry Banham and Laraine Penson were victorious at this year’s Hare & Tortoise, the club’s annual relay race.  Over 50 Lions took part in the event, which saw pairs of runners heading off in opposite directions to get their batons round the approx. 5.5 mile course.  The very enjoyable evening ended with a presentation to the Forget-Me-Not Children’s Hospice of the £1,173 raised at the Fun Run held earlier this year organised by Caroline Ford and Mark Pigford, pictured holding the cheque.

Results: (1) Gerry Banham & Laraine Penson 44:31, (2) Tony Mott & Rachel Fay 44:54, (3) Jonny Cartwright & Julie Goddard 45:21, (4) Will Rushworth & Jenny Walker 45:24, (5) Richard Crombie & Alison Hesketh 45:31, (6) Mike Dunning & Tony Pinnington 45:43, (7) Tracy Mott & Jon Pybus 45:47, (8) Chris Hall & Jackie Barker 45:49, (9) Ian Hoskins & Ansar Farouk 46:07, (10) Jim Harris & Caroline Palmer 46:31, (11) Gareth Duckworth & Catherine McHugh 46:37, (12) Gareth Knight & Paul Butterfield 46:43, (13) Dan Marsden & Anne Cawdron 46:48, (14) Martin Wood & Alan Whiteley 46:56, (15) Tim Walker & Claire Guest 47:26, (16) Leon Severn & Richard Lambert 47:34, (17) Amjid Khan & Ali Audsley 47:41, (18) Andrew Mackrill & Paula Pickersgill 47:45, (19) Paul Patrick & Lin Devine 47:46, (20) Helen Armitage & Graham Robertshaw 47:51, (21) Robert Ashcroft & Nicki Cartwright 48:04, (22) Andrew Earnshaw & Justin Scargill 48:21, (23) Dave Culpan & Roger Smith 48:26, (24) Michelle Rogerson & Sue Cash 48:34, (25) Roy Lunt & Paul Armitage 50:07, (26) Rikki Hammond & Sarah Lunt 52:44.


Helvellyn and The Dodds Fell Race

David Culpan was the only Lion at this year’s Helvellyn and The Dodds Fell Race, a gruelling 16 miler with 4,500 feet of ascent taking in Clough Head, Raise and The Dodds before climbing up to the summit of Helvellyn and back.  Conditions on the day were hot, with very strong winds on the tops.

Result: David Culpan 3:40:52


Saddleworth Fell Race

This short sharp three mile race climbs 950 lung busting feet up to Alderman’s Hill before dropping steeply back into the valley.  The running on the top is described as “fast unless you pushed too hard on the climb”.  Jim Harris was the only Lion to take on the challenge, finishing in 33:58.


Melmerby 10K

Only one week after completing her marathon in Liverpool, Rebecca O’Neill was back in action in North Yorkshire on Sunday at the Melmerby 10K.  Conditions were hot, with a midday start in 23 degrees heat and full sun.  Rebecca ran well to cross the line in 51:43.


London Vitality 10K

Just one Lioness joined Mo Farah on the start line of this weekend’s big London race, the London Vitality 10K.  The course took in many of London’s famous sights including Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, Somerset House, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.  Mo Farah won in 29:44.  Lioness Anne-Marie Killeen finished in 62:13.


Ilkley Trail Race

Organised by Ilkley Harriers for the past ten years, this 7 mile trail takes in tracks through woodland, fields and moors, interspersed with some short road sections.  Virtually all of the climb is on the way out, rewarding runners with views over the Wharfe Valley and Ilkley Moor before the very fast second half of the race.  Lioness Tanya Blake holds the women’s course record at this event (44:21).

Results: Ian Hoskins 60:18, Paul Patrick 60:58, Michelle Rogerson 62:51

Posted on May 29, 2018 .

Calderdale Way, fast Ed winning & mammoth marathon PB's

This weekend saw Fast Ed win the Sowerby Scorcher, Andy Baird take an improbable 48 minutes out of his course pb at Windermere Marathon (well done Andy, every three quarters of an hour counts!), and dozens of Lions take on the epic 50 mile Calderdale Way Relay.


Hollingworth Lake 5K

Two Lions finished in the top ten at Race 3 of the Hollingworth Lake 5K series this week.  Ed Hyland finished in 5th place (clocking the exact same time as he did in Race 2 last week), whilst Stephen Hall managed to shave 22 seconds off his time to finish in 7th place.

Results: Ed Hyland 16:58, Stephen Hall 17:00


Sowerby Scorcher

Just a couple of days after the Hollingworth Lake race, Ed Hyland was back in action, leading a pride of Lions round Saturday’s appropriately named Sowerby Scorcher to finish in first place.  Speaking after his win, Ed commented, “I got a bit lucky.  I was 20 metres or so behind the leader when he started fading in the last kilometre and I drew closer.  I think he must then have pulled up with an injury - but still, a win’s a win!”

The Scorcher takes runners through breathtaking countryside above Sowerby, following quiet country roads, bridleways and paths with panoramic views over the Calderdale and Ryburn valleys.  Around 40% of the 10K route is off-road on tracks and paths.

Results: Ed Hyland 39:04, Clayton Cutter 45:10, Michael Dunning 51:41, Jan King 56:14, Paul Wallis 61:50, Emily Wilson 63:32, Ian Threlkeld 64:47, Anne Cawdron 73:47, Jackie Barker 74:24, Linda Williamson 74:46, Peter Cawdron 78:32


Windermere Marathon

Regularly voted the most scenic marathon in Britain, this breathtakingly beautiful run starts, amidst a carnival atmosphere, in the grounds of Brathay Hall with its stunning views over England’s largest lake.  The route around Lake Windermere takes in the honeypot sites of Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside.  Andy Baird and Sean Thompson both achieved fantastic sub 3½ hour times despite the undulating terrain and the hot weather on the day.

Results: Andy Baird 3:20:46, Sean Thompson 3:26:37


Great Manchester Run

Wendy Paulson was the sole Lion at the Great Manchester Run, the third largest mass participation race in Britain after the London Marathon and the Great North Run.  Wendy did the half marathon distance in the morning – there was also a televised 10K on the same course later in the day which was won by Mo Farah.

Result: Wendy Paulson 2:32:58


Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and 1 Mile

The Lions were out in numbers for the Liverpool Rock n Roll races on Sunday.  Whilst most opted for the half marathon, two completed the full marathon distance.  Gluttons for punishment, many of them also took part in the 5K sharpener on the day before the main races, and a hardy few even had enough energy left over for the post-race 1 mile fun run!

Results (Marathon): Rebecca O’Neill 4:15:06, Derek Doyle 4:20:30

Results (Half Marathon): Steve Ashworth 1:43:25, Michelle Rogerson 1:46:02, Ian Hoskins 1:48:58, Claire Guest 1:51:51, Lesley Hodgson 1:52:51, Catherine McHugh 1:58:51, Kim Ison 2:03:36, Zoe Mallinson 2:04:19, Diane Thornley 2:06:00, Debbie Hyde 2:08:32, Graham Robertshaw 2:11:28, Paul Butterfield 2:14:28, Justin Scargill 2:21:11, Helen Shenton 2:25:20, Simone Zoledziejewski 2:25:47, Zoe Lunn 2:26:30, Ken Chilcott 2:28:30, Alex Whyte 2:30:21, Manjit Ahiar 2:31:32, Cheryl Hill 2:34:43, Colette Croft 2:37:12, Hilary Scargill 2:49:57, Sandra Robertshaw 2:54:54


Outlaw Half Ironman

Meanwhile, down in Nottingham, Tony Mott completed the Outlaw Half Triathlon.  This gruelling event comprises a 1.2 mile open water swim, 58 mile bike ride and half marathon.  Tony was going well until part way through his run, when he started to feel ill, and he did well to finish.

Result: Tony Mott 6:03:20


Calderdale Way Relay

Sunday saw half the runners in Calderdale taking part in the Calderdale Way Relay, a six leg relay event run in pairs, which covers 50 miles of the Calderdale Way.  Andrew Laird Boldy did a fantastic job of pairing together Lions of similar speeds, so that each team could run together effectively.  Cameron Rushworth and Amjid Khan both deserve a special mention, having been drafted in at the eleventh hour to replace injured runners – and in Amjid’s case having only joined the club this week and wearing borrowed club kit.  The results are to follow, but in the meantime here are some pictures from the day.

Posted on May 22, 2018 .

Bluebell weekend and loads more

This weekend saw the Lions host their flagship event, the mighty ten mile Bluebell Trail, brilliantly organised this year by first time Race Director Clayton Cutter and his team.

Bluebell Trail

The Bluebell Trail is one of the best known races on the local calendar.  Eagerly anticipated for its mix of beautiful scenery, challenging hills and famously “refreshing” river crossing to finish, the race always sells out well in advance.  This year’s event was extra special as it marked the start of the Lions’ 30th anniversary celebrations that will be formally celebrated in June.  500 lucky runners secured places in the race, and conditions on the day were perfect, with wall-to-wall sunshine and plenty of bluebells in flower along the route.  Dozens of enthusiastic marshals were on hand to ensure that everything went smoothly.  The runners were particularly glad of the marshals’ encouragement on the day’s most challenging climb, the legendary Trooper Lane.  After this lung-busting effort up the steepest road in Halifax, exhausted runners were rewarded with supplies of water and jelly babies, plus panoramic views from the top of Beacon Hill and a welcome downhill run to the finish.  Thanks to a last minute course alteration, organisers were able to provide the runners with extra value for their money this year by treating them to a bonus extra half mile on top of the advertised ten miles.  There was a party atmosphere at the finish line, with a live band and bar, a bouncy castle for the children, and well-earned cakes and ice cream.  The race was won by Matthew Hallam of Valley Striders in 1:12:02, Lioness Lucy Collins was 1st Lady, and there were category wins for Aileen Baldwin (1st F65) and Judith Greenwood (1st F70).

Lions Results: Darren Young 1:19:13 (2nd M45), Dan Marsden 1:23:27, Lucy Collins 1:24:30 (1st Lady), Derek Parrington 1:26:55 (2nd M50), Phillip Moyles 1:29:46, Mark Pigford 1:29:52, Andrew Earnshaw 1:33:30, Michael Barlow 1:34:22, Julie Field 1:35:11 (2nd F45), David Culpan 1:38:25, Martin O’Brien 1:40:07, Stuart Clinton 1:41:05, Rachel Lumb 1:42:38 (2nd F50), Aileen Baldwin 1:42:43 (1st F65), Michelle Rogerson 1:44:55, Gareth Duckworth 1:45:02, Ian Hoskins 1:46:57, Jonathan Pybus 1:48:02, Gareth Webb 1:48:46, Moira Alderson 1:50:38, Angela Lee 1:54:46, Kevin Jaggar 1:58:36, Tony Pinnington 1:58:40, Holly Maddocks 1:59:33, Genevieve Thompson 2:01:35, Carol Gregson 2:03:07, Alison Audsley 2:03:49, Zoe Mallinson 2:07:36, Catherine O’Shaughnessy 2:11:16, Steve Boyer 2:12:00, Roger Smith 2:12:01, Debbie Hyde 2:14:50, Judith Greenwood 2:24:32 (1st F70), Patricia Hallowell 2:24:35, Wendy Paulson 2:25:16, Julie Goddard 2:31:22, Manjit Ahiar 2:37:56, Gail Fawcett 2:43:03


Yorkshire Vets Grand Prix Series – Race Two, Roundhay

Over in Leeds, it was time for Race Two of the Yorkshire Veterans Grand Prix series.  Nearly 40 Lions answered Vets Captain Gav Mulholland’s call to arms (and feet), to race round the 5 mile parkland course in search of points for the team.  Every single runner contributed to the team’s points score, and there were category wins on the night for Sally Caton (1st F40) and Aileen Baldwin (1st F65).  The race took place in the beautiful surroundings of Roundhay Park, taking runners from Soldiers Field down to the Lakeside cafe, then up to the top lake, and around the golf course and back, with just under 400ft of climbing.

Results: Sean Thompson 32:24 (3rd M50), David Roberts 32:30, Dan Marsden 32:38, Andy Baird 32:55, Clayton Cutter 34:13, Andrew Earnshaw 35:29, Paul Hiley 35:35, Andrew Laird Boldy 36:14, Sally Caton 36:43 (1st F40), Paul Patrick 37:17, John Ingles 37:24, David Culpan 37:29, Gareth Knight 37:34, Ian Hoskins 38:22, Andrew Mackrill 38:24, Helen Armitage 38:29 (2nd F50), Tim Neville 38:32, Steve Hallam 38:44, Michelle Rogerson 38:45 (3rd F40), Paul Corns 38:53, Aileen Baldwin 39:33 (1st F65), Steven Crowther 40:50, Tim Walker 41:51, Tony Pinnington 42:17, John Hirst 42:48, Paul Armitage 42:51, Gail Schofield 43:38, Jonathan Taylor 44:18, Liz Hallam 45:02, Paul Butterfield 46:47, Jenny Walker 47:20, Dave Hudson 47:53, Wendy Paulson 52:26, Patricia Hallowell 53:18, Judith Greenwood 54:02 (2nd F70)


Kirklees 10K

This year’s Kirklees 10K attracted 240 runners.  The circular course started and finished at Cathedral House near Huddersfield town centre, and was largely run on flat canal towpaths to Linthwaite and back.  Two Lions were amongst those taking part, and Gaby Ferris finished 4th Lady.

Results: Gaby Ferris 47:16, Paul Corns 49:09


Hollingworth Lake 5K

Two of the club’s faster runners were in action at Race 2 of the Hollingworth Lake 5K series this week.

Results: Ed Hyland 16:58, Stephen Hall 17:22


Leeds Half Marathon

A magnificent run by Jan King saw him take the win in the M65 category at the Leeds Half Marathon.  It was the 33rd year of the event, and all the runners were supported every step of the way by enthusiastic crowds.  The course took the runners along The Headrow and out of the city centre, returning via Abbey Road and Kirkstall Road to the big finish in Cookridge Street alongside Millennium Square.  Several of the Lions scored personal bests on the day.

Results: Gavin Foster 1:21:41, Will Rushworth 1:37:20, Gerry Banham 1:37:49, Jan King 1:43:03 (1st M65), Michael Dunning 1:45:15, Catherine McHugh 2:00:33, Ian Quigley 2:08:59, Kate Ryley 2:09:02, Dawn Medlock 2:09:20, Anne Cawdron 2:28:19, Carol Heptonstall 2:33:17


White Peak Trail Run

Laraine Penson marked her return from injury with an appearance at the 16 mile White Peak Trail Run.  The run took place on the spectacular trails of the Southern Peak District, taking in Dovedale, Milldale and the Tissington Trail.

Result: Laraine Penson 3:11:57


Lake Balaton Ultra Marathon, Hungary

Andrew Falkingbridge travelled to Hungary to take part in the UltraBalaton, a 140 mile relay race around Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Europe and 40 times bigger than Lake Windermere.  Andrew ran as part of a relay team of 11 runners, and his team completed the race in 22hrs 21mins, which was comfortably within the 24hr cut off time.  Speaking after the event, Andrew said, “On the day I ran 3 legs, two of around 7 miles and a short one of just under 2 miles, so not a great distance in total but the heat and humidity was incredible, it was over 30C so made for very hard going even for relatively short runs.”

Posted on May 15, 2018 .

Red hot racing over bank holiday weekend

Red hot racing over the Bank Holiday weekend culminated in the Lions Ladies Team taking second place at Coiners Fell Race, and James Penson and Jim Harris completing another of their trademark epic Lakeland challenges.

Orchan Rocks Fell Race

But first to Todmorden for the Orchan Rocks Fell Race.  This short sharp race from the Staff of Life pub in Todmorden takes runners up to Orchan rocks and then fast downhill back to the finish line.  3½ hard miles with 900 feet of ascent.

Result: David Culpan 33:23

Hollingworth Lake 5K

Joanne Hirst marked her return from injury with an appearance at Race 1 of the popular Hollingworth Lake 5K series.  Joanne finished 3rd V50 in a time of 33:44.

Windmill 6

On the outskirts of Huddersfield, the Windmill 6 is an undulating road race around the windmills on the top of Spicer Hill.  The route is an anti-clockwise loop with breathtaking views across Penistone and surrounding areas.  Carol Heptonstall was the sole Lion to participate, completing the route in just over an hour.

Saddleworth Cake Race

The Cake Race, which took place in Saddleworth on Saturday, is a spectacular 10 mile race with as much well-earned cake as runners can eat at the end.  Prizes are awarded for the cakes as well as for the running.  The challenging course with 1,700 feet of ascent takes in open moorland scenery, industrial heritage and Pennine farmland.  It is mainly on flagged paths, tracks and trails with the challenge of going over the Pennines and back.  Some of the tracks used by the runners were built in the 18th Century for the canal boat horses - while the horses were led over the hill, the boatmen would have been "legging" the boat through Standedge tunnel below.  Conditions on Saturday were very hot, and there was a battle for first Lion, with John Bassinder overtaking David Culpan in the last 200 metres to claim it.  First pick of the cakes for John!

Results: John Bassinder 1:32:29, David Culpan 1:32:36, Martin O’Brien 1:35:41, Kevin Jaggar 1:38:46, Rachel Lumb 1:41:50, Rikki Hammond 1:50:18, Moira Alderson 1:50:54, Ray Mooney 1:51:25, Michelle Rogerson 1:51:54, Ian Hoskins 1:52:06, Cat Daniel 1:52:41, Angela Lee 1:57:53, Steve Boyer 2:03:37

Staveley - Kentmere Trail

Four Lions took part in this 17k run on Saturday.  Part of the Lakeland trail series, the beautiful undulating train run along the Kentmere Valley takes in spectacular views of the southern Lakeland Fells.  Mags Beever led the Lions home.
Results: Mags Beever 1.28.16 (5th Lady), Tanya Blake 1.30.08 (1st V40), Craig Miller 1.30.45, Karen Marsella 2.33.55

Roche Abbey Half Marathon

Joanne Cooke ran the Roche Abbey Half Marathon on Sunday.  Roche Abbey is a hidden gem, nestled away in South Yorkshire near the picturesque village of Maltby.  Starting and finishing within the grounds of the glorious 12th Century abbey, the route encompasses trail and track running through Lord Scarborough’s land, which originally formed part of Sherwood Forest.  Joanne’s finish time was 2:43:46

Coiners Fell Race

Bank Holiday Monday saw a huge pride of Lions gathering in Mytholmroyd for the Coiners Fell Race round Stoodley Pike.  The Lions Ladies Team of Aileen Baldwin, Rachel Lumb and Victoria Armstrong ran strongly to take second place in the Team competition.

Results: Phillip Moyles 1:03:15, Clayton Cutter 1:05:09, James McNutt 1:06:28, Anthony Mott 1:08:00, Martin O’Brien 1:08:02, Gerry Banham 1:08:33, John Bassinder 1:09:33, Steve Ashworth 1:11:10, David Culpan 1:12:21, Aileen Baldwin 1:12:43, Andrew Earnshaw 1:13:03, Rachel Lumb 1:14:09, Victoria Armstrong 1:14:52, Jonathan Pybus 1:15:30, Ian Johnson 1:16:23, Richard Crombie 1:17:19, Maria Harron 1:18:30, Julie Field 1:18:31, Ian Hoskins 1:19:59, Tim Walker 1:22:49, Michelle Rogerson 1:22:54, Moira Alderson 1:27:13, Catherine McHugh 1:27:24, Jonathan Taylor 1:28:49, Steve Boyer 1:28:55, Angela Lee 1:32:35, John Rushworth 1:37:13, Susan Cash 1:41:38, Dawn Medlock 1:50:17, Jackie Barker 1:52:33, Helen Shenton 1:53:22, Ken Chilcott 1:53:26, Wendy Paulson 1:55:56, Alex Whyte 1:57:19

SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day 2018

If you are of a nervous disposition, look away now.  The SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day is a 58 mile mountain marathon with 19,387 feet of ascent and 28, yes 28, Wainwrights.  The event takes place over the three days of the May Bank Holiday, and this year was the twentieth anniversary edition.

James Penson and Jim Harris completed this epic challenge on the hottest three days of the year, finishing in very creditable 13th and 17th positions.

James Penson: Day One 7:22:53, Day Two 6:32:42, Day Three 4:41:43, Total 18:37:18
Jim Harris: Day One 7:27:55, Day Two 6:41:12, Day Three 4:53:11, Total 19:02:18

Posted on May 10, 2018 .

Three peaks and more

This weekend saw Mark Pottinger racing the Three Peaks and Stefanie Hopkins leading the Lions home at the Bradford 10K.

The Three Peaks Fell Race

Familiar to most people as a walking challenge, the Three Peaks is also one of the oldest and most famous fell races in Britain.  Imagine running a marathon not through city streets but over Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.  The first recorded traverse of the route was in 1887 when two teachers from Giggleswick School, near Settle, claimed to have completed it in 10 hours.  The first race over the route was organised in 1954, with the winner Fred Bagley posting a time of 3:48.  This year’s race, billed as The Marathon with Mountains, saw Lion Mark Pottinger finish in an almost identical time to that first winner.

Result: Mark Pottinger 3:49:31

Bradford 10K

This popular local charity fundraising race was postponed due to heavy snow earlier in the year.  Organisers Epilepsy Action rescheduled the event for Sunday, when around 2,000 people took part.  Starting and finishing in Centenary Park, the fast flat route took runners through the heart of the city centre.  Stefanie Hopkins scored a new personal best and was first Lion to finish.

Results: Stefanie Hopkins 43:15, Paul Corns 46:51, Jan King 48:11, Bill Lee 60:59, Julie Goddard 63:52 and Peter Cawdron 67:45

Lincoln Sprint Triathlon

Tony Mott took on the Lincoln sprint triathlon, a 400m heated indoor pool swim, followed by a 23K bike ride and 5K run along the Fossdyke Canal.  Tony finished in a new personal best time of 1:16:34.

Update - Anniversary Waltz and Teenager with Altitude Fell Races

Full results are now out for last week’s Anniversary Waltz and Teenager with Altitude Fell Races: Jonathan Collins 2:11:31, Mark Pottinger 2:12:04, Mark Pigford 2:27:45, Andrew Earnshaw 2:34:18, David Culpan 2:41:23, Jim Harris 2:43:42, Aileen Baldwin 2:51:15, Rikki Hammond 2:55:25, Leon Severn 2:56:00, Moira Alderson 2:58:38 and Steve Boyer 3:47:35 (Anniversary Waltz) and James Penson 4:21:01 (Teenager with Altitude).

Posted on May 1, 2018 .

A scorching weekend

This weekend saw the daddy of them all – the scorching hot London Marathon, with 15 Lions among the 40,000 runners massed on the start line alongside Mo Farah.

London Marathon

After spending the winter months training in freezing conditions, the fifteen Lions were faced with sizzling temperatures of 24 degrees on Sunday, making it the hottest day in the history of the event.  Good news for the crowds lining the route who were able to enjoy a carnival atmosphere in blazing sunshine, but a huge challenge for the runners, with everyone from Mo Farah to the back markers struggling to stay hydrated.  The battle to keep cool proved too much for Lion Matthew Pierson, who sadly had to pull out after 25K run at his signature furious pace.  With Matthew out, Stephen Hall was first Lion to cross the finish line, in a scorching time of 2:56:10.  The club is enormously proud of each and every one of its marathon runners and very grateful to coaches Mark Pigford and Tanya Blake for all their help in preparing the runners for their big day.

Results: Stephen Hall 2:56:10, Jamie Westwood 2:58:17, Darren Young 3:12:54, Simon Rawnsley 3:25:46, Tim Neville 4:06:36, Paula Statham-Drake 4:14:46, Richard Crombie 4:34:47, Jenny Walker 5:05:41, Caroline Palmer 5:26:57, Allison Hesketh 5:31:20, Ginny Rushworth 6:22:16, Sandra Robertshaw 6:52:25, Judith MacDonald 6:57:48, Jeanette Campbell 7:06:39

Yorkshire Vets Grand Prix Series – Race One, Honley

While the Marathon was in full swing in the capital, up in Honley the Yorkshire Veterans Grand Prix series was getting underway.  Over 40 Lions took part in the first race of the series, which this year comprises 10 cross country races held in various locations across Yorkshire.  Points are awarded for individual and team performances, and tallied up over the course of the series.  Not only did Stainland’s new Vets Captain Gavin Mulholland do a top job marshalling his troops, he also led from the front, winning the men’s race in a time of 37:28 and picking up the M45 category win in the process.  Other category honours went to Angela Lee (1st F55), Julie Field (2nd F45), Sean Thompson (3rd M50), Amanda Zito (3rd F50) and John Bassinder (3rd M60).  But it’s not all about fast times - every single runner contributes to the team’s points score, and the Lions managed first place finishes in all but one of the various team categories – a flying start to the season!

Anniversary Waltz and Teenager with Altitude Fell Races

These two epic Lake District fell races were held for the very last time this weekend, following the recent death of the event organiser.  Both races start and finish at the village hall in the small Lakeland hamlet of Stair, and both are extremely challenging.  Whilst the Anniversary Waltz is hard enough for most people at 11.5 miles long with 3,600 feet of ascent, its big brother race the Teenager with Altitude is more James Penson’s cup of tea, at over 15 miles long with 7,600 feet of ascent.  The always excellent Aileen Baldwin finished 3rd F60 in the Anniversary Waltz, from a very strong field and in roasting hot conditions.  Club coach Mark Pigford (who helped many of the club’s marathon runners prepare for London, putting together their marathon training plans and leading their weekly track sessions) also put in a strong performance in the Anniversary Waltz.  Everyone who took part was very enthusiastic about these races, and fingers crossed a new organiser might be found for them for next year.  Results are not available at the time of going to press, but Lions taking part included Mark Pigford, Leon Severn, Aileen Baldwin, Jim Harris, Andrew Earnshaw, David Culpan, Moira Alderson, Rikki Hammond and Steve Boyer (Anniversary Waltz) and James Penson (Teenager with Altitude).

The Dirty Reiver 200K Mountain Bike Challenge

Kielder Forest on the border of England and Scotland is a favourite playground for Lions attempting big challenges this year.  After Roy and Sarah Lunt did their night time marathon there last month, this weekend saw Tony Mott in action, swapping his running shoes for his mountain bike to take on the 200K Dirty Reiver ride.  Named after the reivers who were raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border in the Middle Ages, the route traverses gravel forest access roads near Kielder Forest, taking riders through remote areas in the Borders, and affording outstanding views to the riders.  Tony finished his long day in the saddle in a time of 9:38:55.

Lions Manchester to Sowerby Bridge 50K Ultra Marathon

Like the London marathon runners, Lion Rebecca O’Neill also trained hard all winter in readiness for a planned 50K ultra marathon from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge.  Then – disaster!  The company organising the race went out of business and the event was cancelled.  But Rebecca and running partner Andrew Falkingbridge didn’t let this detail stop them, and come race day, they were there on the start line at first light in Manchester, helped by a swiftly mobilised Lions support crew.  The Lions manned impromptu water stations along the route, cheered the runners on and ran sections of the route alongside them.  Rebecca and Andrew finished in just under 5½ hours, and medals were even conjured up for the pair!

Posted on April 25, 2018 .

It's that racing time of year...

Brighton Marathon

Three of the club’s intrepid Marathon runners were in action this weekend, tackling the undulating course at Brighton.  Brighton Marathon has achieved a certain level of notoriety amongst the Lions in recent years on account of the mentally challenging nature of its route.  Participants have to run three times out and back through a soulless industrial harbour area and past a power station.  Race reviews describe it as “brutal, ugly, windy, and no crowd.”

Results: Wendy Goodwin 4:44:05, Angela Goulden 4:48:33, Jayne Rhodes 5:01:13

Bunny Runs

Paul Patrick completed his hat trick of Bunny Runs last week, running the third and final race of the series.  Each Bunny Run is a mini fell race over moorland terrain at Haworth.

Result: Paul Patrick 23:40

Old Colliery Canter 10K and Half Marathon

The annual Old Colliery Canter races took place on Saturday at Rabbit Ings Country Park near Barnsley.  The site is located on the former colliery yard and spoil heap of the Monkton Colliery.  There were some issues with route finding on the day as runners attempted to navigate the complex and winding course, but at least the sun came out.

Result (10K): Zoe Lunn 1:11:04

Results (Half Marathon): Kim Ison 2:22:59, Zoe Mallinson 2:25:13

Vale of York 10 Mile

A strong run from Helen Armitage saw her finish 1st F50 at the Vale of York 10 Mile race.  The route, which is fast and flat, starts on the runway at Rufforth airfield, home to the York Gliding Centre.  Several club members achieved personal best times on the day.

Results: Helen Armitage 1:17:29, Diane Thornley 1:29:54, Joanne Cooke 1:30:40, Catherine McHugh 1:31:19, Paul Armitage 1:31:56, Dawn Medlock 1:36:59, Manjit Ahiar 1:45:36, Helen Shenton 1:46:43

The Overgate 5K/10K Challenge

Lions made up a significant percentage of the runners at the Overgate Challenge, the popular annual charity fundraiser for Overgate Hospice.  The total field of 372 included over 60 Lions, many of whom have first hand experience of the wonderful work that the hospice does.  Cool weather made for pleasant running conditions – and even the fog was welcome, hiding just how much further it was to the top of Ogden.  The Lions secured an array of category wins, with John Bassinder (1st M60), Aileen Baldwin (1st F65 in a remarkable time of 48:26) Jan King (1st M65) and Holly Maddocks (1st F U23) all taking honours for the club.  Full results are below, with category placings in bold.

Results (10K): Dan Marsden 42:18, Phillip Moyles 42:18 (2nd M40), Clayton Cutter 42:47, Anthony Mott 42:49 (3rd M40), Leon Severn 43:02, Gareth Knight 45:19, Julie Field 45:40 (3rd Lady and 1st F45), Steve Ashworth 45:58 (3rd M50), James McNutt 45:59, Gerry Banham 46:03 (2nd M55), Stefanie Hopkins 46:23 (2nd F40), Jim Harris 46:24, Sally Caton 46:34 (3rd F40), John Bassinder 46:42 (1st M60), Maria Harron 47:36 (3rd F45), Stuart Clinton 48:02, Aileen Baldwin 48:26 (1st F65), Martin Wood 48:29, David Farrah 48:30, Ian Hoskins 48:37, Michelle Rogerson 48:43, Michael Dunning 48:56, Ian Johnson 48:58, Steve Hallam 49:31, Paul McCormick 50:52, Gareth Webb 51:03, Lesley Hodgson 52:10, Roy Lunt 53:11, Gemma Berriman 53:35, Jan King 53:49 (1st M65), Gina Anderson Keeble 54:24, Alison Audsley 55:37, Holly Maddocks 56:12 (1st F U23), Susan Cash 56:12 (3rd F50), Brian Conroy 56:25 (2nd M65), Karl Coldwell 56:36, Liz Hallam 56:46, Rachel Fay 57:03, John Hirst 58:27, Zoe Mallinson 58:33, Paula Pickersgill 59:01, Lin Devine 1:00:26 (2nd F55), Helen Harris 1:01:29, Richard Lambert 1:03:06, Simon Gadd 1:03:27, Karen Appleyard 1:04:36, Ken Chilcott 1:04:56, Anna Stones 1:04:59, Julie Goddard 1:05:25, Simone Zoledziejewski 1:05:30, Alex Whyte 1:06:06, Richard Brear 1:06:41, Wendy Paulson 1:07:06, Anne Cawdron 1:07:47, Cheryl Hill 1:07:53, Emma Aveyard 1:08:02, Justin Scargill 1:08:02, Colette Croft 1:08:53, Patricia Hallowell 1:09:57, Jackie Barker 1:11:43, Carol Heptonstall 1:12:45, Peter Cawdron 1:12:46, Hilary Scargill 1:12:53, Gail Fawcett 1:16:52, Helen Hudson (race sweeper) 1:42:26

Result (5K): Derek Doyle - running with his son Nathan- 24:36 (1st M50)

Wardle Skyline and Gisborough Moors Fell Races

David Culpan represented the Lions on the fells in both the Wardle Skyline and the oddly spelt Gisborough Moors Fell Races.  The Wardle Skyline takes place near Rochdale, and is 7 miles long with 1,250 feet of ascent.  The Gisborough Moors Race covers a distance of about 12 miles with 2,600 feet of ascent, and takes in the summits of Roseberry Topping, Captain Cooks and Highcliffe Nab, with spectacular views from the tops.  Official results are a closely guarded secret, but David’s own records show a time of 1:12:46 at Wardle and 2:03:04 at Gisborough Moors.

Posted on April 17, 2018 .

Marathon season is upon us

The Spring Marathon season officially got underway this weekend.  It was A Tale of Two Cities, with Lions aiming for the best of times at both Paris and Manchester.

Paris Marathon

This race across Paris, taking in the Champs Elysées, the Bois de Vincennes and Boulogne, offers an incomparable backdrop, with spectacular views and landmarks all along the route.  Nine Lions took part, in extremely warm conditions, urged on by their loyal support crew who had made the journey across the Channel to cheer them round the course.

Results: Tim Walker 4:24:31, Mick Porter 5:01:52, Gareth Webb 5:11:19, Holly Maddocks 5:11:19, Anne-Marie Killeen 5:13:37, Anne Cawdron 5:36:30, Colette Croft 5:36:53, Linda Williamson 5:42:43, Jackie Barker 5:46:14

Many of the Paris Marathon runners and supporters took the opportunity to try Montsouris parkrun the day before the big race – and amazing veteran Lioness Bernadette Rowland set a new VW80 time of 40:15 over the 5K course.  Allez Bernadette!

Manchester Marathon

Starting and finishing at Old Trafford, the Manchester Marathon attracted its biggest ever field this year.  Ed Hyland led the Lions home in an excellent time, and there were several other strong performances and personal bests on the day.

Results: Ed Hyland 2:40:55, Sean Thompson 3:04:33, Clayton Cutter 3:18:40, Richard Cade 3:21:45, Richard Heaton 3:42:00, Jan King 3:46:27, Cat Daniel 3:55:23, Gail Schofield 4:22:59

Mags and Lucy finish 1st Lady and 3rd Lady at Baildon Boundary Way

The in-form Mags Beever continued her excellent season, finishing 1st Lady at the Baildon Boundary Way Trail Half Marathon.  Lucy Collins (making her return to racing after a lay off) was hot on her heels, finishing 3rd Lady.

Results: Mags Beever 1:40:15, Lucy Collins 1:45:29, Damien Pearson 1:48:19, Julie Field 1:55:04, Derek Doyle 1:57:52, Amanda Zito 1:58:06, Alex Whyte 2:54:58

Sheffield Half Marathon

This demanding half marathon reward runners with spectacular views of the Peak District and various city landmarks.  Starting in the City Centre, runners travel down the ‘Eccy’ Road, passing Encliffe Park and the outskirts of Dore before returning to the City Centre to finish in front of the Town Hall.  The rapidly improving Michelle “Rocket” Rogerson was first Lion to finish, just ahead of partner Ian.

Results: Michelle Rogerson 1:46:00, Ian Hoskins 1:47:27

Thirsk 10 Mile

The Thirsk 10 has been held for over 30 years and provides a fast flat course which lends itself to a fast time and gives all abilities a chance of achieving a personal best.  It also boasts a main grandstand finish at Thirsk Racecourse!  It was Steve Hallam’s chance to shine on the day, leading the pack of Lions home in a return to full fitness after recent ill health.

Results: Steve Hallam 1:17:21, Rebecca O’Neill 1:23:35, Liz Hallam 1:31:46

Bunny Runs

Just one Lion at Haworth for the second of this year’s series of Bunny Runs.  181 runners took part this week.  Torrential rain earlier in the day and on the previous day meant there was lots of mud on offer.  Despite the mud, Paul Patrick managed to knock over 30 seconds off his time from last week’s race.

Result: Paul Patrick 23:33

Posted on April 11, 2018 .

Easter Weekend Racing

Lots of racing over the Easter weekend!

Bunny Runs

Taking advantage of the lighter evenings, four Lions hopped over to Haworth for the first of this year’s series of Bunny Runs.  These popular midweek mini cross country races usually attract around 200 runners, all vying for the chance to win armfuls of chocolate and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.

Results: Kevin Jaggar 24:00, Julie Field 24:11, Paul Patrick 24:13, Ray Mooney 28:52

New Club Record for Mags at Salford 10K

After her outstanding cross country season this winter, Mags Beever hit the road on Good Friday, scoring a new personal best at Salford 10K and finishing second F35 overall.  Her time of 37:56 is a new F35 club record – well done Mags!

The two lap undulating course attracted a field of 630 runners this year.

Results: Mags Beever 37:56, Lorraine Naylor 44:03

 The Lakes Mountain 42

Ultra runner James Penson was in action again on Easter Saturday, tackling the Lakes Mountain 42.  After a dawn start, James was expecting to have to run 42 technical miles of tough, unmarked mountain trails with around 10,000 feet of ascent including the summits of Helvellyn and High Street.  In the event, severe weather and treacherous conditions on the tops resulted in the race being shortened to “only” 27 miles.

Results: James Penson 6 hours 16 minutes

The Ballyliffin International Coastal Challenge

Maria Harron ran this scenic 10 mile race in Ireland on Easter Saturday.  Set on the wild Atlantic Way, it’s been dubbed “Ireland’s most spectacular race”.  The event is unique in that the final two miles are run on Pollan Beach.  The entire course fringes the sea, with the beautiful backdrop of Malin Head.  Maria ran a personal best time to finish 6th lady.

Result: Maria Harron 75:19

Helmsley 10K

Two Lions were represented at the Helmsley 10K Multi Terrain Challenge.  This community event took place on Easter Sunday on a mixture of forestry tracks, footpaths, roads and fields.

Results: David Waite: 56:33, Diane Waite: 56:39

The Hot Cross Bun Duathlon

After their triathlon last week, Tony and Tracy Mott competed in the inaugural Hot Cross Bun Duathlon in Keighley on Easter Sunday.  John Rushworth also took on the challenge, which comprised a 5K run, 20K bike ride and another 5K run.

Results: Tony Mott 1:36:00, John Rushworth 2:01:04, Tracy Mott 2:07:50

Ackworth Half Marathon

Undeterred by heavy snow, three Lions ran the Ackworth Half Marathon in Biblical conditions on Easter Monday, with Helen Armitage (recently returned from injury) leading the Lions home and taking the 2nd F50 prize.

Results: Helen Armitage 1:49:36, Rebecca O’Neill 1:51:24, Paul Armitage 2:09:23

Posted on April 4, 2018 .

Every distance covered in weekend races

A bumper weekend of racing for the Lions, from 10Ks right up to Ultra Marathon distance.

London Landmarks Half Marathon

Ten Lions ran the inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon.  They joined 10,000 other runners on the start line on Pall Mall, and enjoyed fabulous views of London's major landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral, Nelson's Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye.

David Culpan (making a rare foray down to lower ground from his natural habitat up in the hills) led the Lions home in a new club M55 record time, and there were several personal bests to celebrate on the day.

Results: David Culpan 1:36:20, Richard Crombie 1:37:16, Tim Walker 1:52:22, Andrew Falkingbridge 1:58:28, Cat Daniel 1:59:06, Jenny Walker 2:06:00, Trish Hallowell 2:36:40, Gail Fawcett 2:36:40, Renee Comerford 2:48:14, Avril Smith 2:48:19

The Coniston 14 Mile

Renowned as the most beautiful road race in Britain, the Coniston 14 attracts around 1,600 runners each year.  A community event, the race is organised by an enthusiastic committee of volunteers from Coniston village.  Two Lions took part, crossing the finish line together.

Results: Tanya Blake 1:35:41, Craig Miller 1:35:41

The Buttermere 10 Mile Trail Race

Based in the beautiful Buttemere Valley amidst a dramatic landscape of high fells, this scenic trail route around the shores of Buttermere & Crummock Water was blessed this year with fantastic sunny weather.

Results: Moira Alderson 1:42:40, Steve Boyer 2:06:11

Wakefield Hospice 10K

Two Lions tackled the Wakefield 10K, an event held annually to raise funds for patient care at Wakefield Hospice.

Results: Victoria Armstrong 49:09, Paul Shaw 52:53

Third place for Andy Baird at the Canalathon 50K

Andy Baird won the M40 category and finished in third place overall at the Canalathon 50K, a flat Ultra Marathon along the Rochdale Canal.  Chris Hall also ran well, finishing in fourth place just two seconds behind Andy.

Results: Andy Baird 4:08:50, Chris Hall 4:08:52

Heptonstall Fell Race

Derek Doyle was the sole Lion at the rearranged Heptonstall Fell Race.  The 15 mile race was scheduled for last week but fell victim to the adverse weather.  No such issues this week, and the run was completed in perfect sunny conditions.  Total ascent: 3,200 feet.

Result: Derek Doyle: 3:13:41

East Leake Triathlon

Tony and Tracy Mott competed in the East Leake Triathlon on Sunday.  The “sprint” distance event comprises a 400 meter swim, followed by a 20K bike ride and 4K run.

Results: Tony Mott 1:17:28, Tracy Mott 1:32:56

Kielder Dark Skies Marathon

As if a flat daytime marathon wasn’t difficult enough, husband and wife team Sarah and Roy Lunt tackled the Kielder Dark Skies Marathon.  The race takes place at night and is hilly, off road and run in the pitch dark!

Results: Sarah Lunt 5:26:15, Roy Lunt 5:26:16

Posted on March 28, 2018 .

This weeks snow report - 23 March

Langsett 10K Trail Race

Heavy snow caused virtually every race on the calendar to be cancelled last weekend.  The Langsett 10K Trail Race was one of the few races to go ahead.  Lions Ray Mooney, Moira Alderson and Rikki Hammond were booked onto the Langsett 13 Mile Trail Race scheduled for the same day, but the organisers Peakrunners only held the 10K version, and so the three Lions happily switched to that race instead.

The race is a relative newcomer on the calendar, having only been held twice before.  100 runners took part this year, running from the beautiful village of Langsett on the edge of the Peak District National Park.  The course was billed as a super-fast technical route, but the snowy conditions made for very heavy going and inevitably slower times.

The route twists through beautiful forest hard packed trails, and includes some nice climbs with a fantastic downhill to the finish.

Commenting afterwards, Moira said “I was fortunate to be able to join the Langsett 10K Trail Race today with so many other races cancelled.  It was a great day out.”

Results: Ray Mooney 1:05:03, Moira Alderson 1:06:50, Rikki Hammond 1:10:10

Posted on March 21, 2018 .

This week in Races - 9th March

Queensbury Cross Country

In a week when the Beast from the East caused virtually every race on the calendar to be cancelled, the West Yorkshire Winter League declared (after a last minute course inspection) that their much anticipated Queensbury race could go ahead.  Sunday’s race marked the end of the 2017/8 cross country series, a series which has been notable for its exceptionally snowy conditions throughout.  The Queensbury event had already been rescheduled from its original date before Christmas when snow stopped play.  Over 40 Lions were on the start line at Foster Park, which resembled a scene from Narnia.  The entire course was blanketed in snow, and as the runners set off into the woods, more snow fell and continued to fall heavily throughout the race.


Team Stainland had a fantastic day.  Margaret Beever capped off a magnificent season with her 4th win from six races, securing her individual prize as 1st Lady for the season.  The Lions also scooped the Ladies Team on the day and retained the trophy for this season as top Ladies Team.


The Men put in another strong performance and finished second behind Baildon on the day and runners up for the season.


The Lions’ Vets team of Gavin Mulholland, Mark Pottinger and Margaret Beever claimed first place on Sunday too and retained the Vets trophy for Team Stainland.


Cross Country Captain Tim Walker said “Well done to everyone who turned up at Queensbury this morning and what a race it was - true Winter League stuff played out in true Queensbury Spring conditions!”

Posted on March 8, 2018 .

This week in races - 2nd March

Midgley Moor Fell Race


Saturday saw perfect conditions for the annual Midgley Moor fell race.  The challenging 5 mile race over paths and heather moorland raises funds for Springhill Hospice in Rochdale.  Two Lions raced the course, crossing the line within seconds of each other.


Results: Martin O’Brien 1:00:13, David Culpan 1:00:36



Snake Lane 10 Mile


Five Lions headed to East Yorkshire to take part in the popular Snake Lane 10 mile road race.  The route is in and around Pocklington, and is run over relatively flat terrain.  All the Lions gave of their best, and there were some very quick times recorded.


Results: Gavin Foster 1:01:08 (PB), Chris Hall 1:03:13 (PB), Craig Miller 1:05:29, Andy Baird 1:07:23 (PB), Ginny Rushworth 1:53:18



Huddersfield 10K


Over in Huddersfield, half a dozen Lions raced the hilly Huddersfield 10K.  Starting from Huddersfield Rugby Club at Lockwood, the route climbs steadily up to the village of Netherton, then crosses the beautiful Magdale valley before a long steady descent back to the rugby club.  Derek Parrington was first Lion home and 3rd M50.


Results: Derek Parrington 41:21, David Roberts 42:21, David Waite 51:40, Jan King 52:57, Diane Waite 54:10 Emma Taylor 69:21



Stainland Cross Country


The sun shone on Stainland Lions as they hosted the penultimate race of the 2017/8 West Yorkshire Winter League cross country series on Sunday.  Conditions were ideal, and there was a huge turnout of runners enjoying the hills, mud and legendary log flume feature on the course.  Tom Collinge took the overall win for Queensbury Running Club, while in-form Lioness Margaret Beever was 1st Lady.  The host team battled hard to win the Vets Category and finished second in all other categories.  Cross Country Captain Tim Walker thanked all the runners and volunteers for making the event such a success.  The raffle raised £130 for Overgate Hospice.

Posted on March 2, 2018 .