Bride of the Midsummer Madman’s Freckles

Reports by Paul Hobbs.

Bridestone Fell Race

Last Tuesday the Todmorden’s successful staging of Bridestone Fell Race. A race in its relative infancy with a cracking route over some of Todmorden’s best terrain, it’s a race that will no doubt be around for years to come. This year’s race was won by Calder Valley’s, Todmorden-based Alex Whittem. New Todmorden recruit was first Todmorden runner home, and second Vet 50. Rebecca Patrick came in first Vet 40, in a shade over 41 minutes.

Midsummer Madness Series

In not-quite midsummer temperatures, the Midsummer Madness Series kicked off the weekend’s racing on Friday evening. The series comprises of three races of different lengths, climb and terrain. Friday’s race, the Whicken Hill Whizz, is a short and sharp blast up to Sheep Stones trig point and then a rapid plunge down to the valley bottom. Saturday’s race is an altogether different affair; a navigational course that changes by the year. Sunday’s race, Tom Tittiman presents runners with faster course up to High Brown Knoll trig point from Old Town. Todmorden-based runner and Calder Valley runner James Logue was the best performer over the series, using his navigational skill in thick clag on Saturday to build a lead over the other runners.

On Friday evening Ben Crowther had a blast and came an excellent 6th position. James Riley, Dave Collins and Andy Forbes all came within a minute of one another. Claire Duffield came in 10th lady overall.

Ben Crowther was set up for a strong finish in the overall series, ready to navigate his way around the claggy moors above Old Town. Unfortunately, Crowther had to make some additional stop offs; firstly back to his car for his race number and starting to visit the controls in reverse order. Capitalizing on Crowther’s uncharacteristic absent mindedness, Dave Collins finished in 13th position. Collins, who has an encyclopedic recall of Calderdale’s sheep trods and lesser known paths, steadily picked up time over the course.

Not letting Saturday’s events dissuade him, Ben Crowther once again put in a great performance on Sunday, coming 7th. Other Todmorden finishers at Tom Tittiman:

Peter Kerridge 19th position
Robert Tyson 20th position
Andrew Walker 27th position
Ben Beckwith 36th position
Sally Chesworth 59th position (13th lady)
Moyra Parfitt 74th position
Claire Parfitt 75th position
Peter Ehrhardt 78th position
Reg Czudek 81st position
Jan Fitzpatrick 83rd position

Todmorden’s road runners found it hard going in the wind but amazing crowds willed them on at the Freckleton Half Marathon. Given the wind and conditions, Richard Butterwick can be very pleased with his sub 1:30 time.

Todmorden Results

39 Richard Butterwick 1:27:24
234 David Leslie 1:48:24
558 Myra Wells 2:25:44

Meanwhile up in Scotland, Robin Tuddenham took on his own epic adventure in the form of the West Highland Way Ultra Marathon. Months in the planning, with many-a build up race, reccies and hour upon hour of training made Robin’s 13th position in a time of just under 20 hours an awesome achievement, especially when considering the route is 95 miles with nearly 15,000 feet of ascent.

Paul BranniganBride of the Midsummer Madman’s Freckles