Vets Conquer Britain in Ireland

A superb Mourne for the Veteran Harriers
This year’s first counter in the British Fell Championships was held on Saturday in the stunning Mourne mountains, Northern Ireland. It was with glad hearts that the 16 Tod Harriers who travelled to Northern Ireland were greeted with fine, clear weather. The last time this location was used for a championship race, runners the summits were shrouded in thick mist, resulting in a chaotic race, to say the least.
The excellently organised race, by NIMRA, was a bespoke route for the championship, starting at sea level in Donard Park, Newcastle. The route’s first climb picked its way through boulder fields to the summit of Slieve Donard, at a height of 850m. Runners then tackled the tricky descent down the other side of Donard before a fast runnable section prior to the tough second ascent of Commedagh. A steep plunge back down to sea level then followed of almost 700 metres in a shade over a mile. A tricky, slippy and relentless descent gave runners quads a pasting before entering the final forest trails back down to Donard Park in Newcastle.
The weather and conditions were a considerable treat given the recent poor weather and felled trees in the forest, which made the run in for the finish more like an obstacle course on mountain bike trails.
Harriers’ men V40 team produced a storming team performance for 1st Men’s Vet 40 team, whilst the Harriers Ladies were 5th Vet 40 team. Singling out one runner wouldn’t do the team justice. This was, put simply, a superb team effort and commitment all round. One person though deserves a special mention. Dave Collins, the seasoned, and now Vet 60 runner, ran 6 miles on rock and bog with a completely disintegrated soul on his fell shoe. Collins finished the race, to the amazement of his team mates, in what might have been best described as a slipper on his left foot.
Full Todmorden Harriers Results:
Position RaceNumber Name AgeClass Club Finish Time
40 269 Jon Wright MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:30:58
50 14 Nick Barber MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:32:40
57 106 Paul Hobbs MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:33:31
86 5 John Allan M Todmorden Harriers 01:39:52
102 54 Ben Crowther MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:43:14
103 77 Dave Garner MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:43:21
126 142 Greg May M Todmorden Harriers 01:48:26
129 143 Pauline May F Todmorden Harriers 01:49:17
138 200 James Riley MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:52:35
141 49 Dave Collins MV60 Todmorden Harriers 01:53:21
170 246 Robin Tuddenham MV40 Todmorden Harriers 01:59:46
212 180 Claire Parfitt FV40 Todmorden Harriers 02:13:03
218 36 Kathleen Brierley FV50 Todmorden Harriers 02:16:24
224 74 Michelle Fuller FV40 Todmorden Harriers 02:24:05
231 182 Kirsty Patten M Todmorden Harriers 02:33:05

Wardle Skyline Fell Race
Closer to home at the Wardle Skyline Race, whilst full results are yet to be published, Rebecca Patrick was 1st V45 and Jane Leonard also came first her age category – V50.
The race was a counter in the Harriers Fell Grand Prix.

Paul BranniganVets Conquer Britain in Ireland