Calderdale Way Relay (Ladies) 2009

This great club day out had a different slant this year – Settle Harriers’ first ever ladies’ team was in the mix. After much pre-race discussions and swapping around, the day dawned with the plucky 12 ready to rumble.

Leg 1: Ruth Maxwell and Kath Davies

Our openers left Ingleton at an ungodly hour and began their 9.8 mile run in the half light of the pre-dawn. Ruth had reccied the route two weeks earlier and luckily enjoyed a warmer experience than that day. The duo then stayed around for the rest of the day, enjoying the atmosphere of numerous hostelries of Calderdale, and supporting the rest of the team.

Leg 2: Jill Eccleston and Kirsten Angus

Jill and Kirsten went eyeballs out on the 8.46 mile leg. They had a bit of a ding dong with the Wharfedale Ladies (who also had their first ever ladies team in the event), and ended the run having overtaken six teams. Yeh!

Leg 3: Kerry Pilkington and Helen Greenep

Kerry and Helen had a good run over the 4.8 mile uphill leg to Blackshaw Head, clocking a PB for Kerry for this route and reeling in another three teams.

Leg 4: Judy Marshall and Annie Carrington

Experienced Calderdale competitors Judy and Annie enjoyed their 9.5 mile stretch –the most “fell” like leg of them all. They sensibly didn’t join Oz in his run back to Hebden Bridge from Wainstalls (has anyone actually seen him since?)

Leg 5: Louise Wileman and Julia Murfin

Mud, glorious mud! Oh, and between 35 and 40 stiles! (We didn’t count – we took the word of the guy in the toilet queue, he seemed to know what he was talking about!). Louise braved a mega-blister which had developed early on in the run. Ace to have the support at the finish from the two Garys and Tim. Thanks guys!

Leg 6: Sharon Macdonald and Carol Evans

With the funky truck weighted down with all the extra leg 5 mud drying on our legs we went to watch Sharon and Carol (and Chris and Andy) finish leg 6. Sharon and Carol had an ace run, and put in a very impressive uphill sprint finish to round off the relay. The crowd went wild! All in all a fantastic day. It’s obviously about the running, but the banter and team spirit elevates it into a really excellent memorable day out. All the Calderdale newcomers said they’d do it again. Highlights were many, but included hilarious tales of the Hebden Bridge lesbian community, hot soup and gorgeous chocolate cake, two pubs for the price of one, Oz’s bigger than expected day out and a jokefest of epic proportions on the way home.

Huge thanks go to Mike for managing the logistics and to Carol for her team captaincy. Cheers!

For the record here’s the ladies’ results:

Ruth Maxwell   Jill Eccleston   Kerry P   Annie Carrington   Julia Murfin   Sharon Macdonald  
Kath Davis   Kirsten Hardiman   Helen Greenep   Judy Marshall   Louise Wileman   Carol Evans  
2:01:19 104 1:22:09 80 0:57:41 89 1:41:18 95 1:26:04 93 1:31:22 80
2:01:19 104 3:23:28 98 4:21:09 95 6:02:27 95 7:28:31 95 8:59:53 96

By Julia Murfin, December 2009