HOLMFIRTH Harrier Katie Walshaw was on flying form at the Coiner’s fell race, finishing amongst the leading runners and slashing a sizeable chunk off the ladies’ record.
Coiner’s is acknowledged to be “a runners’ fell race”, with the 7-mile course covering a series of well-defined paths and tracks.
The recent spell of dry weather made the going even faster than usual – though the notorious bogs at the edge of Sunderland Pasture were as wet as ever.
The race is organised by Calder Valley Fell Runners and – until this year’s event – both the men’s and ladies records were held by Calder Valley stalwarts in Ben Mounsey 45 minutes 10 seconds and Jo Buckley 51.49.
Taking advantage of the good conditions, Katie rocketed around the course in a record-breaking time of 51.07.
Much to the obvious surprise of some of the onlookers, who weren’t expecting to see a female runner in the top 10, she also finished in eighth place overall in a total field of 103. Walshaw’s record-breaking run also put her ahead of Holmfirth’s first men to finish – Jonathan Sykes (53.17) and Gavin Baxter (53.54).
Next Harrier home, and second female finisher, was ladies’ captain Helen Berry (54.17).
The trio of Washaw, Berry and newly-wed Lucy Needham secured the ladies team prize for Holmfirth.
The men’s team prize went to Calder Valley.
The race was won by Stuart Bond, of Dark Peak, in 45.17, who couldn’t quite find the speed to shave a slice off the men’s record.
Coiner’s was the fourth race in this year’s Holmfirth Harriers fell championship.
The next race in this series is the Fairfield Horseshoe in the Lake District on 14 May.
Harriers results: 8 Katie Walshaw (51.07), 13 Jonathan Sykes (53.17), 16 Gavin Baxter (53.54), 17 Helen Berry (54.17), 32 James Durrans (57.49), 45 Lucy Needham (59.43), 54 Paula Gould (62.14), 64 Debbie Hall (64.10), 85 Claire Ash (70.34).