Logue and Sugden star on Whicken Hill
Calder Valley’s James Logue and Gayle Sugden reigned supreme at last weekend’s trio of Midsummer Madness races. Sugden had a three-day hattrick while veteran Logue won on points in a competitive men’s field for his sixth series win.
First up was Friday evening’s short, sharp, shock of the Whicken Hill Whizz.
Sixty-nine runners lined up at Mytholmroyd to take on the straight up, straight down, 2.8-mile route, climbing 1050ft to Sheepstones Trig and back.
Sugden smashed Jo Waites’ nine-year- old race record, becoming the first woman to complete the Whizz in under 25 minutes (24:58).
In the men’s race Ben Mounsey’s trademark bullet start is being imitated but not matched. Gavin Mulholland, Joe Washington and Craig Hall shot out of the blocks but the as the race hit the summit Mounsey pulled clear, before putting in a Billy Whizz-style descent to a speedy 20.05 victory.
Marshals reported a red and white blur that was going so fast, head-down, that they had to almost physically keep him pointed in the right direction.
Mulholland set a new veterans’ record at Wicken Hill Whizz, his time of 20:52 in second place obliterating the previous best of 21:21 set in 2006.
Joe Washington ( 21.46) sealed the team prize for Valley in third place, whilst fourth place Logue (22:22) picked up valuable series points.
Sugden’s victory race also helped Calder Valley to a women’s team victory aided by Lindsey Oldfield and Rachael Crossland.
Briony Holt of Clayton-leMoors was the first ever girl under 14 to attempt the Whizz and chased home Sugden in the fifth fastest-ever female time.
Midsummer madness was more Halloween horror as a misty Midgley Moor greeted 80 runners gathering at Old Town’s Hare and Hounds for the Reservoir Bogs.
The second race in the series is a navigational challenge, with the checkpoints locations only revealed on the morning of the race.
Logue, an international orienteer and at his best when navigating on the run, was unfazed by thick mist and did not put a foot wrong round the seven-mile route. He stole the show in 50:27.
Nearest rival, club mate Joe Crossfield missed the path to High Brown Knoll.
He rejoined in 12th place and reeled-in runner after runner to regain second place (58:14), but eight minutes behind Logue.
Even ace navigator Jackie Scarf lost her bearings while a group of seven runners missed the final checkpoint.
Sugden had no such problems. She was third overall at High Brown Knoll and finished first lady in 58.41.
Sunday’s Grand Finale was the Tom Tittiman, named after the hill high on Midgley Moor that runners pass on their way to and from High Brown Knoll. With a modest 750 feet of ascent over 4.4 miles, the race is popular with beginners.
Crossfield led Logue for most of the way, before James surged past on the home stretch in 28: 06, followed by clubmates Crossfield in 28:38, and Jon Smith 30:34, paving the way for another Valley clean sweep in the team prizes .
Sugden’s first place in 32:10 helped Calder ladies to match the men, with Jo Buckley (33:36) and Anne Johnson (35:12) completing the team.
Meanwhile, Karl Gray won the 15 mile Pedol Cwm Pennant race in Snowdownia in 2:40:15 with Valley’s Helen Buchan second female in 4:10:50.
Gayle Sugden at the Wicken Hill Whizz Picture: Woodentops