Thursday, 23 May 2019


After waiting nearly a year for Matt Perry to complete and return his runner profile questionnaire, it's quite clear he's not going to bother and so it's time we finally moved on. With or without Perry's input, the RVH blog is set to return... under the new guise of  'Dribble Valley Uncut'.
Despite Perry's tardiness ruining the progress of our original blog, fortunately the RVH newsdesk was always in safe hands with club Chairman Chris Barnes. Currently studying a degree in Puns, Captions and Headliners with the Open University, Chris has taken the club's race news updates to another level on social media channels such as Facegram and Instatwit.

Watch this space for forthcoming alternative news, views, rants, interviews and more... maybe even Perry's profile at last?

Friday, 19 October 2018


No slouch at the shorter stuff, but it's the Marathon that this Kiwi Yorkshire lass is finding her feet at. A PB of 2:45 at Copenhagen is the meat in the sandwich of her three best Marathon races this year, all ran within ninety seconds of each other. Her most recent victory of note was at the Melbourne Half in August. Much travelled and speedy, with staying power and consistency...

Vital Statistics...
AGE - 31
OCCUPATION – Financial / Dairy Analyst…...zzzzzzzzzzz
BIRTHPLACE / NOW LIVES – Baildon, West Yorkshire / Christchurch, New Zealand

Running Stuff...
PREVIOUS CLUBS – Saltaire Striders, Uknetrunner
RUNNING SINCE - Did a little in 2010-2012 when I was studying in an evening and ran on the treadmill with my books. 2013 more running / racing / training outside
EARLY INFLUENCES -  Kirsten, a family friend, once said to me ‘those are runners’ legs’- took me another 10 years to start running though!
FIRST EVER RACE – Yorkshire 10K 2010
BEST EVER PERFORMANCE – Probably Copenhagen Marathon 2018, my backup in case London went horribly wrong after hopping halfway across the globe to run it – ended up unexpectedly as a PB. Also Pegasus parkrun in June 18 – now an untouchable 5K, having smashed up my knee 10 minutes before the start trying to take a photo of the incredible sunrise!
TYPICAL TRAINING WEEK – Wing it…. Never followed a set plan, just run however far and however fast the legs feel on the day. Usually try and get a couple of longish runs in, plus a Saturday parkrun. Sunday race of whatever distance is on, although being few and far between in Christchurch, it’s often a long run Sunday social with the drinking/training group instead.
PRE-RACE BREAKFAST – Either nothing, or last night’s leftovers, I think it was lentil curry pre-Copenhagen Marathon….
FAVOURITE RACE – Anything fast / flat or tarmac. Can’t beat Night of the PB's 10,000m – beer and cheer in lane 3, watching the proper runners do their stuff – what’s not to like?!
LEAST FAVOURITE RACE – Dare I say the Turkey Trot?! Hills, off-road, winter, cold. Yuck!
MOST MEMORABLE RACE – Berlin Marathon 2018
CURRENT FELL SHOES / ROAD SHOES – Adidas Boston Boost – it’s taken me five years to find decent marathon shoes, I’ll be mortified when they discontinue them! Never owned a pair of fell shoes and never will 😊
RUNNER YOU MOST ADMIRE – Paul Martelletti – Kiwi turned Brit, super-speedy yet ridiculously down to Earth runner of all distances
AMBITIONS FOR 2018/19 – Stay in one piece and enjoy travelling/racing in new places.

Other Stuff...
FAVOURITE FILM / TV – I don’t have a TV!
FOOD HEAVEN – Yorkshire puddings and gravy
FOOD HELL – Cheese
TEA OR COFFEE? – Yorkshire Tea, with a pack of chocolate hobnobs
PREFERABLY STUCK IN A LIFT WITH? – Living in an earthquake zone, I wouldn’t fancy getting in a lift around here!

Friday, 12 October 2018


Callum Davidson was back in the England vest for the annual WRMA Cup fixture at Smarna Gora in Slovenia. Despite a mountain race preparation that lacked any serious mountain running for some time, the 21 year old could still take a positive with a four second improvement on his last visit in 2017. "I got caught with my pants down a bit this year, but I haven't summited anything for over four months so I'll take that''. In the usual top class company from across the continent, the speedy Burnley lad registered a fine 25th and 48:14 on the clock in a race won by top class Norwiegan John Bugge. Chris Arthur headed the English contingent in brilliant form, with Cal 3rd for his country and tightly sandwiched between Rory Domville and race regular Gary Priestley. Little did we know that Callum would be back home and back in racing action the day after...

Theresa and the gang might be making a long drawn out hash of it, but Callum Davidson made a smooth transition from Europe in the space of just 24 hours to proclaim victory on home soil. Returning home from Slovenia at 1:30am Sunday morning, little more than ten hours later the spritely Callum was fell race victor at Withins Skyline with Nichola Jackson in great form and soaring to a new course record of 45:44 to secure another race win double for Ribble Valley.
It was a full house 1-2-3 for the ladies with Helen Glover (47:13) and Caitlin Rice (48:32) battling out the remaining podium places, but Glover's late surge secured 2nd.
It was an impressive 1-3-5 for the men. Callum had gone off course with Ilkley frontrunner Nathan Edmondson, but still recovered ground to seal an impressive win in 41:51. Just over a minute later, Tom Corrigan took the line for an excellent 3rd (43:00) and Shaun Livesey Jnr is on fire right now, pushing up to 5th and rightfully scooping the top veteran prize in 44:11. Ste Hall ran solid for 9th in 45.04, Jacko also claimed a top ten spot overall, seeing off John Sutton's attempts to chase her down although he had a good race to take 14th in 46:07. Roadmeister Ben Walmsley admits to being out of his comfort zone on the fells and reeled Sutty in near the finish, but was still just a few seconds on for 15th. Helen's 19th in the overall standings made it nine Ribble runners cluttering top twenty. Chris Barnes (48:11) wasn't running full throttle that day but he, just ahead of Caitlin and then Shaun Livesey Snr placed a turnout of eleven from the club all inside the top 35. With Ribble Valley unable to gain entry at the Hodgson Brothers Relays in Cumbria that day, Plan B was making Withins a club champs counter which was why eleven black vests (well, nine black, one white and one pink) descended on Bronte Country in force.
This was Shaun Livesey Snr's first Withins Skyline for some time. In 1995 he finished third behind Graham Patten and Ian Holmes. In 1997 he lost out in the closing stages to Kenny Stuart for second place. His third appearance in 2003 saw the two time English Fell Champion finish fourth and claim the consolation of first V40. Fifteen years later and the legend returned. By coincidence Shaun Livesey was also V40 winner again - although this time his namesake, clubmate and fellow Sabdener.

Caitlin Rice and Chris Holdworth made it another win double for the black vests at Thieveley Pike. Caity was top sixteen overall to add to her ladies victory in 37:22, whilst Chris won with over two minutes to spare on his nearest rival to sweep up the silverware at Chapel-in-Cliviger in 31:56. Dave Motley also had a good outing to place 9th in 36:27.

A cracking run from Eleanor Bolton at the Lancaster 5K Series saw the Ribble Valley young gun thrash out a new personal best over the distance. On a fast course, it was what Eleanor was looking for and it was a case of job done, finishing 2nd lady and 8th overall in 18:48. Ste Hall crashed a 16:24 earlier in the year, but although just shy of a sub 17 minuter here, it was enough to take 2nd spot. Also in action up North Lancashire way, Shaun Livesey Jnr ran 34:51 to take a top five slot at the Pilling 10K.

Parkrun doesn't normally get a mention on these pages, but then this week an exceptional circumstance must be reported. Last weekend, Chris Holdsworth ran the fastest parkrun time at Burnley, which is nothing unusual, but that blast around Towneley Park was also the fastest Parkrun time that weekend... in the whole world!!! Now that is quite a distinction. Congratulations to The Beast of Worsthorne. 

Friday, 28 September 2018


The Northern Road Relays didn't quite live up to promise in the end, but a reshuffled ladies team nevertheless kept up their excellent record at team events to take 7th. A fearsome foursome of Helen Glover, Caitlin Rice, Hannah Oldroyd and Nichola Jackson teamed up to maintain Ribble Valley's profile as big hitters. Hannah led the charge, showing her class with the 14th fastest leg time of the day and was chuffed enough with the 'A' team's effort saying, ''7th. We'll take that''. Circumstances took an unfortunate twist in the build up as 'Pocket Rocket' Katie Walshaw proved to be a 'Rocky Jockey' after her latest equine accident persuaded her to declare herself unfit to run just before the start. Fell goat Caitlin stepped up to the plate to replace Katie and put in a great shift. Sadly, this conspired to leave an incomplete 'B' team and so solid runs from Eleanor Bolton, Sarah Bell and Louisa Powell-Smith were in vain as far as team standings were concerned in what had looked a competitive 'B' line up.
It was a debut at the competition for Ribble Valley's six-stage men, but their 'A' team was also fraught with late withdrawals as key players Michael Cayton and Josh Boyle pulled themselves out of the equation. The news didn't phase Callum Davidson and Chris Holdsworth though, who just got on with the job and had the team fast out of the traps and up to 7th, but without Cayton and Boyle, top ten potential was never going to be realised. Matt Lalor was drafted forward to a very difficult 3rd leg but ran a really decent time. Callum and Chris's work left Matt surrounded in very high class company and in the unusual position of losing places. Nick Gaskell and Ben Walmsley did a solid team job when drafted in to the 'A' team at late notice. Shaun Livesey Jnr had won the initial 5K play-off for the original remaining place in the team and finished the anchor leg with the team 21st and consolidating a position which was high enough to qualify a team for the Nationals.
As with the ladies 'B', the men's 'B' also found itself stretched in to the land of the incomplete. Ste Hall, Andy Payne, John Sutton and Dave Motley all getting a run out, but in the end it was all a bit confusing who ran which leg - a case of two Hall's some may say, or maybe three? It was Hall for nothing in the end and let's just say too many Hall's can certainly spoil the broth, that's for sure.

Despite Sunday's Relays still in the legs from two days earlier, nine Ribble Valley vests supported the latest Cowm Reservoir 5K from Andems Runners in honour of the great Ron Hill's 80th birthday celebrations. Legend is a description used too loosely these days, but if we revert back to the original meaning in the Oxford English Dictionary, then there can be no doubt that Ron Hill is a proper one. A record turnout of 342 from clubs across the North West crowded this two lapper around Cowm to pay homage to the great man. Ribble Valley still swept up with victories for Chris Holdsworth and Hannah Oldroyd.
Potential legend Chris has been greedy with the amount of course records he has snapped up lately, but here he had to learn to share. Victory was taken in a brilliant time of 15:11, only to find that Salford's Joe Bailey had equalled that feat back here in 2011. With only 100 runners on the course that night, one could argue that Joe had more of the course to himself and not as many to lap. But stats are stats and if anything it will only lure Chris back to this picturesque corner of Whitworth to put it right. It was a competitive top end with Nick Gaskell's 16;50 taking 8th, running scared with Ben Walmsley just three seconds behind for 9th and Ste Hall making it four in the top ten, going a few seconds quicker than a fortnight ago here with 17:03.
Hannah Oldroyd did take the ladies record outright with a quick time of 17:22 securing victory and 14th overall. Chris Barnes couldn't quite reel her in, shadowing the Marathon specialist by two seconds for 15th. Helen Glover has run a good bit quicker here, but took 3rd in 18:32 whilst Caitlin Rice endured the flat and fast again for 4th in 18:55. Eleanor Bolton completed the train of black vests for 5th in 19:05 to make it four in the top five.   

Glusburn was the venue for Ribble Valley's most recent recruit Pippa Barrett and another debut in the black vest proved to be victorious. Despite pre-race nerves in her new club colours, the former Wharfedale racer won the Fallfest 5 fell race and in a record time of 42:48. Subsequent discussions on social media surrounded Dave Woodhead's photo of Pip in action and the use of headphones which is certainly an unusual sight in a fell race. The debate will roll on, but there's no such thing as bad publicity and congratulations to Pippa for a winning start. .

Friday, 21 September 2018


Third place for Nichola Jackson secured a superb second placed finish in the English Fell Championship table. This year's finale was on the Howgills at the Cautley Horseshoe, where a considerable 2641 feet of up and down is sandwiched in to just over four and a half miles. A well deserved silver medal came Nichola's way after taking the race out with only one intention. Despite losing an early lead, Jacko held out for an all important top three slot to deliver herself the honours. Back-to-back BOFRA Champion Kirsty Hall also put in a very good shift on the big stage to take 9th.
Chris Holdsworth went off with similar fervour and even had an outside shot of becoming English champion before the gun. At the business end as usual for the majority of the race, misfortune struck Chris as back pain when descending rumbled his hopes of a podium place. Chris lost momentum and was frustrated to accept falling back through the field, but  Ribble Valley's talisman commendably died on the sword, having a right old go at it from the start. The disappointment is sure to be bottled tightly over Winter and uncorked again for next year's champs.
It was certainly an experience for Matt Lalor who is no stranger to fell racing, but described his English Champs berth at Cautley as "an eyeopener". Matt didn't have the best of runs either, but Dave Motley has seen it all before and put in a very decent effort indeed with Matt in his sights near the finish.
Cautley Horseshoe 4.7m/2461ft... Results... Ladies Race: 3rd N. Jackson 54:20, 9th K.Hall 58:43   Men's Race: 32nd C. Holdsworth 49:07, 68th M. Lalor 54:06, 76th D. Motley 54:43 

Fresh from the Ben Nevis race, Matt Perry was racing up England's highest peak and scored a great result to take second place. A tough four and a half miler from Wasdale Head sees a climb just a Walsh PB Racer size 11.5 shy of 3000 feet to the summit. Perry ran a blinder with only the class of ever improving recent Keswick recruit Dan Mills ahead of him.
Scafell Pike 4.5m/2999ft... Results... 2nd M. Perry 1.02:07

This weekend sees four Ribble Valley teams in battle for the Northern Road Relays at the City of Manchester Stadium. The ladies have already accomplished a fine record in their previous two appearances, debuting last year for 6th and then just missing out on top three honours for 4th in the Spring of this year. Can the girls go one better and get on the Podium? Such is the strength in depth growing at the club, two ladies teams are on the cards this time and both look very capable on paper.
It's a road relay debut for the men who, following the acquisition of a cracking senior team line-up this year, also have enough to field a second team that doesn't look too shabby either. The 'A' team though looks set put the club's name and reputation up there on a par with the ladies.

Saturday, 15 September 2018


It's a big weekend for Nichola Jackson and Chris Holdsworth who are fighting for medallist contention as the English Fell Championships draws to it's dramatic conclusion today at the Cautley Horseshoe. Nic has a recent victory and strong performance at Chipping Show in the bank, whilst Chris made it six successive victories and a fourth course record taken at Hodder Valley last weekend in a time of 41:55. Katie Walshaw was also in Slaidburn for that one and soared back to form in the Bowland rain, also bagging a course record in 48:15 which took an impressive 5th in the overall standings. ''If only Holdsworth hadn't turned up'', joked Shaun Livesey Jnr whose strong form was evident again, running a great race in 46:21 for 2nd place. Chris Barnes was also in the mix and pipped Katie for 4th spot in 48:05. Four Ribble Valley runners dominating the top five.
Helen Glover won again with a good outing at the latest Cowm Reservoir 5K at Whitworth. 18:13 saw Helen 9th overall with Ste Hall 3rd in 17:07 and John Sutton 6th in 17:39. 

Victories at Burnsall and Muker Show made it eight wins out of eight to count for Kirsty Hall as she retained the BOFRA title with two races to spare. The West Yorkshire lass has been untouchable this season.

Friday, 14 September 2018


Following in his Dad's footsteps, young Callum has been on the running scene since the age of eight. Coming through the ranks as one of Rossendale's hottest properties, England selection followed and now his potential as a senior on the fells, cross country and road holds no boundaries...

Vital Statistics...
NAME - Callum Davidson
AGE – 21
OCCUPATION – Sport and Exercise Physiology Master’s Student
BIRTHPLACE / NOW LIVES – Burnley / Burnley & Bangor

Running Stuff...
PREVIOUS CLUBS – Rossendale Harriers
RUNNING SINCE -  2005 (Age 8)
EARLY INFLUENCES - Got to be my parents, they have always been willing to take me to my training sessions and races; no matter how far, in swimming, football or running. Used to travel around the UK watching my Dad run in the big city marathons and beg for him to let me run and train but I wasn’t allowed until I was 8. He took me on my first run which was a mile and dropped me and simply said “Get used to it”. Watching him juggle raising four kids, a manual sixty-plus hour week at work and still find time; whether it be at 4AM, to do his long runs really set the bar high for me. Another notable edition should be Phil Bolton, my first coach at Rossendale Harriers when I was 11 and first got into the ‘top group’ although I was fast enough to meet the criteria (800m in 2:50 at marl pits on the first Tuesday of the month) I was probably the youngest in the group by 4 years and although he was only 16 himself he really took time to make me feel welcome and made training fun.
FIRST EVER RACE – Burnley Schools Cross Country in year 4 (age 8) came 3rd racing against year 6 kids, then went on to win the Burnley Schools Cross Country title every year until year 11 (7 years in a row)
BEST EVER PERFORMANCE – I ran 70:50 in my first half marathon to take the win and it had over 1500feet of climb in it over Anglesey. That was pretty special.
Monday AM easy 3 miles then PM 60 minutes on the hills
Tuesday AM easy 3 miles then PM Ribble Valley session (normally hell on the hills)
Wednesday AM easy 3 miles then PM 45 mins (Easy or Tempo, depends how much I’ve annoyed Coach Barnes during the week)
Thursday AM 3 miles then PM Tempo or longer reps eg miles/kms
Friday Rest Day (Love it)
Saturday: Parkrun/tempo and some shorter faster reps.
Sunday Long run (90-120 minutes- normally getting battered by Holdsworth)
PRE-RACE BREAKFAST – Big bowl of oats and either almond milk or water and a banana
FAVOURITE RACE – Probably the Anglesey Half, stunning views and fond memories. Or anything on Sedbergh hills, always loved the 'runnable' climbs and the grassy descents.
LEAST FAVOURITE RACE – Anything on the track used to race 800m as a junior and hated them. Aside from that probably
MOST MEMORABLE RACE – Two spring to mind, firstly the Rossendale fixture of the Red Rose XC League in 2016, I needed the win to win the series overall and as it was my home fixture so the pressure was on. As many people know this is arguably the hardest/worst cross country course there is; gruelling muddy bogs and unforgiving descents. I got dropped on the second of the three laps by about 20 seconds by two lads but fought back to end up winning, thus winning the Senior Men’s series as well as the U20’s (think I am I only person to ever win the Senior Men’s whilst being an U20). Also racing in Europe last year at Smarna Gora was an experience I’ll never forget, I didn’t have the best run but lining up with the world’s best was awesome.
CURRENT FELL SHOES / ROAD SHOES – VJ iRock / Hoka Clayton 2’s
RUNNER YOU MOST ADMIRE – Probably as previously mentioned my Dad, raising 4 kids, juggling a 60 hour week at work as a joiner whilst also smashing out long runs before work was amazing, waking up at 4AM running between 10-20 mile, getting us four ready for school, drop us off then work for ten hours before picking us up and looking after us all night. I can barely look after myself now, for a comparison.
AMBITIONS FOR 2018/19 – Continue to develop with Ribble Valley and enjoy ruining myself in sessions, place well in the road/fell relays with the team as well as the Lancs XC. Break 31 minutes for 10K and finally have a successful mountain running season!

Other Stuff...
FAVOURITE MUSIC – Massive disparity depending on my mood, it can go from Acoustic Indie to Grime and Rap. Kanye West is an all-time favourite.
FAVOURITE FILM / TV – Loving the series Power at the moment but that’s just finished so probably the timeless classic that is Friends. Favourite film has got to be Shawshank Redemption.
FOOD HEAVEN – Italian food, pizza and pasta.
FOOD HELL – Coriander, hate the stuff as it smells funny and doesn’t add anything to a dish. Also bacon, which reminds me of fatty break times in High School.
TEA OR COFFEE? – Coffee, I don’t trust anyone who prefers tea.
PREFERABLY STUCK IN A LIFT WITH? - A treadmill and my running trainers so I can still do my morning run and not get b*llocked by the boss.