The Calder Valley SRT Dolomites Rescue Race team: from left, Paul Taylor, Al Day, Alistair Morris and Dan Kelly

The Calder Valley SRT Dolomites Rescue Race team: from left, Paul Taylor, Al Day, Alistair Morris and Dan Kelly

A team of intrepid rescuers has returned from an international race with a bronze medal.

The four, from the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team were pitted against teams from across Europe in the annual Dolomites Rescue Race in Italy.

The race is the only event dedicated to members of the international mountain rescue community and includes technical and endurance tests.

Calder Valley SRT members Al Day, Alistair Morris, Paul Taylor and probationary member Dan Kelly took on the challenge this weekend and headed to the mountains of north-east Italy to represent the West Yorkshire team in the gruelling event, returning with a bronze medal in the international category of the race.

Competitors start at Praciadelan, Calalzo di Cadore, at 1,040m (3,412ft) above sea level, rising to 2,080m (6,824ft) and a 200m fixed-rope section running up to the highest point of the course at 2,130m (6,988ft). Having caught their breath after the arduous climb, the competitors begin the long descent to the Rifugio Antelao mountain hut and then pass Antracisa before the last climb of the race and the rugged 1,849m (6,066ft) peak of Monte Tranego.

The descent involves abseiling down to the gravel road that leads to Pieve di Cadore, where competitors have to assemble their stretcher and take it to the finishing line and cheering spectators in the main square of the town, Piazza Tiziano for a well earned beer.

The race involves 1,250m (4,101ft) of ascent and 1,440m (4,724ft) of descent.

The four Calder Valley volunteers funded the trip to the 6th running of the event themselves.

Alistair Morris said: “It’s perfect opportunity to raise awareness for those affected by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake on 24 August that struck the Amatrice area of Italy, killing 297 people and leaving hundreds injured as homes and buildings collapsed.

“While we were unable to send any team members or search dogs at the time to assist with the aftermath of the earthquake, we can highlight the incredible efforts of the search and rescue teams and volunteers involved with the disaster.”

The Dolomites Rescue Race was conceived as an annual chance to meet en masse with the other mountain rescue teams. Organisers said the ultimate aim is to have an opportunity to get together outside the usual stressful environment of a mountain rescue operation.

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