No sign of the January blues here at Clayton-le-Moors Harriers! There’s been plenty of great results in cross country, fell racing and on the trails to well and truly blow away the cobwebs. We’ve had new members racing for the first time, returners racing for us again, not to mentions all the regulars and irregulars, out racing and reccying.
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY
ASHURST BEACON RACE
John Francis was our sole representative at this race finishing in 154th place
MID LANCS XC LEAGUE – TOWNELEY
It was a bumper turnout for Team Clayton with well over 70 members of all ages racing on the familiar ground of Towneley Park. It was another great race for the U11 boys and U15 girls who had some great individual placings and 1st place teams. Our Vet 55 ladies are looking strong and there was a team win for them.
Helana White was our first U11 girl and 7th overall in the U11 Girls’ race.
Team position 9th (H White | K Thompson | R Stevenson)
With 3 boys in the top five finishers, it was another great performance from our U11 boys. Dexta finished in 1st place with Robbie Smedley in 3rd and Finley Stubbs in 5th (4th in team placings when non-counters removed)
Team position 1st ( D Thompson | R Smedley | F Stubbs)
Ella Dorrington was our first finisher in 28th place.
Team position 8th (E Dorrington | H Kewin | B WHeatcroft)
Jackson McKay was our first finisher in 4th place overall.
Team Position 5th ( J McKay | L Jackson | W Nicholls)
Team Position 1st (B Holt | M Stubbs | N Olszewska)
Nick Hennessey had a strong run and finished in 4th place overall.
Team Position 5th ( N Hennessey | S Grewal | A Stevenson)
Simon Wilshaw was our first finisher in 16th place closely followed by team mates Curtis Holt in 17th and Reece Lawrence in 19th.
Team Position 5th (S Wilshaw | C Holt | R Lawrence)
Bethany Quinn was our sole U20 lady and she finished in 4th place.
Report from Ladies’ Captain Irene Roche
It must have been close to a record turnout for the ladies at Towneley Park Cross Country this weekend. With lots of regulars, some returners and a few new ladies.
First timers, Karen Clarkin, Geraldine Varley and Julia Taylor had positive comments at the finish. I think they said they will do another. Very well done girls.
A special mention goes to Donna Airey who sacrificed her BFC season ticket for event. An excellent run from Donna too, so glad you joined us to help with team points.
The course itself offered some mud to tussle with but I have certainly seen it worse. With the temperature being quite mild also, I think we had the luck to have a good day to take part.
Many thanks to all who ran.
‘A’ Team 9th (D Airey | E Mullan | C Darling-Smedley)
‘B’ Team 14th (M Abbott | I Roche | T DeCurtis)
Over 35 Team 5th (D Airey | C Darling-Smedley | M Abbott)
Over 45 Team 4th (I Roche | J Bennett | J Knightley)
Over 55 Team 1st ( I Roche | J Knightley | J Taylor)
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Vet 70 Men
Richard Lawson was our only runner in the Vet 70 race.
Senior Men’s Race
Another great turn out for the Clayton men at this local fixture. Despite losing fast lad Danny Collinge during the race our men pushed on to earn a fourth place finish for the team. Jacob Watson was our first man in 39th and 37:51.
‘A’ Team 4th ( J Watson | D Motley | P Coates | C Snell | C Helliwell | M Duckworth)
‘B’ Team 18th (A Holt | A Orr | A Cran | A Payne | J Wilcock | N Roscoe)
Over 40 Team 6th (P Coates | C Helliwell | A Holt | A Orr)
Over 50 team 6th (J Wilcock | A Life | A Howarth)
PETZL NIGHTRUNNER – RIVINGTON
The snow passed over Rivington a couple of days before race day and left Rivington NightRunner with a lovely, clear night and a little bit of the white stuff on the moor for added grip. With a huge moon lighting the way, Saturday night saw an impressive turnout of crazy runners celebrating the last NightRunner of this series and amongst them two Clayton Ladies. Photos of the event were provided by Sport Sunday.
Report from Julia Rushton
The Petzl Rivington night runner was listed as a trail race; this gave the impression that we would be running on relatively tame footpaths. Wrong! I’ve done easier fell races.
We started the race with a steep mile and a half climb on a rocky cobbled path that was tough on the legs as well as the lungs. We continued on rocky paths that needed total concentration to avoid falls. Running in the dark with a couple of hundred people wearing head torches looked fantastic over the hills and against the rising moon. The downward route took in a boggy field, a marshal warned us to watch out for the big hole before the bridge. I didn’t see the bridge until I’d fallen thigh deep into the hole, a cheery chorus of “she’s found the hole” went up around me as I was pulled out.
Back on the rocky paths to the finish Neri and I had decided to be sensible and came down at what John Roche would describe as tea and biscuits pace. 1300 feet of climb over 6miles on rough ground, back on tarmac and I tripped over a speed hump on the finish straight. Lovely tee shirt though and I will be tempted to be back again next year.
SUNDAY 15 JANUARY
EAST LANCS HOSPICE 10K
Sixteen club members tramped the trails around Great Harwood and Rishton in this popular, fund raiser for the East Lancs Hospice. Danny Collinge won the race with Jon Cleaver taking 1st M35, John Hartley 1st M60 and Reece Lawrence 1st MU18.
The men also took 1st place in the team results with Danny Collinge, Jon Cleaver and John Hartley making up the team.
Five Clayton Ladies took part. Helen O’Rourke was our first finisher in 71st place.
Report from Jon Cleaver
Great turn out with over 400 runners on a wet and windy morning! This race is predominantly traffic free along the bridleways & canal with a bit of tarmac along the way. It was never going to be a PB course with the conditions underfoot being more like an XC rather than road, but after a racing layoff due to injury after the Ribble Valley I wanted to give it a good go.
On the way out it was really boggy and full of puddles, but once your feet are soaked it doesn’t really matter anymore, about 2.5 miles in you have a slog up hill and around the recreation area before a fast descent back down and along the canal bank towards the finish. I had a couple of runners breathing down my neck for the last 2 miles and quite frustratingly got jumped 50 yards from the end which stopped me getting in the top 10.
Overall I ran a minute faster than last year and came 11th, considering the injury I have been carrying and lack of training in recent weeks I am pretty pleased with that. Well done Danny for taking the win!
EAST LANCS HOSPICE JUNIOR RACE
A dozen junior runners lined up in a field of 44 to race at Great Harwood. Dexta won the race in 7:35 and there were age category wins for Lennon Jackson (MU16), Helana White (FU12), Amelia Halstead (FU10) and Charlie Plant (FU8). The girls took 2nd place in the teams with the boys taking 1st and 3rd place in the teams.
LAMB’S LONGER LEG
Race Report from Andrew Firth
It’s a bit of a funny name, and I’m not sure why the Longer Leg, but since the race is based at the Lamb Inn, on the Chinley Road just out of Hayfield in the Peak District clearly that’s where the name comes from. It’s surprisingly quick to get to Hayfield from East Lancs, just under the hour on a Sunday morning when the notorious traffic through Mottram is quiet. It’s only a short race, just over 3 miles, but worth the effort with two climbs and two slippery descents, which in today’s weather was exceptionally wet and difficult underfoot.
It’s a low key race, doesn’t appear in FRA calendar and is also strictly pre entry so it’s tends to attract low numbers. If anyone fancies doing it in future years the entry details appear on Hayfield races website. The organiser only made an appearance at 10 o’clock, cutting it a bit fine for a 10.30 start. However the 70 or so runners lined up at the start only a few minutes late, most wearing waterproof tops.
I had a bit of a watch malfunction at the start, and by the time I sorted it out I was dead last as we trudged up the track. I buckled down to the task and slowly gained a few places, dodging really boggy patches as well as a surprising amount of remaining snowdrifts. At the top of the track you turn onto the track that eventually leads to Rushup Edge for a short period followed by a sharp left and quick slippery descent losing all the height we had gained. Traverse around the bottom of Dimpus Clough before a steep haul up to South Head, then the route virtually retraces the outward leg, except we go right to finish in the field next to the pub.
I was happy with performance having been last at the start. The only other Claytoner was Ivan Whigham who finished 32nd. After the race myself Dinah, Ivan and Kirsty retired to the pub for a well-earned Sunday roast – both myself and Ivan felt compelled to have the lamb, but I’m not sure who got the long leg!
SOREEN STANBURY SPLASH
Seven Clayton Harriers splashed their way around this popular Woodentops’ fell race. Dave Bagot was our first finisher in 15th place, followed only seconds later by Louisa Powell-Smith who won the ladies race and was 16th overall.
It was also the first race for Wayne McIntosh since he returned to the club so a big welcome back to him.
Report from James Boult
From Penistone Hill Country Park, the start of many of Woodentops’ well-established fell races, began the 34th Soreen Stanbury Splash fell race in typical January conditions. With a quarry already made boggy by a Junior Race beforehand, a couple of hundred fell runners assembled for the usual pre-run briefing from Dave Woodhead. Rain and wind, two weather conditions that seem to permanently occupy the surrounding areas over Penistone Hill, came in force making an already boggy course saturated in mud.
With many of the Clayton contingent racing the East Lancs Hospice 10K over in Great Harwood, I elected for a trip over the boarder to kick start my racing schedule for 2017. After enduring a torrid winter plagued by injury, the Woodentops’ races have helped get my motivation back after a frustrating few months of inconsistency. From a 2016 which saw forty minutes knocked off my half marathon times to end up at 1:33, ten minutes knocked off my 10K time to go down to 41 minutes and five minutes knocked off my 5K time to see an 18 minute personal best, the only discipline I was yet to see improvement in was fell; and the last two Woodentops’ races have helped me get confidence on an area which had been my downfall.
Starting from the quarry the course heads off along a steady and muddy towpath to one of the courses many descents and climbs. Heading along the footpath towards Bronte Bridge the course heads down right through a soft and muddy descent which ends at the Sladen Beck, an ice cold river which is crossed before a hands and knees job on the other side. Hitting the bridleway you head on up to what becomes the Pennine Way. This gradual climb ends in another sharp descent into Ponden Beck, another water crossing with another even steeper climb at the end of it. Ascending gradually and with burning quads, the lead runners could be spotted through the rain and mist as they flew across the tops back towards the Quarry. The route then heads on what would be a scenic loop around Ponden Clough and Kirk had it not been for a thick mist which limited visibility.
The footpath around the Clough is sharp and small, and with rain and mud it made it quite treacherous. What was visible through the fog was the daunting drop that one wrong movement could see you falling straight down into the unknown. The course then heads back to the quarry across a fast, muddy footpath before re-joining the Pennine Way and taking the course in reverse.
This muddy, wet course is the perfect start to a 2017 fell running season and is one which comes highly recommended for next year. A clearly popular race, the Stanbury Splash is a must for seasoned fell runners and a must for fell runners just starting out or wanting to boost confidence. Tough climbs, fun descents and plenty of mud, it is the perfect fell race for a cold January morning.
SOREEN STANBURY JUNIORS
Christopher Brown was our sole junior runner in the junior races and he finished in 13th place. There were 104 runners in the main junior race so well done Christopher!
STAN BRADSHAW PENDLE ROUND RECCE DAYS
As reported in last week’s roundup, Colin Woolford who is the race organiser of the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round is organising some recce days for club members and friends of the club. The first one was on Sunday so read on to find out what it entailed. If you are interested in the next recce it will take place on Sunday 12 February at 10:00am. Meet on Barley Car Park ( look for the Red VW Transporter) and bring running kit appropriate for the weather.
Recce Day Review by Ladies Fell Captain, Sarah Helliwell
After not running properly for over 6 weeks I decided that I needed a goal to get me back on track and miles back into my legs. I decided that the Stan Bradshaw would be the first aim of the year, so I decided to take up Colin’s kind offer of a recce. It was raining, the mist was down, you couldn’t see Pendle, however that didn’t stop 15 of us turning up at Barley. As we set off a number of us knew that the XC fixture the day before was going to make the run a little bit tougher for our legs.
The weather around the trig was blustery, very wet and visibility was poor. Perfect to practice the route in. As we made our way around the route, Colin pointed out bits of advice on how and where not to go wrong. He also gave us advice on how to use our map efficiently and what to do if we end up on our own and are unsure of where to go. If members are wanting a spring challenge of a slightly longer fell race in our local area then this is the one. It will certainly get you going for the summer fell season, where there are plenty of local races to take advantage of. You may even find yourself as a contender for the club championship, which are all local races this year using some classic courses.
Colin is doing another recce on the 12th February so look out for details on the Team Clayton Facebook page. Even if you are not planning on doing the Stan Bradshaw it is great experience with solid advice from a qualified mountain leader and fellow fell runner. A massive thank you to Colin for giving up his time and well done to all who ran; there was an excellent turn out on the female front. The encouragement to get people out on the fells this year is really apparent, with a good 20 plus regularly turning up at Barley Badgers on a Tuesday (6.30pm Pendle Inn, Barley).
Burnley parkrun – A total of 305 runners took part.
Burnley Junior parkrun – A total of 31 runners took part.
Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – A total of 167 runners took part.
Highbury Fields parkrun – A total of 283 runners took part.
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Lytham Hall parkrun – A total of 210 runners took part.
Pendle parkrun – A total of 75 runners took part.
Witton parkrun – A total of 75 runners took part.