Better weather this week as our members headed out onto the fells, trails and promenades to race. A trio of runners braved the dark for a night fell race and our ladies won a team prize at Bleasdale. The first race in the club trail championship was also popular. Conditions were much kinder this year for the half marathoners and there were PBs aplenty. There’s also been success in the junior Flower scar fell races, school cross country and a fabulous day on the beautiful trails around Silverdale.
Sunday 5 February – Late result
Grace Root represented her school in the Keighley and Craven Cross Country League (Race 3) on February 15th. She ran in a mixed field of year 7 and 8’s and came 20th out of 37 runners. Well done Grace!
FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY
MR SPARKLE’S DARK ‘UN
This is a night time fell race organised by Darwen Dashers using head torches where runners can expect a couple of stiff climbs, open moorland, mud and a dash down to the finish. Three Clayton Harriers took part. Alan Dorrington was our first finisher in 18th place overall and Katy Thompson was our first lady in 40th place and 1st F60. Geoff Smith was 68th.
SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY
BLEASDALE CIRCLE FELL RACE
Fifteen Clayton Harriers part in the Bleasdale Circle Fell Race; a 5 mile race with 1250ft of climbing. Peter Coates was our first finisher in 7th place overall. Kieran Carr was 1st V70.
Linda Lord was our first lady and together with Sarah Helliwell and Karin Goss came away with ladies team 1st place. The men’s team was 3rd.
FLOWER SCAR FELL RACE
Described by organisers, Todmorden Harriers, as a gem of a race with steep climbs, rough moor and fast paths, typifying all that’s best about South Pennine fell running. The race starts close to Todmorden town centre and takes take runners to the parts of Tod that other races don’t reach.
Three Clayton men took part in the race. Andy Laycock was our first finisher in 14th place. Dave Edmonson followed in 22nd place with Richard Stevenson snapping at his heels in 23rd in a field of 176 runners.
Report from Dave Edmondson
Although I’d originally planned to do Windy Hill, a niggle had kept me away and I’d figured the fast running there would test those problems too much. So I skipped to Flower Scar which, I now think, has even faster running. In fact, it’s got a bit of everything. Nice paths, rough tussocks, trail and fire roads as well as a dose of thick mud.
I last raced at Flower Scar in 2014 when it was a Clayton Fell Champs race, quite a few went astray near the top I seem to remember, and I luckily sneaked a few places then. It was just over 6 miles then and a bit less climb. Thinking about last time, I spent a bit of time looking at the race map and Google Earth and a bit of local knowledge had helped. Not too much to remember on the unflagged section.
I’ve been gradually cranking up the intensity of racing after a foot problem in the Autumn and wanted to test myself properly. Having said that I couldn’t live with the early pace, Andy Laycock moved away well with the lead group and I only ever caught occasional glimpses of him. I hung on to a group which included Richard Stevenson and just tried to keep contact on the climbs and across the moors. The nav section wasn’t a problem, the lads just ahead seemed to have it in hand and I was pretty confident about where we were. However, we got a quick look at a slightly lost Simon Bailey running back towards us before tearing off to get back in contention. I managed to work my way through maybe half a dozen places on the mainly trail descent working hard and ignoring my niggling calves. Once ahead of the group I hung on, eventually losing one place to a young lad with more hair than I’ve grown in my whole life.
Good banter afterwards with present and past club mates and very glad to be back in a tangerine hoop.
Race winner Andrew Worster – Todmorden
Report from Richard Stevenson
Todmorden Harriers describe this as a gem of a race and to expect steep climbs, fast but runnable descents and (probably) lots of mud! I can’t really disagree with any of these and can confirm there was lots of mud. This year the organises decided to also host a series of junior races which Team Thompson attend and picked up multiple awards, well done Felix, Kady and Dexta.
For the seniors there was just myself, Andy Laycock and newly returned member David Edmondson. Andy soon disappeared from my view not long after the start and went on to have a very good race finishing in 14th, David came past me about halfway around but I managed to stick close by and finished just a place behind him in 23rd.
Apart from a bit of mist on the tops, the conditions were good and with no navigational issues it was a good run out with a chance to get some fell running practice in.
FLOWER SCAR JUNIOR FELL RACES.
A trio of Thompsons took part in the Flower Scar Junior fell races with great success. Felix Thompson ran in the U9s race and finished in 1st place.
Kady Thompson ran in the U11s race coming 9th overall and 2nd girl.
Dexta Thompson ran in the U13s race and finished in 1st place.
This was the second event organised by Ascend Events who are striving to put on endurance events for runners and walkers on trails that are simply too good to fall into disuse. The events are self-navigated and challenging but still accessible to participants at all levels with comprehensive route descriptions and well stocked checkpoints. They are a great starter for anyone looking to move away from marked trails and take on more of a challenge. The Silverdale Circuit is a stunning 21-mile route around the Silverdale and Arnside AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). While not as hilly and dramatic as the Lakeland routes on offer, it is a route packed full of fabulous scenery and is entirely runnable.
Report by Adrienne Olszewska
Very much in the style of a LDWA event there is a choice of start times on this event for walkers or runners. I was persuaded (bullied) into putting on my big girl pants and toeing the line with the runners instead of the walkers as I usually try to do. Sure enough within minutes we were trailing at the back, absolutely and completely last. My heart sank and I was beginning to regret not setting off an hour earlier with the walkers. However, I have entered a number of ultra-distance events this year so I decided to not get down hearted and concentrate on joggling along as much as I could and to try and avoid walking any sections.
The course turned out to be runnable throughout with only around 2500ft of climbing in the whole course. The route undulates through lovely countryside, past historic buildings, through nature reserves, along lakeside boardwalks, twists through magical woodland and follows the Morecambe Bay coastal path for a while as well. Simply gorgeous.
While I was steadily trotting along, we gradually began to catch up with some of the other runners who had set off too fast and now were flagging, or were struggling with navigation. Before too long we had caught and passed the walkers who had set off an hour earlier than we had and I was having a ball!
I did begin to flag a little in the last couple of miles but I am blaming a 20-mile run a couple of days prior to the event for that! We finished in 4 hours 38 minutes, which is a superb time for me! I don’t think I’ve ever completed an event like this in much under 6 hours before and it’s all down to the continual trotting throughout and the pacing from Nick and Bertie. We finished halfway down the field in 35th place.
STANDISH HALL TRAIL RACE
10 Clayton Harriers hit the bridle paths and woodland trails for this race, organised by Wigan Phoenix. It is also the first race in this year’s club trail championship. There were 238 finishers.
Our first finisher was Chris Snell in 12th place overall with Dave Motley close on his heels in 15th place. Peter Butterworth was 1st V60. Our Men’s ‘A’ team (C Snell | D Motley | J Wilcock) finished in first place.
Donna Airey was our first lady finisher in 98th place overall with Julia Rushton in 166th place.
Report from Mick Hughes
This was my first attempt at this course & first competitive trail championship race for the club. Think I perhaps expected a steady, level, leafy bridle path around a scenic hall but the start & finish is more like a sleepy country lane on a back road. However, it was a cracking view with decent mild weather too. Good turnout for Clayton again. It was a figure of 8 course with a couple of steep climbs and long narrow punishing straights as the sun came out. The biggest surprise was the obstacles in the woods (several tree trunks and a couple of bogs!). The second lap took it out of the legs and made the final mile a pull to most. All in all a good testing and interesting trail loop course and I can understand just why it was chosen for a champ course. The tasty Wigan pie awaited us at the finish and the mood amongst Team Clayton seemed very good once again.
Report from Stuart Barker
Ten Clayton Le Moors Harriers travelled to Wigan to complete in the Standish Hall Train Race which is part of the Club Road/Trail Championships. With a gorgeous reasonably warm day, standing at the start with Donna and Julia, chatting about our previous injuries, like you do…. Lots of other clubs in attendance and from conversations with them you get the impression that this is a well-respected race.
Race programme stipulates it as being just over 10k and is all trail, after a quick safety brief, we set of from a farm track, trying to avoid all of the pot holes, trying to settle down into the race (something which I struggle with) I followed Donna and Julia, Donna disappeared within a few minutes but I kept Julia in my sights for a few miles, than I lost her too.
About 2 miles in you tackle the first and only hill, straight up, similar to Widow Hill really, just a bit longer, no issues with that, more twisty left and rights to find yourself into a wood, this is where the sun was laughing at us, has it blinded you, as it filtered through the trees, with tree stumps to avoid and the occasion tree to jump over, it became more of a obstacle course, add muddy mud, twisty routes between trees and a couple of gates to negotiate, it was great fun, a couple of small, really small annoying hills and some steps, then back out into the sunlight, then back in again for more twisty curves. So glad it hadn’t rain leading up to the race, or else this write up would have been muddier.
Out of the wood for the last time, my legs were thinking, ‘we’ve had enough, time to go home now’ the mud was really sucking the energy from them. One last mile to the finish line, where you collect a pie, well actually I got two, that was my tea sorted, really nice too.
Chris Snell was the first Claytoner to finish, closely followed a few seconds later with Dave Motley, then John Wilcock, Peter Butterworth, Reece Lawrence, Mick Hughes, Chris Lawrence, Donna Airey, Julia Rushton, then myself.
Throughout the route, the race was well marshalled, well supported and well organised.
A really enjoyable race and I certainly will put it in my diary for another go in October, just hope it doesn’t rain beforehand.
SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY
CENTRAL LANCASHIRE 5K
Over 300 runners took part in this 5K race that takes part entirely within and around Leverhulme Park. It is a fast paced route and is usually well attended. Aaron Hargreaves was our sole representative in the race and he finished in 75th place overall with a time of 20:51
GREAT NORTH WEST HALF MARATHON
A fast and flat course around the coastal front of Blackpool which race organisers, Fylde Coast Runners, describe as a great race for a PB and an ideal warm up race for the Blackpool Marathon or Virgin London Marathon.
The event is now in its 28th year, and grows in popularity every year. The event attracts over 1500 competitors of all ages and experience and is a great spectator course for the family as it is a two lap course. The weather in previous years has been somewhat unfavourable, however, this doesn’t stop plenty of runners braving the elements to finish this race!
We had 11 runners in this year’s event. Our first finisher was Daniel Plant who was 78th overall with a time of 1:28:18. Joining him in the top 100 was John Hartley in 95th and 2nd V60 with a time of 01:29:55. Dynamic duo Cassie Smedley and Michelle Abbott finished the course together and were our first lady finishers in 01:43:43.
Some great running and plenty of PBs for all of our runners in this event.
Report from the dynamic duo of Cassie Smedley and Michelle Abbott
Cassie: After doing this race last year in just over 2 hours, I was apprehensive as to what the weather conditions were going to be like. Thankfully, no gale force wind or getting covered in sea water! This was a great event and lovely people both racing and spectating. We had a nice chat with a few other runners on route, and found out that some are crazier than us Claytons! Coming up to the last mile Michelle was struggling with her injury, but we both said at the start we wanted 1.45 time, so I decided to offer a helping hand. The crowds were brilliant, and as we raised our arms coming over the finish line, they cheered even louder. This was a great run, with all Claytons getting great results
Michelle: What a brilliant way to do my first half marathon with my running partner, and having a chat on way round with some fellow running pairs. To top it off finishing in a better than expected time of sub 1.45. Cassie really gave me that last push running the last mile hand in hand to the finish after suffering really bad foot pain only 5 miles in. Will be back next year with comfy trainers and a sub 140 in our sight.
Report from Dan Plant
I have done this race twice before and the conditions ain’t been the best, but this year was slightly better and at least you could see the beach. As I was using this race as part of my marathon build up the plan was always to have a good go. I ran really consistent until about 11 mile and I’m sure that wind picked up a notch. But I dug in and I got a full minute PB which I was over the moon with. Well done on the rest of the Clayton runners there were some massive PBs in there. Well done all!
Just a reminder that our club championships for road, trail and fell are now underway.
The 2017 Club Fell Championship consists of five races, with a member’s best three races counting. The races are:
Sunday 7th May 12 noon – Great Hameldon (BS), Accrington Tuesday 6th June 7:15 pm – Paddy’s Pole (AS), Chipping Saturday 19th August 11 am – Pendle 3 Peaks (AM), Barley Saturday 26th August 2 pm – Pendleton (AS) Saturday 9th September 1:30 pm – Hodder Valley Show (AS), Dunsop Bridge
The 2017 Club Road Championship consists of five races, with a member’s best three races counting. The races are:
Sunday 5th February 11 am – Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k Wednesday 29th March 7 pm – Colin & Brenda Robinson 5k, Whitworth Friday 16th June 7 pm – Barrowford Grand Prix 5k Saturday 15th July 9:30 am – Pendle Running Festival Half Marathon, Barley Sunday 13th August 10 am – City of Preston 10 miles
The 2017 Club Trail Championship consists of five races, with a member’s best three races counting. The first four races are:
Saturday 18th February 2:30 pm – Standish Hall 10k, Wigan Wednesday 17th May 7 pm – Wholan Nook 5 miles, Rossendale Saturday 3rd June 11 am – Wharfedale Trail Half Marathon, Grassington Wednesday 21st June 7 pm – Sabden Trail 5 miles
Burnley parkrun – A total of 394 runners took part.
|5||Jacob WATSON||17:18||SM30-34||New PB!|
|14||Jackson MCKAY||18:51||JM11-14||New PB!|
|42||Colin WHITE||21:30||VM40-44||New PB!|
|58||Cassandra Darling SMEDLEY||22:18||VW35-39||New PB!|
|192||Charlie PLANT||27:43||JW10||New PB!|
|226||Christine Jennifer EGERTON||29:37||VW65-69|
|227||Judith CAREY||29:38||VW35-39||New PB!|
Burnley junior parkrun – A total of 54 runners took part.
Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – A total of 165 runners took part.
Heaton parkrun – A total of 695 runners took part.
|8||Laura HESKETH||18:11||SW30-34||New PB!|
Medina I.O.W. parkrun – A total of 312 runners took part
Pendle parkrun – A total of 105 runners took part.
|1||David WALKER||18:56||VM35-39||New PB!|
Witton parkrun – A total of 94 runners took part.
|31||Vicky HEYS||25:13||VW45-49||First Timer!|