There was a brief sniff of spring in the air for a few moments on Saturday as our members raced hard at the cross country fixture in Leigh and on Pendle Hill. Another successful cross country season has come to a close with superb turnouts from stalwarts and new members alike. We’ve also had some great performances on the roads and the fells, as well as course record setting on the High Peak Marathon.
SATURDAY 4 MARCH
HIGH PEAK MARATHON
The HPM is open to teams of four all of whom must have experience of strenuous winter expeditions in mountainous country. Teams must be self-sufficient with no supporter assistance.
Jean Brown took part in this event as part of a team with Nicky Spinks, Beth Pascall and Kirsty Hewitson. They finished in fourth place overall and were the first ladies team in a time of 09:32:15
Report from Jean Brown
The High Peak Marathon describes itself as ‘The over-night mountain marathon around the Derwent Watershed in the High Peak District’ – the marathon bit is not about the distance – the FRA website has it down as 67km / 41.6miles with 1645m / 5397ft of climbing, however the actual distance depends very much on how good your navigation is over featureless bog! The race is run overnight in teams of four set off at one minute intervals. It is very difficult to get into being limited to 40/50 teams with a strong element of those who have done it before having priority.
It was therefore quite something to be on the starting line at 23:41 on Friday evening with Nicky Spinks, Beth Pascall and Kirsty Hewitson – a very strong team…and me! Nicky has done the race lots of times and had reccied the challenging sections plenty of times, to add to all of the team reccys we had had – both for the aborted 2016 race and again for this year (a very heavy dump of snow at exactly the wrong time meant the race didn’t take place in 2016 – the roads were all closed!). As Nicky has done well in mixed teams in the past (this was her first time in a ladies team for the event) we were set off fourth from last, giving us lots of teams to chase down and then try to pass on sometimes narrow paths.
I can’t remember too much of the night – it was 9 hrs 32 minutes of following the person in front, usually Nicky who did a fantastic job of the navigation. The heavy rain had almost stopped by the time we started and the mist cleared after a few hours – the bogs were, however, on top form having been fed by the recent very heavy rain and melting snow! The latter section over Kinder was the worst for still having snow on the paths – just to make it a little harder work when you were really quite tired! I had some gut problems and was never going to be one of the strongest on the team, but it is a team event and they were all great. Our finishing time gave us a new ladies record and 4th overall – which made the huge effort well worthwhile!
For anyone thinking, how did that all come about? It is down to Katy Thompson; in 2015, seeing Nicky at a race, I mentioned to Katy that I would love to ask her if she would be my partner for the Old Counties Tops, a long pairs fell race in the Lakes that I had done with Simon Halliday and Martin Terry, and really enjoyed. Katy said something along the lines of ‘there is no harm in asking’ – after checking up on the date, Nicky agreed. The rest, they say, is history! Thanks Katy!
MID LANCS CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE – LEIGH
This was the final fixture for this year’s Mid Lancs Cross Country League and our final chance to push for places and medals. Our Under 11 boys completed their excellent season with a win and a Gold Medal for Dexta Thompson as well as for the Team. Our U15 girls have also had an excellent series and battled hard to earn an individual Silver medal for Briony Holt and a Gold for the team.
All of our juniors have put in some tremendous performances in some tough conditions with some great results to show for it.
Team position – 10th (H White | K Thompson | R Stevenson)
Team Position – 1st (D Thompson | R Smedley | J Bentham)
Team Position – 6th (J McKay | L Jackson | W Nicholls)
Team Position – 2nd (B Holt | M Stubbs | N Olszewska)
Team Position 7th (N Hennessey | S Grewal | A Stevenson)
Another cross country season has drawn to a close with some great results for the club. Division 1 placings for both the men and the women’s teams.
Our vet ladies have achieved Bronze (third place) for both V35 and V45 and Silver (second place) for the V55 team with and individual silver medal for Irene Roche. Our men achieved Bronze for the A team, V40 and V50 teams.
Report from Irene Roche
As another Mid Lancs season draws to an end I just want to say a huge thanks to all the ladies who took part in one or more of the races. We have had an excellent turnout throughout from lots of regulars who turn out each season and new faces too. It’s a pleasure to see newcomers to cross country giving it a go and enjoying the experience, mud and working hard to keep going both included.
But the best part of it, as I’ve heard our ladies say, is the laugh together before and after the race. Another important thing to mention is the sacrifices some of our ladies have made over the winter to attend the venues. This includes season tickets for Saturday football at Turf Moor Burnley. So with our dedication we’ve managed to win medals for the V35, V45 and V55 teams.
We also have one senior lady, Elizabeth Mullan, achieve 18th position overall for the over 18 ladies. So between us all we’ve been just brilliant! Many thanks ladies!
A Team 5th (E Mullan | C Darling-Smedley | M Abbott)
B Team 16th (I Roche | D Airey | J Bennett)
Over 35 Team 3rd ( C Darling-Smedley | M Abbott | I Roche)
Over 45 Team 2nd (I Roche | J Bennett | D Terry)
Over 55 Team 2nd (I Roche | C Egerton | C Leathley)
Our men have put in a consistent set of performances throughout the season to maintain their division 1 status and take Bronze for Senior Men, V40 and V50 teams.
Report from Adam Stephenson
“It’s a nice easy one”, “More of a trail race” and “You’ll enjoy it” were a few of the quotes I heard regarding the XC at Leigh Sports Village. I’d never done XC before, not really a fan of getting my shoes dirty. I don’t even own a pair of spikes! With it being the last race of the season I thought I would give it a bash, see if I enjoy it and then prepare myself for next year’s events. Jason kindly organised me a number a couple of days before. I rolled up and met up with the rest of the team at the tent and there was whispers that the course was a lot wetter and muddier than anticipated, people searching their bags to see if they had their spikes in there. Great!
The ladies had their race and I had a little wander round and realised that this was going to be hard work! We got our race underway and I set off relatively confidently, until I got about a mile into the course and hit what I can only describe as a mud bath… my trail shoes offered me nothing in the way of grip and I found myself swinging from tree branches to stay upright! Long story short, reached the 10k finish line and my legs were absolutely shot, totally different to anything I’d done previously.
Overall I was happy I gave it a go and clocked in at around the 50 minute mark which I was content with for my first try. I’ll definitely give it another go, will keep an eye out for some out of season bargains and hit the ground running (pardon the pun) when the new season comes about later in the year. Great turnout of Harriers and great support.
A Team 3rd (C Holdsworth | D Collinge | J Watson | R Stevenson | M Duckworth | A Holt)
B Team 15th (A Cran | J Boult | J Wilcock | J Roche | A Quinn | M Hughes)
Over 40 Team 4th (R Stevenson | A Holt | A Cran | J Wilcock)
Over 50 Team 3rd (J Wilcock | J Roche | A Life)
MID LANCS CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE – SERIES RESULTS IN FULL
STAN BRADSHAW PENDLE ROUND
After what seems like weeks of rain and generally bad weather, the sun made a rare appearance for this year’s Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round which drew 241 runners to the start line including an impressive 32 club runners even with the final Mid Lancs cross country fixture on the same day.
The race was won by Rob Hope of Pudsey and Bramley AC in a time of 01:07:15. Matt Perry was the first Clayton man in 8th place overall. Andrew Laycock, Peter Coates, David Bagot and Tim Edward all grabbed top twenty finishes. Alison Dugdale was our first Clayton Lady in 159th place overall and Katy Thompson was 1st F60.
Report from Sarah Helliwell
The sun was out and shining brightly as runners signed on and milled around Barley. There was a good atmosphere as Colin gave us his ‘words of wisdom’ before we set off. I was unsure what time I would do as it was my first time doing the Stan Bradshaw, however I wanted to get as close to 2 hours as possible so I knew I had to do a good pace along the road – flat road running I do not like!
As we turned to go up Buttock there was a long line of runners disappearing into the distance. I could see Linda and Katy as they picked their way through runners and I tried to keep them in sight. Once past the trig I gave a “hello” to Richard at CP1 before making the boggy, muddy, wet and leg sapping journey past Scout Cain towards the Nick and eventually Churn Clough Reservoir with Kath and Jo on my shoulder. There was a shout out of “come on ladies” from the marshals and Team Motley at CP3 before we headed back round Churn Clough and over to Stainscombe and Stan’s Hut. It was here that I started to feel good and took my first look at my watch and thought right under 2 hours I come!
I started to pass runners up Lower Dale and down to Upper Ogden before the last climb up Buttock for the second time where I saw Teresa in front of me at the top of the hill. As I made my way back to Barley over the boggy, wet fields I could feel my calves cramping as I pulled them up out of the sticky mud. I was glad to see the last decent to the finish and was “well chuffed” with my time of 1hr 57mins. Comfortably under 2 hours in my book! A number of us waited at the finish to shout the other runners home before we cleaned ourselves in the stream. There were a number of good runs from male and female Clayton runners on a pleasant spring day on Pendle. Well done to all 32 Clayton runners who ran, and a special well done to Jo Perry and Teresa De Curtis who both had never done a 10 mile fell race before. Fantastic stuff ladies and all 8 ladies who ran!
|204||Teresa De Curtis||F40||(012/023)||01:55:33|
SUNDAY 5 MARCH
CAUTLEY FELL RACE
Katy Thompson was our sole runner in the latest race of the Kendal Winter League Series. Cautley is a 4 mile race with 2175ft of ascent organised by Helm Hill Runners. The race starts with a brisk canter along a trail, across the river, then a big climb up Gr Dummacks. The descent is long and spectacular when not in thick mist.
Katy finished 109th and 1st LV60. Her second category win of the weekend having taking 1st LV60 in the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round the day before!
Christopher Brown ran in the U13 race, finishing in 8th place with a time of 10:12 in a field of 76 runners.
HAWESWATER HALF MARATHON
Kevin Davies and Alun Hall took part in this out and back course from Brampton Village that passes along the shores of Haweswater in a remote and dramatic mountain valley.
Kevin Davies finished first in 42nd place with a time of 01:28:34 and 1st M55. Alun Hall was 153rd in 01:43:59. A total of 458 runners took part
RED HOT TODDY 10K
Tracy Mitchell and Robert Hirst took part in this hilly course that climbs from Centre Vale Park in Todmorden to Sourhall before heading back down Bacup Road and Todmorden town centre before finishing back in the park.
Tracy was our first Clayton finisher in 44th place overall as well as 2nd Lady and 1st F40. Robert Hirst was 112th overall .
RON HILL 10K
24 Club members took to the streets of Accrington for the Ron Hill 10K race. Danny Collinge was 3rd overall with a time of 34:54. Amanda Duffy was our first lady in 84th and 46:35
|3||40||Danny Collinge||M U23||34:54.0|
|60||88||Reece Lawrence||MJ U18||44:44.0|
RON HILL 1 MILE RACE
10 junior runners and Jack McGuire ran in the 1 mile race. Lennon Jackson was our first finisher followed a few seconds later by his brother Matthew. Helana White was our first girl in 9th overall and 2nd Girl . Some great running on show for our very youngest runners as well so well done to all that ran!
|5||Lennon Jackson||MJ U14||06:10.0|
|6||Matthew Jackson||MJ U12||06:18.0|
|9||Helana White||FJ U12||06:29.0|
|10||Luke Guest||MJ U14||06:41.0|
|11||Charlie Britwistle||MJ U12||06:48.0|
|14||Alfie White||MJ U16||07:03.0|
|15||Thomas Hopkinson||MJ U10||07:14.0|
|17||Jake Anforth||MJ U10||07:21.0|
|18||Toby Britwistle||MJ U10||07:22.0|
|40||Freya Britwistle||FJ U10||09:24.0|
|45||Emily Johnson||FJ U10||09:46.0|
Three club members took part in this fast and flat 10K road race in the South Manchester area. There were just over 800 runners taking part. Lee Smith was our first finisher in 223rd place and with a time of 35:46. Laura Hesketh was our sole lady runner and she finished in 270th with a time of 37:14 Dave Motley completed the trio in 281st place and 37:32.
Report from Dave Motley
2017 sees me return to the Marathon after my last attempt to run sub 3hr failed after my 2:59 was chalked off due to the organisers measuring the course short. In preparation for the marathon I made the decision early on to do a little more tarmac pounding and targeted Trafford 10k. I’d managed to rope fellow marathon man Lee Smith into the race. We set off from Burnley at 7:45am in glorious sunshine and the sunshine quickly disappeared as we hit the outskirts of Manchester and by 9:30am, race start we were getting drenched.
Another reason for targeting this race was the appeal of the course and calibre of the other runners, this was a PB course and the course didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately the start gets a little congested and it takes a few hundred metres to properly get into your stride, however it was great (in a strange way) to see 300+ runners already stretching out into the distance after only ½ mile. I felt to be going strong and was comfortable running 6min miles, but I just couldn’t get my body to respond to the 5:50’s I needed for a PB and I couldn’t get my body to surge the 30/40 metres I needed to get onto the group containing Laura Hesketh. I finished the race in 37:30 (ish) soaked to the bone about 20 seconds behind Laura and 2 minutes behind Mr Smith in his first proper 10k (he doesn’t get out much).
Although a little disappointed with not achieving a PB I’m still going to take the positives from this race, such as how comfortable I felt running at 6min miles. Next up is a hilly Spen 20 at the weekend with fellow marathon men Smithy, Cleaver & Plant, 4 weeks to go until the marathon.
Burnley parkrun – A total of 265 runners took part.
|10||Michael HOGAN||19:57||VM45-49||New PB!|
|49||Reece Adam LAWRENCE||23:36||JM15-17|
|220||Erin HESKETH||33:04||JW10||First Timer!|
Burnley junior parkrun – A total of 62 runners took part.
Lytham Hall parkrun – A total of 175 runners took part.
|45||Philip NAYLOR||24:54||VM35-39||New PB!|
Nepean River parkrun – A total of 180 runners took part
|125||Robin PRICE||34:13||VM70-74||First Timer!|
Pendle parkrun – A total of 88 runners took part.
|1||David WALKER||18:52||VM35-39||New PB!|
Skipton parkrun – A total of 185 runners took part.