Welcome to the first of the new-look Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Roundups. As many of you will know, Adrienne Olszewska has stepped down as your Roundup editor having completed an incredible run of weekly Roundups over the past few years. Having deputised on occasion for Adrienne when she has been away ultra-running, I can confirm the huge commitment she made for each weekly Roundup and along, with many others, wish to thank her once again for all her witty, insightful and entertaining writing and reporting over that time.
In a shift away from the previous pattern of Roundups, your regular digest of all-things Clayton on the racing front will now come to you on a monthly basis, and will feature selected events off the Clayton calendar, including those where significant numbers of Clayton runners compete, team events and club championship races.
Races and events that will be featured in the monthly Roundup will be publicised in advance and this is where you all come in. To keep the Roundup fresh and topical, it needs your input and insight in the form of your race reports and pictures. To send your reports for inclusion, simply use the ‘Contact the Roundup Editor’ form on the website or message through the Team Clayton FB page.
This months Roundup is a little sparse as we transition to the new format but will hopefully build, with your input, into a bigger and more informative report on all things Clayton. Thank you in advance for your submissions.
Thieveley Pike Fell Races – 4.3m, 1310ft
A long standing fixture on the fell calendar which saw some epic battles in the 80s and 90s, this local AS category race is currently organised by Pete Booth and is still a stern test of climbing ability with a very steep pull out of the valley before a longer more gradual climb to the trig point. Though the route has changed over the years, there is a still an exhilarating blast back to the finish field and the welcome sight of the pub.
All photos David Belshaw
The full distance senior race was won by Andrew Worster of Todmorden Harriers in 36:33 and George Pier found some form of old and had a cracking run to take 8th and the honour of first Clayton runner home.
Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relays
The ‘Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay’ started life as the ‘Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay’ and takes place in the heart of the Lake District Fells. Usually around 70 teams from across the country compete in what is the longest-running mountain relay in the country.
The race is a tough one, with 4 legs each throwing up their separate challenges, including hard climbs and steep descents on difficult terrain. The route requires careful navigation, especially in bad weather. Which the 2017 edition had in abundance, with significant route changes at the last minute affecting all legs in order to minimise the risk from gales and heavy rain on the tops throughout the event.
Clayton sent 3 full teams, an Open team, a Vets and a Ladies team.The Senior Team were 23rd out of 69 teams, the Vets 25th and 6th Vet team, and the Ladies 64th and 7th Ladies team.
Sarah Helliwell reports here on how the Ladies team got on:
Red Rose Cross Country League – Round 1
A clash of fixtures with the first Mid Lancs Series race saw the Clayton Juniors starting their cross-country season en masse at the first Red Rose race at Leigh Sports Village. A mixture of more experienced runners and some Juniors new to cross-country saw Clayton pack out the placings with great runs from all the Juniors in almost unseasonally warm conditions.
A handful of Seniors also ran at Leigh whilst the bulk of the Senior/Vets and Ladies were over at Cuerden for the Mid Lancs racing.
Mid Lancs Cross Country League – Round 1
The Clayton Senior cross country runners, supported by a few Juniors made their way over to Cuerden Country Park for Round 1, and in contrast to Leigh looked they instantly found some good mud.
Performances of note included Briony Holt taking 2nd place in the U17G race, the Ladies teams taking 6th overall, 4th in the O45 and 2nd in the O55 team competitions. The Senior Mens team was 5th and the U20s were 2nd with the Vets O40 team 3rd and O50 team 2nd overall.
British Fell Relay Championships
With somewhat kinder weather than for the Hodgson Relays a couple of weeks previous, Clayton sent 3 teams down to Llanberis for the British Relay Champs. The Relays were won by Dark Peak Fell Runners with 176 teams competing. Our A Team of Chris Holdsworth, Matt Perry, Andrew Laycock, Andrew Payne, Dave Walker, and Dave Motley as16th, the B Team of David Bagot, Carl Helliwell, Peter Coates, Russell Clarke, George Pier, and Chris Snell was 68th and the Ladies team of Claire Vincent, Tara Robb, Jean Brown, Wendy Dodds, Katy Thompson and Sarah Helliwell were 137th and 20th overall in their class.