From snowdrifts to snowdrops – the March and April Roundup

3 March – Mid Lancs XC League Round 6

This was the cross-country final that nearly wasn’t. Whilst the Beast from the East did it’s best to snowdrift the country into a complete standstill, the M6 northwards and western fringes of the Lake District were strangely replete of snow, allowing the Mid Lancs XC crowd to head north for this new fixture up in Ulverston, at the Glaxo site on the very edge of Morecombe Bay.

A bone hard and undulating course, with a somewhat coolish breeze coming off the Bay greeted the runners, with trail and fell shoes being the preferred option for most runners.

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Helana White to the fore. Photo:

Juniors

Amelia Halstead capped off a breakthrough xc season with a fine 4th place in the U11G, not far behind the winner and putting her into a series 4th overall. Her regular team mates Ellisia Smedley, Emily Nicholls and Joni Higgins helped the Clayton girls to 10th overall.

Charlie Barnes led the U11B home in 28th, and with Fraser Anforth and Josh McKay the boys took 12th palce in the team competition.

Helana White continued to blaze a trail at the front of the U13G with a fine 3rd, with Ella Dorrington in 9th and the fast improving Imogen Ferguson in 22nd. A few tense hours waiting for final results confirmed the U13G team in 3rd place overall just behind Blackburn and just ahead of Trawden, a great result for them after a full season of working hard toward that team prize.

Robbie Smedley in 3rd was followed by William Nicholls 13th, and Matthew Jackson 14th and this allowed them to claim  3rd place in the U13B team prize by one point.

Only Sophie Ashworth ran in the U15G race to14th, with the last minute start line addition of her race number!

Jackson McKay went out hard in the U15B race in an attempt to stamp his authority on the front group and it nearly paid off as he came in a hard fought 4th, with Michael Stevens 10th and brother Peter 13th. Lennon Jackson and Theo Burfield battled away for 22nd  25th. With Harrison Codd who ran in earlier races, the boys came 5th overall.

Josh Hall was our sole U17B in 7th whilst Brinoy Holt in U17G took a fine 2nd place overall in the series.

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Imogen Ferguson was flying in Ulverston. Photo: Cassie Smedley

Seniors

Donna Airey capped off a great season with 13th to give an overall season placing of 16th Senior Lady (8th Vet), whilst Tom Brewster took 15th to give and overall senior Men 9th place.

David Edmondson had a consistent season and took 2nd overall in the Vet 50 competition (7th Vet overall), Andy Holt a top ten in V40 with Calum Holmes 6th in U20 Men. Dave Scott was first in the V70 Men.

Gold Team Prizes (and promotion to Division 1) were awarded for the season to the Division 2 Ladies and V65 Ladies teams, with Silver for our Division 1 Senior Men, and Bronze for the V55 Ladies and V40 Men.

Donna Airey reports:

“Ulverston was the final fixture in the mid Lancs League, A new venue and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, personally one of my favourite’s. Cold, windy, and undulating. Just missing some mud! Great turn out considering the snow around Burnley and hour and half drive up the M6. With the XC season now over, many thanks those who have taken part. Special thanks to Jason for everything he does and those who have helped with the tent. We’ve had plenty of seniors turn up to most fixtures even with some being over an hour’s drive away. We’ve seen some newcomer’s taking part, hope you have all enjoyed it and we will see you again next season. Well Done everyone, here are some of our overall performances”

And that, as they say, was a wrap for cross-country 2017/18

 

10 March – Inter Counties XC

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Briony, Ella, Helana, Josh, Robbie and training partner Jack Villiers with their vests. Photo: Rachael White

There’s mud, and then there is MUD. The 5 Clayton Juniors selected to run for Lancashire had probably never run in worse conditions underfoot and probably never want to again. However, it didn’t deter Helana White, Ella Dorrington, Robbie Smedley, Briony Holt and Josh Hall from donning their shiny white and red Lancashire vests and getting stuck in. All of them did their Club and County proud and we expect to see more of them, and their teammates in Lancashire colours.

Robbie Smedley. And some mud. Photo: Woodentops

Robbie Smedley. And some mud.
Photo: Woodentops

 

10 March – Stan Bradshaw Round

Andrew Holt on his way to a cracking 27th. Photo: David Belshaw

Andrew Holt on his way to a cracking 27th. Photo: David Belshaw

As if one wasn’t enough… Beast from the East 2 arrived in time to threaten loads of fell races this particular and the Stan Bradshaw Round on our beloved Pendle Hill was no exception. However, a judicious course alteration from organiser Colin Woolford and some heroic marshalling meant the race avoided the cancellation that befell many other races in the region.

The now shortened course followed the normal start route to CP1, CP2 then left along the next wall to Ogden Clough, down to upper Ogden Dam and what was CP5, then up to Fell Wood to an amended CP6 giving roughly 12k in all. And a thoroughly testing day out with cold winds, frozen turf in places and deep drifts to wade through in others.

There were  21 Clayton runners led home by Chris Holdsworth in 3rd overall. Tara Robb was 1st Clayton Lady home (5th Lady overall).

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Michelle Butschok, wrapped up against the cold. Photo: David Belshaw

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Chris Holdsworth, moving quick enough not to need tights! Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results

 

25 March – FRA English Junior Championships

It was the usual late March start for the FRA English Junior Championships series, and like 2 years ago, Todd Crag in Ambleside was the setting for the first race of the season. The snow had gone, the sun shone and the racing was fast but technical on a rough and steep Lakeland course.

Jenson Bentham was 12th in the U13B with Helana White chasing hard for 3rd place in the U13G.

Jackson McKay took 5th and Ella Dorrington 16th in the U15B and G races, whilst Peter Stevens got the better, just ahead of brother Michael in the U17B race, taking 22nd and 23rd respectively. Briony Holt was 5th U17G.

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Jenson Bentham. Photo: Dave Rylance

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Ella Dorrington. Photo: Dave Rylance

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Briony Holt. Photo:

Full Results

7 April – Pendle Fell Races

Wet and claggy weather was booked for Pendle again this year, to celebrate the incorporation of the Lancashire Fell Running Championships into this long-running club fixture. Two new organisers also took over this year, Mark Nutter (Senior race) and Alan Dorrington (Junior races).

Juniors

Jackson McKay - U15B Lancashire Fell Champion

Jackson McKay – U15B Lancashire Fell Champion. Photo: Woodentops

In the Juniors there were Lancashire medals for Jackson McKay who was Lancashire Champion in U15B, Helana White with silver in the U13G and Ella Dorrington with silver in the U15G. Many of our other Juniors also took part in the races, with several top ten performances from the likes of Jenson Bentham (7th) and Matthew Jackson (8th) in U13B, Robbie Smedley (6th) and William Nicholls (7th) in U15B and Imogen Ferguson 7th in U15G.

Peter Stevens also impressed in the U17B, narrowly missing out on a medal in 4th, with Josh Hall in 6th. Sophie Ashworth was 5th in U17G with a very muddy and shoeless Millie Stubbs in 7th and Beth Wheatcroft returning from injury in 8th.

Helana White - a silver medal in the U13G. Photo: Woodentops

Helana White – a silver medal in the U13G. Photo: Woodentops

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Ella Dorrington – also a silver medal in the U15G. Photo: Woodentops

Peter Stevens just missed out on a Lancashire medal in 4th. Photo: Woodentops

Peter Stevens just missed out on a Lancashire medal in 4th. Photo: Woodentops

Junior Results

Seniors

Jim Hickie wonders if his watch has started after all. Photo: Woodentops

Jim Hickie wonders how his new watch is supposed to work, while Mr Go Pro man behind captures it all for Youtube. Photo: Woodentops

In the Under 19 Men’s race, held as part of the Senior race won by evergreen V40 Rob Hope, Nick Hennessey had a fantastic run to become Lancashire Champion.

There were top ten places in the Senior Men’s race for Matt Perry and Andy Laycock (9th and 10th) and a fine 6th place overall and 2nd U23 Lady for Rhiannon Whickam. Peter Coates took a bronze Lancashire medal in the V40s, and Geoff Gough a silver medal in the V60 Men.

Irene Roche was a silver medallist in the Ladies V50, Karin Goss Lancashire V60 Champ and Linda Lord Lancashire V70 Champ.

Senior Results

 

14 April – FRA English Junior Championships

There was a new (to FRA Junior Champs) venue for the 2nd round of the FRA English Junior Championships with Trawden AC taking the race to Blacko and the hills surrounding the iconic Tower. The sun shone, the barbecue was pretty tasty and there was some great racing over traditional grassy Pennine hills (and bogs).

Helana White bagged her first ever win in the Junior FRA series with a powerful performance to see off her closest rival, based upon disappearing up the hill at a vast rate of knots to put in some distance between them. Her strategy paid off and she was a clear winner in the U13G race (and 8th overall), a fantastic achievement at this level.

I got this - Helana White in determined mood at the start of her U13G race. Photo: David Belshaw

I got this – Helana White in determined mood at the start of her U13 race. Photo: David Belshaw

Ella Dorrington improved on her last FRA outing with 8th in the U15G and Briony Holt had a solid run for 6th in U17G.

Emily Nicholls celebreates her Birthday in style in the U11 race. All was well afterwards. Photo: David Belshaw.

Emily Nicholls celebrates her Birthday in style in the U11 race. All was well afterwards. Photo: David Belshaw.

Full Results

 

22 April – Ron Hill 10k

Clayton Ladies Claire Vincent and Michelle Abbott were age group winners in the Senior Ladies and W35 Ladies categories respectively at this popular local 10k, whilst Calum Holmes took the U23 Mens win and 6th overall.

Calum Holmes sets off quick with Nick Hennessey.

Calum Holmes sets off quick with Nick Hennessey.

Full Results

 

28 April – 3 Peaks Fell Race

Is it a fell race, a trail race or a marathon with mountains? That all depends on your perspective but what it clear is that it is a classic, and a hard one to pace, to boot.

David Bagot led home the usual large Clayton contingent in 3 hours 27 mins.

Photo: Chris Holdsworth.

Photo: Chris Holdsworth.

Andrew Webster took on the 3 Peaks for the first time this year – here is his report:

“I had never done this race before and was a bit nervous as I had struggled on the recce a few weeks ago on the back 2 peaks but I had had lots of good advice off people before race day.

I got there in plenty of time and caught up with several other Clayton runners before we lined up in our expected time orders. I had a stroke of luck and set off with Simon Stansfield who had given me advice about pacing and leaving a little for descent off Ingleborough. I had set myself 2 race goals – avoid the bus and walk the hills and run everything else so I made cutofffs. It was pleasant trotting on with Simon to the base of Pen y Ghent and Ii think I paced it ok – Igot up in just under 48 minutes. The descent off was nice and there was a temptation to tear off on the good running to Ribblehead but I managed to contain myself and kept a consistent pace. At Ribblehead I was heartened to see Andy Bradley in front of me him being the 1st other club member I had seen since Pen y Ghent. I was prepared for Whernside being tough but not the biblical bog at the bottom – I actually saw 1 bloke go in almost to his waist.  Swerve that 1 I thought! I managed to get to the summit of Whernside only feeling like chucking up a little and on the plus side my calves where that sore they had actually gone past pain and were just numb ( a blessed relief!!). I managed to gain a little speed coming down and didn’t knock any walkers over thankfully and before I realised it I was at the Hill Inn and oh joy inside cut offs!! Only by about 18 minutes but I do admit I was relieved! at this point. I really knew I would finish the race and gathered myself for the looming bulk of Ingleborough.

Two fields in I saw Richard Briscoe and again this raised my spirits to see a fellow club member and managed to stagger past him. Just before starting the climb it hailed for just 2.5 seconds but I thought my world was going to end as I wasn’t feeling quite myself at this point and though this is all i need! The climb didn’t seem as bad this time and I was lifted to see Steve Berry near the top shouting encouragement and giving me a drink of water. He said ” Andy’s just a minute in front of you – he’s yours to take!” I replied that all I wanted taking was a me in a helicopter from the summit but he just laughed ( I was deadly serious but he’d thought I was joking!). On my way to the trig I saw Andy Foster coming down and we said hello.

This was the bit I was most bothered about now as I was tired and it is horrible on that limestone coming back ( in fact on our recce Alex ended up with 3 stitches in his knee falling along the route back). But I remembered Simon’s advice about the race really starting from here and luckily I had paced it so that I steadily overtook quite a few on the way down including Andy who had a bad cramp attack and was slowing rapidly. Even more unusually I didn’t fall. These Yorkshire folk must like value for money in a race, as several times on the way in people shouted just a mile and a half to go  when it was more like 4. Even so I managed to gain a few more places till the finish took me by surprise popping out from that tunnel straight onto the field!!

It was a great event and a fantastic experience I will definitely do again.  I was very pleased with my time as I had reckoned around 5 hours to 5 and a half mark but got in in 4:45. My thanks to the organisers, marshalls and support on this race – it truly is a classic and I’d recommend it to every club member wholeheartedly.

Martin Brady (2nd from L) and Andrew Orr (R)receiving their trophies for 21 3 Peaks completions. Photo: Andrew Firth.

Martin Brady (2nd from L) and Andrew Orr (R)receiving their trophies for 21 3 Peaks completions. Photo: Andrew Firth.

Full Results

 

28 April – Fellsman

Fellsman regular Andy Armstrong and first timer Alan Dorrington set about this classic old-school ultra in the Dales, finishing together at the end of its 61 mile route with over 11,000ft of climb in just over 18 and a half hours.

For Alan it was a step into the unknown, given he hadn’t run more than 6 hours before but a combination of frequent refuelling with sausage rolls, pasta, hotdogs and flapjack and Andy’s experienced pacing and grit when he was unable to eat any of the above mentioned buffet for the last part of the race, saw them both round in good order. A great, if slightly lengthy day out over the many of the highest parts of the Dales.

Andy Armstrong and Alan Dorrington not taking things too seriously at the Fellsman. Photo: SportSunday

Andy Armstrong and Alan Dorrington not taking things too seriously at the Fellsman. Photo: SportSunday

 

Winter’s not over till it’s over…

No let up in the winter weather this month with gales, snow, ice and then a proper cold snap heading toward the UK at the end of month. Of course none of that deterred the Clayton runners from hitting muddy fields, wintry fells, snowy mountains and the roads in between.

3 February – Lancashire Schools Cross Country

Helana White waiting for the B of the Bang...

Helana White (609) waiting for the B of the Bang… Photo: Rachael White

Clayton Juniors were to the fore at the recent Lancashire Schools Cross-Country Championships. There were fine age group wins for Helana White and Briony Holt, top 10 places for Harry Cole, Ella Dorrington and Jackson McKay and a host of fine supporting performances as our Juniors ran for their individual District teams.

Year 7 Girls – Helana White 1st, Rachel Stevenson 59th

Year 7 Boys – Harry Cole 8th, Jenson Bentham 24th, Finley Stubbs 31st

Junior Girls (Yr 8 and 9) – Ella Dorrington 10th, Sophie Ashworth 26th, Imogen Ferguson 59th, Keira Stevenson 64th

Junior Boys – Jackson McKay 9th, William Nicholls 20th, Lennon Jackson 39th

Inter Boys – Nick Henessey 20th, Michael Stevens 22nd, Peter Stevens 26th,

Inter Girls – Briony Holt 1st, Millie Stubbs 8th, Caitlin Welsh 31st.

Apologies to anyone I have missed – as our Juniors were running for their District teams it is harder to spot them in the results.

Full Results

4 February – Blackburn Winter Warmer

Jon Cleaver reports from this popular event:

A very strong field lined up for the 2018 Winter Warmer at Witton Park on a chilly Sunday morning with the sun on our backs which made for very good racing. The course itself is a toughie and from past performances one which normally sees you at least 2 minutes short of your PB.  It starts with a climb of around 450ft climbing out of the park and then most of the work is out of the way. I managed to hold on to a pack holding the top 5 until the descent which found me lacking a bit for speed to keep with them. There is a little kicker of a hill at mile 4 before you start on your way back through the park which again is flat or descending until you see the track. I’d managed to gain a couple of places back but was starting to get a bit concerned when I looked behind and saw a lad from Salford starting to make some distance on me.  Not to be deterred I held on and pushed for the last lap around the track for a top 10 finish.

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Nick Hennessey. Photo: David Belshaw

There were some outstanding runs from the younger Clayton lads picking out a couple of exceptional results from Nick Hennessy 38:11, Ryan Bradshaw 37:22 & Josh Hall 42:30.

Great start to the road championship for 2018 and well done all whom turned out to run and cheer us on.

Editors update: Clayton took the 2nd team prize behind the winners, Blackburn Harriers

Full Results

4 February – Kong Mini Mountain Marathon Series Rd 1

Sparkling condtions over to the Carneddau at the Kong mini Mtn Marathon. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Sparkling condtions over to the Carneddau at the Kong Mini Mtn Marathon. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Alan Dorrington headed over to North Wales for the 1st round of this 4 hr score event series, held out of Bethesda on sunny day with low temperatures and with significant snowfall higher up to spice things up..

“With 4 hours to find as many controls of varying point value and heavy penalties if late back to the finish, this type of event requires a systematic plan that can be varied according to the conditions underfoot, and according to any mistakes that may or may not be made in finding well hidden controls over a wide area. My initial plan to pick off higher scoring controls with some ridge running over Carnedd Gwenllian was abandoned due to tough running in wind-slabbed snow, so I opted to target controls at lower elevations for the next 2 1/2 hours. A bit of a wobble with some poor map interpretation meant a panic to get back over some fairly big climbs and back to the finish in time to avoid penalties, as well as losing out on some controls on the homeward sweep. All in all, the Kong events are a great way to see some areas that you wouldn’t normally visit, as well as sharpen up on navigation for some of the longer, harder fell races.”

10 February – Windy Hill fell race 9 miles and 1280ft

Jon Cleaver enjoying a windy Windy Hill

Jon Cleaver enjoying a windy Windy Hill. Photo: Cannonball Events

A new-ish fixture on the fell calendar, this 9 mile B category race visits the hills around Hollingworth Lake. No that the runners would have seen much of the great scenery around there this year…

Report from Jon Cleaver:

Well this race certainly lived up to its name! On a very wet & cold day I layered up well with 2 hats, 2 pairs of gloves and 4 tops to ensure I kept warm and braved the moors around Littleborough & Blackstone Edge.

Starting out at the Rugby Club near Hollingsworth Lake you climb up over the M62 and onto the moors about 3 miles in there is a climb which goes on for a mile and climbs around 900ft. Once you got to the top you got hit with a wall of wind and rain. The path followed the old Roman road for quite a bit which was treacherous due to ice. This lost me a bit of ground on the top 10 due to lack of grip in my mudclaws. On the way in you have about 2 miles of really good trail and finally some good old fashioned 2 foot deep mud making it quite a quick run in!

Even though the elements were against us I really enjoyed it and could have been caught with the occasional smile on my face (hard to believe I know!). Overall I came 11th in 01:08:53 (8.8miles 1565ft).

Full Results

11 February – Barbondale fell race

Briony Holt digs in at Barbondale.

Briony Holt digs in at Barbondale.

Hail hill and hurt – Andrew Holt reports:

2nd of five races of Kendal Winter League for myself and Briony and one we’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years as it’s well known as the steepest of the series. The location is nestled in the hills behind whernside linking the dales  to the howgills, not that we could see much due to the snow and cloud

After a struggle parking we arrived with time to shred our calf’s walking the route – for Briony 300m of ascent then a 200m run to the top and for myself the same 300m ascent in 800m followed another 800m runnable but uphill at the top. Then straight down for the both of us

The ground was slippy, wet, sprinkled with ice at the top but nothing of value on the way up or down. The weather cleared at the top for a while and I decided to wear a top and gloves as it was completely different to the conditions in the valley below. And the views,when the weather cleared  were more than worth the effort.

And we’re off – 13 minutes eyeball popping power walking followed by 5 minutes running to the trig. I did my usual grind it out start and pulled myself into 40th or so at the top (it was nice to be on the flat near the top before the front runners passed us on the way down) and gained another 4-5 places overtaking just before the hill steepens and thankfully staying upright into the finish

The awesome Wendy Dodds and Katy Thompson took a 1/2 in their respective categories with Briony a brilliant 2nd overall and I squeezed in a top ten finish for my age. A brilliant series that’s well worth a look

17 February – Mid Lancs XC League Round 5

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Team warm up for the U11 Girls. Photo: David Belshaw

u11 boys

Charlie Barnes and Fraser Anforth. Photo: David Belshaw

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Helana White giving it 110% for a fine 3rd place. Photo: David Belshaw

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Millie Stubbs. Photo: David Belshaw

A new venue up the M6 for the penultimate round of the Mid Lancs XC series saw the Clayton tent pitched in the middle of Ryelands Park, Lancaster.

The U11 Girls team of Amelia Halstead, Ellisia Smedley and Joni Higgins were straight into warm up and off round the grassy course which had a few twists and turns rather than lots of straights. Amelia continued her good form and took 7th, with Ellisia and Joni in 57th and 61st. In the U11 Boys, Charlie Barnes was 45th and Joshua McKay 62nd.

Helana White scored her best performance of the Mid Lancs series so far, with a really gutsy run to 3rd place in the U13 Girls, with Ella Dorrington in 8th and the ever-improving Imogen Ferguson in 40th. The girls also took 3rd in the team competition, setting them up nicely for a possible series team placing.

William Nicholls also had a great run for 16th in the U13 Boys, with Robbie Smedley, Finley Stubbs and Matthew Jackson supporting.

Millie Stubbs was the sole U15 Girl in 12th, whilst Jackson McKay also came in 12th in the Boys race, closely followed by Harrison Codd in 13th and Lennon Jackson in 23rd.

Briony Holt took 3rd in the U17 Girls race, despite suffering the after effects of a tough England Mountain Running Team training camp earlier in the week.

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Clayton Ladies looking chirpy before the race. Photo: David Belshaw

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Deborah Greenwood looking slightly less chirpy… Photo: David Belshaw

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Tom Brewster. Photo: David Belshaw

Donna Airey led the Ladies home in 25th, as well as the Ladies Over 35 team to a fine 2nd place backed up by Michelle Abbott and Cassie Smedley.

Another consistent improver, U20 Calum Holmes was the first Clayton man back to the finish in 18th, leading the Men’s team of Tom Brewster, Thomas Walker, Andrew Holt, Mark Aspinal and Chris Funnel to 2nd in the team competition. With the addition of John Wilcock, the Vet men took 3rd Over 40 and 2nd Over 50 team also.

Full Results

25 February – Hoppits’ Hill fell races

Ella Dorrington descending at Hoppits. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Ella Dorrington descending at Hoppits. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Organised by fell running royalty in the form of Nicky Spinks, this low key local race around the hills near Dewsbury incorporates relaxed Junior races and is a lovely warm up for Juniors looking ahead to the fell season starting in the Spring months. Not that it was that warm with the Best from the East on the way, though the snow was yet to arrive.

Ella Dorrington was the sole Clayton runner there amongst the Juniors but made up for that by coming 2nd overall in the U15 race, as well as 1st girl in the combined U15 and U17 race. Chocolate prizes presented by Nicky capped off a lovely day out.

 

 

 

 

 

Kicking off 2018 with a (X) Country flavour!

It’s been (mostly) about cross-country during this otherwise quiet month, with the Lancashire Championships, and Mid Lancs League as well as some other mud-based action further afield. Worthy of special mention, is the club’s Junior section who continued training hard right through the Christmas break, with both the younger and older Juniors putting in the time despite the weather. This led to both individual and team awards for their efforts, with ALL the Juniors being part of the success that is Team Clayton.

We also learnt this month that Danny Collinge, one of the Junior section’s big inspirations and role models as well as ambassador for Clayton overall is soon moving on to pasture’s new. Danny’s fantastic exploits have graced this report many, many times over the years and behind the scenes his help, support and encouragement for Juniors (and Seniors too) has been hugely valued and much appreciated by so many in the Clayton family. In common with all of us at the Club, I would like to thank Danny and wish him the all the very best for his running in the future – thank you.

 

7 January – Lancashire Cross-Country Championships, Witton Park

Our U11 Girls team charges off the line! Photo: David Belshaw

Our U11 Girls team charges off the line! Photo: David Belshaw

We’ll start with our Clayton Juniors as they came away from the Championships with a fantastic medal haul and a good collection of Lancashire vests earned for the Inter Counties race in March.

Amelia Halstead (in blue headband above) pulled off a stunning victory in the U11 Girls with a finely judged run from behind to overhaul all but one of the hard-charging front runners on the second lap, and all finished off with a gutsy sprint to the line to take the win. Amelia had been moving up the placings in Red Rose and Mid Lancs league races so her Championship win was not unexpected but richly deserved nonetheless. Ellisia Smedley, Emily Nicholls and Joni Higgins all battled hard and made up the Clayton team finishers.

In the U11 Boys race, Charlie Barnes (in 31st) led home Brayden Clarkson, Joshua McKay and Fraser Anforth for a team finish.

All eyes were on Robbie Smedley, Matthew Jackson, William Nicholls, Finley Stubbs, and Jenson Bentham in the U13 Boys race for both individual results and the team prize. Robbie Smedley had a fine run to take the Bronze and with it Lancashire selection whilst Matthew Jackson also placed in top ten (and reserve for the County team) and with the others, secured 2nd place in the team competition.

Helana White and Ella Dorrington were both aiming for Lancashire vests in the U13 Girls race and after one of their customary big battles with each other, as well as the rest of the field, both secured their vests with Helana 6th (in her first year in the age cat)and Ella 5th. Behind them, Imogen Ferguson and Rachel Stevenson brought their lovely smiles and cheery demeanour to our U13G team.

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Robbie Smedley clinched 3rd place. Photo: David Belshaw

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Ella Dorrington. Photo: David Belshaw

Helana White pushes to the line. Photo: David Belshaw

Helana White pushes to the line. Photo: David Belshaw

In the U15 Boys race, Jackson McKay finished 12th, Michael Stevens 17th, twin brother Peter 24th and Adam Stevenson 29th. The normally fast Lennon Jackson also ran but appeared to not particularly enjoy the experience and finished a little behind the others…

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Briony Holt. Photo: David Belshaw

Millie Stubbs, Kaliska Clarke, Beth Wheatcroft and Keira Stevenson all ran in the U15 Girls with Millie 13th after chasing hard for a top ten place.

Briony Holt secured Lancashire selection with a strong 4th place in her first year in the U17 Girls age group, whilst Josh Hall and Nick Hennessey were 10th and 16th respectively in the U17 Boys race.

Danny Collinge came home 11th in the Senior race and earned a reserve place on the Lancashire team.

Finally, in the Vets race, our  team of David Edmondson, Richard Stevenson, Andrew Holt and Michael Toms were 3rd, with Tara Robb leading the Clayton Ladies in (26th), and Donna Airey the Vet Ladies (16th).

Full Results

12- 14 January – The Montane Spine Challenger

Nicholas Olszewski, Andrew Armstrong and Andrew Morley lined themselves up for this epic challenge, 108 miles along the Pennine Way to Hardraw in the Yorkshire Dales. Freezing temperatures, torrential rain and biting winds did nothing to deter their resolve and they all finished close together in 39 hours. Yes, 39 hours of non-stop running, walking and general forward movement. There are photos circulating of discolated fingers, trench foot and the like but it’s probably safer to show some of the photos I took whilst encouraging them near Malham Cove. Special mention too to Adrienne Olszweska who was probably as sleep deprived as them travelling around supporting on the road stops.

Our Spine Challenger racers near Malham. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Our Spine Challenger racers near Malham. Photo: Alan Dorrington

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13 January – Mid Lancs Cross-Country League Towneley Park

Should be a prize for smiling - here's your winner Rachel Stevenson. Photo: David Belshaw

If there was a prize for smiling whilst racing, here’s your winner Rachel Stevenson. Photo: David Belshaw

With barely enough time to clean off dirty spikes from the weekend before, our Clayton athletes were back in action on home turf at the 4th Mid Lancs League round in Towneley Park. Conditions were surprisingly fast and firm leading to some quicker racing than in the heavy going at Witton Park the week before, though a cold wind in the finish straight made fast finishes tough going..

Amelia Halstead built on her win at the Lancashire Championships the week before with a great 2nd place in the U11 Girls, whilst in the U13 Girls Ella Dorrington produced her best Mid Lancs performance this season in 3rd, backed up by Helana White in 6th. With Imogen Ferguson they took 3rd place in the team competition.

Robbie Smedley, William Nicholls and Matthew Jackson worked well to take 3rd team in the U11 Boys race, and Briony Holt placed 2nd in the U17 Girls race.

The leading Clayton runners in Senior Ladies and Mens were Tara Robb (30th) and Tom Brewster (27th) whilst the Senior Men (Tom Brewster, David Bagot, Calum Holmes, David Edmondson, Richard Stevenson and Thomas Walker) took 3rd team and the Vet 40s also secured 3rd team (David Edmondson, Richard Stevenson, Andrew Holt and Michael Toms).

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Josh McKay. Photo: David Belshaw

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Jackson McKay and Michael Stevens chase a local rival. Photo: David Belshaw

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Nerina Gill. Photo: David Belshaw

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Kaliska Clarke showing good form at the finish. Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results

14 January – East Lancs Hospice 10k and 2k

Your winner! Danny Collinge. Photo: David Belshaw

Your winner! Danny Collinge. Photo: David Belshaw

Road racing is a bit thin on the ground this time of year but this traditional New Year fundraiser for the Hospice always attracts a good field including those wanting to test their legs a bit before the season starts properly in the Spring.

In one of his final appearances for the club before moving on to pastures new, Danny Collinge took a very convincing victory by well over a minute from Matt Nuttall of Blackburn Harriers with a very impressive time of 33:50. Callum James was next in for Clayton in a great 9th overall and 1st Junior with Nick Hennessey 2nd Junior and 16th overall.

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Cassie and Michelle. Pairs race winners… Photo: David Belshaw

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A fine run from Callum James. Photo: David Belshaw

The inseperable duo of Cassandra Smedley and Michelle Abott were 4th and 5th women, and Joanne Motley 8th. Angela Shian and Vickey Heys were 6th and 7th in the women’s V40 and V45 cats respectively with Charlie Clutterbuck 4th in Mens V70+.

There were plenty of Clayton Juniors in the 2k race held alongside the main race, with Matthew Jackson back on his preferred tarmac surface placing 2nd overall and 1st U13B, chased in by Helana White in 3rd overall and 1st U13G.

They're off! Photo: David Belshaw

They’re off! Photo: David Belshaw

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Toby Birtwhistle eyes up the finish line. Photo: David Belshaw

 

28 January – Kendal Winter League Whitestones

Andrew and Briony Holt risked forever changing the interior of their car (for the worse) at this renowned uber-mudfest, part of the super tough Kendal Winter League where fell races masquerade as cross-country races, the sheep wear Inov8s on the fell and, well you get the drift… they’re quite hard.

Andrew reports:

After promising myself I’d do as many of these races as I can this year life and work have conspired against me making this one-the fourth in the series-my first.Todays race wasn’t particularly promising either- a heavy cold since Thursday and awful conditions when we awoke.

Briony was excited to be back on the fells however, and once we passed Settle on the way up the rain eased off.I’ve watched this race but not ran it yet and it’s steep at the start, technical, and with this years extra dose of mud more than challenging along the top of the course.The distance is just over four miles with 250m of ascent, a challenging run.

We started and it’s a mad rush to get the 300 or so yards to the single track ascent to the top of the first hill. I misjudged it and found myself scrambling through the gorse next to the path trying to keep momentum up the hill. On top the course flattens for a mile or so, and is cross crossed with bogs and tussocks sapping our legs.

Unlike the recent cross country races I was faster than the people around me on the flat-hard ground and anything technical or boggy I would fall back a couple of places. We ran around the top of the valley into the strong wind to the summit of the next peak adjacent to where we start.

I counted twenty or so people in front of me, and I was neither gaining nor being overtaken so in kind of a run-come-bog trot traversed around the head of the valley to the descent. I managed to drag maybe three people in on the final hill prior to dropping onto the finish, but was reminded again these are fell runners as they came past me downhill like I was stood still!

I finished 20th overall, v happy and looking forward to the Fell season starting proper.

Briony came 2nd in her first fell race this year, and despite dragging herself up the first hill with a combination of eyeballs and willpower finished with her usual smile enjoyed it immensely.

Stephen Fish and Chris Brown were the other orange hoops on show and looked strong in their respective races

Andrew Holt at the Farleton Knott fell race. Photo by Geoff Thompson

Andrew Holt not in the mud at Whitestones but in warner times at the Farleton Knott fell race. Photo by Geoff Thompson

Full results

 

December’s Festive Roundup

Into December and on toward Christmas and the New Year, the cross-country season rolls on with guest appearances from the fell and road runners around the festive break.

To round off the year, there have been Junior wins, Senior wins, some dodgy fancy dress and a mass takeover of Pendle Hill. Grab a brew and the last of those mince pies and review the final month of the year, hopefully emerging inspired to take on 2018 in similar style.

Right, see if you can stand still without being blown off your feet!  Photo: Deborah Stevenson

Right, see if you can stand still without being blown off your feet! Photo: Deborah Stevenson

26 November – Lee Mill Relays

The running around the quarries and moors above Bacup is surprisingly tough and this year’s Lee Mill Relays, a recent and popular fixture on the calendar were made even tougher by proper wintry weather conditions. Clayton fielded 3 teams and Sarah Helliwell reports:

It was a cold and overcast morning as 3 Clayton teams made their way to Stubbylee Park near Bacup. As we parked up, it was obvious it was going to be snowy, frosty and boggy if you ‘stepped or fell’ into the wrong place!

We had 2 ladies teams who braved the conditions and 1 men’s team. The leg 1 runners had a tough start as they had to forge their route through thick snow, hidden tussocks and freezing cold bogs that many of the runners got stuck in! With the odd rain, sleet or snow shower depending what altitude you were running at, creating wintery conditions for the majority of the runners over the 6 mile course. Very tough and definitely character building.

The men can 5th overall with a time of 4.00.58, the team consisting of Carl Helliwell, Luke Turner, Russell Clarke and Chris Snell. Well done lads on some tough conditions.

Both ladies teams put in sterling efforts, with some of the ladies doing the event for the first time. The A team included Tara Robb, Rhiannon Wickham, Alison Dugdale and Jean Brown, with all of them having good runs and coming home as 3rd ladies team with a time of 4:50:37. The B team was a vet 40 team consisting of Angela Shian, Julia Rushton, Teresa De Curtis and Katy Thompson with a time of  6:00:11. A massive well done to all who ran and represented Team Clayton on a very demanding day.

Carl Helliwell blazes a trail on Leg 1. Photo: mick Fryer

Carl Helliwell blazes a trail on Leg 1. Photo: mick Fryer

Full Results

2 December – Red Rose Cross Country League Round 4

Marl Pits. Like Marmite. Some love it, some hate it. Either way there will be always be weapons grade mud at the final Red Rose League fixture and this year didn’t disappoint.

Jenson Bentham supplements his diet with Marl Pits mud. Photo: David Belshaw

Jenson Bentham supplements his diet with Marl Pits mud. Photo: David Belshaw

Junior Races

Highlight of the day was Ella Dorrington’s win in the U13G. Using her fell running strength on the hilly and muddy course, she tracked the 3 early leaders, put in the quickest final muddy descent of all of them and outsprinted the final two on the line. Helana White was close behind in 10th.

Robbie Smedley had his usual battle royal with former teammate Dexta Thompson and secured 2nd on the day with teammates Will Nicholls and Finley Stubbs securing 2nd team prize also.

In the U11s Charlie Barnes led the boys home in 27th and Amelia Halstead was 11th in the girls race.

Harrison Codd was first Clayton U15B in 12th and Millie Stubbs led our U15G girls home in 6th. Special mention to Sophie Ashworth who fell and tore ligaments in her ankle – we wish her a speedy recovery.

The U17B were led home by Josh Hall in 7th with Briony Holt our only U17G in 3rd place.

Our Juniors won several awards in the overall 4 race series:

2nd= U13B Robbie Smedley

3rd= U13G Ella Dorrington

3rd U17G Briony Holt

2nd U13B Team

 

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Ella Dorrington on her way to her first League XC win. Photo: David Belshaw

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Another race goes down to the wire. Season long rivals Robbie Smedley, Dexta Thompson and Joe Ormerod. Photo: David Belshaw

Briony Holt revelling in the conditions. Photo: David Belshaw

Briony Holt looking very relaxed on the slick descents. Photo: David Belshaw

Seniors

Danny Collinge beat the Bog of Doom in the woods to secure a classy win in the Senior race, and backed up by Dave Motley, Tom Brewster, Peter Coates, Matthew Duckworth and Carl Helliwell took 2nd place in the Team race. Our Vet Men performed well too, also taking 2nd Team with Peter Coates, Carl Helliwell, Andrew Holt and Andrew Orr.

In the Ladies, Cassie Darling was 26th (15th Vet too) and with Michelle Abbott and Irene Roche the Vet Women took 6th place in the Team race.

Here’s a report from Vet Andrew Holt:

“Having watched my kids run there, and listening to the more experienced runners at CLEM I knew that the annual Marl Pits mud fest would be to my liking, it was just a case of waiting for my shifts to line up at work.

Following a reasonable night shift on Friday, and with four XC events in my legs already this year I felt I’d be able to do myself justice running it. It felt warmer than before, but was still boggy and the course was cutting up nicely following the earlier kids runs.

I’d half an hour when I arrived, so the choice was either a recce of the course, or a 50p coffee as mine was cooling nicely on the kitchen table where I’d left it. The coffee won!

A quick warm up, pep talk from Briony (grind the hill, walk the bog and ur gonna love it!!) and we were under starters orders. For the first time this season I felt the field pull away from me on the opening lap. I wasn’t concerned as I hadn’t ran this week and didn’t want to blow up later, but was the lack of sleep/training gonna take its toll? The first lap was manic, lots of slipping and sliding, up until the bog where the gaps started appearing and we settled into our running.

I was able to hold the runners around me on the ascents, and gain ground on the downhills and through the numerous hazards. The cheering at the bottom of the hill was excellent, demanding commitment,  and I had the misfortune of a couple of pals from the mountain rescue giving me loads next to the wooden bridge, and any thought of resting was scuppered by coach Phil loitering in the field above the hill. The hills/bridges/bogs took care of themselves, and before I knew it I was on the last lap descending into the finish. I nearly got mugged on the line by one of the BOFRA runners I know (thanks Sarah for the warning) and ran in for my highest position so far this season.

I’m gonna plug my lad Curtis too for finishing this hard hard course despite barely no training and no doubt a hangover. I’m in front of him at the moment but I doubt that’s gonna last very long!

Superb running from everyone, baptism of fire for many. Now onto the flatter courses, starting at Leigh.”

The overall series results for Seniors/Vets included:

4th Vet Women 35-39 Cassie Darling

2nd Vet Women 65-69 Christine Egerton

3rd Vet Women 65-69 Christine Leathley

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Michelle Abbott loves mud. No really. Photo: David Belshaw

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Sarah Helliwell. Photo: David Belshaw

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Kirstie Higgins getting stuck in. Photo: David Belshaw

Marl Pits Results

Final Series Results

9 December  – Mid Lancs Cross Country League Round 3

The cross-country season returned to Leigh Village for the 2nd time this season, this time for the 3rd Mid Lancs counter.

Junior action saw Amelia Halstead have a great run in U11G for 6th, Robbie Smedley 6th in U13B, Helana White 13th in U13G, Michael Stevens 14th in U15B and Briony Holt 2nd in U17G. The U13B team were 2nd with Matthew Jackson and Will Nicholls scoring points.

Tara Robb led the Women home in 20th with Tom Brewster 37th in the Senior Men. Calum Holmes had a good run for 4th in the U20 Men and Richard Lawson was 3rd in V70 Men.

Our Vets teams were 3rd in V40 and 2nd in V50.

Full Results

16 December – Hurst Green Turkey Trot

A fancy dress competition masquerading as a race, the Turkey Trot is always a firm favourite at this time of year. Whilst the fancy dress makes identifying individuals difficult, the results show that Andrew Payne was first Clayton home in 6th and Tara Robb was 7th Lady. It’s hard to do justice to all the fabulous fancy dress efforts that day but Michelle Abbott and Cassie Darling made it ‘Mario-Time!’ with their outfit, backed up by Lennon in his own inimitable style…

It's-a-Me!! Guess who? Photo: David Belshaw

It’s-a-Me!! Guess who? Photo: David Belshaw

Jenson Bentham kept it rubber side down this time, to chase Helana White. Photo: David Belshaw

Jenson Bentham kept it rubber side down this time, to chase Helana White. Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results

24 December – Christmas Eve social up Pendle Hill

Strong winds and clag on the tops didn’t deter a large group of Juniors and Seniors from trekking up Pendle Hill to temporarily claim the trig platform as their own. Our own super-photographer David Belshaw also displayed his amazing time-travelling ability to almost be in two places at once with photos from the fell gate and then photos back in the car park as many of the runners returned. Personally, I think we should get him a vest and get him out racing..

Everybody look at me! Photo: David Belshaw

Everybody look at me! Photo: David Belshaw

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I’d hold onto those Santa hats if I were you. Photo: David Belshaw

26 December – Whinberry Naze Fell Race

More fancy dress on show here for the fellrunner’s traditional hangover cure on Boxing Day. With a race distance of less than 4 miles but with over 750ft of climb, it’s always a bit of a rude awakening for the slightly befuddled, climbing steeply from the start before a correspondingly fast descent back down. Not before passing the trig and collecting a packet of Smarties from Santa though. Bonus points for those that can eat them on the way down without choking.

Fancy dress winner Shrek aka Julia Hartley and her movice co-stars. Photo: Kath Brady

Fancy dress winner Shrek aka Julia Hartley and her movie co-stars. Photo: Kath Brady

Full Results

31 December Ribble Valley 10k

Incorporating the North of England Championships this race always attracts a quality field with Olympians Jonny Brownlee and Laura Weightman amongst the star runners this year.

Jacob Watson claimed the honour of fastest Clayton runner in 71st and 35:10, whilst Richard Stevenson was quickest Vet with 37:39.

Claire Vincent was quickest Clayton woman in 43:17 and Lisa Johnson our fastest Vet woman in 52:56. Super Coach Marion Wilkinson won the V75 category overall with a predictive time for the following New Years Day of 01:01:01.

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The amazing Marion Wilkinson. Photo: David Belshaw

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Richard Stevenson chases Dave Motley. Photo: David Belshaw

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Calum Holmes digs in. Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results

 

Remember, remember, the Roundup in November

As we head through Autumn and toward Winter proper, the mud has been building and the cross-country races coming thick and fast. Two Red Rose fixtures and the expanded Mid Lancs fixture at the Liverpool National Cross Series have kept our runners and teams busy this month. There’s been a season’s swansong too for the fell runners at our very own classic, the Tour of Pendle.

11 November – Red Rose Cross Country League Round 2

Astley Park, Chorley was the venue for the 2nd round of this popular series with it’s course mix of fast flowing grassland, woodland trails and ankle eating bogs.

Juniors

Amelia Halstead had a great run in U11G for her first top ten placing this season, and Helana White also produced a stormer for 4th in U13G in her first season in this age group. Robbie Smedley (also in his first year in the age group) continued his good run of form in U13B with a 3rd place and was backed up by Finlay Stubbs and William Nicholls with the boys taking 2nd in the team competition. Josh Hall took 5th in the U17B and Briony Holt 3rd in U17G.

Amelia Halstead on her way to 10th. Photo: David Belshaw.

Amelia Halstead on her way to 10th. Photo: David Belshaw.

Helana White on her way to 4th in U13G. Photo: David Belshaw

Helana White on her way to 4th in U13G. Photo: David Belshaw

Matthew Jackson getting stuck in. Photo: David Belshaw

Matthew Jackson getting stuck in. Photo: David Belshaw

Kaliska Clarke. Photo: David Belshaw.

Kaliska Clarke. Photo: David Belshaw.

Seniors

Danny Collinge led the Senior men home for 10th place, with Tara Robb the first lady home in 20th. The Men’s team were 4th overall and the Ladies 6th with some great individual performances to secure those team positions.

Report from Ladies XC Team Manager, Donna Airey:

We had a fantastic 20 ladies take part in the 2nd Red Rose Fixture. Weather was great, a bit chilly but fine at least and there was plenty of mud for our ladies to enjoy.

Tara Robb was our first lady finisher in 20th Place

Team Results

6th Place, Tara Robb/Liz Mullan/Cassie Smedley

Ladies Vets

10th Place, Cassie Smedley/Michelle Abbot/Irene Roche

Cassie Smedley. Photo: David Belshaw.

Cassie Smedley. Photo: David Belshaw.

Chorley Bog. Photo: David Belshaw

Chorley Bog. Photo: David Belshaw

Julia Rushton. Photo: David Belshaw

Julia Rushton. Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results

18 November – Red Rose Cross Country League Round 3

Hot on the heels of Round 2, it was off to Leverhulme Park, Bolton and the familiar mixed grass and hills course for the 3rd round of the League.

Juniors

In the Juniors, Robbie Smedley finally pulled off a fantastic win in the U13B, something he had been working hard toward for a while. A mixture of good racecraft and guts saw him beat perennial rival and friend Dexta Thompson, formerly of Clayton. The U13B team (with William Nicholls and Matthew Jackson) picked up a strong 2nd place as a result. Briony Holt also went one place better than in previous round for 2nd in the U17G.

Seniors

In the Seniors, Tom Brewster led the men home in 27th, whilst the U20 men of Callum Holmes, Reece Lawrence and Simon Wilshaw were 1st team. Andrew Holt has continued to get faster and faster this season and took 16th in the Vets.

Report from Ladies XC Team Manager Donna Airey:

We had 12 ladies take part in the 3rd fixture in the Red Rose league

Our first lady finisher was Cassie Smedley in 21st place who described the course as wet, muddy, hills and grass but was a good race and enjoyed it.

Team Results

7th Place, Cassie Smedley/Michelle Abbot/Jean Knightley

Full Results

18 November – Tour of Pendle

Chris Holdsworth. Photo: David Belshaw

Chris Holdsworth on his way to victory. Photo: David Belshaw

At the same time as the Red Rose League was taking place in Bolton, the club’s keen fell runners were battling their way round the classic Tour of Pendle route. A clear and relatively benign day eased most of the navigational and weather challenges, but there was still plenty of water in the bogs to entertain and keep things appropriately ‘Pendle’. Our own Chris Holdsworth capped a fantastic season of fell and mountain running and proved his fell credentials yet again with a storming victory over the 17 mile course in 2:19:16. Hot on his heels, and in 3rd place (overall!) was Victoria Wilkinson who smashed Angela Mudge’s long standing womens record with a truly outstanding run for 2:23:25!

Dave Motley down Geronimo. Photo: David Belshaw

Dave Motley down Geronimo. Photo: David Belshaw

Matthew Duckworth gets it a bit sideways... Photo: David Belshaw

Matthew Duckworth gets it a bit sideways… Photo: David Belshaw

First timer Andrew Howarth reports:

This was my 1st time doing the Tour of Pendle after sort of being talked into it by Ste Ainsworth, Chris Funnell and Andy Foster on our Sunday runs and during Tuesday training. Ste and my main aim was to support Andy round so he could get his points for 3 Peaks as he had been injured for a short period and we were just going to have a go “for a laugh”.

We did a recce of the first half a few weeks before as foolishly I was most concerned about the CP4 cut off time – how daft that was!!! Race day was a bit cloudy to start but we knew it would soon clear and got registered numbers etc before a quick brew and double check of kit and maps then joined the throng for the start. Our intention was to start steady and hopefully finish steady having heard grim tales of grown men weeping on the Big End. We set off sort of mid pack-ish and followed the path of muddy prints up onto Buttock and the 1st bit of the climb before seeing David Belshaw. His shout of “glad I’m not running” had me thinking ‘how the hell did he get from Burnley Parkrun to his photo position so quick – I wish I could move that fast’.

It was great to get to the trig and see so many people about encouraging runners, and we fell into a nice comfy rhythm that carried us over the stile and through the mud. Before we knew it seemed we were descending Geronimo to CP4 with a good 25 minutes to spare. We stuck to our plan and stopped for 2 minutes to water and fuel up as we knew the worst was to come. We set off up the trail back over to the Nick and the climb to the memorial before the drop to Mearley which did surprise me and not in a good way!! I managed to only slip the once climbing into the Clough before the ascent and this was the toughest for me as my calves were on fire and I felt like I was literally crawling and getting nowhere. In fact half way up, I considered throwing myself down the hill to be carried back to Barley by Mountain Rescue or doing a Laurel and Hardy with some feathers and getting a St Bernard to rescue me with a barrel of brandy but Ste’s encouragement from behind pushed me on and we summited by the cairn. Andy was a short way behind having cramped a bit so we sorted ourselves out with some excellent peanut butter fudge and set off for the last challenge of the Big End.

I found this easier as I knew it was the last climb but Andy said he was hallucinating about a shimmering pint at the top that got no closer! After that it was good to not be on a 90 degree surface and we set a decent pace back off from the trig, down Ogden to the finish, managing a strong finish and passing a few more knackered people on the way in (hill reps pay it seems for a finish). After managing to get dressed without the aid of our fingers or hips it appeared, we retired to the Pendle Inn to discuss the event and had decided before any alcohol that we would do it again next year. This was one of the best organized and marshalled events I have done locally and would like to thank the organizers and volunteers for a grand day out.

Tour of Pendle outtakes…

Suboptimal for shorts longevity, Mr Motley... Photo: David Belshaw

Sub-optimal for shorts longevity, Mr Motley… Photo: David Belshaw

Definitely a 'special' line down Geronimo, Andy Bradley! Photo: David Belshaw

Definitely a ‘special’ line down Geronimo, Andy Bradley! Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results

25 November – Mid Lancs XC League Round 2

The Mid Lancs League incorporates itself once a year in the much bigger National Cross Challenge Series round held at Sefton Park. Whilst competing in the Mid Lancs League for points, this also gives athletes the chance to race in a large national standard field against some of the very best cross-country runners in the country.

On a cold but dry morning in Liverpool and in the midst of top-flyte national standard opposition for the National Cross Challenge race, our Clayton Juniors all acquitted themselves really well with a particular mention to Amelia Halstead coming 20th in the U11G, Robbie Smedley 27th in U13B,  and Ella Dorrington 28th in U13G.

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Robbie Smedley. Photo: David Belshaw

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Imogen Ferguson. Photo: David Belshaw

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Will Nicholls. Photo: David Belshaw

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Briony Holt. Photo: David Belshaw

Ladies XC Team Manager Donna Airey reports:

After traffic delays on nearly every motorway to Liverpool, 13 ladies managed to get there in time before the gun went off. Sefton Park was cold, wet, sunny and extremely muddy.
Our first lady finisher was Liz Mullan followed closely by Amanda Duffy who missed the start due to gassing!
Team Results
19th Place, Elizabeth Mullan/Amanda Duffy/Irene Roche
Over 35
11th Place, Amanda Duffy/Irene Roche/Julia Rushton
Over 45
6th Place, Irene Roche/Julia Rushton/Nerina Gill

Full Results for the National Cross Challenge

Full Results for Mid Lancs League

 

It’s Autumn, it’s October and the Roundup is back!

Robbie Smedley at Red Rose Round 1. Photo David Belshaw.

Robbie Smedley at Red Rose Round 1. Photo David Belshaw.

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.

1 October

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.

Junior Races
First Clayton boys and girls home were Charlie Barnes 1st in the U9 race and Ellisia Smedley 7th, Robbie Smedley 2nd in the U11 race and Helana White 8th, with William Nicholls 4th in the U13 race.  Josh Hall was 1st in the U15 race (13th overall) and Sophie Ashworth 7th, both running the full race distance. Special mention too to Peter Stevens who had a great race to take 2nd behind Josh, having only run a handful of fell races previously.
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Helana White

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William Nicholls

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Peter Stevens

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SPRINT! Lennon Jackson and Sophie Ashworth

All photos David Belshaw

Senior Race

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.

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George Pier looking determined. Photo David Belshaw.

Junior Results

Senior Results

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:

It was a wet windy day as the team made its way to Patterdale. The course had been shorten and changed due to the weather with all 4 routes staying on the east side of the valley. The main changes were that leg 2 was shorten with the major climb up to High Street taken out and leg 3 and 4 were 2 and 1 in reverse..
Leg 1 was led out by Wendy Dodds (9 weeks after breaking her ankle) & Anna Kelly as they left the field from Patterdale in the only bit of dry weather that day! This soon changed as they hit the fells and the heavens opened. Both ladies made good ground over the tops and gave the team a good start as they dropped down into Hartsop to pass the baton onto Alison Dugdale and Tara Robb for leg 2.
As Alison and Tara made their way up to Kirkstone Pass the visibility became poor as they carried on with a good pace. They made good choices to find the checkpoints before descending out of the mist to pass onto Jean Brown and Claire Vincent waiting in the pouring rain at Kirkstone.
Good route choices again by Jean and Claire as the found the reverse checkpoints in atrocious weather. Before the tricky decent back down to Hartsop and the cloud line before passing the baton onto Linda Bostock and Katy Thompson. Linda and Katy climbed back over Angle Tarn before retracing the route back to Patterdale.
All the ladies did really well in tough conditions, poor visibility and sudden alternative route changes. A big thank you to all who ran and well done. On an impressive note Wendy Dodds has completed a total of 30 Hodgson Relays and in the words of Anna Kelly “she is a machine”, hopefully there will be many more to come. A great achievement.

Full Results

14 October

Red Rose Cross Country League – Round 1

Photo David Belshaw

Photo David Belshaw

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.

Charlie Barnes. Photo David Belshaw.

Charlie Barnes. Photo David Belshaw.

Harrison Codd. Photo David Belshaw.

Harrison Codd. Photo David Belshaw.

Millie Stubbs. Photo David Belshaw.

Millie Stubbs. Photo David Belshaw.

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.

Full Results

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.

Photo Tina Holt

Reece Lawrence, Curtis Holt and Simon Wilshaw. Photo Tina Holt

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.

Full Results

15th October

British Fell Relay Championships

Chris Holdsworth. Photo Paul Shackleton

Chris Holdsworth. Photo Paul Shackleton

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.

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Sarah Helliwell

Jean Brown and Tara Robb (SH)

Jean Brown and Tara Robb. Photo Sarah Helliwell.

Full Results

 

Run it fast, run it long, run it any which way!

This week you’ve recorded times from 4 mins 45 seconds to 33 hours 56 minutes and lots more in between with some short and snappy runs, some really loong ones and some pretty soggy ones too. And there’s been racing action abroad too with more Ironman competition. In other words, the usual spectacular celebration of running (and swimming and cycling) exploits from the Clayton membership. Fantastic stuff.

Wednesday

Padiham Greenway

Organising his first senior race, Junior Coach Jason Pier did a super job with this popular fixture on the Burnley and Pendle Grand Prix series, which ran like clockwork and attracted a record 180 seniors to race on a warm, balmy mid week night.

Fast Wharfedale Senior James Hall blazed into the finish in under 16 minutes with 15:44, followed by our own Danny Collinge in 16:29. From then on, the flood of Clayton runners was pretty constant, with many PBs and course bests peppering the results.

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PB for George Pier. Photo: David Belshaw

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Donna Airey. Photo: David Belshaw

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‘What do you mean I didn’t run quick enough?!’ Nick Hennessey was 1st Junior home in a speedy sub 18 minutes. Photo: David Belshaw

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Thank. Goodness. That’s. Over… Lucy Stevenson. Photo: David Belshaw

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Christine Leathley brings it home. Photo: David Belshaw

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Bit more work needed on the double thumbs up Cassie Smedley? Photo: David Belshaw

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Time
2 Danny Collinge MS (002/031) 00:16:29
8 Luke Turner MS (005/031) 00:17:16
9 Matthew Duckworth MS (006/031) 00:17:26
14 Nicholas Hennessey MJ (001/003) 00:17:49
17 Jonathan Pye MS (010/031) 00:18:06
19 George Pier MS (012/031) 00:18:21
27 Kevin Davies M55 (001/012) 00:18:49
33 Paul Hesketh M50 (002/016) 00:19:22
34 James Boult MS (018/031) 00:19:29
35 Gareth Berry M40 (006/026) 00:19:29
40 Mick Hughes M40 (008/026) 00:19:41
42 David Moynihan M50 (003/016) 00:19:52
43 James Dunderdale MS (021/031) 00:19:54
45 Reece Lawrence MJ (002/003) 00:20:01
46 John Roche M55 (003/012) 00:20:05
48 Michael Clarke M40 (011/026) 00:20:13
51 Sean Clare M50 (004/016) 00:20:19
52 Andy Bradley M50 (005/016) 00:20:21
53 Paul Foster M45 (006/012) 00:20:27
54 Craig Nicholls M40 (012/026) 00:20:34
56 Adam Stephenson MS (023/031) 00:20:38
59 Elizabeth Mullan FS (001/012) 00:20:53
67 Cassandra Smedley F35 (003/018) 00:21:24
72 Robert Morrison M45 (008/012) 00:21:46
73 Donna Airey F35 (004/018) 00:21:54
75 Chris Lawrence M50 (010/016) 00:22:07
78 Colin White M40 (013/026) 00:22:23
82 Jeffrey Pickup M65 (001/004) 00:22:31
84 James Hickie M55 (005/012) 00:22:40
86 Carl Carey M45 (010/012) 00:22:46
87 Michelle Abbott F35 (005/018) 00:22:49
99 Aaron Lundie MJ (003/003) 00:23:45
102 Nina Kewin F35 (006/018) 00:24:03
103 Nerina Gill F45 (002/007) 00:24:05
106 Julia Rushton F50 (003/008) 00:24:11
108 J Pollard F45 (003/007) 00:24:15
109 Ian Hargreaves M50 (014/016) 00:24:18
112 Lisa Ellis F35 (008/018) 00:24:28
117 David I. Scott M70 (002/002) 00:24:38
119 Jane Ryan F40 (003/008) 00:24:41
122 Bryn Barnes M65 (003/004) 00:24:52
124 Colin Woolford M40 (020/026) 00:24:55
125 Andrew Taylor M55 (009/012) 00:24:55
130 Lucy Scott FS (008/012) 00:25:12
133 Richard Lawson M75 (001/001) 00:25:29
134 Mark R. Knowles M40 (022/026) 00:25:32
141 Michelle Butschok F40 (004/008) 00:26:14
144 Rebecca Bradshaw FS (011/012) 00:26:38
145 Jane Hylands F45 (004/007) 00:26:42
148 Deborah Greenwood F45 (005/007) 00:27:06
152 Helen Burnett F45 (006/007) 00:27:30
156 Julia Taylor F55 (001/004) 00:28:39
163 Judith Carey F35 (016/018) 00:29:24
166 Geraldine Varley F55 (004/004) 00:30:03
167 Christine Egerton F65 (001/002) 00:30:06
171 Ron Chappell M65 (004/004) 00:30:44
172 Jack McGuire M60 (008/008) 00:30:53
174 Lucy Stevenson FJ (002/002) 00:31:18
175 Sharon Wilson F40 (008/008) 00:31:30
176 Anita Jones F60 (003/004) 00:32:07
177 Christine Leathley F65 (002/002) 00:32:09

Full Results Seniors

Junior races

There was also a record turnout of 83 juniors for these races, a large section of whom were Clayton Juniors. There were age group wins for Freya Birtwistle (U9G), Helena White (U13G), Tom Holden (U17B) and Millie Stubbs (U17G). Podium places were also occupied by Robbie Smedley (U13B), Finley Stubbs (U13B), Michael Stevens (U15B), Adam Stephenson (U15B), Ella Dorrington (U15G), Jay Bowman (U17B), Kaliska Clarke (U17G) and Alfie White (U17B). All our Juniors ran brilliantly and were smiling at one point or another during the proceedings.

Emily Johnson looking good and heading to the finish. Photo: David Belshaw

Emily Johnson looking good and heading to the finish. Photo: David Belshaw

U7/U9

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Time
13 Charlie Plant M9 (007/008) 00:04:45
15 Ruby Cleaver F9 (005/008) 00:05:01
16 Freya Birtwistle F7 (001/001) 00:05:08
21 Olly Plant M9 (008/008) 00:05:27
22 Emily Johnson F9 (008/008) 00:05:30

U11/U13

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Time
2 Robbie Smedley M13 (002/009) 00:06:46
3 Finley Stubbs M13 (003/009) 00:07:12
5 Matthew Jackson M13 (005/009) 00:07:16
9 Helana White F13 (001/006) 00:07:25
14 Nathan Kewin M13 (007/009) 00:07:56
19 Charlie Barnes M11 (006/015) 00:08:09
26 Toby Birtwistle M11 (011/015) 00:08:30
28 Imogen Ferguson F13 (005/006) 00:08:41
36 Fraser Anforth M11 (015/015) 00:09:37
38 Emily Nicholls F11 (008/010) 00:09:45
39 Ellisia Smedley F11 (009/010) 00:10:14
40 Joni Higgins F11 (010/010) 00:10:57
Michael Stevens chased winner Jack Villiers hard in the U15 race. Photo: David Belshaw

Michael Stevens chased winner Jack Villiers hard in the U15 race. Photo: David Belshaw

Beth Wheatcroft and Kaliska in the U15G race. Photo: David Belshaw

Beth Wheatcroft and Kaliska Clarke in the U15G race. Photo: David Belshaw

U15/U17

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Time
2 Michael Stevens M15 (002/006) 00:10:58
3 Adam Stevenson M15 (003/006) 00:11:33
4 Lennon Jackson M15 (004/006) 00:11:40
5 Tom Holden M17 (001/003) 00:11:58
6 Harrison L. Codd M15 (005/006) 00:11:59
7 Jay Bowman M17 (002/003) 00:12:00
9 Ella Dorrington F15 (002/009) 00:12:13
10 Millie Stubbs F17 (001/002) 00:12:29
11 William Nicholls M15 (006/006) 00:12:52
13 Kaliska Clarke F17 (002/002) 00:13:18
14 Bethany Wheatcroft F15 (004/009) 00:13:23
15 Alfie White M17 (003/003) 00:13:37
17 Natasha Olszewska F15 (006/009) 00:13:52
18 Heidi Kewin F15 (007/009) 00:14:08
19 Keira Stevenson F15 (008/009) 00:15:33
20 Bronia Olszewska F15 (009/009) 00:15:58

Full Results Juniors

Lee Mill Fell Race

This midweek Rossendale Harriers fixture over 6 miles takes competitors on an industrial fell-tour of some of Rossendale’s largest stoneworking sites, past and present, with some good old fashioned moorland running thrown in too. Won by Phil Marsden from Horwich RMI, Chris Snell was the first Clayton runner home in 7th, with Alan Life in 11th and Stephen Fish in 47th.

Full Results

Thursday

Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round

Along with the Guides races, the Rydal Round makes up the fell running attractions at Ambleside Sports. This longstanding AM race is held over 9 miles and 300ft of climb. Matt Perry was 12th in a fast time of 1:31:33 behind winner Simon Bailey (Mercia) in 1:23:37, Richard Briscoe was 63nd in 1:57:30 and Alan Dorrington 72nd in 2:03:32. 144 runners started.

Alan Dorrington reports:

“Chasing Briscoes in the mist… that was the theme for this Fairfield Horseshoe by another name. Following pretty much the same course, save for the initial climb up Nab Scar and a little bit of contouring around rather than over intermediate peaks, the weather during the round deteriorated reasonably decisively as a heavy rain shower and strong winds blew in over Fairfield summit. Depending on where you were in the field, this meant being buffeted and drenched at some point, some escaping the worst and others like myself being battered by the weather over the rougher rocky sections over Fairfield and down to Link Hause.

It had started innocuously enough, as I found myself pacing the long initial climb up to Heron Pike, only for Richard Briscoe to stride past at the bottom of the climb. Assuming he had been out clubbing till 4am the night before/raced for 3 days previously/was severly dehydrated* (*delete as applicable), I happily let him go and marvelled instead at the sight of Simon Bailey running the top section of the climb, some considerable way above me. I resolved to catch Richard later in the race for sure.

Except I didn’t, and he remained, tantalisingly, a short distance in front all the way over toward Fairfield and as the mist came in. The rain and wind and clag did for the vision through my glasses and reduced my pace to an embarassingly slow crawl over the rocky sections to Hart Crag till lower ground was gained, it stopped blowing a hooly and I could see again. Except there was no sign of Richard. He’d had a good run over the back side of the course and finished well on the now sodden descent back through Brock Crags and along to the sports field. Next time…

Alan Dorrington makes his way through the rain and clag on Fairfield. Photo: Stephen Wilson/GrandDayOut

Alan Dorrington makes his way through the rain and clag on Fairfield. Photo: Stephen Wilson/GrandDayOut

Full Results

Ambleside Sports Guides Races – BOFRA

Along with Grasmere, this is one of the oldest and more prestigious Guides Races in the country, following the usual ‘stupid steep up and then down’ format of Guides Races over the years.

Briony Holt revels in this kind of flat out racing up and down 45 degree slopes and took 2nd place in the U17G race by a clear margin behind perpetual rival, Rosie Woodhams. Her time over the same course as the Senior race would have placed her as 2nd Lady in that race too…

Briony Holt in full flight. Photo: Woodentops

Briony Holt in full flight. Photo: Woodentops

In the Senior race won by Rob Hope in 14:15, a plucky Richard Briscoe decided to see just how wrecked his legs might be from the Rydal Round a couple of hours before but still managed a respectable 21:39 and 59th with Andrew Firth in 72nd. Chapeau!

Here’s Richard’s report:

“On Thursday I decided to do the Rydal Round and the short Bofra race at Ambleside Sports. I had to to the Bofra race to try and get 8 championship races in. The main race is the Rydal round a cracking race was a good turn out. Three Clayton runners did the long race Matt Perry, Alan Dorrington, and myself. I started very well behind Matt but in front of Alan. I saw him behind me so I had to improve my game to stop him. The weather wasn’t good especially on top of Fairfield so had to be quick to get round. I managed the race and was faster than previous times. I felt good so I did the 2nd race as well the short Bofra race. Andy Firth and myself did it.”

Richard Briscoe feelsthe pain of 2fast race finishes in about as many hours. Photo: Woodentops

Richard Briscoe feels the pain of 2 fast race finishes in about as many hours. Photo: Woodentops

Andrew Firth on his way to the finish at Ambleside Sports. Photo: Woodentops

Andrew Firth on his way to the finish at Ambleside Sports. Photo: Woodentops

Full Results

Friday

Lakeland 100

Grim, overwhelming, stomach churning and unforgettable. That was just the portable toilets at this years Lakeland 100/50 event, never mind the tough, iconic ultra distance courses and traditional Lakeland ‘weather’ on offer to hardy ultra runners this weekend.

The M*A*S*H themed support station at Dalemain. Photo: Adrienne Olszewska

The M*A*S*H themed support station at Dalemain. Photo: Adrienne Olszewska

Put simply, Martin Terry had a knockout performance in the Lakeland 100. He ran consistently well throughout the race and was looking happy and strong at Dalemain checkpoint. He continued to race steadily and, despite a temporary period of tiredness in the later stages, managed to pick off a few runners to finish in 17th place overall with a time of 26:09:03. There are no age categories in the race but that position would have been 1st V50.

Andrew Armstrong finished in 113th place with a time of 33:56:30 despite suffering from sickness and struggling to refuel throughout, opting for a liquid diet of flat Coke and a single cup of soup between miles 25 and 75. Andy does like to keep things simple and minimal, but we’re not sure that nutrition strategy will fully catch on in the ultra world. Nor will the acquisition of trench foot due to the wet conditions that battered the 223 finishers in the 100 race for much of the weekend.

Congratulations to both on a truly mammoth accomplishment. Trench foot pictures withheld due to upsetting content.

Also a special mention to Clayton Juniors Natasha and Bronia Olszewska who worked really hard all weekend at the Dalemain checkpoint, looking after the 100 mile runners brilliantly.

Bronia and Natasha - experienced ultra helpers. Photo: SportSunday

Bronia and Natasha – experienced ultra helpers. Photo: SportSunday

Full Results to follow

Saturday

Lakeland 50

Andy Laycock had a fantastic run in the 50 mile event, starting on Saturday. He was in first position for the first half of the race until he was overtaken by Casper Kaars Sijpesteijn who then went on to break the course record. Andy finished in 07:51:42.

Full Results to follow

Pilling 10k

Laura Hesketh had a fantastic run here, placing 1st Lady in 35:23 (a PB), and 7th overall. This continues her super run of form in recent races including last weeks Sale Sizzler 5k (16:44) and which has seen her place 16th overall in the UK rankings, the highest position ever for a Clayton senior lady.

Full Results

Turnslack Fell Race

This 8 mile race with 2001ft of climb starts out of Calderbrook near Littelborough and heads out over Hades Hill to Ramsden Clough before returning over Shore Moor. The race was won by Mike Fanning from Holmfirth in 1:10:52 and Paul Hesketh, Jack Holt and Jeffrey Pickup ran coming in 17th, 30th and 48th respectively.

Full Results

Cowling Gala Fell Race – BOFRA

Helana White popped across the border to this local gala fell race with its stone wall obstacled finish and came back with a 3rd place in the U12G race. And probably an ice cream.

Whoosh! Helana White getting those arms in the air. Photo: Woodentops

Whoosh! Helana White getting those arms in the air. Photo: Woodentops

Full Results

Sunday

Sabden Fell Race

This English Hill Runners fixture takes in a 5.25 mile loop from Sabden over the quieter end of Pendle with some nice contouring running amongst a couple of stiff climbs giving around 1500ft of climbing. Dave Motley got his race face on as well as the bit between his teeth, and took a fine second place behind winner Grant Cunliffe of Rossendale Harriers with support from Chris Snell in 8th, Rick Moore in 31st and Peter Dugdale in 44th.

'You looking at me?' Dave Motley leading a group up onto Pendle. Photo: David Belshaw

‘You looking at me?’ Dave Motley leading the chasing group up onto Pendle with Chris Snell in close attendance. Photo: David Belshaw

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Time
2 Dave Motley MS (002/008) 00:43:22
8 Christopher Snell MS (006/008) 00:46:19
31 Rick Moore M50 (013/016) 00:59:47
44 Peter Dugdale M60 (005/005) 01:18:11

Full Results

Ironman Switzerland

After Jon Cleaver’s recent efforts at Ironman UK, Vicky Heys has earned the right now to a very specific tattoo with a successful completion of Ironman Switzerland. Or Schweize/Suisse/Svizzera/Svizra depending on your language preference. Despite the multiple language options in Switzerland, the Ironman format remains the same: a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.16 km) run. A long way in other words…

Angela Shian sent us this report as presumably Vicky is putting her feet up somewhere and refuelling with cheese and chocolate:

“Vicky Heys is an Ironman!!!

Vicky is mostly known for racing the fells, being noisy at cross country….!! And has ran the odd road relay for us (with a little persuasion!). However this year her Inov8s have had to take a back seat. Vicky has always competed very well in local triathlons, but it seems that this is not enough of a challenge for her! Vicky and Julia Hartley booked to take part in the Switzerland Ironman, 2.4mile open water swim, 112 bike, then finish off with a full marathon, all this in hot and humid conditions. The hard training of 2017 paid off, she ran over the finishing line in 13hrs 40, in 17th position in her age category. Congratulations on the mammoth achievement, Vicky can now have a well earned rest, well until Yorkshireman marathon next month anyway….!!!”

Congratulations from all of us too!

Parkrun

Burnley parkrun – a total of 356 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
1 Tom BREWSTER 17:25 SM30-34
2 Nicholas HENNESSEY 18:13 JM15-17 New PB!
3 Jonathan PYE 18:28 SM25-29
7 Michael STEVENS 19:20 JM11-14
18 Mick HUGHES 20:54 VM40-44
38 Chris LAWRENCE 22:35 VM50-54
43 Charlie BARNES 22:44 JM10
49 Cassandra Darling SMEDLEY 22:51 VW35-39
50 Michelle ABBOTT 22:53 VW35-39
53 Sarah ANGELONE 23:10 SW30-34
56 Colin WHITE 23:14 VM40-44
74 David Ian SCOTT 23:57 VM70-74
76 Robbie SMEDLEY 24:05 JM11-14
78 Nina KEWIN 24:11 VW35-39
90 Bryn BARNES 24:59 VM65-69
97 Toby BIRTWISTLE 25:13 JM10
98 Charlie BIRTWISTLE 25:14 JM11-14
115 Lynsey BIRTWISTLE 25:57 VW35-39
117 Justin BIRTWISTLE 26:01 VM40-44
139 Heidi KEWIN 26:49 JW11-14
230 Judith CAREY 30:34 VW35-39
232 Marion WILKINSON 30:52 VW75-79
234 Stuart BARKER 30:59 VM50-54
240 Ella DORRINGTON-LEVY 31:06 JW11-14
242 Robert HIRST 31:08 VM65-69
246 Ron CHAPPELL 31:12 VM65-69
253 Ellisia SMEDLEY 31:52 JW10

Rugby parkrun – a total of 171 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
9 Sean CLARE 20:32 VM50-54

Harrogate parkrun – a total of 373 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
275 Emily JOHNSON 31:15 JW10
276 Lisa JOHNSON 31:16 VW45-49

Sewerby parkrun – a total of 234 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
71 Sophie ASHWORTH 24:53 JW11-14
94 Thomas ASHWORTH 27:00 JM10

Lyme Park parkrun – a total of 126 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
55 Katy THOMPSON 28:00 VW60-64
67 Paul THOMPSON 28:49 VM45-49

Pendle parkrun – a total of 81 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
5 Paul BRANNON 20:58 VM55-59
20 Eleanor Betty ROOT 25:04 JW15-17
24 Dawn TERRY 25:56 VW50-54
25 Barry MITCHELL  26:09 VM70-74
58 Yvonne WICKHAM  32:12 VW50-54
64 Grace Georgina ROOT  33:21 JW11-14
81 John HARTLEY  53:55 VM60-64

Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – a total of 241 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
140 Eileen JONES 00:29:27 VW65-69

Witton parkrun – a total of 62 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
24 Stephen FISH 27:47 VM60-64
62 Julia RUSHTON 48:47 VW50-54

Lytham Hall parkrun – a total of 150 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
36 Philip NAYLOR 23:42 VM40-44

Lancaster parkrun – a total of 218 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
130 Doug MUNROE 31:42 VM70-74

Blackpool parkrun – a total of 173 runners took part.

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
92 Christine Jennifer EGERTON 29:43 VW65-69
120 Christine LEATHLEY 32:06 VW65-69

 

 

Hills, hills and more hills!

With a few notable exceptions who went looong, you’ve been hitting the hills this week. Welsh hills, Lakeland hills and our very own local hills. Those gruesome hill rep sessions seem to have been paying off as there have been outstanding individual performances, some great team camaraderie and a lot of miles covered by you all. Belt up for a roller coaster ride this week!

Tuesday

Ian Terry Memorial 5k

Jane Hylands FV45 was Clayton’s sole representative in this midweek 5k won by M. O’Malley in 16:20. Jane came in 38th in 25:46.

Full Results

Friday

Sedbergh Sports fell race

Short and steep, this AS race packs in 1300ft of climb in its short 3.5m length. Won by Josh Boyle MU23 in 25:37, Wendy Dodds FV60 was 31st in 38:49 and Stephen Fish MV60 36th in 43:00. Stephen sent this report in:

“Always keen to try a race I’ve not previously done I headed up the M6 for the Friday evening event held just outside Sedbergh, in a field next to Buckbank Lane, just off the A683.

Sedbergh Sports is a typical Cumbrian local show with plenty of novelty events for children and adults, comprising of 3 legged, sack, potato, tyre rolling, sprint, ½ mile handicap, 1 mile handicap races, plus the fell races for U7s upwards.

The senior route took us out, after a lap of the show field, along Buckbank Lane before the steep ascent of Knott. On the initial part of the climb I managed to eventually pass Wendy Dodds and was amazed to look up and see the eventual race winner, Josh Boyle, actually running the climb. Wendy and I were in walking mode at this point and it wasn’t long before she came past me again and it stayed that way for the remainder of the race. Once Knott was conquered the ascent up onto Sickers Fell ensued, followed by a fast, exhilarating, descent into the show field. Despite having what I thought was a decent run, I only finished 36 out of 38 runners.

A very good ‘BOFRA’ style race, which had a bit of everything. One I would recommend, certainly justifying its category ‘A’ status, despite the tarmac portion at the beginning.”

Full Results

Saturday

Snowdon Race

The big fixture of the weekend was the Snowdon Race. Held since 1976, its 10 miles up and down format on Wales’ highest mountain has led to its classic status on the mountain running calendar. Incidentally the male record for this race has stood since 1985, being one of Kenny Stuart’s enduring times from that golden era of fell/mountain running – an amazing 1:02:29.

A large contingent of Clayton runners made their way to the top bit of Snowdonia for the start in Llanberis. Quickest up and down in somewhat claggy conditions, and with the added cachet of wearing an England vest for the second time was Chris Holdsworth. He came a stunning 4th place in 1:09:17, 1 second off 3rd place and 3rd English counter behind the Italian winner Magnini in 1:06:42.

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Chris Holdsworth pushing hard on the descent. Photo: Deborah Stevenson

Behind a cast of, well maybe not thousands but 10s of Clayton vests supported him with special mention going to Richard Stevenson who managed to rip the skin off not one but both heels during the descent. Ouch.

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Dave Motley working on his way up the claggy climb.

IMG_1976

That’ll be Wayne McIntosh.

Look away now... Selfie: Richard Stevenson

Look away now… Selfie: Richard Stevenson

Full results to follow when available.

 

Pendle Running Festival half marathon and 10k

A few hardy (foolhardy?) souls decided they hadn’t had enough of hilly half marathons the week after Hendon Brook and so opted to run the half distance at the Pendle Running Festival, an event growing in popularity owing to its relaxed atmosphere, additional family activities and scenic location in Barley.

With over 2000ft of climb in the half, and over 800ft in the 10k the routes were accurately described as challenging.Tom Brewster SEN was first Clayton runner home in the 10k in 3rd place and 40:05 whilst James Boult MU23 led the way in the Half in 1:39:18.

A trio of Clayton runners still nursing Hendon Brook legs formed a pact before the half marathon to sing, cajole and support each other round the hilly course.

Here’s their tripartite perspective ‘The Team Works!’:

Report by Cassie Smedley

“Well, to say that I was nervous entering another HM 6 days after completing the tough Hendon Brook HM was an understatement, but to be told that the Pendle HM was as tough wasn’t making me feel any better. We were set off with the 10k race, and needed to make sure we didn’t get carried away and set off too fast. It was great to run with Michelle but we also had Mick Hughes for support and encouragement, and the odd sing song from him to keep us entertained. We had a great run, kept each other going at a good pace, and Mick went to stretch his legs out with about 3k to go. Me and Michelle found our legs again and kicked into the finish. Came in strong to the finish line, hand in hand as always. Great run, with great team mates and friends”

Report by Michelle Abbott

“Well after having a bit of a rollercoaster week and doing Hendon brook just 6 day before it was time for the the Barley hm, first time for me. I wasn’t out for any records, just an enjoyable run which it was, kept a good continuous pace. I enjoyed every bit with Cassie and Mick running along side, it was brill. As we were coming back into Barley after first lap the 10 k runners were heading into the finish and we had to go and tackle another big hill before doing another lap. It was tempting to join the 10 k runners at that point but we still managed to keep plodding with a smile and finished strong before heading straight to the cafe for a well earned bacon butt.”

Report by Mick Hughes

“Having done the 10k last year, I had vowed to take on the Pendle Festival half marathon this year. What I had forgotten was that it would come just 6 days after Hendon Brook! My largest goal this year is completing the whole 14 PBGP races so having managed 1hr 57 at Hendon, I had to be smart in tackling this and one of my smartest decisions was to pace along with Cassie & Michelle. Taking on another 2000ft of climb and the 2nd hilly half marathon within a week would take discipline. The one thing Cassie & Michelle have in abundance is determination and stamina! These girls have real good engines and we took turns at pushing forward and leading the group. Add into the mix good personality and sense of humour and we were good to go. Having done the 10k last year I advised the ladies to remain steady in pace as tackling Stang Top twice is a test!. We chatted and willed each other on throughout all the elevation and many laughs kept us going as we paced just right to manage a nice sub 2 hr finish and another good day for team Clayton. It was another one of those races that stay in the memory and a reminder of just how great our team mates are.”

Triple trouble at the Pendle Running Festival half - Cassie, Mick and Michelle. Photo: David Belshaw

Triple trouble at the Pendle Running Festival half – Cassie, Mick and Michelle. Photo: David Belshaw

Donna Airey finishing. Photo: David Belshaw

Donna Airey finishing with a double thunbs up. Photo: David Belshaw

Full results to follow

Interim Facebook results here

Race to the Stones

The Ridgeway is old. Really old, and steeped in Iron Age features and subsequent history along its 100 mile-odd route through the Chilterns to the North Wessex Downs. It makes for great open trail running too as the Clayton team of Chris Funnell, Stephen Ainsworth, Rob Morrison, Andy Webster, and Colin White found out when they entered the 100km Race to the Stones, the stones in question being the iconic stone circle at Avebury.

Here’s what happened:

Back in late 2016 during one of our Sunday morning long run and natters we decided to try something different and Stephen suggested we gave Race to the Stones a go in 2017. The appeal was that this would be a good challenging distance (100K ultra over 2 days) and was the equivalent of trail running glamping as everything was included.

The run itself is along The Ridgeway which is an ancient 5000 year old trail from the Chilterns to the North Wessex Downs. This is trail running at its most scenic with miles of rolling hills and spectacular views. The forecast for the first day was cloudy but dry with temperatures around 22 degrees. The reality was cool with regular showers which kept the running to a comfortable temperature. There were refuelling stations every 10-12K with every type of sports nutrition you’ve heard of and quite a few I’d never come across. We quickly realised that our loaded backpacks which carried enough provisions for a weeks wild camping were totally superfluous as we took refuelling to a whole new level and Andy commented that he’d eaten less on all inclusive holidays.

Our plan was to run the route together as Team Clayton and soak up the whole experience. The end time wasn’t important. We all expected to comfortably complete the first 50K but the big question mark was how we were going to feel trying to get going again the next morning. We arrived mid afternoon at the half way camp where virtually every whim was catered for including unlimited hot food, bar, hot showers, massage, medic tents, pamper tent, sports nutrition, yoga class, live music, stretch out area and rollers and chill out zone complete with bean bags. In true Northern style we made full use of all the facilities. The overnight stay was in one man tents and runners and walkers arrivals continued to be announced over the speakers late into the evening. Between the wind rattling the tents and Rob shouting in his sleep we didn’t get much shut eye (apart from Rob) and at 0500am we all popped out of the tents bleary eyed and wondering how the legs were going to hold up.

A hot shower, porridge and full English later we all felt refreshed and good to go again and we set off just after 0600am although this was considered a late start and a big contingent had already left earlier.With the second day promising to be a bit warmer we all donned our Clayton vests. The scenery the second day was even more spectacular than the first and the early morning was calm and cool and it felt great to get the legs moving again. The route contained roughly 6000 feet of climbing and we were getting lots of shouts of “good effort” as we overtook lines of people without breaking pace as although the climbs were long and these weren’t hills by Northern standards. At the refuelling points everyone remarked on how we had stuck together and ran the challenge as a team. Mostly it was just pairs or individuals. Although most didn’t know where Clayton le Moors was many made comments about its infamous running history including Ron Hill and other Clayton le Moors legends.

After we had been running for a couple of hours Colin started grimacing as an old hip injury resurfaced and the next 20K proved to be the biggest test for Team Clayton as we battled through each 1K using a combination of encouragement, painkillers and shear determination. Andy’s stock phrase of “it’s just around the next bend” was no longer having effect and we were trying to decide if we had enough provisions in our backpacks to knock up a quick field stretcher. After force feeding Colin a handful of Randoms and lying that it was only 5K ( or one Parkrun) to go we dug deep for the final push and the glory that awaited at the finish which was at the Bronze Age stone henge at Avebury. At the finish line we had mixed feelings of pride of starting and completing as a team but sorry that it had come to an end. Although it was never about a fast time ( as we stayed much longer than most at the refuelling stops), Steve came away with the Vet 60 1st place which was the icing on the cake. Over a few beers we celebrated and relived our whole experience and talk was already about ideas for the next trip.

Race to the Stones Team Clayton

Race to the Stones Team Clayton

Junior FRA ‘do’

Four Clayton Juniors (Briony Holt, Ella Dorrington, Jenson Bentham and Christopher Brown) attended the Junior FRA ‘do’ at Marl Pits Rossendale. Part social, part prizegiving, the event was hosted as in previous years by Rossendale Harriers and combined running and coaching sessions, planning for the future and a talk from fell legend Steve Birkinshaw.

Briony was there to pick up her 3rd place award, presented by Steve Birkinshaw, for the season long English Championships U17G competition, a fantastic achievement in only her first year in that age group.

English Junior Fell Championships medal for Briony Holt. Photo Alan Dorrington

English Junior Fell Championships medal for Briony Holt. Photo Alan Dorrington

Sunday

Kentmere Horseshoe fell race

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Horseshoe? Go up to the left, round the back and then down from the right. Simples. Photo: Alan Dorrington

This edition was won by Joshua Jardine MU23 in 1:32:55. Andy Armstrong MV40 was first Clayton finisher in 100th in 2:04:24, Jack Holt MV60 105th in 2:04:56, Alan Dorrington MV40 214th in 2:23:53 and Wendy Dodds FV60 241st in 2:30:48.

Clayton Juniors coach Andy Armstrong reports:

“The Kentmere Horeshoe is a 12 mile/3000ft fell race in the old school tradition. It starts on a narrow country lane (ensuring a mad scramble for positions as the race heads up out of the village) and it finishes in a farmer’s field where water is available out of the back of a car. The presence of Pete Bland’s iconic red van, coupled with tea and sandwiches in the village hall afterwards complete the picture. No medals, no Tshirt, no Tannoy!

Between the start and finish is one of the prettiest horseshoe courses in the lakes with views beyond Windermere to the west and Haweswater to the east. A dry sunny day guaranteed fast times and comedy vest tans all round. Four Clayton members made the trip to Kentmere; first home was Andy Armstrong in 100th place chased all the way off the fell gate by Jack Holt in 105th (3rd MV60). Alan Dorrington was next in at 214th then Wendy Dodds some time later in 241st position (1st FV60).
The race is not without its dark side – Judith Taylor of Clayton lost her life on this course in 1994, during what were described as truly horrendous blizzard conditions. However on a clear day this would make a great introduction to anyone seeking to do longer fell races in the Lake District.
Andy Armstrong descends off Kentmere Pike to the finish. Photo: Mick Dobson

Andy Armstrong descends off Kentmere Pike to the finish. Photo: Mick Dobson

Alan Dorrington heading to the finish in Kentmere village. Photo: Mick Dobson

Alan Dorrington heading to the finish in Kentmere village. Photo: Mick Dobson

Full Results

BOFRA Cracoe fell race

Briony Holt continued her super run of form with a solid 2nd place and 9th overall in the U17 race held on a fast and for BOFRA, relatively tame grassy course.

Briony olt scaling the Cracoe wall. Photo: Carolyn Brett Muir

Briony Holt scaling the Cracoe wall. Photo: Carolyn Brett Muir

Full Results

Pendle Running Festival trail race

Day two of the Festival saw the Trail race with a game amount of climb around Barley, Newchurch and Whitehough.

The race was won by Burnley and Pendle regular Nick Gaskell in 31:40 and first Clayton runner home with a fantastic performance was 15 yr old Junior Nick Henessey in 6th place and 37:32.

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Tall for his age? Junior Nick Hennessey was flying in the trail race. Photo: David Belshaw

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Gareth Berry, Andy Bradley and Reece Lawrence battling it out in the trail race. Photo: David Belshaw

Full Results to follow

Interim Facebook results here

Ironman UK Bolton

Last but certainly not least given his efforts, Jon Cleaver has been quietly doing the lengths, kms and miles in preparing for the classic Ironman UK grueller, and joined fellow multiple kit option devotees at the start line in Pennington Flash on Sunday. Here’s how he got on – wonder if he’s going to get the tattoo now?

“Starting with an eye watering 03:45 wake up call I got myself changed and headed over to Penington Flash for the first event of the day 4km swim which involved 2 laps of the flash mainly trying to avoid getting kicked and elbowed in the head. I was pleased to come out at 01:18 which was exactly what I paced for in training. Next onto the bike going through Leigh over to Westhoughton, then Rivington for the start of two 50 mile loops and 5200ft of climbing I felt pretty good on the bike keeping on top of my feed and hydration. I came into T2 after 07:07 of cycling, considering this was probably my weakest event I was happy enough with the time. Then onto the run my strongest discipline having not done a marathon since April I was a bit rusty and my legs were shot at from the bike I had to summon all the strength I could muster on a pretty hilly road course over 1200ft in elevation. I finished the run in 03:45 which is not too shabby considering and heard the immortal words “Jonathan you are an Iron Man” at 12:32. Overall I placed 507 out of over 2000 making up a lot of ground on the run.”

Full Results

Parkrun

Burnley Junior Parkrun – a total of 77 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
2 Robbie SMEDLEY 07:21 JM11-14 New PB!
4 Matthew JACKSON 07:37 JM11-14
6 Charlie BARNES 08:36 JM10
8 Bethany WHEATCROFT 08:43 JW11-14
13 Imogen FERGUSON 09:06 JW11-14
14 Jake ANFORTH 09:10 JM11-14 First Timer!
27 Fraser ANFORTH 10:19 JM10 New PB!
30 Ellisia SMEDLEY 10:41 JW10 New PB!
33 Charlie BIRTWISTLE 10:42 JM11-14

Burnley parkrun – a total of 368 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat
Note
2 Jacob WATSON 17:36 SM30-34
4 Jonathan PYE 18:18 SM25-29
7 Nicholas HENNESSEY 18:37 JM15-17
8 Mark ASPINALL 18:42 VM55-59
9 Josh HALL 18:46 JM15-17
12 Michael STEVENS 19:18 JM11-14
21 Reece Adam LAWRENCE 20:36 JM15-17
29 Peter STEVENS 21:13 JM11-14
47 Charlie BARNES 22:14 JM10 New PB!
65 Aaron LUNDIE 23:16 JM15-17
68 Chris LAWRENCE 23:22 VM50-54
74 David Ian SCOTT 23:36 VM70-74
81 Bethany WHEATCROFT 23:49 JW11-14
88 Sophie ASHWORTH 24:09:00 JW11-14
119 Richard LAWSON 25:34:00 VM75-79
123 Donna SCOTT 25:38:00 VW50-54
129 John WILCOCK 25:49:00 VM50-54
131 Annabel WILCOCK 25:53:00 JW15-17
148 Evan WELSH 26:40:00 JM11-14
172 Caitlin WELSH 27:43:00 JW15-17
184 Imogen FERGUSON 28:03:00 JW11-14
191 Darcey HIRST 28:12:00 JW10
240 Stuart BARKER 30:17:00 VM50-54
254 Robert HIRST 30:50:00 VM65-69
259 Marion WILKINSON 31:08:00 VW75-79
278 Ron CHAPPELL 32:11:00 VM65-69

Pendle parkrun – a total of 76 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
4 Paul HESKETH 20:37 VM50-54
26 Eleanor Betty ROOT 25:43:00 JW15-17
32 Dawn TERRY 26:14:00 VW50-54
53 Yvonne WICKHAM 30:40:00 VW50-54

Witton parkrun – a total of 94 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
31 Paul THOMPSON 26:31:00 VM45-49
57 Christine Jennifer EGERTON 33:26:00 VW65-69 First Timer!
69 Christine LEATHLEY 35:41:00 VW65-69

Eglinton parkrun – a total of 104 runners took part.

Pos Name Cat Time Note
62 Eileen JONES VW65-69 29:27

Ayr parkrun – a total of 47 runners took part.

Pos Name Cat Time Note
16 Katy THOMPSON VW60-64 26:33

Dewsbury parkrun – a total of 113 runners took part.

Pos Name Cat Time Note
103 Robin PRICE VM70-74 37:04

Bramhall parkrun – a total of 387 runners took part.

Pos Name Cat Time Note
54 Andy BRADLEY VM50-54 22:00

Summertime, and the runnin’ is easy

Things hotted up this week weather-wise, before a slightly inevitable Bank Holiday denouement and a break in the weather. There was a really varied choice of racing fayre on offer this week and as is customary, Claytoners were out winning races, breaking course records, running incredible distances, breaking PBs and filling up the results sheets across the board, from Parkrun to fell to city streets.

Tuesday

Aaron Ashworth Memorial Cowm Reservoir 5k

Pos Name Cat Time
61 Julie Dawes FV45 23.56
71 I. Hargreaves MV50 25.17
83 R. Lawson MV75 27.07
106 Christine Egerton FV65 30.15
108 R. Chappell MV65 30.30
111 J. McGuire MV60 31.32
116 Christine Leathley FV65 32.50

Full Results

Foe Edge fell race

This regular Rossendale Harriers fixture covers the steep Mary Towneley climb up to Cowpe Lowe before heading up past Waugh’s Well and onto Whittle Pike. The return is on fast runnable paths and makes for a great mid-week race.

Peter Coates went well and was 5th in 34:36, with Chris Snell 20th in 36:55 and Stephen Fish 114th in 51:23.

Full Results

Friday

Burnley Lions 10k

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Danny Collinge where he likes to be, out front. Photo: David Belshaw

We’re already onto Round 4 of the Burnley and Pendle Grand Prix series this year, but after 3 off-road rounds, the Lions 10k was the first on-road event for the keen road runners to stretch their legs in.

Danny Collinge was a clear winner in 35:39 from Thomas Blaney of Blackburn and Julian Hood of Barlick. Louisa Powell-Smith pipped Carla Davies from Red Rose for first Lady home in 42:07.

Judith Carey reports:

After a few poor runs recently where I’ve felt like I’ve struggled I was nervous about the 10k race, especially the hilly parts.

I knew I had well prepared with breakfast, lunch & a pre-race bagel and drunk plenty of water to make sure I was hydrated. But the nerves were there and knowing it was a very hot evening didn’t help!

I took my time at the start, as it’s easy to set off too quick trying to keep up with the other runners. Then came the hill at the start! I actually felt fine and managed the whole 10k without walking on the hills.

I ran quicker on the second time round and actually managed to over take quite a few runners.

Despite the heat, I really enjoyed the race, felt great and loved every minute! I even knocked 4 minutes off my time from last year.

Maybe I was the only one who enjoyed it this much!

Judith Carey appears to be enjoying herself. Photo: David Belshaw

Judith Carey appears to be enjoying herself. Photo: David Belshaw

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Jim Hickie. Photo: David Belshaw

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Irene Roche. Photo: David Belshaw

Sarah Angelone. Photo: David Belshaw

Sarah Angelone. Photo: David Belshaw

Position Name Cat Time
1 Danny Collinge M 35.39
12 Tom Brewster M 38.50
18 Luke Turner M 39.26
20 Matthew Duckworth M 39.51
21 Jonathan Pye M 40.11
26 Kevin Davies M55 41.02
29 Paul Hesketh M50 41.30
32 Louisa Powell-Smith F35 42.07
41 Gareth Berry M40 43.29
46 Michael O Donnell M40 43.39
47 David Moyniham M50 43.43
48 David Naughton M55 43.54
51 George Pier M 44.10
52 John Roche M55 44.12
54 James Boult M 44.18
55 Reece Lawrence MJ 44.48
56 Elizabeth Mullian F 44.52
62 Michael Clarke M40 45.20
71 Robert Morrison M40 46.10
72 James Dunderdale M 46.16
73 Craig Nicholls M40 46.18
76 Mick Hughes M40 46.29
77 Donna Airey F35 46.31
78 Sean Clare M50 46.38
82 Adam Stevenson M 47.14
83 Neil Garnett M55 47.22
83 Andy   Bradley        M50           47.34

87

 

 

Andrew Webster

 

 

M45

 

 

47.54

92 Chris Lawrence M50 48.16
95 Cassandra Smedley F35 48.34
99 Sarah Angelone F 48.52
108 Irene Roche F55 49.44
114 James Hickie M55 50.14
116 Colin White M40 50.17
118 Graham Roper M55 50.53
124 Nerina Gill F45 52.4
125 Carl Carey M45 53.00
132 Jane Ryan F40 53.47
134 Julie Dawes F45 54.02
151 Lisa Ellis F35 56.35
153 Bryn Barnes M65 56.58
155 Bianca Bennett F 57.08
165 Lucy Scott F 57.49
168 Ian Hargreaves M50 58.12
171 Richard Lawson M75 58.44
176 David Scott M70

59.36

177 Julia Rushton F50 59.48
179 Ted Orrell M75 60.17
180 Mark Knowles M40 60:17
181 Danny Pilkington M40 60:18
186 Jane Hylands F45 61:12
191 Judith Carey F35 63:37
195 Julia Taylor F55 64:04
205 Christine Egerton F65 66:59
208 Anita Jones F60 68.25
209 Geraldine Varley M55 68.28
210 Ron Chappell M65 68:32
212                                                     Karin Goss F 68.59
214         Sharon Wilson F40 72:51

Full Results

Saturday

Weets English Championship race

One of Pendle’s Three Peaks, Weets is a quiet unassuming summit that is best known for it’s great views over the region. It wasn’t so quiet on Saturday as many of the best runners from around the country descended on Barnoldswick for the English Champs second round, joined by many locals keen to take them on over familiar terrain.

The race was a AS cat race with it’s 6.1m and 1804ft climb and the separate women’s and men’s starts were accompanied by somewhat differing conditions. The women’s race enjoyed sunshine throughout whilst the later men’s race was hit by a big rainstorm half way through.

In the Womens race won by Victoria Wilkinson, Barbara Savage led the Clayton women home in 56th and in the mens race won by a charging Chris Arthur, Andrew Laycock was first Clayton man home in 55th.

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Paul Hesketh getting soggy. Photo: Woodentops

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Dave Motley and his ‘quad’. Photo: Woodentops

Barbara Savage

Barbara Savage enjoying the pre-downpour conditions. Photo: Woodentops

Teresa de Curtis. Photo: Woodentops

Teresa de Curtis. Photo: Woodentops

Full Results Women

Full Results Men

Hutton Roof fell race

Won by Danny Hope from Horwich, this long running race based around the country fair attracted 4 Clayton runners – 97th was Wayne McIntosh Sen in 1:18:29, 126th  Andrew Dugdale V50 in 1:23:51, 167th  Michael Frost V60 in 1:40:26 and 179th Robert Hirst V60 in 1:54:30.
Bank Holiday Double Part 1 from Wayne McIntosh:
Spring Bank Holiday always throws up a big choice of races and this year was no different. I opted for my favourite double of Hutton Roof on the fringes of the lake district and Austwick Amble in the Yorkshire Dales. Hutton Roof was on the Saturday and I drove up to Kirby Lonsdale in blistering heat, far to hot for me to be running hard, but the weatherman had promised a break in the weather with possible thunderstorm and heavy rain. Somewhere in the middle would be ideal. 4 of us from Clayton did the race and we all survived the epic storm which hit as we ascended Farleton Knott and lasted about 20 minutes. Hats off to the marshals at the top in those conditions! Had a decent run to finish just outside the top half of the field and a good few minutes quicker than last time I did the race.

Maxi Race Trail du Lac d’Annecy

Jean Brown was on fine form again, soon after her record breaking run with Nicky Spinks at the Old County Tops, running this 110km Ultra with around 17000ft of climb to take 61st overall and 4th Veteran Woman. She finished in a time of 20:07:25 and surely deserves to put her feet up for a bit?

Sunday

Junior Great Manchester Run

Rachael White reports:

5 Clayton Juniors lined up for the start of the Junior Great Manchester Run. All parents were a little nervous, given the horrific events earlier in the week, but the kids had wanted to run.. so who are we to stop them. (Looking at the turn out for the Juniors the numbers were well down on last year, but whether this was Mondays events, or the change last month of race day & Venue from Saturday at Etihad Stadium to Sunday Manchester City Centre, we will never know). I did not know that Jackson and Josh were competing, so when they all entered their pens at the start line, I was surprised to see Jackson chilling on the start line. In fact he was so chilled it took a couple of shouts for him to turn and face the camera (I even wondered if I was just shouting at a random child.. but the BOFRA t-shirt gave it away). The 12-15 Years Boys started first, with Jackson and Alfie in this race, then each wave followed 2 minutes later, so 12-15 Girls (no Clayton Runners), 9-11 Boys (Jenson and Josh) followed lastly by 9-11 Girls and Helana. It was an out and back race 2.5K, but Helana said the tight barriers made it harder than last year, especially when trying to overtake the slower runners from the earlier waves. – Helana and Alfie also made the BBC Great Run Highlights programme, their club vests making it easy to spot them, and Jackson caught the eye of the Daily Mail photographer on their write up. All the kids did brilliant, running on an emotional day, with lots of armed police officers around.

18816129_10212936316708963_795595955_nResults:

Boys 13-15: 12th Jackson McKay – 00:08:19, 32nd Alfie White – 00:10:47

Boys 9-11: 12th Jenson Bentham – 00:09:24 54th, Joshua McKay – 00:12:02

Girls 9-11: 2nd – Helana White- 00:09:31 Helana was very pleased to make the podium again at this race – she was 2nd here last year. I think she likes the middle spot on the podium.

Edinburgh marathon

Jen Deane and Andy Quinn took a sightseeing trip to Edinburgh and fitted in some running while they were there..

New member Jen ran the Half in support of a friend. Here’s how she got on:

A quick note on Edinburgh half: my first run in Clayton colours was a mission to get an old friend to the end of her first Half Marathon that she was running in memory of a friend who died very young of cancer. It was a fantastically well organised race with a flat fast course that went down the coast to Musselburgh. The heatwave gave us a few problems but we took our time and still had the energy to sprint over the line about fifty minutes after I would have normally got there. A hugely enjoyable day out.

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Andy Quinn reports:

I didn’t get into the London marathon, so thought Edinburgh would be a good alternative, it’s pretty flat so seemed ideal for my debut marathon. In training I knew I was capable of 4 hours, which is roughly 9 minute miles, so I set off, with my plan – just keep knocking out 9 minute miles. The first 5 miles is mainly downhill, so I allowed myself to ‘go a bit faster’ but when we hit the flat road along the coast, I was feeling good so just kept on going. After 13 miles I was thrilled to have knocked out regular 8 minute miles – so much for the plan! But could I keep it going? It was hot and sunny, and around 17 miles I suddenly seemed to get slower. I’d had water and energy gels at every station, but maybe I was a bit dehydrated. Were the wheels about to fall off? From 20 miles onwards the glutes, calves, hamstrings and inner thighs all had their turn at cramping up, and I needed to walk quite a few times. Feeling sick and disorientated didn’t help either. But more water at 24 miles was so welcome, and I perked up for a great finish. I knew sub 3:40 was possible with 1 mile to go, and the roar from the crowd was so inspiring. Managed a sprint finish of sorts, and an unofficial time of 3:40:18; absolutely delighted. What an amazing experience, and thanks to Edinburgh for amazing support all the way round. So proud of myself, but I am definitely NOT doing another marathon. NOT EVER. Will stick to 10k and half marathons from now… can’t wait for Hendon Brook. May I also need to apologise to the spectator who I managed to squirt with my energy gel as I ran past them while opening the gel with my teeth!

Full Results

Liverpool Rock and Roll marathon

‘Penny Lane is in my ears and my eyes…’. Over here from the States, the Rock and Roll Marathon series offers events all over the globe, with a musical backdrop to your running. Various distances were on offer, from 1 mile to full marathon distance.

3 Clayton runners ran the half distance, Cassandra Smedley in 1:46:59, Justin Birtwistle in 1:59:01 and Tracy Plant in 2:06:11.

There were two marathon takers, Dan Plant with 3:05:26 and Lynsey Birtwistle in an ‘oh so close’ 4:00:30.

Lynsey Birtwhistle reports:

On Sunday, only 5 weeks after London, I ran my second marathon of the year. This was an extra special race for me as I ran it in memory of my friend who tragically died on Monday in the Manchester arena attack. I had asked myself if it was a good idea to do two marathons so close together. This was definitely harder than London and the course was much hillier than I thought. Slightly gutted to have gone over 4 hours (by 26 seconds) but I raised over £3000 for my friends family and did get a half marathon pb during the marathon!

Team Clayton at the Rock and Roll Marathon, Liverpool.

Team Clayton at the Rock and Roll Marathon, Liverpool.

Helvellyn and the Dodds

Perhaps one for Bob Graham fans and devotees, this tough 15 mile race basically follows BGR Leg 2 to Helvellyn before turning round and heading back the same way. The initial lung bursting climb up onto the Dodds therefore becomes a quad destroying descent back down to the finish at Threlkeld. Won by local Carl Bell from Keswick AC, there were two Clayton finishers from the 124 runners, a speedy Matt Perry (SEN) 8th in 2:29:45 and the ever fast Martin Terry V50 43rd in 2:56:48.

Matt Perry on his way to 8th. Photo: David Dicks

Matt Perry on his way to 8th. Photo: David Dicks

Full Results

Coniston Gullies BOFRA

Briony Holt was 2nd in the U17Girls race at this super steep Lakeland BOFRA round. Here’s how she got on:

Coniston Gullies, the steepest most technical fell race going… The sun was out for the second round of the BOFRA season at Coniston in the Lake District. It was dry in most places on the course but the rocks were a little slippy; this made the loop at the top quite difficult as we had to descend down what felt like a sheer rock face! As much as I didn’t like the uphill, I loved the tricky descent which made it worth while. It was great to see another Clayton runner there as well (Andrew Firth)! I was pleased with how my race went after seeing some tough competition and I got 2nd girl. Well done to Andrew as well!

Briony Holt at Coniston Gullies. Photo: Tina Holt

Briony Holt at Coniston Gullies. Photo: Tina Holt

Andrew Firth was 42nd in the Senior Race

Full Results

Monday

Bowley Trail Race

It was a hugely successful day at Great Harwood for the Clayton runners with age category wins galore, two team wins and Danny Collinge taking his second win of the weekend AND the course record to boot. Donna Airey reports:

Bowley Hill Trail Race – 5.8miles with approx 100m climb. Starts and finishes in The Great Harwood agricultural show. Great mixed terrain race with a couple of fell type hills. Thankfully these were uphill and not downhill as this is where I usually struggle! Great results from Team Clayton. Danny Collinge coming 1st and breaking the course record, Vet wins for myself F35, Dawn Terry F50, Dave Motley M35, Peter Coates M40, Alan Life M50, and Reece Lawrence winning MU21. There were also team wins for the men and ladies teams. Race entry also included entry to the show. Definitely on the list for next year.

U21 Reece Lawrence at Bowley. Photo: David Belshaw

U21 Reece Lawrence at Bowley. Photo: David Belshaw

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Dawn Terry took the F50 win. Photo: David Belshaw

Austwick Amble

A race that forms part of a Cuckoo Festival… What’s not to like about this ‘slightly-more-than-amble’ 8 miler with 1200ft climb that heads up onto to the flanks of Ingleborough, through the limestone skating rink of Sulber Nick and back to the Village fesitivities.

Bank Holiday Double Part 2 from Wayne McIntosh:

Fast forward (from Hutton Roof remember? Ed) to Monday and I had convinced Bianca Bennett to step out of her comfort zone and have a run at the Austwick Amble. I hadn’t done this race for a couple of years and knew I should be capable of improving on previous years times. The first climb was as horrible as ever up the tarmac lane but I managed to quickly settle into a decent stride as we headed towards Norber. Once up Norber the bulk of the serious climb is done but there’s lots of running to do where strong legs are a must. Thankfully I seem to have mine today… The rain made the run through Sulber interesting and I was reduced to tiptoes on the treacherous limestone. Once through this section I was able to push on and finish strong, again knocking a good chunk off past times. Well done to Bianca who had a good run too!

Results to follow

Parkrun

Burnley Junior Parkrun

Burnley parkrun – a total of 336 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
2 Andrew STUBBS 17:43 VM45-49
5 Josh HALL 18:46 JM15-17
8 Jonathan PYE 19:28 SM25-29
10 Paul BRANNON 19:43 VM55-59
12 Michael STEVENS 19:55 JM11-14 New PB!
19 Gareth BERRY 20:48 VM40-44
21 Lennon JACKSON 21:10 JM11-14
23 John WILCOCK 21:31 VM50-54
25 Finley STUBBS 21:36 JM11-14 New PB!
29 Millie STUBBS 21:40 JW11-14
36 Matthew DUCKWORTH 22:05 SM25-29
38 Sophie ASHWORTH 22:36 JW11-14
41 Charlie BARNES 22:43 JM10
47 Aaron LUNDIE 22:55 JM15-17
54 Alison DUGDALE 23:11 VW45-49
57 Bethany WHEATCROFT 23:37 JW11-14
58 Cassandra Darling SMEDLEY 23:39 VW35-39
72 Colin WHITE 24:14:00 VM40-44
83 Nina KEWIN 24:33:00 VW35-39
87 Jake ANFORTH 24:43:00 JM10
106 Daniel PLANT 25:08:00 VM35-39
120 Julie DAWES 25:33:00 VW45-49
124 Lisa JOHNSON 25:54:00 VW45-49
129 Carl CAREY 26:11:00 VM45-49
147 Bryn BARNES 27:09:00 VM65-69
164 Ian HARGREAVES 27:52:00 VM50-54
169 Mick HUGHES 28:02:00 VM40-44
196 Tony PILLING 28:38:00 VM50-54
211 Richard LAWSON 29:33:00 VM75-79
261 Judith CAREY 32:02:00 VW35-39
275 Emily JOHNSON 34:02:00 JW10 New PB!
276 Marion WILKINSON 34:02:00 VW75-79

Heaton parkrun – a total of 569 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
285 Eileen JONES 29:30:00 VW65-69

Bournemouth parkrun – a total of 469 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
285 Eileen JONES 29:30:00 VW65-69

Abingdon parkrun – a total of 371 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
60 Ella DORRINGTON 22:37 JW11-14

Dewsbury parkrun – a total of 102 runners took part.

Pos Name Time Cat Note
94 Robin PRICE 37:04:00 VM70-74

Pendle parkrun – total of 90 runners took part.

Pos Name Cat Time Note
1 Nicholas HENNESSEY 19:23:00 JM15-17
5 John HARTLEY 20:42 VM60-64
18 Martin BRADY 23:25 VM55-59

Lytham Hall parkrun – a total of 162 runners took part.

Pos Name Cat Time Note
5 Philip NAYLOR 23:54:00 VM35-39

 

 

Peaking for the Bank Holiday weekend

The introduction of the beginning of May Bank Holiday by Michael Foot in 1978 might have been a response to a traditional day off for workers in Iron Curtain countries at the time, but it’s fair to say that the Clayton family had no such intentions of taking it easy this Bank Holiday weekend. Some stunning achievements on the fells of the Dales, multi-discipline success and the usual rapid road running has led to a real humdinger of a weekend. Take a breather, for a moment, and savour what you’ve all been up to.

Tuesday

Orchan Rocks

The local midweek fell race season is here properly now – Orchan Rocks is one of those classic up and down, short blast of fun races that you can squeeze in after a day at work. Just under 3.5 miles and over 900ft of climb means a big effort up and a swift descent back down. Alex Whittern of Calder Valley won in 22:30 and five Clayton runners took part: 26th Mark Nutter MV50 in 30:01, 33rd Andrew Howarth MV50 in 32:35, 34th Darren Rushton MV40 in 32:43, 42nd Colin Woolford MV40 in 34:24, and 45th Steven Fish MV60 in 36:05.

Full Results

Bunny Run Relays

Bunny relays 2017

Reece Lawrence and James Boult at the Bunny Relays 2017. Pic: John Merrick

Finishing off the Spring Bunny Run series, this relay event near Haworth is always a popular one amongst adults and juniors alike and features a chocolate prize list even a chocoholic would have problems coping with! Despite some shenanigans with the egg baton, James Boult’s team claimed bragging rights for fastest Clayton team in 36th place out of 96, just ahead of Reece Lawrence’s team in 45th and Nick Hennessey’s team in 46th. Andrew Holt ran in a family team placed 55th and sends this report:

The Bunny Runs are a frantic,fast low-key series of runs organised by the recently honoured, fell running royalty couple Dave and Eileen Woodhead. The three weekly, 5k-ish runs culminate in a relay which I entered as part of a parents team to run alongside our kids (prior to James Boult organising a team from Clayton unfortunately) The relay involves carrying a raw egg up and around Penistone Hill using the hard gravel tracks, with the fastest runners completing it in around 9 minutes. The conditions were near perfect,wind pushing you up the hills,dry underfoot, maybe a little cold but otherwise excellent. As expected the personnel changed within our team, and having offered to help James out as a replacement the parents mustered a team and I was asked to run the last leg, conveniently against my daughter. Briony’s team gave her a minutes start on me so I was left chasing shadows. Despite getting excited and setting off at a ridiculously fast pace I didn’t burn out and settled into a fast but short run finishing the 1.6 mile course in a reasonable time of 11-20. We avoided any injuries, dodging sweets and cream eggs at the pub later, what better way to spend your Tuesday evening. Great to see so many other orange shirts at the event too.

Full results

Wednesday

Phil Roberts Cowm 5k

Starting out of Whitworth, Rossendale this race was won by T. Muir in 17:36. John Roche was first Clayton finisher, back home on 19:57.

Pos Name Cat Time
15 J. Roche MV55 19.57
50 Julia Rushton FV50 23.24
90 J. McGuire MV60 30.33

Full Results

Saturday

3 Peaks Race

Some finish! Christopher Holdsworth empties the tank to secure 3rd place. Photo: Rupert Bonnington

Some finish! Christopher Holdsworth empties the tank to secure 3rd place. Photo: Rupert Bonnington

Wow! The 63rd edition of this classic race didn’t disappoint from a Clayton point of view. We had a bumper number of competitors testing their pacing and nutrition strategies, some back for their 21st finish, top 10 team finishes for the clubs leading teams, an age class win and an incredible podium finish for a Clayton vest. Where to start…?

Both Andy Orr and Martin Brady completed 21 3 Peaks Races this weekend, an amazing run of completions for this tough race. They will receive a special commemorative award listing their races and times. For Martin, this was an extra special achievement as several of his 21 completions have come after having after heart valve surgery 7 years ago. Bravo both of you.

Martin Brady after his 21st finish. Photo: Kath Brady

Martin Brady after his 21st finish. Photo: Kath Brady

Clayton ‘s A team secured 6th overall in the highly competitive team competition. Well done to Chris Holdsworth, Dave Motley, Matt Perry and James Williamson. The MV40 team of Richard Stevenson, Andrew Orr and Peter Coates was 4th and the MV50 team of Garry Wilkinson, Paul Hesketh and Martin Terry went better still and was 2nd.

Wendy Dodds took the WV60 win in 4:51:07 and a collected a fine looking trophy.

WV60 winner Wendy Dodds. Photo: Woodentops

WV60 winner Wendy Dodds. Photo: Woodentops

However, the story of the day had to have been Christopher Holdsworth’s 3rd place overall in 2:54:49. After a hard winter and Spring of training and some results indicative of his building form, Chris attacked the race at full gas, at times holding second place and giving his all at the finish to somewhat over-achieve on his goal of a sub 3hr run.

Fresh from his stunning result, here’s Chris’s report:

Last year I wrote a few tips to consider when competing at the Three Peaks. One of them was to never feel like you are over exerting yourself before you’ve reached Ingleborough – otherwise you risk a world of pain at the hands of Whernside.

However, this year I had to ignore my own advice if I wanted any chance at the targeted goal of a sub 3 hour Three Peaks result. With it being an unusually dry day for the area, I knew there’d be no better time to achieve it!

From the beginning I had intentions of keeping on the back of the leading 5 or so runners. The legs were feeling particularly fresh and I soon found myself jostling for 2nd and 3rd place on the way up to Pen Y Ghent. Near the summit I could see Ricky Lightfoot was looking to be struggling. Once we descended off Pen Y Ghent I decided to just sit on the back of Ricky and move past when the pace he was setting dropped below the pace I was feeling comfortable at. Half way to Ribblehead I moved ahead and made good progress to the checkpoint.

Once at the bottom of Whernside, I was still feeling very energetic. Steady away I climbed up the tough fell keeping race Leader Tom Owens in my sight. A third of the way up is a very boggy section, to which both legs were sucked in knee deep. Pulling them out gave me cramp in both calves – this then pulsated the entire rest of the climb in waves, especially on the gnarlier sections. With a quarter of the climb to go, just before the steepest section to the summit, eventual race winner Murray Strain sailed past me – clearly this was his his strong suit! and I was missing the runnable trail of Pen Y Ghent…

Reaching the summit, the cramps were still going strong and were joined by a cramping up back from the tired jolts running down the flag steps. Unable to breathe or control my legs, I held on knowing Ilkley’s Jack Woods wasn’t far behind. I knew I had to just get back to the road section where I could get back to some quicker running, regain my form and shake the cramps.

The smile I had for most of the run was fading, and was in need of some fuel to see me through to the climb up Ingleborough. Reaching Hill Inn I was able to pick up my Mountain Fuel infused water and took on as much as I could. It allowed me to run the whole way up to Ingleborough. Sadly, like rot, the cramp had set in and my calves were tiring on the steep boulders just before running to Ingleborough summit checkpoint. I had 30 seconds or so on the tailing runners, Jack Woods and a Salomon runner I thought to be Ricky Lightfoot with a second wind, but they soon made that up and passed me on the tougher sections down off the top. I could only delicately descend off Ingleborough and hoped to make up the time on the less technical section.

Really unfortunately, Jack Woods took a tumble which allowed me to move back ahead to chase down the Salomon runner. At this point my feet were in bits, the nuts and bolts were loosening and I could feel the body crying out for the finish. All I had to do was keep the Salomon runner in view, hang on and reach the finish to place 4th and Sub 3 hours.

Turning down into the finish straight, I could see I was coming in under the 2H55 mark if I could put a sprint on. The roar of the crowd cheering me down the finish spiked the adrenaline and I was able to come in at 2:54:49 – goal achieved!

It wasn’t until a few minutes after that I realised it wasn’t Ricky coming past me, but Tom Owens who had gotten lost after Whernside, meaning I had actually finished in 3rd place and 100 quid richer!

I was incredibly pleased to finish where I did, and felt I couldn’t have raced any better than I did on the day, but there’s still room for improvement yet. The support around the course was the best I’ve ever experienced, and the amount of people sending me messages of congratulations has been overwhelming and is really appreciated.

There were great performances on the day from every Clayton-le-Moors member, and you can tell that this race is special to the club. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Richard Stevenson down of Whernside. Photo: Sport Sunday

Richard Stevenson down off Whernside. Photo: Sport Sunday

First timer Richard Stevenson also had a fantastic run, pacing it really well through diligent recceing, and enjoying the rewards of a solid Spring’s training:

 

12 months ago after ready the reports, seeing the photos and speaking to various
people I made the decision to have a go at the Yorkshire 3 Peaks race this year.
So after doing enough qualifying races and spending many hours running up and down as many hills as I could find I was excited and raring to go as we congregated in Horton on Saturday morning. I knew it was going to be tough, I’d had numerous people advising me on how to run certain sections where to hold back where to dig in and how to try and fuel myself so that I didn’t bomb on Inglebrough. So after all the months of training, the planning and the preparations the event didn’t disappoint.  Yes it was brutal, yes my feet and legs are battered, yes it was mentally draining but would I do it all again next year, of course I would, who wouldn’t? I heard it described as the off-road equivalent of the London Marathon and  I can see why, for atmosphere and camaraderie it was fantastic. With the banter between runners and the endless support out on the course from marshals, club members and friends it can drag you through any bleak moments. So thanks to all who shouted and supported me on the day and to everyone who give me advise, very much appreciated.  I would definitely recommend this event if you fancy a challenge. Also a huge well done to all members who ran, whether it was your 1st or 21st and whether you finished 3rd or 503rd I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you there next year.
Dave Motley knuckling down to it up Whernside. Photo: Nigel Hodson

Dave Motley knuckling down to it up Whernside. Photo: Nigel Hodson

David Bagot. Photo: Woodentops

David Bagot in full flight. Photo: Woodentops

Pos Name Cat Time Class
3 Christopher Holdsworth M 02:54:49 Elite
59 Dave Motley M 03:35:26 1st
62 Matt Perry M 03:36:31 1st
64 James Williamson M 03:36:45 1st
72 Andy Laycock MU25 03:38:46 1st
76 David Bagot M 03:39:16 1st
123 Richard Stevenson MV40 03:49:24 2nd
142 Ryan Belshaw M 03:52:51 2nd
146 Andrew Orr MV40 03:53:35 2nd
152 Peter Coates MV40 03:54:13 2nd
157 Garry Wilkinson MV50 03:55:19 2nd
161 Paul Hesketh MV50 03:56:00 2nd
176 Martin Terry MV50 03:59:13 2nd
204 Jean Brown WV40 04:03:59 2nd
274= Carl Helliwell MV40 04:12:53 2nd
279 Andrew Priory MV40 04:13:16 2nd
291 Chris Snell M 04:15:01 2nd
339 Dominic Carr MV40 04:22:41 2nd
354 Brian Horrocks MV50 04:23:52 2nd
363 Alan Dorrington MV40 04:25:16 2nd
387 Ivan Whigham MV50 04:29:55 2nd
442 Chris Funnell MV50 04:37:54 Standard
517 Andrew Bradley MV50 04:48:57 Standard
534 Wendy Dodds WV60 04:51:07 Standard
570 Simon Stansfield MV40 04:56:56 Standard
597 Martin Brady MV50 05:02:20 Standard
600 David Horrocks MV50 05:02:49 Standard
685 Richard Briscoe M 05:29:49 Standard

Full results

Fellsman

Five hardy Clayton runners toed the line for this 60plus mile, iconic ultra distance event round the Yorkshire Dales. It’s classic route, and comprehensive support for runners and walkers attracts a large and often loyal entry.

Regular Fellsman finisher, Adrienne Olszewska reports:

Five Clayton Harriers milled about nervously on the playing field behind the Community Centre in Ingleton as ready as they could be for the start of the Fellsman, a tough and gnarly 61 mile traverse over the high ground of the Yorkshire Dales. Four fast lads and then plodder me; just 4 would finish.

This year conditions were exceptionally good. We’ve had a relatively dry spell of weather over the last few weeks and there was even a weather warning for potential sunburn. Unheard of for an event that often throws torrential rain, hail, sleet and snow at the entrants.
In my head this event has three distict parts; the first part is the “dear God I really hate hills” climbing section (Ingleton to Dent), the second part is the “I really, really hate mud and tussocks” section (Dent to Hell Gap) , and finally, the last bit is the “I just really, really, really want this to be over” section (Hell Gap to Threshfield).
A combination of too warm clothing and mild weather made it slow going for the first section and even a bog-free climb up Blea Moor didn’t make for speedy progress.  Any hopes of making it to Fleet Moss before I was grouped for the night section were abandoned early on – this was going to have to be a completion so I decided to just plod on and make the best of it.
I was grouped at Redshaw in a team of 6 for the night section.  We fast hiked and made steady progress over the tricky section from Fleet Moss and Yockenthwaite Moor. Again not much in the way of bogs this year but plenty of rough tussocks to batter the feet and ankles. The wind got up and, while it wasn’t sub-zero like previous years, it got pretty cold. I was finally glad of my warmer gear.
We headed up and over Buckden Pike and took a really direct line to the checkpoint at Top Mere – we saw headtorches from one or two other groups around but seemed to leave them all behind. We got to Park Rash just as it was coming light.  One of the group had been suffering with knee issues for some time and when we got to the checkpoint he was looking in a bit of a bad way so we stayed for a lot longer than I would have liked.
Eventually, he decided to carry on and we were off for the final climb up Great Whernside which was disappearing into mist as we headed up to the summit ridge.
You hit an area of peat hags on the way down from Great Whernside where I got stuck for a while last year because they were massive after an exceptionally wet winter.  This year they were fairly dried out so we got to Capplestone Gate with only a few ankle deep bits. I stopped to take off my warm gear and get ready to run the last few miles to the finish only to be shouted back by our group leader. We hadn’t been officially disbanded and to leave before then would have meant a disqualification for the whole group. So with slumping shoulders worthy of a teenager I tramped along sulkily at the back until we got to the final checkpoint at Yarnbury and we were officially disbanded.  With a cheery wave I set off on the final 2 mile road section trotting as fast as I could which wasn’t really very fast at all after 24 hours on the go.
I forgot to look at the time when I got in but I’m fairly sure it was a little over 24 hours.  Didn’t manage to crack it this year but despite swearing off this event for the rest of my life, I might just have another go at breaking the 24 hour time next year.
Ralph Baines had a great run; with a Bob Graham round in his sights, all of his Lakeland training sessions paid off big time and he knocked a good 2 hours off his best Fellsman time. Nick Olszewski had a tough run but still finished in around 16 hours 24. Andy Armstrong had a fast start but retired at Stonehouses after becoming dizzy and fatigued. I think the final runner was Andy McFarlane but I am not sure how he got on.
An energetic Adrienne Olszweska. Photo: Sport Sunday

Adrienne Olszewska feeling the Fellsman vibe. Photo: Sport Sunday

Awaiting results

 

Coniston fell race

Tom Addison won this AM 8.7m race with 3494ft of climb in 1:08:13 from Sam Tosh in second. First woman home was Lou Roberts in 1:25:47.

Wayne McIntosh reports:

Headed up to the Lakes again this week for the Coniston fell race. 8 miles and 4000′ was certainly going to be a test on legs that were still harbouring the effects of a tough run the previous weekend. All my previous race reading had led me to 2 conclusions:

1. Start steady and 2. Don’t get it wrong off the Old Man. Pre race was jovial and the race contenders were pretty obvious with Tom Addison and Sam Tosh both in attendance preferring this to the masses slogging round the Yorkshire Dales. There were also a good few Clayton present. I got loosened up and had a brief recce of the first climb, which didn’t look too bad until I was informed that what appeared the crest wasn’t anywhere near the summit and I probably had the best part of another 1000′ after that, splendid. Into the race and last week was clearly evident on the first climb as I laboured up the initial slope with doubts of how the rest of the day would play out. Thankfully Andy Firth was in sight and he led a group of 4 Clayton up a pretty good line to the summit of Weatherlam. A tricky descent was followed by the technical ascent of prison band to the summit of swirl how. I was feeling pretty decent by now and the pretty flat, yet technical run to Coniston Old Man seemed to come and go without much thought. Off the Old Man I opted for the tourist path as I’d never been up before and the wrong line off the direct approach can leave you in bother with cliffs and crags through the quarry. I descended pretty well but knew it was a longer line when the Dugdales popped out on the path before me having been ahead of both of them at the summit. A big effort down the final stretch saw me pick up a couple of places and even pip a young Ambleside runner on the line. Top day our at a top race!
Pos Name Cat Time
36 KIRT LIVESEY M45 01:28:23
77 JACK HOLT M65 01:36:47
162 ANDREW FIRTH M50 01:53:26
187 WAYNE MACKINTOSH M 02:00:50
189 PETE  DUGDALE M60 02:01:09
192 DAVID NIELD M55 02:01:45
195 KATY THOMPSON W60 02:02:20
200 ANDREW DUGDALE M50 02:03:36

Full Results

 

It’s A Piece of Cake 10k

Craig Nicholls ran this Manchester based 10k and finished 45th in 43:48. He sent this report:

Having asked on the Facebook page for a recommendation for a nice 10K I ended up booking in for the ‘Piece of Cake’ 10K race at Boggart Hole Clough. Given that I’m pretty sure I asked for a nice fast 10K I was a little surprised to hear all the talk about ‘angel hill’ but as a seasoned fell runner (I’ve now completed one) I put this to the back of my mind and readied myself for a crack at this hill they were all going on about and tried to keep the faith that a new personal best could still be on the cards. It turned out that Angel Hill was indeed a bit of a beast (albeit nothing to worry our proper fell runners) but all the training up and down Pendle Hill with our wonderful juniors must have paid off as I did manage to battle up it (three times) and managed to get round in under 45 mins for a new personal best time. All in all I would strongly recommend the Piece of Cake race to anyone looking for a friendly inclusive race. It’s probably not the fastest course going but of the handful I’ve now done it was definitely one of the most fun.

Full results

Sunday

Edge Hill Junior Aquathlon

Our talented Junior aquathletes/triathletes have been in action this weekend again at one of the Triathlon England North West series races, Helana White in the T2 Class and Ellie Root in the Youths.

Rachael White sent this report:

Helana raced first and this was definitely a race of two halves for her. She had 250m Pool swim followed by 2K trail run. Still only 10, and new into the T2 Cat (11-12 Years) she is finding swimming against the great club swimmers hard. She was ranked 25th out of the pool (out of 32) – nearly 2 mins down on the leader… but, had a smooth & fast transition ( ranked 3rd) overall, gaining time back and flew out of transition to start her favourite discipline – Running. From our view point I could see the girls running above and around me on the trail, I could see Helana with her normal determined running style eating into the gaps and gaining lots of places. – She put the 3rd fastest run in of the category, which meant she dragged her overall position up to 8th – Very proud of her, – This bodes very well for next season in this same age group.
Ellie’s race was not until late afternoon, and she had a much more consistent race across the disciplines. She swam 400m followed by 4.8k run. – Her great swimming saw her 6th fastest in the pool, whilst a fast transition (ranked 4th), put her in a good position for the run. Following the same route as Helana, but with more laps, Ellie had a good run in a very strong field and came in 9th. This put her overall position as 9th.
Both girls were brilliant, once again flying the flag for Clayton and more than holding their own against the traditional Triathlon Clubs.

Full Results

Lancaster Three Bridges 10k

An almost flat route for this 10k, save for the bridges over the River Lune from which it takes its name. Michelle Abbott raced round in under 48 mins and sent this report:

Michelle Abbott with her Lancaster 3 bridges 10k medal. Photo:

Michelle Abbott with her Lancaster 3 bridges 10k medal. Photo:

As I was just starting to feel a little more normal after 7 months of injuries, I decided to enter the Lancaster 3 Bridges 10k. I was the only Clayton runner there and having never done this race before, was unsure of what to expect. After hearing that there were some steps to run up, my first thought was that I was going to end up on my face! Luckily, and suprisingly, I managed to stay upright even after tackling the steps 5k into the race, something which resulted in serious jelly legs. At the top, I carried on to the finish not feeling my best and about 2 minutes off my normal 10k time. I was happy to get under the 48 minute mark though, in one piece and after tackling a serious head wind along the bridges. I will definitely be taking this race on next year!

Results not yet available

Keswick Half Marathon

Donna Airey ran at this scenic (aka hilly) half marathon, completing it in 1:42:41. She reports here:

The Keswick Half was advertised as one of the most scenic 13 miles 192.5 yards. They weren’t wrong. There was a very hilly 6 miles after the start, followed by 7 miles of undulating back round Derwent Water. It was well organised, with great support from locals, cyclists and tourist all the way round. A bargain at £15 with a t shirt. Optional slate coaster was also on offer at extra cost. Proceeds going to the local rugby club. Had a good race myself, 10th female and 2nd F35. Could have been less windy but other than that perfect conditions. Definitely worth a look next year.

Full Results

Monday

Coiners fell race

A longstanding favourite in the Calderdale area, this 7m race with 1100ft climb takes runners on a fast tour of Coiners country with steep valley sides giving way to (usually) boggy moorland. Tom McGuinnes won in 45:33 and local Holly Page was first woman in a speedy 49:47. Just 3 Clayton runners were present… James Boult takes up the story:

Bank holiday Monday. Free afternoon. 7 mile fell race? Why the hell not?

12pm: Sunny and warm when leaving Burnley. Sunglasses on.

12:30pm: Raining when entering Todmorden (shock horror). Intermittent wipers on. Sunglasses off.

1pm: Hit every red light going and traffic through Hebden Bridge. Excellent. Still raining. Very dull and miserable.

1:20pm: Make it to registration with the wrong shoes and not enough time to go back to the car. Sun comes out and it’s roasting again. Wonderful.

Three Claytonions made the trip over to Mytholmroyd to join the 110 other runners taking on the 7 mile Coiners fell race for Bank Holiday Monday. Alan Life told us the last time he raced Coiners was in 1993 so he wasn’t sure if the route was the same. Maps were on hand but there was little time left to study it.

1.35pm: Traffic delays meant I was in trail shoes and not my fell ones when we set off and like a muppet, I set off at the front and found myself fifth for the first mile. And that is about as long as it lasted before what felt like every man and his dog came past me on the first of the course’s climbs. The only word I can use to describe this absolute b&tch of a hill is dreadful. After a quick descent down a cart track the course goes up. An initially steep woodland heads up into a lung busting climb, and this twists and turns so much that when it levels out at the top you feel like you’re about to throw up. A few hundred metres of flat leads onto another horrendous climb onto the moorlands leading over to Stoodley Pike, which, thankfully, was entirely trail and allowed me to push on. The climb up to the aforementioned monument is gradual and very scenic, with the improved conditions opening up this beautiful vista. The descent is equally as gradual, and that is where the trail ended and my footwear became utterly useless. The race organiser told us the nice weather meant the first part of the course was dry, and the latter was boggy to the extent of knee-deep patches. He wasn’t wrong. After riding my luck for the first half a mile after Stoodley Pike I went down like a sack of spuds, thankfully just after a photographer. Literally just after though. As in, as soon as the shutter closed my feet decided now would be a good time to give up and I went face first into the ground. Brilliant. Plodding on after picking myself up I reached the marshland and went knee-deep faster than you could say “knee-deep.” I know, I was in the middle of telling myself to be careful for the knee-dee… Unfortunately this continued for the next mile of marshland before the final loop back to the start. Going down more times than I care to admit I got some rhythm back and caught up with a group of leaders and managed to sit in nicely. Taking us along a nice rockface back towards the start I went down again, cursing aloud my decision to put trail shoes on. The final few hundred metres is a fast straight and then an almighty descent to the finish, and I was able to take back a few lost positions on my way to the finish. A great race and one that I recommended to anyone. Just wear fell shoes. Seriously. For a fell race, who knew?

Pos Name Cat Time
25 James Boult U23 59:06
27 Alan Life M50 59:13
93 Stephen Fish M60 01:20:01

Full Results

Junior FRA Coiners race

The Junior FRA Championships returned to more local climes for the fourth of the six round series.

Jenson Bentham does his best 'I can fly' impression over the final wall. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Jenson Bentham does his best ‘I can fly’ impression over the final wall. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Run on a slightly different part of the valley side to the adult races, the junior courses featured a fairly steep grassy climb out of the start, some valley tracks and for the older runners a large dose of moorland bog running before all joining together for a headlong grassy spring downhill to the finish.

Josh McKay was the only Clayton junior in the U11 race, finishing 43rd. Jenson Bentham and Christopher Brown battled throughout the U13 race, Christopher just getting the better of Jenson in the flat out rush to the finish, ending up 22nd and 23rd. Helana White was 6th girl in 38th position.

In the U15 race, Jackson McKay had a solid race in a stacked field to get a great 9th place. Ella Dorrington had her usual ‘relaxed’ start but made up good time through the bogs to get 18th girl and 56th overall.

Jackson McKay working hard. Photo: Geoff Thompson.

Jackson McKay working hard. Photo: Geoff Thompson.

Ella Dorrington, wearing some of the bogs from up top. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Ella Dorrington, wearing some of the bogs from up top. Photo: Alan Dorrington

Briony Holt had a full on sprint finish after a tour of the bogs higher up, to claim a brilliant 4th girl position and 27th overall in the U17 race.

Provisional results yet to be corrected

Parkrun

Burnley Junior Parkrun

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
2 Nathan KEWIN 8:20:00 JM11-14
3 Charlie BIRTWISTLE 8:25:00 JM11-14
5 Imogen FERGUSON 8:53:00 JW11-14  New PB!
8 Bethany WHEATCROFT 9:08:00 JW11-14
11 Heidi KEWIN 09:41 JW11-14
13 Kady THOMPSON 09:47 JW10
34 Emily JOHNSON 12:51 JW10

Burnley parkrun – a total of 392 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
7 George PIER 18:42 SM18-19
8 Nicholas HENNESSEY 18:48 JM15-17
9 Josh HALL 18:52 JM15-17
21 Paul BRANNON 19:56 VM55-59
23 Reece Adam LAWRENCE 20:03 JM15-17
26 Lennon JACKSON 20:19 JM11-14
29 Robbie SMEDLEY 20:37 JM11-14
30 Matthew JACKSON 20:39 JM11-14 New PB!
35 Susan BURNS 20:51 VW55-59
38 Helana WHITE 21:14 JW10
51 Michael STEVENS 22:01 JM11-14
54 Jason PIER 22:12 VM45-49
59 Cassandra Darling SMEDLEY 22:25 VW35-39
60 Chris LAWRENCE 22:29 VM50-54
69 James HICKIE 22:53 VM55-59
71 Charlie BARNES 22:57 JM10
73 Colin WHITE 23:01 VM40-44
74 Charlie BIRTWISTLE 23:03 JM11-14
80 Michelle ABBOTT 23:20 VW35-39
81 Graham ROPER 23:22 VM55-59
86 Julie DAWES 23:40 VW45-49
89 Stephen AINSWORTH 23:49 VM60-64
100 Bethany WHEATCROFT 24:06 JW11-14
101 Nina KEWIN 24:07 VW35-39
120 Jean KNIGHTLEY 24:53 VW55-59
135 Tony PILLING 25:28 VM50-54
138 Donna SCOTT 25:32 VW50-54
142 Helen WELSH 25:46 VW45-49 New PB!
144 Caitlin WELSH 25:49 JW15-17 New PB!
145 Imogen FERGUSON 25:49 JW11-14
148 Nathan KEWIN 25:59 JM11-14
152 Charlie PLANT 26:09 JW10 New PB!
153 Toby BIRTWISTLE 26:09 JM10
154 Lynsey BIRTWISTLE 26:10 VW35-39
185 Justin BIRTWISTLE 27:02 VM40-44
191 Heidi KEWIN 27:13 JW11-14
225 Christine Jennifer EGERTON 28:42 VW65-69
303 Jonathan PYE 32:16 SM25-29
319 Christine LEATHLEY 33:12 VW65-69
321 Ellisia SMEDLEY 33:13 JW10 New PB!
324 Olly PLANT 33:34 JM10 New PB!
325 Daniel PLANT 33:35 VM35-39

York parkrun – a total of 681 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
395 Helen HARRISON 27:05 VW45-49 New PB!

Oldham parkrun – a total of 271 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
60 Eileen JONES 29:54 VW65-69

Milton Keynes parkrun – a total of 462 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
59 Aaron LUNDIE 23:40 JM15-17

Carlisle parkrun – a total of 228 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
12 John WILCOCK 20:52 VM50-54
47 Stuart PROCTOR 22:54 VM35-39

Skipton parkrun – a total of 168 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
1 Tom BREWSTER 17:51 SM30-34

Pendle parkrun – a total of 101 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
John HARTLEY 21:08 VM60-64
5 Simon WILSHAW 21:21 JM15-17
27 Dawn TERRY 25:29 VW50-54
47 Yvonne WICKHAM 29:31 VW50-54
58 Robert HIRST 31:11 VM65-69

Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – a total of 258 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
55 Barry MITCHELL 23:59 VM70-74

Witton parkrun – a total of 98 runners took part

Pos Parkrunner Time Cat Note
22 Carl CAREY 25:22 VM45-49 New PB!
33 Nerina GILL 26:54 VW45-49
34 Julia RUSHTON 26:59 VW50-54
62 Judith CAREY 32:40 VW35-39 New PB!