Preston Harriers athletes blew away their Christmas excesses at the annual Ribble Valley 10K.
The downhill start ensured a speedy attack on the first mile with the elite runners storming ahead, the winner being Jonny Mellor (Liverpool Harriers) in 29.12. Amongst them were David Rigby, fresh from his victory at the Boxing Day 10K, Rob Affleck and – making a welcome return to the local race scene – Helen Clitheroe.
Rigby led the Preston Harriers around the undulating course and finished in fine form to cross the line in 31.59.
Affleck enjoyed his Ribble Valley premier with a sterling performance to record 32.34 to be rewarded second MV40.
Preston’s leading lady Clitheroe had a tentative return, posting a creditable 34.09, first FV35, with Christopher Tully smashing the line to claim a personal best of 34.49.
Next over the line was Steve Hallas (36.11), C Rowett (36.27), D Watson (36.37), N McDonald (37.57), S Young (39.14), P Cowling (39.41) and the ever youthful Alan Appleby, who was crowned first MV65 champion with 41.00.
Other fine performances came from D McDermott (42.25), K Judd (42.34), V Cowling (46.02), P Lakeland (48.53), D Roberts 53.28, A Judd (55.25), C Forrest (58.18), and the ever determined H Boyer in (60.34) to complete the Preston Harriers team.
Almost 300 runners from near and far ran the Boxing Day 10k, in and around Worden Park, Leyland.
An overnight frost left some of the pavements and tracks a bit slippery first thing, but there were no problems for the race itself.
David Rigby took the race on from the start and was in imperious form as he strode away from the chasing pack.
Rigby won in 32.46 and was almost a full two minutes clear of the second-placed Chris Nicoll from Derby.
And Rigby’s sister Rebecca – who runs for Newcastle University – also had a strong run, and she was second lady in 37.59, behind victor Kirsty Longley (Liverpool) in 37.17.
For Preston Harriers, Neil McDonald was 22nd in 38.29 and Steven Young was 33rd in 39.32.
Andy Grimshaw was next home in 40.38.
The first of the clubs’ ladies was Catherine Slater, in 42.02, just ahead of first vet 65, Alan Appleby (42.06).
Nichola Jackson was seventh lady in 42.59 and Ambi Tipping was 12th lady in 43.50.
Also running were Stephen Bonsu (43.15), Lindsey Brends (45.44) and Paul Molyneux (46.25).