Nichola Stoops to conquer!

Nichola Jackson of Preston Harriers
Nichola Jackson of Preston Harriers
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A huge field of more than 540 runners, all wearing Santa hats, started from a windy Penistone Country Park above Haworth for the 30th running of The Stoop fell race.

The race covers 5½ miles with about 800 feet of climb.

Conditions were best described as challenging and muddy with many runners returning coated in the stuff.

A high number had taken falls into the peat across the top or slid down inclines on the descent. Apart from one heavy shower, it stayed dry which was some consolation.

Preston Harriers’ Nichola Jackson, the British and English Under-23s fell running champion, had a storming race, leading from the start to finish first lady in 38.28, just under a minute clear of Claire Green of Pudsey and Bramley.

There was a very close finish overall, as both Rob Hope (Pudsey) and Tom Adams (Ilkley) were neck and neck into the final incline up to the finish from the road.And despite falling, Hope won in 31.08, just four seconds clear.

Also running for Preston Harriers were Alan Morton and super veteran George Arnold – soon to approach his 80th birthday and still highly competitive.

Red Rose Road Runners scooped a good share of the prizes at the annual Rudolf Red Nose race from Blackpool Fire Station.

Carla Davies was first female overall in a time of 35.48 with Ray Taylor first male vet 65 (37.52) and Joan Gouldthorpe first female vet 60 (44.41).

Evelyn Elkington finished first female vet 75 in 62.53 whilst other Red Rose Road Runners to complete the five-mile multi-terrain race were Philip Davidson (36.23), John Ross (40.45), Alison Mercer (45.18), Vicky Gore (45.47), Mary Conway (47.12), Josephine Walsh (53.16), Leanne Finch (57.35), Tracy Woods (57.35), Lynn Melvin (57.35), Wendy Ward (62.19), Angela Brooks (62.20), Janette Draper (62.35) and Bernard Elkington (62.53).

The heavy overnight rain simply added to the fun with the many additional water features that had to be negotiated.

Meanwhile, at Lytham Hall on Saturday, Red Rose’s Philip Davidson improved his Lytham Parkrun personal best by 45 seconds, finishing first male vet 50 in a time of 21.14 over the reserve course, whilst the course used for the first couple of runs is given time to recover.

Vicky and Megan Gore were acting tail runners for birthday girl and first timer Eva Phillips.

At Cuerden Valley, Karl Hodgson went clear of the whole field to record a new personal best of 18.55.

In 11th place, Steve Boardman ran a new best in 22.27 and Richard Field, in 20th place, ran his best time of 24.12.