Preston Harriers still in Inter-Club hunt

Harriers' Richard Smith, Chris Wales, Billy Johnstone and Alan Appleby at the Wesham Interc-Club race
Harriers' Richard Smith, Chris Wales, Billy Johnstone and Alan Appleby at the Wesham Interc-Club race
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With several stronger runners missing because of holidays and injury, Preston Harriers had to settle for a third place team spot at the Wesham Inter-Club race.

So there is still everything to play for with two races left.

Harriers were led in over the 4.52-mile course by Rob Affleck in 24.06, with Gary Pennington third in 24.14, and Gethin Butler fourth in 24.39.

Jon Green was ninth in 25.26. The ever improving Richard Smith was next counter in 26.41 for 16th. and the remaining counters were Dave Watson, Mark Lee, Paul Lightfoot, Chris Wales and Peter Cowling.

The ladies were brought in by Jenny Parker (sixth in 30.38) and Charlotte Rawcliffe, who was 11th in 31.51.

The other three team counters were Kate Lakeland, Victoria Cowling and Jenny Wren. The ladies are still hanging on to top spo.

At the Warton Crag Fell Race, Harriers’ Peter Carter, Kate and Phil Lakeland, Jenny Wren and Alan Appleby lined up for a race won by Lee Parrington of Barlick Fell Runners in 39.58.

The first Harriers athlete home was Alan Appleby in 49.37, then Peter Carter in 51.41, Kate Lakeland put in a great effort to beat her dad Phil – she ran 57.03 to 59.20 for dad, and Wren looked strong at the finish with 64.11.

At the Holme Moss Fell Race, just outside Holmfirth, Michael McLoughlin, Alan Appleby and John Bradley represented Preston Harriers.

Fortunately the weather was good after the morning rain with quite a strong breeze blowing.

The first three miles out were also the last three in and they took the runners to the Holme Moss transmitter station, where they went across the moorland tops before reaching the turn back at Crowden Reservoir.

After this, the ‘fun’ started with some severe climbs, perilous descents and rock scrambling up Laddow Rocks, before joining the Pennine Way path over Black Hill and back to the transmitter 

From there it was re-tracing the route out, with the last mile or so on tracks and road back to the cricket clubhouse where plenty of food and drinks awaited some weary runners.

Bradley was first to get at the food with McLoughlin next, followed by a very tired Appleby, who was surprised to be 3rd M65.

Tom Jordan, Marc Potter, Steve Pettman and Pete Mackie from Riversway Roadrunners all successfully completed the Bolton Ironman Triathlon on Sunday.

The Ironman event is a staggering 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride followed by a full 26.2-mile marathon run.

Most people would struggle to cover each of the individual distances on one day let alone entertaining the thought of combining the three gruelling disciplines.

When most people were enjoying a Sunday morning lie-in at 6am, the dynamic Riversway triathletes’ epic day was beginning with a swim in Penington Flash Country Park in Leigh.

After taking to their bikes they were supported at several locations by friends, family and Riversway club members, along the two-loop course through Belmont, Abbey Village, Buckshaw Village, Croston, Mawdesley, Wrightington, Standish, Adlington and Rivington.

The marathon run began at the transition point at Bolton’s Macron Stadium where the athletes left their bikes and headed into Bolton town centre, where they completed three loops of a circuit that tested the last of their physical and mental resolve before finishing near the Town Hall.

Jordan finished in 13 hours 56 minutes (his second Ironman finish), Marc Potter in 14.09 (which includes finishing his 55th marathon) and Steve Pettman and Pete Mackie in 14.27.

All four finished inside the top half of the field and are officially part of an elite group of people who can call themselves Ironmen.

A total of 2,157 athletes finished the heroic event and the average competitor is estimated to have burnt a colossal 10,000 calories.

On the previous Saturday, three runners from the club took part in the considerably less strenuous Elswick 10-Mile race.

The route was around the beautiful country lanes of Elswick, Inskip and Great Eccleston.

Sam Lawrence finished in 26th place in 1.11.27, Ray Whitelegg 58th in 1.18.27, Karen Munnelly 62nd in 1.19.12 and just under 150 runners took part.

Chris Jobson achieved a Personal best in the Windmill Half Marathon in 1.41, a placing of 125th out of 600 runners.

The big event for Red Rose Runners this week was the Wesham Inter-Club race.

More than a quarter of the field were RRR athletes. A total of 68 is not the biggest turnout of the year but still incredible.

Several tussles within the race made for great competition with Dan Hughes home first for Red Rose in 27.07 (20th), with John Shepherd on his heels in 27.13 (21st overall and second V50).

Alan Jolly gained the team valuable points with a time of 27.33.

Ken Addison ran well whilst nursing a back injury to finish in 28.01 and second V55, followed by Andrew Christie in 28.21 and Joe Swarbrick in 28.22.

Mike Hall finished in 28.51 with yet more close finishes behind him.

Steve Woodruffe (29.04), Stuart Cann (29.16) and Dave Brunton (29.40) completed the 10 places for the team score which gave the team fourth place overall.

The Vet 50 team had another good night, finishing first again for the fourth time of the series. The women’s team were led home by a strong run from Ruth Travis (33.12) ahead of Margaret Lupton (35.47).

Anneke Crosby was close behind in (36.04) with Carol Douglass (36.43) and Joan Gouldthorpe (38.22) completing the five places to make the team score and fifth place overall.

At the Pendle Trail. Mark Billington ran 42.54 and finished seventh out of 31.

It was a 5.3-mile trail run around Barley and surrounding countryside making a tough course. It was his first race in three months after being out injured.

Rob Mather finished 43rd at the Pendle Half Marathon on the Saturday in 2.03.22. Keith Burrows finished 52nd in 2.10.20.

In strong winds and heavy rain, Phil Darwen had to draw on all his physical and mental reserves to take on the Ironman UK event in Bolton, completing the 2.4-mile swim in 1.40.20, 112-mile bike circuit in 7.05.21 and the marathon run in 5.01.00 a total time of 14.13.23.