Occasional runners got to compete alongside international Ben Mounsey at the annual Stainland Lions’ Boxing Day fun run.
Strong winds and torrential rain didn’t stop 160 runners from turning up at the 1885 pub in Stainland.
It created quite a spectacle as young and old, some in elaborate fancy dress outfits, dogs on leads and children in pushchairs took to the start line.
Most caught just a glimpse of England’s Mounsey at the start before he and Joe Crossfield sprinted off. They completed the hilly 5K course in 15:19 and 15:36 for first and second places respectively.
In the 14 years and under section, Ewan Wheelwright (18:47) and Isabel Castelow (19:29) recorded times that most runners would struggle to equal on a flat course on a summer’s day. The first lady was Becky Milne in 21:10.
Stainland Lions chairperson Karen Thorne and race director Graham Robertshaw said they could never have considered calling the race off.
Runners had starting arriving two hours before the start and when marshals and helpers appeared in their waterproofs they decided that the show must go on.”
The atmosphere was fantastic as the defiant runners showed that a little rain wasn’t going to deter them, especially with the prospect of a log fire and hot coffee waiting for them in the pub afterwards.
There was a giant raffle and Lions hope to have raised around £2000 for the Forget-Me-Not Children’s Hospice.
The cancellation of Sunday’s Red-Hot Toddy 10K Road Race over a new course was a formality due to the floods.
Todmorden Cricket Club was the race headquarters and the start and finish areas were under three feet of water.
Race organiser Kath Bridger said on the Todmorden Harriers website: “After much debate we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel.”