Locals celebrate at Hill’s birthday race

SIXTEEN members of Halifax Harriers travelled over to Littleborough to compete in the annual 5K birthday race which honours Ron Hill, the legendary marathon runner.

The race started with all the runners making a dash out from a side road.

Once out on the main road the runners thinned out after a few hundred metres. The race dipped and climbed before running along the side of Hollingworth Lake and then a fast last kilometre takes the runners to the finish.

First back for the Harriers was Ben Crowther in sixth place in a time of 16:34. Craig Empsall finished two minutes behind in 18:44, closely followed by Sarah Cumber 18:50 who had an excellent result finishing as second lady overall.

Ever improving Helen Roby 20:32 ran a well paced race and was rewarded with a PB and a seventh place finish in the ladies who continued to be successful with Linda Crabtree 22:01 (second over 50), Elizabeth Mitchell 22:42 (first over 55) and Gay Leary 26:46 (third over 55).

Raymond Hall 20:45 was a clear winner in the over 65s.

Three Stainland Lions also turned out with Mags Beever producing an excellent run to finish second lady in 19:13, achieving a personal best by over 50 seconds. Phil Tucker had a creditable run after his short break from training while Gavin Dodd finished in 19:52 achieving a personal best by just one second.

TWELVE Calder Valley Fell Runners competed in the annual RAB two-day Mountain Marathon which attracts around 500 runners from all over the country.

The competition is a score format in that runners visit as many checkpoints dotted in the mountains as possible in six hours on their way to the overnight camp, carrying tent, stove and all the equipment you need for a night in the wilds. They then run back the next day, visiting more checkpoints in a maximum allowed time of five hours.

This year the event was held in the mountains of Snowdonia, and Calder Valley dominated the mixed competition. Bill and Anne Johnson were first veteran mixed pair, with a score that was bettered by only a handful of all-male teams, while Jackie and Phil Scarf were second. The senior mixed competition was comprehensively won by Barbara Lonsdale with her running partner Jon Moulding.

Elsewhere, there was also other success for the club as James Logue comfortably won the Thieveley Pike fell race in Cliviger ahead of Todmorden Harrier Jon Wright.

In the same race Sharon Godsman had a battle for first lady but was just pipped at the post by Juliet Horrocks of Clayton Le Moors. The following day her husband and clubmate Shaun Godsman took part in his first triathlon placing second overall and first veteran 40.

STAINLAND Lion Julie Field had a stunning run in the Netherthong 10k, coming home as first lady in 43:37 and shaving nearly a minute off her time on this course last year.

Mark Pigford led the Lions home smashing the 40 minute barrier in 39:10 to finish sixth overall and third V40. Jon Collins was not too far behind in 40:36, 13th overall and second V35.

Sally Caton achieved 45:50, slicing a hard earned five seconds off her time from last year’s race while Martin O’Brien can be justifiably pleased with his performance of 50:26 and fifth V55.

THREE Lions competed in the Fleetwood Triathlon.

This popular event comprises 400m pool swim, 12 mile bike ride followed by a 5K run to the finish. Richard Hand had a cracking race completing all three disciplines and changing shoes (transition) in 1:03:13. In the process he emphasised his running roots by setting the third fastest run on the course out of 390 competitors.

Phil Tucker was not far behind in 1:04:09, calf problems slightly compromising his usually strong run and bike performance. Dave Hutchings completed the event on a £50 bike in a not too shabby time of 1:17:26.