RUNNERS, walkers and cyclists took over Horwich for the town’s annual sporting extravaganza — the famous festival of racing.

Running on the same day as the Horwich Carnival, the event also featured unicycling and swimming events.

The festival began officially on Wednesday but the main day of races took place on Sunday and people lined the town centre streets to see the competitors race.

One of the showpiece events every year is the 5km British Masters road running race and this year saw the men’s race won by Mark Johnson from Mansfield Harriers while Lisa Palmer of the Heanor Running Club came top of the pile in the women’s event.

The open 5km running race, sponsored by Joseph Holt, was won by Altrincham’s Matt Barnes and local woman Debbie Campbell, who runs for Horwich RMI Harriers.

The Horwich RMI team saw more success in the 1km fun run event.

Youngster Lewis Wilkes, in the under 13 years category, won the men’s event and 15-year-old Harriet Foley finish victoriously in the women’s rankings.

The undoubted star of the cycling events was Bromley Cross youngster Benjamin Peatfield who was competing in the under 13s category. He managed to scoop first place positions in the youth cycle race, the one lap street race and the youth relay race with his cycling team.

His siblings also had successes, with Imogen Peatfield landing the under eight’s youth cycle as well as coming second in the street race, and Joseph Peatfield finishing runner-up in the under 16s youth cycle.

The Peatfields all race for Bolton Hot Wheels who can also boast the winner of the under 10 youth cycle in the shape of Riley Saint-Simmons.

The senior cycle race was won by Frank Pilkington of Leyland-based Bill Nixon Cycles and Liverpool’s Phil Thomas took home the over 50’s title.

One of the most popular events in the festival is the unicycle race and Bolton sisters Claire and Heather Page finished second and third respectively. Walkers were also competing in the 5km masters road walking championships, with Penelope Cummings and Mark Williams taking the top prizes.

A special mention should be made for the oldest competitor of the races, 89-year old Edwin Growcock from Sheffield who finished the walking race in a very respectable 42 mins 55.

Event organiser, Neil Brown, said: “Overall we were very pleased with the weekend and we hope everyone enjoyed it.

“The crowd really got behind the competitors, they were particularly pleased to see the race for specially adapted cycles which was making its debut.”