HORWICH RMI Harriers’ men’s team produced a starring performance at the inaugural Witton Park Trail Relay Race in Blackburn.

Alastair Murray, James Kevan and Martyn Bell finished the event by a huge near-three-minute margin from host club Blackburn’s A team.

They were one of 12 Horwich teams, with others from Bolton Harriers and Burnden Roadrunners among 80 teams of three taking part.

The course, used as World Mountain Championship Trials in 2011, was a tough 5km, graded BS-category fell terrain with a 189m ascent.

There were unfortunate route finding difficulties, mainly on the first leg, with many of the leading runners missing out parts or going the wrong way.

The event required each runner to complete the same 5k leg with a climb of 300m.

On leg one, Murray came back in fourth place in 21mins 38secs, handing over to Kevan who moved through to first with a run of 21mins 57secs.

Bell increased the lead on leg three with a time of 22:28 to complete a team time of 1:06:01 with Blackburn second in 1:08:59.

Horwich’s second team was eighth in 1:13:21, while the third Horwich team, made up of 15-year-old Nathan Townsend, his dad, Andy, and Sean McMyler were 12th in 1:13:56, Nathan producing the fastest junior run of the day with an outstanding 25:18.

Horwich had other men’s teams finishing in 15th, 31st and 36th.

The first Horwich ladies’ team came home in 37th in 1:20:59, with their second ladies’ team just six seconds behind in 38th, and other ladies’ teams finishing 42nd, 60th, 71st – three juniors making up that trio – and 80th.

The junior event, run on a shorter course, saw Horwich boys’ teams finish eighth overall (third under-12s), and 17th, with the first Horwich girls’ team 20th overall.

Bolton United Harriers entered five teams, their best, made up of junior Jacob Kearney (21:59), his father Pete (27:12) and Chris Povey (26:24) finishing 14th in 1:15.35.

Turton High School pupil Jacob recorded the sixth fastest time of all the legs.

The veterans’ team, comprising Daryl Bentley (25:32), Nick Howarth (27:38) and Andrew Doyle (26:55) were 30th in 1.20.05.

Sarah Saxon (24:30), Julie Lomax (32:44) and Jayne Dickinson (30:51) were seventh overall in the women’s race (1:28.05).

Chris Worthington (34:40) chose the wrong race to return to competitive action given its intensity, and was joined by Keith Mallinder (30:56) and Paul Rankin (34:30) for a combined 1:40.06. In the junior girls’ race, Leah Rushworth (20:22), Alice Tonge (15:36) and Molly Philbin (16:45) performed well to record a team time of 52:43.

Radcliffe AC men’s team of Shaun Boult, Mauro Rotondi and Dave Bartlett were 46th.

Results Horwich: 1st Alastair Murray 21.38, James Kevan 21.57, Martyn Bell 22.26 (total 1.06.01); 8th Brendan Bolland 24.29, Stuart Edmundson 24.06, Mike Green 24.44 (1.13.21); 11th Andy Townsend 23.57, Nathan Townsend (u15) 25.16, Sean McMyler 24.43 (1.13.56); 15th Tim Roe 23.53, Glenn Lever 26.16, Carl Balshaw 25.38 (1.15.47); 33rd Billy Martin 26.01, Karl Ward 27.06, Alan Ashley 27.24 (1.20.31); 36th Suzanne Budgett 22.03, Josie Greenhalgh 28.07, April Stevenson 30.49 (1.20.59); 37th Rachel Jones 24.48, Lindsey Brindle 25.53, Maria Lowe 30.44 (1.21.05); 38th Gary Chadderton 25.03, Doug Fleming 26.58, Pete Ramsdale 29.37 (1.21.38), 42nd Graham Finch 25.15, Keith Tyrer 29.30, Tony Hesketh 28.28 (1.23.13); 60th Jacqueline Purlan 39.10, Stephen Pearson 31.48, Doug Fleming 28.23 (1.39.21); 71st Jenny Unsworth 36.46, Abby Cox 36.16, Jenny Cox 42.54 (1.55.54); 80th Christian Upton (no time recorded), Paul Wilcockson 54.43, Paul Skyes 30.07 (no total time).

Horwich juniors: 8th Lewis Wilkes 14.20, Thomas Massey 15.10, Robert Seddon 14.36 (44.06), 17th Sam Twist (no time recorded), Stephen Brown (no time recorded), Jake Glendenning 15.56 (47.35); 20th Penny Townsend 16.00, Sally Caldwell 16.22, Anna Walton 18.16 (50.38).

Burnden Roadrunners: Ladies: 54th, Anne Ferguson 23:07, Maria Parkinson 40:25, Holly Craggs 29:59; 73rd, Lucille Corrigan 39:31, Laura Tomlinson 38:34, Alex Rorrison 43:40. Veteran men: 65th, Tim Taylor 24:59, Paul Sedgwick 43:43, Mark Turner 36:06. Veteran ladies: 72nd, Brenda Sedgwick 38:47, Mumtaz Patel 34:52, Julie Bower 46:41.