DEFENDING champion Tony Valentine ran 40 seconds faster than the time he won in last year but had to settle for second place in the Bolton 10K on Sunday as former Bolton United Harrier Chris Busaileh made a winning return to his old stomping ground.

Valentine, going for his fourth victory in five years, led in the early stages but was overtaken by Busaileh, who is from Prestwich and now runs for Herne Hill Harriers in London, at the 4k mark.

A further kick at 6k up Spooky Hill even caught the lead bikers from MK Cycles by surprise and extended the gap to 130 metres.

Busaileh cruised across the finish line in 33mins 19secs with Bolton Harrier Valentine 37 seconds behind – the pair emphasising their class by being more than a minute ahead of Blackpool’s Malc Eadie, who finished third in 35:19.

Jack Garmory underlined his potential by taking the junior (under-20s) title, finishing 22nd overall, just ahead of his Bolton team-mate, new recruit Karl Darcy, after a strong sprint finish on the athletics track.

Never separated by more than a second, Pete Kearney ran a personal best time to win his duel with Daryl Bentley as Bolton won the men’s team honours with 90 points, ahead of the University of Manchester (206pts).

The women’s race was a cagey affair in the opening third but pressure over the flat middle stint paid off for Leigh Harrier Angela Allen, who won convincingly in 40:35 ahead of Wesham’s Jo Goorney (41:21) and Bury’s Katie Geelan (42:08).

Bolton newcomer, Catherine O’Dwyer, was an impressive fourth overall, and with Sarah Saxon and Cath Jones making significant contributions Bolton won the women’s team prize with 542pts ahead of Darwen Dashers (688pts).

Former international distance man Steve Kenyon, who boasts a personal best of 28:10, clocked 45:07 on his first return to Leverhulme Park action in 20 years.

Among the 592 starters on the two-lap course was 85-years-young Hugh Turner of Midland Masters AC (78:55).

More than 70 runners, including local Olympian Stuart Stokes, took part in the earlier fun run which was won by Bolton’s Joe Gande in an impressive 5:36, with teammates Katie Oakley and Olivia Kearney second and fourth respectively.

Organiser Steve Houghton said: “We’ve overcome a number of significant hurdles in the lead-up to this year’s race, so it was good to see everything go very smoothly on the day.

“The club ethos shone through as 30-plus members, many of whom would normally compete, brought along family and friends to assist with the event.It’s this tremendous support and enthusiasm that created a great atmosphere and made it successful.”

Results and photo web-links are available on the event website

BUH&AC Bolton 10K times: Anthony Valentine (33:56), Jack Garmory (38:26), Karl Darcy (38:48), Peter Kearney (40:06), Daryl Bentley (40:09), James Rideout (40:43), Ken Fowler (41:44), Catherine O'Dwyer (42:08), Eric Ranicar (42:41), Ian Meeds (44:05), Sarah Saxon (46:49), Laurence Jackson (47:45), Paul Rankin (48:16), Marcus Chester (48:18), Adrian Costello (48:58), John Grimshaw (51:12), Catherine Jones (52:38), Chris Worthington (52:54), Hannah Anthony (53:06), Phil Boardman (54:02), Richard Clegg (54:18), Victoria Power (60:43), Ged Tucker (61:09), Heather McEwen (63:34).

Burnden Roadrunners: Rob Short (39:59), Simon Marland (42:32), Gwen Kinloch (42:35, first F50), Steve Yates (43:30), Alan Worthington (44:25), Chris Greenall (46:10), Graham Robinson (46:59), Andy Warburton (47:34), Paul Johnson (48:49), Howard Sparke (51:12), Phil Holden (51:07), Beverley Walker (52:42), Gari Jones (53:03), Phil Lamb (57:19), Clair Marland (57:19), Jude Povey (59:08), John Egan (1:01:38), Peter Whiteside (1:03:01), Sue Blackman 1:08:21.