HORWICH'S Michael Cayton rose to the top of the UK rankings for five miles in the V35 age category by a big margin of 52 secs after finishing fifth at the Alsager five-mile road race.

Elsewhere, Rob Jackson was 28th and took the V50 first prize in the aptly named Winter Warmer 10k at the hilly scenic Witton Park.

Three places behind was Neil Holding, taking the V55 first prize, a day after finishing fifth in the Lancaster 5k.

In the 10k at Lancaster, Gareth Booth returned to winning ways with a smart time for first place.

The chilly weekend did not deter a big Horwich turnout at the Mad Dog 10k in Southport.

David Unsworth had a fine run, while dedicated parkrunners Lynn Smith and Lesley Davidson both got personal bests for the 10k distance.

On the fells on Saturday it was a wintry scene at the Wadsworth Trog over 19 miles of moorland above Hebden Bridge with total ascent of 3,600 feet.

Andy Ford excels in such conditions although on this occasion the ice underfoot sent him headfirst into a trig point pillar. He also turned his ankle but Ford is a good navigator and on a day when several lost their way in the mist and snow he clawed his way back up the field for 22nd place. Mark Walsh was not far behind in 34th.

It was another big cross country weekend for the juniors with the county schools' championships taking place across the country.

At Heaton Park in the Greater Manchester championships, the performances for Bolton Schools of Lucy Dixon (third), Eva Baldwin (eighth) and Lucas Milliken (eighth) have earned them a county call up for the English Schools' Championships in Leeds next month – their first county vests and a proud moment in a young athlete’s development.

In the Lancashire Schools' championships, Matthew Flatters was a member of the winning Chorley Schools junior boys’ team and Milly Lever was in the second-placed Chorley junior girls’ team.

The Red Rose Cross Country League presentation evening took place last Friday at the Horwich RMI club and the juniors had an impressive prize haul.

Emma Bradley won the under-11 girls' first prize and Lucy Dixon won the u13 girls' first prize.

The u11 and u13 girls also won the team prize, while the u15 boys took the second-placed team prize.

The vets starred as Tony Hesketh and John Parker won the V65 and V75 trophies, while Dave Milliken and Steve Williams took second prizes in the V50 and V60 categories.

In parkrun, the women were the winners last week with Erica Booth first female home at Preston.

Isabella Merritt did the same at Bolton, while Maria Lowe and Suzanne Budgett were second home at Heaton and Cuerden Valley respectively. Miriam Harrison was fourth woman at Exeter Riverside.

Horwich RMI Harriers results: 3-1-5 10k road race (Lancaster) – 1st Gareth Booth 35:13.

3-1-5 5k road race (Lancaster) – 5th Neil Holding 18:34.

Wadsworth Trog fell race (above Hebden Bridge) – 22nd Andy Ford 3:15:21, 34th Mark Walsh 3:20:51.

Mad Dog 10k road race (Southport) – 88th David Unsworth 42:22, 137th Geoff Leech 44:29, 190th Carl Leech 45:47, 415th Bernadette Unsworth 50:27, 416th David Crawford 50:27, 647th Keith Lewthwaite 53:49, 684th Gail Maxfield 54:13, 762nd Andrew Storey 55:11, 1,415th Lynn Smith 1:02:40, 1,424th Lesley Davidson 1:02:48; 1,691st Victoria Maxfield 1:06:02, 2,290th Kristine Mountain 1:16:41.

Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k road race – 28th Rob Jackson 38:31, 31st Neil Holding 38:45.

Long Mynd fell race (Church Stretton) – 160th David Barnes 3:02:57.

Alsager five-mile road race – 5th Michael Cayton 24:48.