DANNY Hope and Dan Gilbert got the weekend off to a great start for Horwich Harriers with second and fourth places in Darwen Dashers’ Dark ‘Un fell race.

Hope split two raiders from Helm Hill with Hill’s Adam Perry close to a record time in first place. Peter Heneghan had a fast run to be first M70.

On Saturday a small squad of Harriers set off early for London for the start at the iconic Parliament Hill Fields cross country course for the National Championships.

Three juniors put on great displays with Robert Seddon finishing well inside the top third of finishers in the under-15s' race, while Eva Baldwin and Milly Lever gained great experience.

For the seniors, Janet Rashleigh had a strong run, finishing 243rd of 1,100 women.

Chris Essex-Crosby was Horwich’s highest-placed man in the field of more than 2,300 runners, while club chairman, Peter Ramsdale, enjoyed his return to the venue, having warmed up at Astley Park the week before.

Neil Holding ran the 10k road race in Blackpool on Saturday, finishing fifth, and nearly repeated that on Sunday in the duplicate race, finishing 10th.

He was the only top-10 runner on both days – a tribute to his recovery capacity – and took the V55 prize on both occasions.

Also on Saturday, the Horwich ladies had two teams for the Standish Hall trail race.

The A team of Julie Williamson, Gail Maxfield (who was first F60) and Victoria Maxfield were fifth out of 10 teams. There were top-three category places for Tony Hesketh, Gillian Smith, David Barnes and Julie Williamson, while James Jordan was Horwich’s top finisher in 12th.

Gilbert also took on a second race in the Lostock 6 and was the top Horwich finisher.

Lewis Wilkes was second u20 and John Parker was second M70.

Kimberley Chadderton was fourth woman finisher.

Barnes did enough in the latest Kendal Winter League race to hold a top-three place in the M60 series, while Sean McMyler ended a good vets' weekend as first M55 in the Oulton Park half marathon.

Ola Abidogun had track wins at the 60m and 200m sprints at the Sale Open Series.

At parkrun, Lukas Siska and Nick Leigh were first and second at Worsley Woods and Jamie Rockcliffe was second u14.

Michael Crook was first V70 at Bolton and Rudolf Maciejkowicz was first V65 at Witton, while Geoff Leech was third M50 at Stretford.

At Queens Park junior parkrun, Alyssia Jackson and Marty Arnot-Smith were first and third overall.

Horwich RMI Harriers results: Mr Sparkle’s Dark ‘Un fell race (Tockholes) – 2nd Danny Hope 34:20, 4th Dan Gilbert 36:42, Peter Heneghan 58:01.

Stanley Park 10k road race (Blackpool) – 5th Neil Holding 37:46.

National cross country champs (Parliament Hill Fields) – senior men – 1,105th Chris Essex-Crosby 55:00, 2,234th Peter Ramsdale 1:15:08, 2,257th Daniel Mortimer 1:16:48; senior women – 243rd Janet Rashleigh 36:30, 822nd Michelle Mortimer 45:55; u13 girls – 190th Eva Baldwin 14:40; u15 girls – 257th Milly Lever 17:49; u15 boys – 150th Robert Seddon 17:36.

Standish Hall 10k trail race – 12th James Jordan 42:16, 76th David Barnes 50:18, 86th Tony Hesketh 51:05, 155th Julie Williamson 59:31, 171st Gail Maxfield 1:02:12, 200th Victoria Maxfield 1:08:18, 215th Gillian Smith 1:11:46, 235th Justine Topping 1:15:26, 236th Kristina Mountain 1:15:26.

Lostock 6 road race – 15th Dan Gilbert 36:18, 22nd Matthew Wilson 37:10, 24th Dave Purnell 37:27, 33rd Lewis Wilkes 38:19, 101st Kimberley Chadderton 43:46, 121st Nick Isherwood 45:27, 127th Mark Swindell 45:53, 138th Gemma Stokes 46:40, 197th Keith Lewthwaite 49:50, 220th John Parker 50:52.

Sedbergh School race – 82nd David Barnes 38:13.

Stanley Park 10k road race – 10th Neil Holding 38:20, 44th Geoff Leech 44:42.

Oulton Park half marathon (Cheshire) – 31st Sean McMyler 1:28:17.

Sale Open Series – 60m 1st Ola Abidogun 7.30, 200m 1st Ola Abidogun 24.31.