ULTRA marathon running is not a sport for the faint-hearted and two Horwich RMI Harriers who are stalwarts of the sport were in action at the Short Circuit event on the moors above Otley in Yorkshire.

Part of the Punk Panther series, Alastair Murray had won the previous round at the Reservoir Dogs race at the end of September over 43k, and he repeated that feat over the longer 50k distance, involving 4,000ft of ascent, last weekend.

Murray paced himself well, walking the first one-mile uphill stretch and then finally catching the leaders at 22 miles before stretching out for a lead, holding on grimly to take the triumph.

Julie Williamson is the club’s hero of many ultra races and in the Short Circuit her focused resolve brought her home three and a half hours after Murray but still with plenty of runners behind her.

Lindsey Brindle is in good form and took the first prize for women at the Run Through the Villages race near Chorley over the 8.4-mile undulating road route.

She had a close race with Glyn Kay who was running his first race in the Horwich vest for more than four years, having made a determined recovery from knee injury.

Kay finished less than half a minute ahead of Brindle and led the men’s team including Sean McMyler and David Unsworth to sixth place out of 30 in the team competition.

Bernadette Unsworth completed the Horwich contingent.

Geoff Leech took on the Run Tatton half marathon where he finished 187th of 996 runners, while Matthew Wilson was 25th at the Lancaster half marathon.

Nick Leigh was the club’s star performer at parkrun. He has an enviable record in 54 first places in parkruns at 14 different venues and on Saturday he led one of the Harriers’ largest ever parkrun turnouts of 13 runners at Haigh Woodland where Isabella Merritt was second female finisher with Charlotte Wilkinson only three seconds behind.

Horwich’s younger generation of runners had a series of second places at other parkruns including Toby Middleton at Worsley Woods, Luke Brindle at Cuerden Valley and Robert Seddon – fresh from his mountain marathon triumph – at Bolton.

Results: Short Circuit Ultra marathon 50k (Otley) – 1st Alastair Murray 4:45:42, 77th Julie Williamson 8:19:10; Run Through the Villages (Wheelton) – 27th Glyn Kay 56:17, 30th Lindsey Brindle 56:44, 43rd Sean McMyler 58:32, 81st David Unsworth 1:02:55, 230th Bernadette Unsworth 1:16:06; Cop Hill fell race (Meltham) – 53rd David Barnes 50:32; Run Tatton half marathon – 187th Geoff Leech 1:44:33; Lancaster half marathon – 25th Matthew Wilson 1:32:11.