A 14-STRONG Lostock AC team headed to Heaton Park for the second race of the South East Lancashire Cross Country series, with multiple age group top-10 finishes for the women’s team.

Despite very heavy rain over recent weeks conditions underfoot were surprisingly firm for what is always a challenging, undulating course.

Racing over the shorter format rather than her usual fell and ultra distances, Josie Greenhalgh was first home for Lostock and fifth in age group with a time of 35mins 30secs.

She was followed by Nikki Hamerton who was fourth in age group in 37:13 and Melonie Crompton, one week on from the energy sapping Hell of a Hell marathon, registered a top-10 age group finish with her time of 38:43.

Karen Taylor was next home for Lostock with a time of 44:18, followed by a fifth-in-age-group time of 45:57 for Sheila Garewal, Christine Smith sixth in age group in 46:13, and an age-group victory for Gill Caldwell with 49:16.

In the men’s race James Jackson led home the Lostock contingent in a time of 44:44, followed by Tony Marlow (46:35), Chris Taylor (50:43), Andy Laycock (54:07), Mike Berry (54:45), Anthony Maxwell (55:50) and Mark Checkley (55:59).

Away from the cross country and back on the roads, Sol Badat continued his fine form for Lostock at the Blackburn 10k with a time of 39:30 to give him a top-10 age-group finish in a very strong field.

At the Wilmslow Festive 10k Rachel Hancock continued her recovery from injury with a very satisfying 50:15, where she was joined by fellow Lostockers Emma and Barry Wroe with times of 51:53 and 51:54 respectively.

The Kong Mini Mountain Marathon series concluded on Sunday in Saddleworth and the northern Peak District with Lostock AC represented by Albert, Abigail and Michele Sunter and Alan and Helen Mather.

While the weather was thankfully benign for late November, conditions underfoot were very heavy and slippy with treacherous, fast-flowing river crossings.

Racing over a maximum of four hours with penalty deductions for every minute exceeding that time, Michele and Abigail Sunter were eighth and ninth respectively, while the Mathers, competing as a pair, were ninth in their group category.

The Kong Mini Mountain Marathon was a welcome return to mountain marathon and orienteering events for Alan Mather 19 years after his last event, while it was Helen Mather’s first taste of competitive mountain orienteering.