IT may have been a last hurrah or just a case of ‘keep calm and carry on running’ as Horwich RMI Harriers turned out in strength at several events over the weekend.

It was the first round of the 2020 British fell championships, the Ras Yr Afan at Bala in north Wales, where Danny Hope flew the flag for Horwich.

Despite a modest recent training schedule, Hope had an impressive 29th place of 309 competitors.

Also on the national stage, at Sefton Park in Liverpool it was the English Schools cross country championships, where Charlotte Wilkinson was the fifth scoring girl for Lancashire as the county won the Stedman Trophy for the best eight finishers, ahead of 43 other counties in the junior girls’ race.

Toby Middleton ran in the Intermediate Boys race for Greater Manchester and was the second scorer, helping the county team to sixth place as they won the Newcastle 900 trophy for the best eight finishers.

The Tiger Beetle trail race is a challenging 10k with an undulating course mix of forest trail, sand dunes, beach and more sand at Ainsdale on the Lancashire coast.

Seven Harriers ran the course with Richard O’Reilly leading the team home and that was less than 16 hours after he ran the very fast Podium 5k road race at Barrowford, having also done a parkrun too.

O’Reilly has an entry for the London Marathon and is not alone in now having to re-schedule his programme for the re-arranged October date.

In the Podium A race there were some fast times from a trio of Harriers’ younger athletes with Sam Wardle doing a sparkling 15:40 time and Robert Seddon and Luke Brindle built on a very good winter of training and racing, the benefits of which hopefully won’t be thwarted by the current crisis.

One response to the situation is to build the communal support network and in the running community Parkrun is a great way of doing that.

Thus, at High Woodland on Saturday, there were 23 Harriers combining running and social activity.

Marcus Taylor and Glyn Kay were second and third-place finishers, with Marcus’s age grading result of 80.92 per cent beaten by Mary White (86.39) and Ste Williams (81.06).

Elsewhere, Erica Booth was second woman home at Preston.

In the re-arranged Bolton 5k road race, Colin Rigby had an excellent race, finishing 13th overall and was first M50 of 19 in that age category.

Tony Hesketh was also an age-category winner at M70 and Kimberley Chadderton was the third woman overall.

This was the second fixture in this year’s Central Lancs Grand Prix after the Roddlesworth Roller last week so with eight more races to go, several Harriers are well-placed for good series results.


Podium 5k road races (Barrowford) – ‘A’ race: 29th Sam Wardle 15:40; 63rd Robert Seddon 16:51; 79th Luke Brindle 18:00; ‘B’ race: 33rd Richard O’Reilly 21:23; 34th Mark Seddon 22:00; Ras yr Afan fell race (Bala) – 29th Danny Hope 01:35:11;

Bolton 5k road race – 13th Colin Rigby 18:00; 24th Andrew Crickmore 18:52: 51st Kimberley Chadderton 20:26; 83rd Steve Thomasson 22:08; 103rd Tony Hesketh 23:25; 142nd Lawrence Pinnell

26:28; Tiger Beetle 10k Trail race (Ainsdale) – 12th Richard O’Reilly 45:22; 15th Geoff Leech 46:33; 16th Paul Sykes 47:00; 24th Neil Wilkes 51:11; 49th Andrew Storey 55:30; 56th Julie

Williamson 56:39; 63rd David Crawford 59:31;

Sale Open indoor series (SportCity) – 60m: 4th Ole Abidogun 7.40;

Alan Kirk Memorial Lad’s Leap fell race (Crowden) – 87th David Barnes 01:20:54.