Bolton Harrier Rachel Bailey retained her title as first lady at the Gin Pit 5 at Tyldesley.

Bailey performed strongly again, holding off the two-pronged challenge from Ramsbottom Running Club and finishing in 34mins 25 secs.

She was joined by three other Harriers - two of which were making their Gin Pit debuts.

One of those, Thomas Gore, described how he took things steady on the first lap and then once he had the lay-of-the-land powered ahead on the second larger loop, coming home first for the club in 12th position with a time of 34:11.

A plasterer by trade, Gore was building on his excellent results in the Manchester Marathon and at the Red Rose Cross Country and seems able to deal with all surfaces smoothly.

Another debutant, Dominic Sohor, finished in 35:07 (20th position) and said: “I was keen to tackle the Gin Pit 5 after other club members had described it as ‘a cracking race’ and ‘a total mud bath’.

“Thankfully I managed to stay upright despite wearing wildly inappropriate shoes.”

Rounding out the men’s team was Mark Garner (37th position) who has been entering lots of races of late and finished strongly surging past his rivals on the final slope, finishing on 38:02 and cementing the men’s team’s position of third overall.

Elsewhere, Bolton’s ‘Queen of Country’, Laura Lombard, signalled a return to form in the 10k Winter Hill Mast Bast race.

Lombard is the holder of the female Red Rose Cross Country title and already has points in the bag with a runners-up spot in the first event this season.

Like the Queen she showed she is in no mood to abdicate and does look to be in the kind of form to retain her title.

She came up with a typically gritty Ladies’ race win with a time of 53:28 in a tough 10k.

Lombard said post race: “It was a lovely, friendly event and we are lucky to have such scenery on our doorstep.

“I love running near the mast. It makes you feel alive when you are up at the top in the open because it’s pretty exposed.

“I enjoy plugging away getting up the climbs, but I’d like to be better at running downhill.

“One of the runners bunny-hopped the gates which entertained me but I decided I’d better use the normal method.

“The bog section got the better of me and briefly swallowed me up.

“The race was to raise funds for Bolton Mountain Rescue and they put on cake for everyone afterwards.

“They supported our cross-country event last weekend at Leverhulme Park and all in all, it was a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday morning.”

Club 2021 Ironman Ryan Kirkman headed to Liverpool at the weekend for the Rock ‘n’ Roll series of races.

In absolute top form at the moment, he seems to clock a personal-best time in everything he enters at the moment and the 10k event was no exception.

He came home with a best of 37:21 and said: “It was a brilliant event but probably my last major event of the year.

“I will have a few weeks off and start the Ironman prep again”.

Kirkman was a bike puncture off getting under 12 hours in Ironman and seems determined to make amends next time.

Peter Ledson, a new recruit to Aidie Costello’s Endurance Group, headed back home to Liverpool to take his part in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

The University of Bolton student completed it in a superb time of 1:34:00.

He has made quite an impression in his first few weeks training at the club and is yet another who can only improve.