THREE of Burnden’s cross-country stars received awards for their season’s efforts from Atherton Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson recently.

The 19-year-old 800m star from Tokyo 2020 was on hand to dish out the trophies at the Red Rose League presentation evening and the trio of Burndeners rightly received recognition.

Gwen Kinloch was V60 champion, while Keith Thomas came third in the V60 section and Paul Duke was second V45.

Kinloch was also out running alongside fellow veteran Anne Ferguson at the Northern Masters Cross Country Championships - part of the Mid Lancs League Races.

Similar to the Red Rose Cross Country course - although it fell short by a few metres, measuring 3.3 miles instead of the 6k advertised – it was a muddy trek but the rain held off.

Ferguson achieved fourth V60 lady in a brilliant 27mins 12secs, while Kinloch was just ahead, winning third V60 lady in a superb time of 26:50.

It was a walk, not a run, this week for the quartet of Gillian McGowan, Sarah McConnell, Tess Riley and Nia Bell as they took on a tough 17-miler (the shorter option) full of deep mud, gusty winds and big hills.

The route took the ladies from Rivington Hall, up the Pike, across to the mast and continued to Turton Moors, Belmont and Tockholes.

Battering winds and tough mud awaited them as they climbed Great Hill before descending to White Coppice, round Anglezarke Reservoir and back to Rivington Tea Rooms where they were welcomed with a very well-deserved meal of soup and chunky bread after completing the walk in 7:55:00.

Jenni Partington joined in with the Angelzarke Amble, but went for the 25-mile option.

Describing the route as ‘rough on the tops’ and an ‘experience’, she met some great people along the route and completed in 7:20:00.

Off-road championship and fell race captain, Ged Turner, needed all his experience as he took on a triple threat at the Open 5 Braithwaite in the Newlands valley, near Keswick.

Turner, while paired with Nicola Hamerton of Lostock AC, was challenged to complete three activities in a time limit of 5 hours – fell running, orienteering and mountain biking. Despite atrocious conditions throughout, which resulted in the pair being drenched and Turner being blown over at the top of Catbells, the team managed to cover 10.6 miles of fell running, 18.7 miles biking and also found 13 controls while orienteering.

Maggie Slamin managed to squeeze in a virtual version of the Mad Dog 10K race as circumstances prevented her attending the event in Southport. She smashed it in a fine time of 1:05:12 and has vowed to attend next year whatever happens!

Haigh Woodland Parkrun beckoned Holly Craggs, this week and she made her debut in style. Despite the mud, she flew round the hilly course and achieved seventh female and second in her age category with a brilliant time of 26:21.

Bolton was the top choice for this week’s parkrun destinations as 13 Burndeners descended on Leverhulme for another battle of the PBs.

Andy Dunleavy was first member back this week in 21:52, with Steven Bate following in 23:18 and Stephen Horsman in 23:26. First lady back was ladies’ captain, Vicki Hamer, in 25:49.

Other results: Adrian Ashburn 24:21, Shay Walker 26:39, Marcus Chester 26:50, Mike Caine 27:13, Louise Righini 31:04, Tony Fulop 34:07, Ian Mann 35:53, Cheryl Dunleavy 36:37.

It was another brilliant result for Gayle Gerrard as she pulled in 24:04 at Heaton Park, while Chris Greenall also produced a great time as he crossed in 26:59.

Liz Hopley shone at Witton – finishing in a flat 34:00, while Adam Austin sped round Clitheroe Castle in a flat 23:00.

Mark Jackson clocked up another speedy sub-20 – finishing at Alexandra Parkrun, Moss Side in 19:10.

Simon Marland and Sue Blackman visited Horspath Parkrun, finishing in 24:20 and 35:17 respectively, while Sarah Brown crossed Peel’s finish line in 32:17.

Burnden’s 2022 race calendar gets under way this weekend when members make the short trip to the Standish Hall Trail race – the first of the club’s Off Road Championship.

It is an afternoon start at 2.30pm on Saturday and the race HQ is Standish High School. Members are looking forward to running this completely off-road course on bridle paths and woodland trails.

Burnden’s baby, the Trotters 5 Mile, is fast approaching and promises to be a good event with post-race prizes and refreshments, as well as a cake sale in aid of Bolton Hospice.

For those unfamiliar with the route, it is a challenging but fascinating venture around Smithills Farm and Hall and venturing through woodland, onto road and through a bit of mud.

Special Burnden buffs are on offer for all participants and the course is well-marshalled and definitely one for an athletes’ calendar. For more information, visit