BURNDEN Road Runners’ cross-country athletes continued their fine form with category wins for both the men and women in the final race of the South East Lancashire series at Heaton Park.

For the men, Paul Duke and Steve Nolan both collected a category win with excellent performances - Duke a V45 win in 39mins 43secs and Nolan a V60 win in 41:48.

Anne Ferguson was top of the table for the women, with a superb time of 37:09, picking up a V60 win and Gwen Kinloch followed in 37:33, claiming second V60.

Lyndsay Darbyshire was third Burndener lady and fourth V50 with 39:07, followed by Jane Forrest with third V55 in 44:02.

The presentation evening for the league is on March 25 where the Burnden runners will collect several awards.

The list includes:- Individual prizes - Lyndsay Darbyshire (fourth V50), Gwen Kinloch (first V60), Anne Ferguson (second V60), Paul Duke (second V45), Steve Nolan (first V60), Keith Thomas (third V60); Team prizes - Ladies – third V35, third V40, third V45, first V50.

Cross-country captain Duke said: “It has been another excellent cross-country year for Burnden in both Red Rose and South East Lancs competitions.

“I have to say thank you to all members who participated in the competitions this season - you really do make the difference.”

Elsewhere, four brave Burndeners took part in the ‘This Messy Happy’ YouTube channel challenge - ‘Squid Game for Runners’.

There were six games based on the popular Netflix series Squid Game starting with game one - ‘Green Light’ - and progressing from there.

Taking on the challenge were Duke, Lawrence McDonald, Sarah Watton and Jonathan Sangster along with 456 runners around the world.

‘Green Light’ challenged each competitor to run two consecutive kilometres without stopping within three seconds of each other.

Duke managed to run the 2km with a pace of 4:33 and 4:32 for each km, while McDonald ran his two consecutive km in 5:38 and 5:36.

Sangster and Watton both managed to also get through to the next round.

In round two - ‘Honeycomb Strava’ - each competitor had to either use Strava art to run the shape of a circle, star, umbrella or a triangle.

McDonald and Duke fell at this round, being unable to run their allocated shape but Watton and Sangster passed the round successfully.

Round three was no problem for both either, as they contributed distances to a group marathon but round four saw Watton unable to pass the ‘Losing Your Marbles’ game where runners had to race close to exact heartrate.

Sangster got through to the semi-finals and into game five with 45 other players still in the round called ‘Over or Under’ which was all about luck.

But he was out of luck and unable to carry on to game six with the chance of winning $1,000.

You can view the footage from the Squid runner games and find out when the next games start online at https://youtu.be/PoA5openUe8.

In parkrun, Mark Jackson flew the flag at Fleetwood promenade – putting in a fantastic performance with 19:22 and achieving second overall position.

Bolton Parkrun was witness to some excellent results with Vicki Hamer and Watton achieving fourth and fifth ladies, Hamer finishing in 26:47 and Watton in 26:48.

Parkrun run director, Gareth Doherty, was first Burndener to finish in an impressive 22:48 - 10th male and 12th overall position in a field of 205.

Other results: Stephen Horsman 23:00, Adrian Ashburn 23:19, Paul Drew 25:31, Paul Johnson 27:34, Lawrence McDonald 28:34, Howard Sparke 28:40, Louise Righini 30:18, Philip Glassbrook 30:36, Linda O’Byrne 31:16.

Gayle Gerrard and Chris Greenall joined 731 runners at Heaton Parkrun and put in excellent performances, Gerrard finishing in 24:32 and Greenall in 24:47.

Jennifer Entwistle represented at Pennington Flash, finishing in a great time of 32:27, while Liz Hopley ran at Witton, crossing the line in 34:22.

Haigh Woodland welcomed three Burndeners – David Smith and the Dunleavys.

Andy Dunleavy finished in a blurry 21:17, Smith in 23:19 and Cheryl Dunleavy in 34:32.

The Staveleys went further afield to Victoria Park in Glasgow where the speedy duo finished in excellent times - 23:28 for Andy and 24:26 for Shirley.

Simon Marland and Sue Blackman were also venturing far this week – to Sittingbourne. Marland finished in 23:47 and Blackman clocked 34:42.

Burnden’s (virtual) power couple, Andy and Cheryl Dunleavy, have officially launched the March Hare challenge.

All athletes need to do is run as fast as they can up Smithills Dean Road and back again.

Check out Cheryl’s video on the members page of Facebook for the exact start and finish locations and how to submit to collect points and virtual badges.

Meanwhile, 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.

The route ventures around Smithills Farm and Hall, through woodland, on to road and through a bit of mud.

Special Burnden buffs are on offer for all participants and the course is well-marshalled.

It takes place on Sunday, April 3 and for more information, visit www.burndenroadrunners.co.uk.