BOLTON United Harrier Tommy Harrison stormed to victory at the annual Trotters 5-miler hosted by Burnden Runners to seal his third triumph at the event.

The club sent a strong contingent to Smithills and dominated the race with six Blue Vests in the first 11 finishers, Harrison the outright winner and Harriers also won the men’s team event and had the first female home in the shape of Heather Brown.

The ever-modest Harrison said after his 28mins 44secs victory: “I was happy just to get a run out again and it was a nice confidence booster.

“I thought I ran a well-controlled race and paced it as I had planned.

“I got pushed along by young Callum Brooks for the first two miles before edging away up the hills.

“The highlight for me was receiving the team prize with Callum and Rhys [Francis], and we had other runners not far behind those two showing the club has plenty of depth, and hopefully sets us up to command the Central Lancashire Grand Prix series this year.

“I now have plans for a solid Bolton 5k and will then see if I can pinch a 5k PB at the Mid Cheshire at the end of April.”

Newcomer to the club, Callum Brooks, was second Harrier home and fourth overall in a time of 29:39.

He has only just migrated up to Dave Shaw’s impressive stable of runners and his improvement this year has been astonishing and looks set to continue.

Brooks was delighted with his first race in his new group and said: “I am really enjoying the new more intense sessions at the club and have had a lot of support from Dave.

“With regards the race, I just tried to enjoy it and stay with Tommy as long as I could.

“Tommy is a class act, though, and obviously he did pull away from me.

“I aimed to get under 30 minutes and was comfortably under so I am well pleased.

“I have got the Bolton 5k coming up soon and will be aiming for a PB in that.”

Rhys Francis was fifth overall in a time of 30:58 and can only improve.

He is looking to get back to his form of 2020 when he had the Bolton 5k pinched from him by one second by his team-mate, and winner of this event, Harrison.

Joe Grisdale ran his usual strong and steady race to gain a top-10 finish, while newly-qualified coach Jordan Brophy was just behind him in 11th after a blistering start.

‘Always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ most certainly does not apply to Brown as she continues to take up where Laura Lombard has left off with yet another first-lady finish.

This young lady, who is soon to be married to team-mate Will Tomlinson, put her wedding plans on hold for a day and ran a super race of 32:54.

She was more than a minute quicker than the second lady home and said: “I am really chuffed with first lady in the first CGLP race and it is the first time I have ran that course.

“Safe to say my quads will be feeling it for some time!

“But it was great to have the sideline support from coach Dave Shaw and my soon-to-be husband Will.”

The ever-dependable James Rideout was first back from Harriers’ Endurance group in 36:30, with fourth overall lady, Rachel Bailey, not far behind.

The final three ‘elder statesmen’ Blue Vests to finish were Nigel Brodrick (37:48), Gary Jones (38:42) and Ken Fowler, who ran his usual consistently good race as second Veteran-65 in a time of 39:21.