TWO Horwich Harriers recorded new personal-best times at the Manchester Marathon last weekend.

Sam Walsh took eight minutes off his previous best to finish in 2hrs 38mins 56secs, while Jane Counsell also took several minutes off her PB after eight years of trying with a time of 3:14:16.

In the same race, Gareth Webb clocked his fastest marathon time this century and Julie Williamson completed the run meaning she is now only two races short of the magic 100 marathon mark.

Elsewhere, Horwich fielded teams at the recent Northern road relay championships at Birkenhead where the men finished 18th out of the 50 clubs entered.

It was also the first time in several years for the club to have a women’s team in the road relays and they did the club proud with a 31st-place result.

More emerging road-racing strength was on display at Barrowford where the fast course for the Podium 5k races attracts athletes from across the country, so the performances of Toby Middleton and Isaac Battye as junior men were especially creditable.

Middleton ran 14:51 for 17th place in the ‘A’ race, beating his previous PB by 28 seconds, and Battye ran 15:41 for ninth place in the ‘B’ race, also a new PB.

In the same race, Simon Bruton ran 15:55 for 15th place, setting his fastest 5k time since 2016.

Rob Jackson continued his exceptionally consistent run of results with a 39:00 time in the Haydock Park 10k, where he was 12th out of 460 finishers and second in the M55 category.

Parkrun provides a good 5k test and this week, Richard Pollitt was first finisher at the Bushy event in Dublin; Richard Howarth was second to finish at the Preston event and Charlotte Wilkinson was third female at the Stretford event.

Junior Harriers’ have been making their mark at recent parkruns too, with Harry Yates third under-15 at Heaton, Lucas Collings second u18 at Pennington Flash and Fern O’Brien second at the Queens Park junior parkrun.

On the fell scene at the Peter Hartley memorial race in Rossendale, Phil Marsden had a great second place and Paul Boardman won the M60 category.

The Moorhouses Pendle race on Saturday also featured the Lancashire Fell Championships and Luke Foley, after an impressive fourth place recently in the Heptonstall race, took the county bronze medal place.

Danny Hope was third M40 ahead of James Titmuss and Dan Gilbert - also M40s.

Closer to home on the Smithills estate, it was the popular Trotters 5 trail race and Sam Fairhurst affirmed his form gaining a fine second place in 28:56 and Graham Schofield was first M65 in 35:04.

At Pendle there was a bronze medal place in the Lancashire championships for Jennifer Irving in the under-nines race, where Louis Yates also maintained his fine form with a third place overall.

Older brother Harry Yates was fourth in the u13 race and siblings Lily and Grace Mort kept the family theme going in the u13 and u15 races with Grace taking fourth place for girls in the older category.

Meanwhile, on the track, Joel Ige continues to pull out great results and in the Trafford Medal event, as an u13, he finished first in the u17 75m sprint, first in the u13 150m race, both PBs, and then first in the u15 long jump, making for a very impressive all-round performance.