THERE was a terrific turnout for Burnden Road Runners’ own Trotters 5 race last weekend.

Part of the Central Lancashire Grand Prix league, the event has been held each year since 2011 – moving from the traditional early March date in 2020, to August in 2021 and back to April for 2022.

The Smithills-based 5-miler is a notoriously challenging but exciting two-lap course with the route taking runners from the old Coaching House site to Smithills Open Farm with views of alpacas, wallabies and cows, through Oldham’s Estate and past Barlow Park, back to the farm and up through the surrounding woodland and past Tippit House to bring them to a thrilling descent down Smithills Dean Road.

Marshalls were positioned all along the course with cheers at the ready while local photographer, Henry Lisowski, was there to capture the day.

Representatives from the areas clubs, including Todmorden, Radcliffe AC, Horwich Harriers and Bolton United Harriers, were out in force to show support for the local race.

Post-race refreshments were on offer and the annual cake sale, this year in aid of the DEC’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, raised £172. Each finisher was presented with a specially-made Burnden/Trotters 5 race buff.

First male home for Burnden was Paul Duke in a superb 32mins 13secs and 14th overall position, while Sarah Watton was first Burnden lady and first V35 in a brilliant 36:52 and 39th overall position.

Following Duke and Watton were more speedy Burndeners with Mark Jackson in 34:27 and Samuel Ashton in 34:39, Gwen Kinloch in 38:00 and Lyndsay Darbyshire in 38:57.

Other results: Gareth Doherty 36:05, Stephen Horsman 36:36, Gareth Lowe 37:27, Marcus Hamer 37:57, Anne Ferguson 39:48, Vicki Hamer 39:59, Mike Caine 40:38, Jason Attwood 41:10, Holly Craggs 41:10, Verity Harrison 41:45, Andy Warburton 43:55, Simon Irving 44:47, Paul Johnson 44:57, Elaine Roper 46:07, Julia Hall 46:35, Emma Walker 47:19, Francesca Caine 47:40, Nicola Hardy 47:57, Chelsea Entwistle 48:32, Mel Walker 48:47, Philip Glassbrook 49:05, Rachel Prior 50:05, Robert Bell 50:06, Lauren Hulme 52:35, Howard Sparke 53:52, Anthony Fulop 56:45, Peter Whiteside 1:03:42.

Patrick Filio headed for some sun and a run as he took on the Barcelona Half Marathon and knocked three minutes off his 2017 time – finishing in an impressive 1:44:46.

Also known as the Mitja Marato de Barcelona, the half is an annual race and is the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the marathon.

It is a looped course – starting and finishing near the Arc de Triomf before taking in the Placa Catalunya and the famous Ramblas.

Heading onward, the runners are taken through the modernist Eixample district and see the striking Torre Agbar before running along the beach.

Closer to home, Lee White was on top form as he travelled to Barrowford for the Podium 5K.

This is 4.75 laps of a purpose-built flat tarmacadam track with four races divided into pace groups based on historic times raced.

White was flying as he sped round in a brilliant 18:13.

Five Burndeners took to the Manchester streets last Sunday and shone in the marathon.

Taking on the 26.2 mile challenge were Andy Dunleavy, Gayle Gerrard, Martin Fielding, Sandra Caine and Sarah Woodiwiss.

With staggered start times, the five were out on the course throughout the day and others went to support after finishing at the morning Trotters’ race.

Member Cheryl Dunleavy, returned to cheer on husband Andy and others with her wonderful ‘Bee Board’ - to celebrate the link of bees to both Manchester and to the Bee-ginner and In-bee-tweener groups that Burnden host.

The flattish course takes challengers from the athletes village at Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground through Trafford, to the city centre then on to Stretford, Altrincham and Sale.

It is famed for its support with crowds of all ages lining the streets to offer runners a myriad of goodies from jelly babies to sweets and lager, as well as roaring cheers of encouragement – particular along the Talbot Road home stretch.

The fabulous five’s impressive finish times were:  Andy Dunleavy 3hrs 29mins 17secs, Gayle Gerrard 4:07:17, Martin Fielding 4:22:08, Sandra Caine 5:32:14 and Sarah Woodiwiss 5:32:14.

Friends of Burnden and Bee graduates, Rachel Mitchell-Denson and Rachel Holland, also put in fantastic performances.

Holland finished in 3:58:33 and Mitchell-Denson in 4:52:45.

Burnden's Gareth Lowe shaved one-and-a-half minutes off his best time as he took on the first of the three Curley’s 5K series and finished in a brilliant 24mins 4secs.

Not for the faint-hearted and, on this occasion, in freezing wind and sleet, the run starts at the Fisheries in Horwich and, after a downwards slope and a run past the water, heads suddenly upwards in a challenging climb.

What comes up must come down and runners careen down through the woodland in a test for the nerves as well as for the feet.

Paul Duke was on a royal flush at Curley’s as his speed and steady feet earned him a regal time of 20:14 – a PB by three seconds - for second in his age category and sixth positionoverall.

Meanwhile, the final day of the Burnden Bees Beginners’ Group saw run leaders support three finishers as they put in their all to cross the Bolton Parkrun finish line at Leverhulme Park.

All finished in under 40 minutes with Emma Moorcroft in 39:53 and Howard Entwistle in 39:55. Daughter Chelsea returned to support dad Howard - running in just behind him at 39:58.

Tom Stratton was first Burnden finisher at Bolton this week, running in an impressive 21:07, followed by Martin Whitehead (22:20) and Gareth Lowe (22:23 PB).

The first three lady finishers were Linda O’Byrne in 28:06, Nia Bell in 30:12 and Rachel Prior in 30:25.

Other results at Bolton: Stephen Horsman 22:50, Steven Bate 23:15, Mark Butler 24:33, Mark Jackson 24:43, Colm O’Brien 24:56, Richard Blake 28:26, Philip Glassbrook 30:11, Robert Bell 30:51, Louise Righini 30:56, Paul Johnson 33:23, Ian Mann 36:01, Vicki Hamer 36:44, Debra Hennessey 38:51, Jen Forkin 39:54, Shirley Robinson 39:55.

Four other Parkruns were represented by Burndeners this week.

Chris Greenall finished at Heaton Parkrun in a swift 27:15, Sarah Brown worked hard at Worsley Woods – crossing in 31:35, Liz Hopley cracked Crichton with a time of 30:55 and David Aulton was amazing at Alexandra Parkrun, Moss Side with 25:36.