BURNDEN Road Runner Paul Duke finished in the top five as this year’s Curley’s races came to a conclusion with the third race.

He achieved his race goal of a sub-20 for the final – an amazing 19mins 59secs - to add to his super streak of ever-decreasing times and placed him in seventh position for race three and fifth overall position for the trilogy.

He was not alone with recording a speedy time either.

Gareth Lowe knocked a further 50 seconds from his time to make his new best 23:08, while being pursued by a Howfen Runner in a sprint finish which ended in a draw.

Steven Bate ran his fastest race yet in 24:42 and Vicki Hamer was race three’s second lady and came first in her age category with a swift 24:51.

Martin Whitehead sped through race three in 25:20 and Philip Glassbrook kept to his run of sub-33s as he crossed in 32:41 and was first in his age category.

Collective times for those who competed the three races place Burnden members in the following positions in a field of 42: Fifth - Paul Duke (60:25), 14th - Gareth Lowe (71:24), 22nd - Steven Bate (76:44), 41st - Philip Glassbrook (98:09).

Meanwhile, it was a collection of brave souls who set out to conquer the 5.2K trek from Horwich’s Crown Hotel pub to Rivington Pike and back.

A total of 244 runners, including six intrepid Burndeners, ascended on high a total of 230 metres to reach the monument - a day after the annual Good Friday ‘To the Pike’ walking tradition.

All members put in astounding performances for this tough fell adventure with the first four finishing within minutes of each other.

A time of 24:50 saw Andy Staveley first back with Peter Hopley following in 25:10. Stephen was down in 25:51, while Andy Dunleavy completed this ‘gruelling hill challenge’ in 25:58.

David Aulton was home in 32:40 and Emma Walker clocked 34:14.

The iconic Rivington Pike Fell Race is one of the oldest races and is now organised by Horwich RMI Harriers, traditionally taking place on Easter Saturday.

Bolton Parkrun was host to some brilliant times by Burnden this week as 25 members rocked up over the Easter weekend.

Andy Dunleavy used the parkrun as a warm-up for the afternoon Pike Fell and sped round in 21:07. Mark Jackson was seconds behind in 21:30, while Gareth Lowe finished in a swift 22:16.

Anne Ferguson was first female Burndener and third overall female in a speedy 23:53 and Vicki Hamer was second female Burndener in an impressive 24:00 and fourth overall female.

Other results: Chris Worthington 22:42, Marcus Hamer 22:44, Mark Cannon 23:13, Paul Christie 23:21, Steven Bate 23:59, Tim Taylor 25:03, Ged Turner 25:46, Francis Mackin 28:22, Paul Johnson 28:47, Teresa Riley 29:25, Mel Walker 29:25, Rachel Prior 31:55, Carolyn Edwards 32:00, Lauren Hulme 32:09, Sarah Brown 34:15, Tony Fulop 35:18, Cheryl Dunleavy 37:47, Debra Hennessey 38:23, Trevor Eagle 47:21.

Further afield, Chris Greenall took on Heaton Parkrun and achieved 26:34, while Jenni Partington’s performance at Peel was a great 25:09 and Adrian Ashburn finished Pennington Flash in a super 24:10.

David Smith was welcomed at Penrith - coming away with an impressive 21:38, while Jennifer Entwistle crossed in 35:21, achieving fifth female and first in her category, at Cheadle Hulme.

Nia Bell was at Penrhyn and smashed sub-30 with 29:58, while Simon Marland and Sue Blackman were at Evesham finishing in 24:00 and 35:20 respectively.

Witton welcomed Liz Hopley and Jackie Cairns who crossed in 32:01 and 35:47, while Haigh said hello and congratulations to Colm O’Brien as he finished in 24:59.

Burnden Beginner graduate, Ian Mann, decided to take a trip to the Isle of Man to run in, rather than support the island’s Easter running festival.

He took part in three events over the weekend – a 10k, a 5k and a Hill Run and did well.
Good Friday sees the start of the festival with a 10km road race in Port Erin and Mann achieved an excellent time of 1hr 12mins 50secs.

On Easter Saturday, the action moves to Peel, a fishing village on the west of the island, for the four-mile fell race.

Starting and finishing at the House of Manannan, Mann crossed in a great time of 54:19.

The Festival concludes on Easter Sunday with a 5km road race along Douglas seafront and Mann’s time was an impressive 35:34.

Elsewhere, Gayle Gerrard’s ‘marathon legs’ two weeks after the Manchester event did not stop her from a brilliant performance at the Salford Harriers Good Friday 10K.

A local road race, fast and flat and made up of two 5k laps, starting and finishing at Salford Sports Village, this race is always a sell out and attracts a fast field due to personal-best potential.

This is the fifth time Gerrard has raced this 10k and she managed to get a course PB with a superb 48:43.

Meanwhile, Andy Warburton and Gwen Kinloch visited Scotland and took part in the British Masters 10K Championship.

The route was the ‘Round the Houses 10K’ in Grangemouth, Falkirk.

Kinloch’s outstanding performance of 45:00 awarded her fifth V60 and Warburton finished in a brilliant 53:28.

Burnden’s Bees - the New Beginners’ Group - will be starting their adapted 0-5K programme on Monday, May 9 from Smithills Sports Centre between 6-7pm. There is no charge for the 12 weekly sessions.

The graduate Bees - the Inbetweeners’ group (5-10K) - as well as a weekly long run and efforts session, all currently run on a Monday evening from Smithills Sports Centre at 7pm. There is a fee of £1 for each of these weekly sessions.

For more information about getting involved, visit the Burnden RR website at www.burndenroadrunners.co.uk.