Four Burnden Road Runners conquered the Jim Sykes Five Towers Hike recently in less then 10 hours.

Gillian McGowan, Nia Bell and Gareth Lowe joined Jen Forkin, her dad, Jon Worthington, and members of St Thomas of Canterbury Trails’ walking group to trek 25 miles over the course of a day.

The hike will be memorable to anybody who remembers headteacher, Jim Sykes, from St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School. He was a keen hiker and started ‘Sykes Hikes’ to encourage pupils and their parents to enjoy walking.

The Five Towers Hike was his idea and is now in its 49th year, despite him passing away, aged 61, in 1990.

The walk takes in the five ‘Towers’ of Rivington Pike, Winter Hill (Scotchman’s Stump), Darwen Tower, Holcombe Tower and Grant’s Tower with a few stops along the way at Tockholes, The Strawbury Duck, Crowthorne and The Shoulder of Mutton.

Hikers all receive a certificate to show their achievement at the end.

The group finished the walk in 9hrs 35mins and reached an ascent of 3,170 feet.

A big group of club members headed to Haigh Hall and cheered on by Colm O’Brien, Tracy Berry and Ian Mann, Bolton Parkrun double winner, Michael Hampson, was first home – the four miles finished in a superb 23:30 for eighth overall position.

Peter Hopley was in fine form again as he swept in at 25:53, while Mark Jackson followed in a speedy 26:16.

First Burnden lady was Gwen Kinloch in 28:57 and second was Lyndsay Darbyshire in 29:28.

Burnden cleared up at the Vet category prize awards with many members placing highly.

Vet category results - Ladies: 1st V60 - Gwen Kinloch, 3rd V50 - Lyndsay Darbyshire, 2nd V60 - Anne Ferguson 30:57, 2nd V55 - Tess Riley 37:18, 3rd V55 - Kath Baron 38:33. 2nd V45 – Linda O’Byrne 31:50, 3rd V45 – Gayle Gerrard 32:16, 3rd V35 – Vicki Hamer 30:58; Men: 3rd V55 - Peter Hopley, 1st V60 – Andy Dunleavy 26:53, 2nd V60 - Stephen Horsman 27:55, 1st V65 - Keith Thomas 28:40, 2nd V65 - Paul Christie 29:52, 1st V70 - Francis Mackin 35:13, 1st V75 - Mel Walker 38:09, 2nd V75 - Philip Glassbrook 38:15.

Other results: Samuel Ashton 26:25, Gareth Doherty 26:35, Gareth Lowe 27:36, Martin Cullen 28:28, Martin Whitehead 28:48, Adrian Ashburn 29:19, David Smith 29:20, Marcus Hamer 29:27, Adam Austin 29:43, Martin Fielding 29:52, Mike Caine 30:27, Steven Bate 30:39, Jason Attwood 30:46, Patrick Filio 31:22, Andy Warburton 32:23, Mark Butler 32:30, Francesca Caine 32:34, Verity Harrison 33:01, Michelle Carter 33:44, Melissa Husbands 34:31, Josh Palmer 34:51, Jenni Partington 35:14, Mark Turner 36:43, Gillian Morris 37:51, Sandra Caine 38:21, Carolyn Edwards 38:30, Louise Righini 39:22, Nia Bell 39:42, Jennifer Entwistle 42:31, Anthony Fulop 43:31, Sarah Brown 43:40, Jennifer Forkin 45:27, Cheryl Dunleavy 45:27, Sarah McConnell 51:22, Gillian McGowan 51:35.

Elsewhere, Josh Palmer headed to the port city of Hull to take part in the Jane Tomlinson Run for All Hull Half Marathon.

Similar to the Bury event in September, this is a charity run held on the same day as a 10k, and in memory of Jane Tomlinson, which creates a festival of running and brings thousands out on to the city’s streets.

Starting and finishing in Alfred Gelder Street, the predominantly flat course offers great PB potential.

The route takes in The Deep, Humber Dock Marina, Hull City Hall and the University of Hull before heading back for a fabulous finish in the heart of the city centre.

Palmer finished in 2:11:55.

The Edgworth Reservoir 10K attracted Burndeners Jonathan Sangster, Sarah Watton and Paul Drew - with Sharon Drew as support crew.

Watton put in a super performance, achieving second lady in 48:04 and Sangster did swimmingly well with third overall position and a sub-40 of 39:58.

Finishing to a big shout out from the race director of ‘Here is one of our veterans!’, Paul Drew swished over the line in 50:54.

Three weeks ago, Tim Taylor was in Windermere baffled as to why he couldn’t do front crawl after over a dozen open-water swim races and why it was hard work after 48 minutes of breast stroke.

In his descriptive and inspirational words,

“Ten days before Slateman I was lying in the road really hurting (badly bruised, grazed and shaken) after being knocked off my bike by a car so it was time to bounce back.

“The Slateman 1500m swim was brilliant (30 minutes), the bike ride (50km) was the best triathlon bike course I have done. I fluked the right gear and cadence for the10-mile climb up to Pen-y-Pass.

“I loved every second of it (2:02:30). The 12k run was the most brutal I have done, after the 2km steep climb through the quarries it was great with some lovely technical descents (1:17:16).

“It was a great event and Finland IM 70.3 is my next stop.”

After a two-year break due to Covid, Burnden Road Runners sent their normal contingent to the iconic ‘Man Versus Horse’ mountain marathon across 20 miles of Welsh hills in the town of Llanwrtyd.

The race begins on Tarmac but takes in forest tracks and open moorland and, as the name suggests, pits 1,000 runners against 50 horses – offering a cash prize to those who manage the notoriously tricky task.

No Burndener won the cash this time – that went to Ricky Lightfoot – the first winner since 2007 and only the third since 1980 – but there were still some good times.

Cantering like a stallion, Ed Ashton was back in 3hrs 31mins 44secs and Jane Forrest galloped home in 3:59:11 – knocking 30 minutes from her previous time four years ago.

Two relay teams were also entered. Do Not X-Ray consisting of Andy Staveley, Pete Hopley and Stewart Jones came home in 3:07:00 and the Scouse Whippets - Shirley Staveley, Colm O’Brien and Dave Aulton - were far from stable as they passed a few horses in 3:42:00.

Late entrant Keith Thomas also made the journey down to help out another of the relay teams who had lost one of their runners.

Meanwhile, Kath Baron and Mark Jackson were the only Burnden representatives at the Knowl Hill Fell Race last week and did the club proud.

Famously tough with beautiful views and a super-steep scramble, it was the third race in the Rochdale Harriers three-day series.

Baron finished the six challenging miles in a superb 1:23:55 and Jackson in an impressive 1:00:37.

Burnden Road Runners’ king and queen of parkrun tourism had a reason to celebrate this week as Sue Blackman notched up her 250th parkrun at Ellesmere Port.

Not only that, she achieved a personal best with a great time of 34mins 22secs, while clubmate. Simon Marland ran an impressive 22:53.

Closer to home, Michael Hampson finished in second overall position at Worsley Woods in an astonishing 16:52.

‘Furthest Travelled Award’ this week goes to Jenni Partington who finished Aberystwyth Parkrun in a super time of 26:11.

Not too far from her was Liz Hopley at Groe Parkrun, where she finished in a solid 30:04.

Burnden results at Bolton were plentiful as Andy Dunleavy was first male Burndener in 21:48 and first Female Burndener was Katherine Baines in 26:11.

Other results: Stephen Horsman 22:37, Tom Stratton 23:22, Marcus Chester 24:27, Steven Bate 24:40, Gareth Doherty 29:36, Philip Glassbrook 30:20, Linda O’Byrne 30:25, Paul Johnson 30:29, Jennifer Enwistle 33:56, Cheryl Dunleavy 38:03, Debra Hennessey 39:05.

Times from elsewhere: Pennington Flash – Sarah Brown 32:45, Michelle Livesey 37:05, Carol Richardson 37:10; Keswick – Gayle Gerrard 23:29; Lytham Hall – Mark Jackson 20:18 (fourth position); Peel – Adrian Ashburn 21:43.

Burndeners Mark Jackson and Anne Ferguson were out on the moors at the Walsh Two Lads Fell Race this week.

Ascending 899 feet up the Pennines and on to the monument, before descending back to the start, this 5.2 miles is a challenge.

Jackson finished in 41:32 and Ferguson clocked 48:22.