Horwich Harriers’ annual downhill race from Scotsman’s Stump on Winter Hill saw club members braving the muddy conditions to take part.

Organised by Alastair Murray, the event saw the runners set off at one-minute intervals with Peter Ramsdale on finishing line duties at the Horwich RMI club on Chorley New Road.

Luke Foley started off last and it was a well-earned handicap as he won the race in a time of 19mins 13secs, while Charlotte Wilkinson was first woman in a time of 24:49.

She had other reasons to celebrate as well, as she had recently taken the second prize in the English Junior Fell Championships in the under-19 women’s category. Wilkinson achieved this by gaining high places at the six races in the Lakes, Peak District, Shropshire and Wales. With Emma Bradley also in the team, the U19 women won the club prize in the category. The U13 girls team also won their age category ahead of Rossendale and Ambleside and the U15 boys were second behind Ambleside.

In the overall club championships, Horwich finished 12th out of 73 clubs - one place above Chorley AC and the second highest Greater Manchester club. Rossendale held off the might of Lake District clubs, Ambleside and Helm Hill to win the overall championships.

Horwich had 16 athletes taking part in the season’s fell championship races with Kitty Crossland gaining sixth place in the U13 category, Mark Titmuss 10th in the U15 boys and Isaac Battye 11th in the U19 boys, despite only doing two races. The club benefited from points garnered by Leo Orrell (U13B), Jack Titmuss (U13B), Sophie Orrell (U13G), Maddison Wilkinson (U13G), Harry Yates (U15B) and Grace Mort (U15G) - all packing in five races with additional valuable points from Lily Mort (U13G), Imogen Lane (U13G), Charlie Cowburn (U15B), Francis Crossland (U15B), Aidan McKenna (U19M) and Emma Bradley (U19F). The Fell Running Association also encourages fell running from U9 age, with challenge credits for taking part. Happy Harrier recipients of these were Harriet Wilkinson (six), April Mort (four), Jacob Wilkinson (five), Louis Yates (five), Ayomide Bamgboye (one), Jennifer Irving (four), Celia Lane (one) and Isla Newton (one).

The Holcombe Two Towers race returned for the first time since 2019 and Phil Marsden gave cycle racing a break to finish second in 32:33 behind Joseph Ormrod, of Rossendale. Dan Gilbert is also regularly up there in the top 10 and this time took seventh place and third place in the strong M40 age category. Gary Porteous turned out again for Horwich in his first season of running in the red and black with a very respectable 51:48 and four days later, he got a third M55 place at the Blackleach trail race where Marcus Taylor showed his recovery ability after his epic Bob Graham Round to take the first M50 prize and 11th place overall.

At the Great Westmorland trail race, Suzanne Budgett claimed second prize for the women and the F60 prize. Dan Gilbert followed up a busy week, including supporting the Bob Graham Round last weekend and the Holcombe and Downhill races, by doing the tough Grisedale Horseshoe fell race, finishing 21st overall and seventh in the M45 category for the 10-mile, 5,000-feet ascent race.

On the roads, Rob Jackson took on the new Monton five-miler and finished in 31:02 in 24th place in a field of 400 runners. This gave him second M55 category place.

At the Riverside 10-mile race, in Lancaster, Richard O’Reilly had a 1:08:00 run for 11th place, while Steve Thomasson took a massive two-and-a-half minutes off his previous personal-best time set in 2012, finishing in 1:14:00.

It was also the Golden Ball 20-mile road race at Lancaster where Colin Gregory was second M50 and Erica Booth was first F40.

In parkrun, Isaac Battye was first home at Haigh Woodland in 18:13. Grace Freary was third female at Worsley Woods, while Rob Jackson, this time at Alexandra in Moss Side, and Mary White, at Haigh, battled it out for top age-category rating with Jackson edging it this week on 85.43 per cent with White on 81.47 per cent.

Louis Yates was first JM10 at Peel.