There has been more international recognition for Horwich Harriers this week after Gareth Webb earned selection for the England Masters team for the Great Birmingham Run next May.

Webb achieved this last weekend by finishing second out of 65 runners in the M65 category at the Knutsford 10km with his finishing time of 40mins 17secs well inside the qualifying time of 45:30.

It should be enough to gain selection and his fourth England Masters vest and Webb said he was delighted to chip 12 seconds off his Wilmslow 10km time in July for an M65 personal best, despite the congested field of 2,599 runners.

This came on top of his recent selection for England at the Great Manchester Run half marathon in 2024.

Ian Conroy has also had further success on the world stage after finishing 14th overall at the Primiero Dolomiti Trail event last weekend, with a strong field of Italian and other top mountain runners.

Conroy won the M40 prize against fierce competition, showing he is in a purple patch having had a great career running for Ireland.

This time he ran in Horwich colours and said: “It’s great to be back representing the Red RMI in Europe.”

Richard O’Reilly continued his international travels, too, and was pleased to take the M55 first prize at the half marathon in Timisoara, Romania - going one better than his second M55 place at the Budapest half-marathon a couple of weeks ago.

Closer to home, Rob Jackson forsook his usual parkrun outing to be in fine fettle for the Bury 10k where, in a field of more than 1,000 runners, he finished 11th overall and was first M50.I

n heavy rain and the first 5k uphill, Jackson was also well pleased with his time of 38:38 and valued the great encouragement from spectators along the course.

Regionally, the cross-country season kicked off in fine style at Todmorden where it was the first round of the Red Rose League and Horwich took a strong squad of 29 seniors and juniors.

Phil Marsden was third in the men’s race and Lindsey Brindle fifth in the women’s race; they each took first place in the V40 categories, while Tony Hesketh was first M75.

The men’s team finished seventh out of 12 teams and the women’s’ team were seventh out of 11. The top team performance was from the under-17 women’s team who won the category, with Charlotte Wilkinson in second place leading the team of Emma Bradley, Alice Tucker and Lois Bowl.

The junior results included three fourth places for Isla Newton (U11), Kitty Crossland (U13) and Harry Yates (U15).

On the fells, there were only two results. Dan Gilbert had a great run at Thieveley Pike, near Burnley, where he was fourth overall and won the very competitive M40 category, while there was age-category winning success, too, at M60 for Graham Schofield in 23rd place overall.

In parkrun, there were good performances from several Horwich runners including Nick Leigh, who was first finisher at Pavilion Gardens, in Buxton, in a time of 17:15.

Neil Holding and Matt Wilson each took sixth places at Bolton and Haigh Woodland, respectively. At Haigh, Grace Freary was first female finisher, building on her fine year to date.

At the new Clarence Parkrun in Bury, Mary White, in the F70 category, achieved a great 85.25-per-cent age-graded result and at Pennington Flash, in the M75 category, it was Michael Crook’s 100th parkrun - 94 of those at the Flash course.