Six hardy Horwich Harriers joined more than 1,500 other competitors descending on the picturesque village of Braithwaite, near Keswick, for the UK Athletics British Fell and Hill Relays.

The Horwich team finished a respectable 54th out of 243 teams - after injury took its toll on the selection process and some members stepped in at last minute to ensure the Harriers could field a team at all.

Marcus Taylor extended his mammoth season to start affairs, tackling the short, sharp first leg. Taking over from him were the formidable duo of Danny Hope and Julian Goudge, who cut through the field like a hot knife through butter, overtaking 60 teams on the longest leg (eight miles with 3,500 feet of climbing), despite Hope saying he had “not been fit and well since 2011”.

Fell captain Dan Gilbert shrugged off a nasty cold to take the map and compass once again on the dreaded navigation leg with James Titmuss, another member who has been beset by injury this year, who pulled through admirably for the club. On this leg, competitors only receive a map of the area a few hundred yards after they set off. They must then navigate the quickest route between several mandatory checkpoints over some of the roughest, pathless terrain on the fells.

The Horwich duo started well, quickly making their way past several teams, before a decision to try and take a more direct route led them through a patch of thick gorse, shredding their shins and hampering their progress. Such is the way on the nav leg, and in the food tent afterwards it transpired many other experienced map readers had fallen into the same trap. Sam Fairhurst rounded the day off, retaking a few spots on the final, solo, leg four to bring the team in just under an hour after the day’s winners, Dark Peak.

The final race of the Run the Moors competition took place the previous Sunday at Within’s Skyline. Once the league tables had been updated, it made for some happy reading for the RMI club. Dan Gilbert had enough of a buffer to finish first MV45, despite missing Within’s due to illness. He ran so consistently all year, he only narrowly missed out on the Open podium, too.

It came down to a battle between two Harriers for the MV60, as Gary Chadderton held off a dogged Doug Fleming for the title. Alison Mort had another strong season on the fells, taking second LV40 and fifth in the Ladies’ Open Championship, while Lawrence Pinnell returned to racing in the nick of time mid-season, helping the Horwich men to fourth overall.

On the same day, Suzanne Budgett took on a challenging new race from Grasmere YHA. Covering 8.6 miles with 2,480 feet of climbing, The Lion, The Lamb and The Crags took in Helm Crag, Calf Crag and Tarn Crag on an unmarked route. She was first W50, coming in a hair over two hours exactly.

It was not all traipsing through the tussocks, though, as a Horwich contingent took to the roads of Lytham in the popular Green Drive Five for some fast, flat miles.

Colin Rigby came home first Horwich finisher in 48th with a chip time of 32mins 5secs. Gareth Webb trailed Rigby by a mere two places, fastest V65 in Lancashire over five miles, to go with his 10-mile crown from last year. His time of 32:07 ranks him ninth in the whole of the UK.

He said: “I think it’s fair to say that this year has exceeded all expectations.”

Gary Porteous was in action again, clocking 35:12. He has been a real asset to the club since donning the red and black earlier this year, running most of the marquee road and trail events in the area with great aplomb.

On the trails, Gillian Smith tackled the Standish Hall trail race, finishing third-placed FV60 at the boggy Elnup Woods, where the real result is finishing with both shoes!

At Peel Parkrun, there was a battle of the Robert’s, with Seddon finishing first in 17:48 - less than a minute ahead of Jackson in third. Mark Seddon also clocked a 24:01.

Richard O’Reilly led the charge with a fine fifth at Haigh (20:09), while Jeanette Lewis was seventh lady home (27:14), and Andrew Storey clocked 28:09.

Jason and Janet Middleton kicked off their weekend in South Manchester and Michael Crook was at Pennington Flash.

Lindsey Brindle and Chris Charnley took on the undulating Witton Park and were rewarded with a top 10 finish apiece. Brindle ran 22:08 to finish second woman and sixth overall, with Charnley hot on her heels, finishing eighth in 22:43.