Horwich Harrier Nick Leigh put in a fine performance to finish second in the 13 Arches Half Marathon in Radcliffe last Saturday.

Leigh ran well in exceptionally muddy conditions to secure his podium place despite feeling sub-par. It was a promising sign of things to come in the upcoming cross-country fixtures - the next round of Manchester Area League on Saturday at Wythenshawe Park.

Challenging underfoot conditions were a theme this week, as the recent wet weather combined with the fresh carpet of falling leaves to create traction-free surfaces on trail and road.

Gareth Webb took to Stretford Parkrun and ran 19mins 32secs, saying the course was “probably the wettest I’ve ever seen it”. Next week is not likely to be any drier.

He was not fazed by the torrents, however, clocking less than 20 minutes to arrive first MV65.

Elsewhere, Chris Charnley ran well to finish 10th at Haigh Woodland Park. His form is getting better each week as he gets back into the swing of things post Great North Run.

Gillian Smith was first WV70 at the same venue, while Richard O’Reilly and Marcus Taylor did battle at Alexandra Parkrun, in Moss Side, Taylor just coming out on top with a 19:02 to O’Reilly’s 19:39.

Another regular parkrunner, Rob Jackson, ran just under 19 minutes at Peel to place seventh, with Tony Hesketh running 26:39 to take first MV75.

Jeanette Lewis, Neil Wilkes and Andrew Storey took on three undulating laps of Avenham Park, in Preston, while Janet and Jason Middleton kicked off their weekend in Hyndburn and Michael Crook attended Pennington Flash.

The tale from Storeys Field included a top-10 finish for Issac Parker (18:40) and Andrew Crickmore completed his 90th parkrun, edging closer to his century.

The best result of the week was furthest afield, however, with Alistair Thornton running 17:07 to come second in Springburn, Glasgow, missing out on first place by a mere one second.

In non-racing news, a decision has been made to open the Harriers’ senior track session to non-members.

Taking place on a Tuesday evening from 7-8pm, a mixed ability group meet at Bolton Arena athletics track and are put through their paces with a set series of intervals.

It is a friendly, supportive atmosphere and the nature of running on the track means everyone gets the workout they need, regardless of pace or experience.

The floodlights are welcome as winter draws in and for many it is preferable to pounding the streets alone.

Anyone who has not tried training on a track before would be well advised to give it a go and they will see rapid improvements in time and fitness whether they want to run a faster 10k, achieve a stronger run split in their triathlon, smash their next ultra or just get into shape.

It is also a good place to start if people are thinking of joining the club, time for chat before or after the session and between efforts.

Many of the names that pop up in the weekly Bolton News report regularly attend and would be glad to welcome any new faces. Track fees are £3 for non-members.