Horwich Harriers gathered in numbers at Wythenshawe Park for the second fixture in the Manchester Area Cross Country League (MACCL), and again performed well.

The recent autumn downpours had softened the ground nicely for some suitably northern cross-country conditions and the highly-competitive league enjoyed record numbers, with around 1,400 runners over the course of the day, including 565 senior males and 387 senior females.

This makes it even more impressive Horwich placed five men in the top 25 and had 22 senior and veteran men competing in the final race of the day.

James Kevan was first Harrier home, coming ninth, barely 10 seconds ahead of James Scott-Farrington, who showed his commitment to the club by travelling from his new base in Leeds.

Luke Foley shook off a niggle to come in third counter in 15th, while Nick Leigh was second MV45 and fifth out of six counters who were third-placed men’s team.

Julian Goudge lost his MV50 crown, but could console himself with second place in his category, while Benjamin Hall shone once more, finishing fifth MU20. Mark Walsh ran a great race to arrive seventh MV55 and the second six Horwich finishers were good enough for 11th-place team, showcasing the club’s strength in depth.

The juniors set the tone earlier on, with strong turnouts in all age categories.

Theo Bolton, Louis Yates, and Jacob Wilkinson combined to finish 10th team in the Under-11 boys, while 11 Harriers took to the turf in the U13s, Kitty Crossland impressing with an eighth-place girl, while Grace Freary and Sarah Lawman helped to secure sixth-placed team.

The fourth race of the day was the highly competitive U17s. By this stage, the course was becoming a true mud bath and the 6k race distance was a real slog for the youngsters.

Harrison Stokes was first home for Horwich in 13th, with Ben Topham, in 26th, and Ted Billington, in 33rd, completing the team. Charotte Wilkinson built on her strong result at Leverhulme two weeks ago with 11th (28mins 43secs) in the girls’ race; with Emma Bradley 16th, Alice Tucker 19th and Lois Bowl 25th earning the team a brilliant second place.

In the senior women’s race, Lindsey Brindle was 32nd and fourth FV40 and Milly Lever scored a top 10 in the FU20s - a wonderful team display which everyone involved can be proud of.

In the fells above the Duddon and Lickle Valleys, Danny Hope took on the classic short, tough Dunnerdale Fell Race for the 13th time. Having come second an unfortunate four times over the years, it’s clearly a firm favourite in his calendar. This year he finished a creditable 35th over the five-mile, 1,800-foot route.

Harrier Ian Conroy finished seventh in the MV40 race representing Ireland at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International, in Galsgow. If he had not been running for his home country, he’d have been toeing the start line in Manchester on Saturday in the iconic red and black. Rest assured he has his flights booked to bolster the squad in the December fixture at Sherdley Park.

On Sunday, Richard O’Reilly took on the Lytham Windmill Remembrance 10k less than 24 hours after running at Wythenshawe.

On a wet and windy day, he came home in a time of 41:45, which secured him second MV55 and 50th out of more than 1,300 runners in total.

At Worden Parkrun, Sam Fairhurst was first finisher over the mixed-terrain course, which has been another casualty of the exceedingly wet weather and bonfire night festivities. He finished in 18:45, giving him just enough time to dash across town and start work at 9.30am.

Rob Seddon was second at Endcliffe, with a time of 17:50, Mary White was seventh woman at Witton and Richard Pollitt was second at Peel, running 17:53 with Rob Jackson also squeaking inside the top 10 (18:41) at the same venue.