It was mud and grass this week for Burnden’s Cross Country Team as, for the first time, the Red Rose and South East Lancs leagues joined together to participate in the same race held in Rossendale.

Twelve hardy runners turned out to participate and fly the black stripe and both the men’s and ladies’ teams picked up points and both finished in sixth overall position.

Results: Individual ladies - Lyndsay Darbyshire (third V55), Kathryn Baron (sixth V55), Gwen Kinloch (third V60), Anne Ferguson (first V65); individual men - Paul Duke (eighth V45), Steve Nolan (second V60), Stephen Horsman (fifth V60), Dave Smith (seventh V60), Gareth Doherty (10th V45).

Captain Paul Duke said: “It was a tough first lap but loved it. It had everything - deep mud, tough up and slippy downhills, even the weather couldn’t stop you from smiling!

“Absolute mud-fest! Great fun and loved every minute. Finished in 50:55. Took me 60:55 to clean the bath after I got out.

“Loved the race. Very cold beforehand and I have never worn so many clothes in a cross country race!”

There is one race remaining, on February 17, which will conclude the South East Lancs League for the season.

The Essar Four Villages Half Marathon takes runners on a tough, undulating course around the rural roads of Helsby, in Cheshire.

Organised by Helsby Running Club, 2024 marked the 40th anniversary of the race and two Burndeners were there to wish it a happy birthday.

Andy Dunleavy, coach and chair of Burnden, put in a sterling performance as he finished as third V65 out of a field of 40 in 1hr 34mins 44secs.

This impressive time put him into second position in his Masters Vet category within the qualifying time and gives him the honour of again wearing the prestigious England Vest for Masters at the Great Manchester Run in May.

Fellow coach, Marcus Chester, also put in a super performance, proving that his Wednesday track marathon coaching sessions are working a treat. He finished the 13.1 miles in 1:44:06.

With tons of parkruns cancelled because of ice and snow, Heaton Park welcomed an overwhelming 1,010 runners.

Suleman Badat was the first Burndener to cross the very busy finish line in 19:55 and 11th overall position.

Michael Kermode was next in 22:16, followed by Tom Stratton, in 23:28, Adrian Ashburn (24:52), Derek Case (27:43), Gayle Gerrard (29:48) and Katherine Baines (35:27).

Other results: Hackney Marshes - Simon Marland 24:11, Sue Marland 33:11; Brueton - Emma Walker 30:15; Delamere - Steven Walsh 25:49; Tokoinranta, Helsinki - Gareth Lowe 25:41 (seventh), Jenni Partington 31:44 (third lady).