FIFTEEN Burndeners took on the challenge of the Manchester Marathon last weekend - some for the first time at that distance.

The mostly flat course takes runners from its athletes village at Old Trafford Cricket Ground through Trafford, to the city centre then on to Stretford, Altrincham and Sale.

Burnden were led home by Andrew Norman - making his debut for the club with an outstanding performance - in 3hrs 23mins 21secs. Ravi Patel followed in a superb 3:24:36, while Michael Kermode, in his marathon debut, was just minutes later in 3:30:16. Martin Fielding - just weeks after his wedding to wife, fellow runner Joanna, achieved a sub-four hour time in 3:41:49, while ladies’ captain, Linda Doherty, was first Burnden lady in 4:00:01.

Martin Whitehead was over the line in 4:07:45 and Dean Covill crossed in 4:29:01. Nicola Halsall and Sandra Caine finished together in identical times of 4:48:12 and Jenni Partington was home in 4:49:30. Paul Willan crossed the line with his friend, Peter, in 4:51:00 and Josh Palmer cracked a sub-five hour time in 4:58:39.

Simon Entwistle, in his first marathon, finished in 5:30:40 and newly wed to Martin, Joanna Fielding, in her first marathon, was next home in 5:35:37. Jennifer Entwistle, also in her first marathon, reunited the group in 6:05:20.

Seasoned marathoner, Tess Riley, was off to run a slightly more scenic route for her 2024 challenge - the X Bionic Lake Garda 42. Starting from the lakeshore at Limone, runners travel to Riva del Garda and on through numerous orchards to Arco and then onto Malcescine, amid stunning views of the lake, sea and mountains.

Riley clocked 5:15:52 and said: “This was the most amazing thing I have ever done....and I have done some amazing things since I retired. The scenery was spectacular - this is what all those long training runs lead to, challenging and pushing my body and mind, and doing something I wouldn’t have believed I could do only six years ago.

“It was my ninth marathon and I’m already looking forward to my 10th in Palma, Majorca in October - after a bit of rest before then.”

Mark Jackson is no stranger to marathons and has run a fair few in superb times - but his latest might have the strangest title of them all.

‘I’ll Sithee at Slawit Sweetathon Slog’ is organised by Grim Up North and began at Slaithwaite Community Centre before runners head along a scenic out-and-back course along the Huddersfield narrow gauge Canal. Jackson finished in 4:40:51.

While many were cheering on Manchester Marathoners, Tony Fulop was in Burnley for the Brun Valley Trail 10K.

Starting and finishing at Thompson Park, the route winds through Netherwood, taking in Rowley Lake and Brun Valley Forest Park. Fulop finished in 1:17:46.

Kathryn Berry and Gillian McGowan completed 40 miles of the epic Ram Sportive cycling event course, which includes 2,000 feet of climb, while Andrew Berry completed the full course of 80 miles with 6,000 feet of climb.

The route takes cyclists from Lancaster, following the River Lune, to the village of Wray and inland towards the Yorkshire Dales.

Parkrun results: Alexandra Park, Moss Side - Mark Jackson 21:58, Adrian Ashburn 22:09; Bolton - Katherine Baines 25:07 (third lady); Lyall Mew 20:27 (fourth), Ian Pudge 22:13, Stephen Horsman 23:08, Marcus Hamer 24:07, Tom Stratton 25:08, Martin Archer 26:32, Steven Walsh 26:33, Rick Winnard 28:27, Marcus Chester 28:33, Kathryn Berry 29:16, Paul Johnson 30:57, Philip Glassbrook 31:08, Luke Newell 32:10, Don Taylor 32:21, Sarah Jane Wells 34:57, Ravi Patel 36:01, David Allen 37:10, Ian Mann 38:50, Gillian McGowan 41:09, Andrew Parkinson 51:02, Jocelyn Chadderton 51:23; Bowling Park - Simon Marland 25:55, Sue Marland 36:44; Concord, Sheffield - Anne Ferguson 24:19; Haigh Woodland - Andy Dunleavy 21:11, Cheryl Dunleavy 40:01; Heaton Park - Gayle Gerrard 25:26, Chris Greenall 26:00, Steven Bate 27:45, Sarah Brown 29:51, Michelle Livesey 39:21, Carol Richardson 58:25; Hackney Marshes - Suleman Badat 18:34 (seventh); Zuiderpark, Den Haag - Nia Bell 28:40.