The popular North Lakes town of Keswick welcomed some of the country’s top fell runners, including Horwich Harriers, as the 2024 British Senior and Under-23 Mountain Running Inter County Championship took place.

Last Friday evening saw the Uphill only race take place, as competitors were directed up Skiddaw in a circuitous 6km route, finishing at the peak of the sixth highest mountain in England, which dominates the skyline of the surrounding area.

Isaac Battye proved his class with a gritty 10th place in the U20 race, taking 34mins 51secs to reach the summit.

Luke Foley followed with 14th in the senior race in a stacked field of the country’s best mountain goats. The British Athletics Up-and-Down Trial Race for the Senior 2024 European Off-Road Running Championships took place on Sunday from the same location, and Danny Hope, Lindsey Brindle, Matt Fawthrop and Sam Fairhurst had all been selected to run for Greater Manchester after running well in the Pike Race.

They took on a 16.3km (900m) route, which included the climbs of Latrigg, Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw Little Man, before a tortuous two-mile descent on the shale tourist path back to Fitz Park. Brindle ran a fantastic race, stopping the clock at 1:34:00 as the third counter in the women’s team which finished fourth out of 17. Fairhurst (1:21:28) and Hope (1:24:03) - competing in his 10th inter-counties race, including four times in the winning team - were second and thirrd counters for the men’s team. They finished 11th out of 22. It was both Fairhurst’s and Fawthrop’s (1:31:22) first time representing their county and they were proud to don the tangerine vest.

Closer to home, Nick Leigh was the sole Harrier on the start line at the Rivington 10-mile trail race and stormed to a commanding victory and course record of 1:05:25 - a remarkable achievement given the sodden winter has left sections of the course saturated and slippery.

His result caps off a near perfect build up to the Three Peaks Fell Race today.

The Duddon Dash last Sunday was the first in the FRA Junior Championships and a strong Horwich team travelled to the Western Lake District to compete. April Mort (10:35) and Harriet Wilkinson (13:35) started the day off strongly with top-10 finishes in the Under-nines’ race. Louis Yates fell agonisingly short of the podium in the U11s, placing fourth in a time of 9:06, while Jennifer Irving ran the same race in 14:17.

Leo Orrell was the sole representative in the U13s, covering the 2.9km route in 23:29, while the U15 field was a large one of 58, with Harry Yates placing highly in 22nd (32:39) and Sophie Orrell crossing the line after 42:07 over their 5km loop. Mark Titmuss was inside the top 20 (17th, 42:27) in his U17s race and Grace Mort was 20th female over the same 6.3km (54:45). Alison Mort was more than just the kids’ taxi, as she laced up her own fell shoes to compete in the senior race. A brilliant run saw her finish in 22nd place (1:21:20) in the joint U19 and senior 9.4km race, snatching the first FV40 prize in the process.

Andrew Best (3:14:08) and George Butler (4:28:24) both ran in the London Marathon. The crowds and iconic landmarks along the route doubtless kept them going when the 26.2-mile distance started to bite.

Maria Lowe was first female finisher at South Manchester Parkrun, finishing in 22:14, while Richard O’Reilly took on Alexandra Parkrun for the third time, with a pleasing result. He ran his fastest time of the year (19:20) to finish the 5km 30th out of 532 runners.

Robert Seddon was sixth at Endcliffe, running a time of 18:04, and Rob Jackson will have considered himself unlucky to finish 13th at Peel, his time of 18:30 would place him well inside the top 10 most weeks.

Chris Charnley deviated from his regular Haigh haunt to sample the muddy delights of Worden. He was rewarded with a seventh place finish in 21:34.