Two of Horwich’s Irish contingent ran for their country on the first weekend of June at the European Mountain Running Championships, in Annecy.

Killian Mooney and Ian Conroy were 48th and 58th, respectively, in the Uphill Only race (8km with 1,000 feet of elevation). Mooney went on to place 52nd in the Up/Down classic 16km race.

Three hardy Harriers lined up at the start of the Long Duddon fell race last Saturday - the 18-mile (6,000 foot) loop of Duddon Valley regarded as one of the sternest tests in the fell-running calendar, with seven punishing climbs en route.

Luke Foley was first home in red and black, finishing in 15th place after 3hrs 21mins 6secs. Dave Milliken was next, in 41st (3:49:17), closely followed by Dan Gilbert, in 52nd (4:04:54).

Marcus Taylor began his Dragon’s Back race preparation with the Welsh 1,000m Peaks Fell Race, a point-to-point race which travels from the coast at Abergwyngregyn to the summit of Snowdon via all of the 1,000m peaks in Eryri.

A test of navigational skills as well as running stamina, competitors are required to plot their own routes between checkpoints. Taylor took 7:39:00 to cover 20 miles with 9,000 feet of climbing.

It was a family affair in Oswaldtwistle as Alice Tucker put her father, Mark, to the sword at the Stanhill Fell race, finishing 30 seconds and one place in front of him. Alice’s time of 43:23 over the 8km (250m) course netted her sixth female overall and second female junior.

Also keeping it in the family were husband-and-wife duo, Nick and Sandra Kelly, winning their respective V55 categories at Edenfield Fell Race. Nick was 27th overall, completing the 10.3km (477m) course in 55:35, while Sandra was 10th female in 1:04:54.

In the small village of Kelbrook, nestled between Barnoldswick and Colne, Chris Charnley competed in the fourth round of the Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix. Charnley finished 71st in a large field of nearly 200, covering the 3.2-mile (700 feet) course in 32:56.

Suzanne Budgett took a trip to Killington Sports, collecting a cash prize for first V60 in the short (1.5 miles) fell race at the traditional family day out. A clash of scheduling meant Budgett could not participate in the potato race and she left the pillow fight to the youngsters.

Janet Middleton dipped under 30 minutes by 14 seconds at Alexandra Parkrun, while Rob Jackson (18:42) returned to his happy hunting ground, Peel, after his 10k achievements in Manchester the previous week.

Alistair Thornton did not stop to enjoy the coastal views at the Newborough Forest Parkrun, on Anglesey, as he placed second in 17:27. Mark Kmiec (27:05), Angela Green (38:21) and Ed Swift (49:43) all took on the Haigh Woodland Parkrun and its energy-sapping drag to the line, while Richard Pollitt returned from the Emerald Isle and finished second in 19:09 at Bolton. Lynn Smith skirted Pennington Flash for the 208th time, in 39:07, as she closes in on a remarkable 250 parkruns.