ANOTHER safe and slick Bolton United Harriers event was ensured by the volunteers who came forward to set up, marshal and take down the Red Rose Cross Country course at Bolton’s Leverhulme Park base.

Event organiser Dean Johnson extended his thanks to all who helped, especailly the person who managed to bring the mild and clear weather.

It was also another day of great runs from athletes. A two-horse race unfolded from the start between Blackburn’s Ben Fish and home star Jonny Kay.

They broke clear early in the first lap and raced cat-and-mouse right to the finish, with Blue Vest Kay coming in just a second behind but almost two-and-a-half minutes ahead of third.

In doing so, Kay secured the senior men’s title with a race to spare.

Other notable runs came from

junior Declan Toomey (sixth), Frazer Jardine (21st) and Chris Povey (45th) – all making their first appearance in the 2017 series. Evergreen vet John Knowles performed his customary negative splits, whilst Scott Bracey and Derek Smith had good placings

again for the squad.

For the third consecutive race, under-20s pair Katie Oakley and Rachel Bailey improved their overall standings, with Oakley running brilliantly to claim silver.

Dropping to fourth at one point, she dug in deep to power round the final mile and finish a relatively comfortable second.

Lewis Aldred from the u17s’ fifth was the top placing in the juniors, while the u11 teams both showed the team ethic with 10 boys and seven girls competing.

Results: U11 Boys team (4th, 41 pts) – Harvey Kenny 7:03, Sam Hazelwood 7:26, Connor Gettinby 7:28, Samuel Liptrott 7:37, Alfie Dodds 8:22, Marcus Valentine 8:25, Charlie Aldred 9:11, Joseph Rossington 9:26, Zackariyya Aftab 9:45, Oscar Bentley 9:49.

U11 Girls team (7th, 68 pts) – Scarlett Thompson 8:03, Mia Makin 8:16, Isobel Hall 8:22, Cloe Bentley-Hughes 8:49, Poppy Dunne 8:50, Kirsten Scaife 10:34, Jessica Swales 10:36

U13 Boys team (5th, 46 pts) – Laurence Britton 12:29, Jason Scaife 12:47, Harry Aldred 13:31, Oisin Behan 13:52, Josh Bentley-Hughes 15:16.

U13 Girls team (9th, 128 pts) – Lily Philbin 14:16, Millie Bracey 15:18, Grace Tonge 15:35, Hannah Swales 15:41.

U15 Boys team (7th, 95 pts) – Ben Pickford 16:14, Sam Aldred 18:39, Ruairi Behan 20:35.

U15 Girls – Roisin Riley 22:31.

U17 Boys – Lewis Aldred 20:27.

U17 Girls – Molly Philbin 26:06.

Women’s team (13th, 140 pts) – Katie Oakley 21:48, Rachel Bailey 24:32, Jane Lim 40:05.

Men’s team (2nd, 128 pts) – Jonathon Kay 34:42, Declan Toomey 37:38, John Knowles 38:22, Frazer Jardine 40:31, Chris Povey 43:10, Mark Wolstencroft 43:22, Ste Bonney 43:22, Craig Kenny 43:47, Andrew Doyle 47:33, Lee Petch 51:18, Scott Bracey 51:54, Derek Smith 54:26.

Elsewhere, Karl Darcy clocked 51:24 to cross the line convincingly ahead of the rest in the 565 Preston 10 Mile, having set the pace along with Mike Cayton, who retired through injury. Tommy Harrison ran a 53:46, looking smooth all the way. He finished strongly but missed out on a place on the podium by a second.