Northern 6 Stage Road Relays & the rest of the weekends action!

ByDave Motley

Northern 6 Stage Road Relays & the rest of the weekends action!

I push up the hill and the guys are shouting like mad “come on Jon they shout sprint finish, push” this gives me that final burst I need and over the line

Hi all I will start this report by introducing myself and giving a little background into how I came to be a runner. My names Jon Hanson I’m originally a Barrowford Lad but I now live in Rawtenstall.

I have been involved in running on and off for the last 3 years ever since my CEO asked me to do the great north run with him and a group one xmas do, gently explaining that I have put a few pounds on and it’s a good way for us to get in shape. He was right as I was starting to look for the next pant size up and the decision to run was not a hard one. So began my running. I gave up immediately after the run and regretted it so kept trying to get back into it. I remembered the feeling running gave me and how better I performed in life when fit and feeling health. This year I was determined to join a club but wanted to get myself back in shape first. I trained for the summer Blackpool 10k with a plan to join a club straight after the run. I completed the run and looked for club to join. Clayton came recommended by a couple of friends, I was told it was a competitive club and would suit my competitive nature well. After seeing the results sheets from Blackpool and the Clayton names on the sheet my decision was made and I contacted Michael Hogan who told me to get myself down to training on a Monday evening. Had a great time that evening, the lads put me through my paces and I’ve never looked back. It’s not the first time I’ve said “best decision I’ve made for a long time”


John Hanson

Now to this weekend’s relay race – The Bloke report

I woke in the morning and as usual, and is becoming my pre-race ritual tucked into my porridge and bananas, pondering on the day I had ahead of me. It was unusual for me not to be nervous and I felt calm and relaxed, had my race plan firm in my mind and the preplanning and preparation must have gone some way into keeping the nerves down.

Dave Motley picked me up and we were on our way with a nice quick journey to Warrington. Immediately on our arrival we bumped into the Ladies team and had a quick chat before race registration. All was going well, the weather was good and wind conditions were in our favour too. Soon enough we meet the rest of the guys and that’s when my nerves kick in. I smiled to myself, here we go and sure enough the toilets visits are soon to follow.

We made our camp and have a quick jog round the course, I am taking note of the slight incline on the way out and keeping that in mind as it’s a 2 lap leg, before we know it we’re back at camp and its race time. First out was Christopher Holdsworth who ran a very impressive 20.46, I look at Christopher who comes back to where we are based, he looks tired and the realisation of relay running for the team sets in. Next out is Dave Motley who also puts a great team effort in with 23.41. Half way through Dave’s run Alex Cran disappears to get into position, this increases my heart beat as it’s my turn next and I want to make sure I give it my all. We watch Alex come round from his first lap and now it’s time for me to get in position. ( Alex also ran an excellent race and came in with a time of 23.56.

I go down to the pen and jostle my way through to find a position I can see the runners coming up to finish the second lap, I think to myself “I’m glad we’re in the orange striped tops” makes our runners easier to see and helps to ensure you step up to the start position in time. I see Alex turn the corner and jump to get to the start.

Alex crossed the line and I’m off. I know the pace I want and try to maintain a 6 min mile. Start feels good and I maintain a steady pace. I see Dave and Christopher warming down on the first half and they give me some words of encouragement. I’m feeling a bit to steady and increase the pace. I’ve now got myself into a spot and I’m going well, a guy in front is pacing me well and helping me maintain my pace. I keep a watchful eye on him and try my best not to let him get away.

Nearing the end of the first lap and it’s nice to get some words of encouragement from the lady’s team and see my old school friend Candice Heys there cheering me on. I give a wave and push on to start the steady incline. By now the guy in front is pulling away and I put some more effort in to push through and catch up, I was happy to see a consistent time from my watch with the first two miles within a second of each other, but now in the third mile I can feel myself tiring and I’m having to really control my breathing which is rapidly getting out of control, I take some deep breaths which helps to calm me down a little and I’m ready for the final push. I’ve lost some time on the third lap but this makes me knuckle down and get my pace back, coming into the gravel track I know the end is near and I start to push again, turn the corner and the Girls are there again cheering and a very welcome sight as this is the start of the last straight to the finish line. I push up the hill and the guys are shouting like mad “come on Jon they shout sprint finish, push” this gives me that final burst I need and over the line I go in 23.33.

I re-join the group to watch the final guys go out. Jonathan Pye was after me and he ran a very impressive 22.59 and finished with an impressive burst of speed. David Bagot followed and again put in a massive effort and came in at 23.41.

We all regroup and have a team photo and then down to the Lady’s to have a photo with them. Great end to a fantastic day.


John Hanson, Jonathon Pye, Alex Cran, Dave Motley, David Bagot & Chris Holdsworth.

These relays are a fantastic event and a great day out with your fellow team mates; I would recommend them to anybody who is thinking about entering one of them. Full results can be found here.

Thank you to John Hanson for this race report.

Now for the ladies by Candice Heys

Well done again to our ladies team, we came 52nd out of 68 teams in the Northern 4 stage relays at the weekend with Trawden in 51st and Stockport Leeds Lincoln and Kendal coming 1st to 4th . We had good weather it was fine dry and not to hot although a little muggy . Angela Shian ran our leg 1 getting us off to a good start then Rebecca Rawcliffe ran leg 2 doing a good job moving us up 9 positions , followed by Jean Knightley who accelerated past 4 competitors to hand over to Irene Roche who ran like a little rocket to pull another 5 places back for us . We all had a fun day watching the action of the many runners there and cheering each other on . It was nice to be cheering on our men’s team as well and we were all supported enthusiastically by fellow local clubs such as Trawden, Barnoldswick and Accrington , so we enjoyed the atmosphere enormously and of course supported them back , everyone came away from the event feeling it had been a success .

It was quite a big day for me I ran leg 1 of our incomplete B team and got round without excessive knee pain so 12months and 3 weeks of being out I am now back in and hope to progress from the mark I put down on that leg. So that I can run for the club again soon roll on XC. Also roll on next year when I hope we will return to Birchwood with team CLEM again , it is a good venue , 2 lap flat fast course where spectating is easy ,parking is great and getting there off the motorway network is simple. my only negative would be there are not enough toilets to support the number of entrants but I showed my girls a polite , reasonable and logical way to get in that last minute wee and we all ran rather comfortably – lol. Thanks again ladies who ran , those who offered to run and then couldn’t and those who helped me rally the troops and thanks to our club for supporting our entry. Ladies results can be found here.


David Bagot, Chris Holdsworth, Jonathon Pye, Alex Cran, John Hanson, Dave Motley, Angela Shian, Rebecca Rawcliffe, Irene Roche, Candice Heys, Jean Knightley

Now for the rest of the weekends action starting with the Pendle Memorial Race.


Can you name all the above Clayton members from the original erection of the memorial cairn?


A fell Race to celebrate the lives of two Clayton runners who sadly passed away doing the sport they loved, Alan Heywood and Judith Taylor. Unfortunately both lost their life pursuing the challenges they loved.

For the race itself we couldn’t have had better conditions for the 59 competitors, with over 30 from team Clayton competing in this testing 2.8 mile course from the Wellsprings to the memorial cairn and back.


Linda Lord – Photo courtesy of Ryan Wilkinson.

Team Clayton not suprisingly with its representation won the team prize and Chris Holdsworth had another podium finish despite racing in the road relays the day before. The vets categories were also dominated by Clayton Harriers. Race photographer for the day was Adrienne Olszewska and a number of photos can be seen on Adrienne’s or Clayton facebook page.

I think everybody who took part in this race will agree it was a very fitting rememberance for both Alan & Judith.

In the other news we had a really good representation at the Three Shires fell race on Saturday, a classic 12 mile very tough race in the heart of the Lake District with notable performances from Dave Nuttall finishing 18th in a really tough field.

Richard Stevenson was our sole representative at the Ladybower 20, finishing in 3rd place and only taking part to kill a little bit of time whilst his wife Deborah Stevenson of Trawden AC took part in the 50mile version.

In the hilliest half marathon in the country (Langdale Half) we had three representatives with Breton Holdsworth finishing in 9th in a time of 1:25:55, a MASSIVE well done to new member Claire O’rourke who had a really strong run finishing in 57th overall & 3rd lady and Graham Kissack finished in 2hr42.

and finally up at Lancaster Half marathon, Alan Clarkson had a fantastic run posting a time of 1:35 finishing in 15th overall, I think Monday night training is paying of Alan!




About the author

Dave Motley