Stoop, Red Nose, Grand Tour and the rest of the week’s action

ByAdrienne Olszewska

Stoop, Red Nose, Grand Tour and the rest of the week’s action

There’s just no stopping our club members. Even in the midst of Christmas preparations you are still out there competing and taking part in a range of events. Congratulations to Ron Hill on running every single day for the last 50 years. An amazing achievement.

Tour de Helvellyn – Saturday 20st December 2014

154 people finished this event and 12 retired. Four of our club members travelled up to the Lake District to compete in this tough, winter 38 mile event. Well done to Martin Terry for an excellent 14th place. Jean Brown finished 33rd overall and was the third lady to complete the course. Andy Armstong and Nicholas Olszewski also put in a couple of solid runs finishing in 54th and 57th place.

Report by Nicholas Olszewski

The day started early, at 04:15, loaded up the car with what seemed an excessive amount of kit, before heading over to Colne to collect Martin Terry. Met Andy Armstrong and Jean Brown at Gisburn and travelled up together in the one car arriving in Askham with plenty of time to go through the final registration process and kit check.

Tour de Helvellyn

Martin Terry and Jean Brown making last minute preparations for the Tour de Helvellyn

At last we were off, it was about 07:45 and just about becoming light. Jean and Martin sped off into the early morning sunrise, Andy and I trotting along at a nice steady pace. For me this race is a part of my master plan for competing in the Lakeland 100 next July and was about time on my feet and acclimatising my legs to the Lakeland hills.

Tour de Helvellyn

Andy Armstrong at the Tour de Helvellyn

We passed through the first checkpoint at Martindale, the next at Patterdale didn’t open till 09:30 and anyone arriving before that time would have to wait. So, no sense rushing too much as we had a long way to go yet. We arrived at about 09:40 had a quick snack and ploughed on though to the next checkpoint at Greenside, which was in the middle of nowhere. Ahead of us was the climb over Sticks Pass.

As we gained elevation the wind became stronger and the temperature dropped, but the view of snow-capped tops was spectacular. On the descent to the checkpoint at Thirlmere, which became very steep and muddy at one point, I did a dramatic slide on my arse for a good way. Andy commented that if it’d been part of a fell race you’d have had someone there with a video camera recording runners sliding down. We checked into a rather posh and very clean Legburthwaite Village Hall at Thirlmere, which I felt guilty entering as I was covered from head to toe in mud after my dramatic slide.

The next section I have to admit I didn’t enjoy, I’m not a road runner and I find running on the road a bit tedious. The normal route on the east side of Thirlmere had been changed due to forestry work and re-routed down a quiet lane on the west side of Thirlmere, no other option for the race organizers, but this section was hard and when looking down the lake from the head it looked like an infinity lake, which didn’t help. We reached the check point and moved forward towards Dunmail Raise.

The climb from Dunmail to Grizedale Tarn was hard and steep but you knew that you’d turned a corner and were heading back. I could imagine this section being quite treacherous in icy conditions as the path is narrow and wet with a very steep drop off to your left.

The journey from Dunmail to the next checkpoint at Patterdale went without any hiccups, apart from being a little annoyed with myself for following others instead of taking the route I’d plotted for a small section round Grizedale Tarn. I’ll try not to do that again. Arriving in Patterdale the day behind us was now starting to tell, we had one stiff climb left and, having just guzzled half a litre of flat coke, I was ready for it. By now Andy had worked out that we would return just before it was very dark which was a relief as the Cockpit Stone Circle can be a bit confusing in the dark.

We arrived at the final checkpoint, Martindale in good spirits and knew the end was now in sight, as we trundled along. Motivation to keep running is hard as it’s so easy to walk when you can run, but as the light began to fail we passed the Cockpit and I could see the light of Askham shimmering not far away. As we entered the community centre and dibbed for the last time it felt great that we had done it and great to have done it with someone as so many races are all about heads down and running your guts out. It made a change to spend eight and half hours running, walking, laughing and feeling the pain with someone else.

Tour de Helvellyn

Andy Armstrong and Nick Olszewski at the Tour de Helvellyn ultra. Picture by

A great day, great event and I’ll be back next year, possibly with my race head on, just to see if I can knock an hour off this years time. Thanks Andy for running round with me.

Position Name Category Time
14 Martin Terry MV50 07:21:31
33 Jean Brown FV40 07:58:59
54= Andrew Armstrong MV40 08:33:49
57 Nicholas Olszewski MV50 08:35:31

Full Results

Podium 5k -Saturday 20st December 2014

21 super fast runners took part in this competitive race. Podium5k has been set up on a brand new purpose built cycle track (1k loops with 3.6ft of climbing, no corners, just sweeping bends, floodlit and traffic free) and claims to be the fastest 5k in the country.

Well done Johnny McKenna and Dave Motley.

Position Name Category Time
17 Johnny McKenna M 16:05
37 David Motley M 18:42

Full Results

Rudolph Red Nose 5 mile Race – Sunday 21st December

5 Clayton Harriers took part in this 5 mile festive run.

Position Name Category Time
21 Stephen Biscomb MV60 00:35:23
58 Christina Lewis FV50 00:40:43
59 Robert Russell MV60 00:40:47
116 Kevin O’Brien MV70 00:49:41
121 Nicola Kay F 00:51:15

Rudolf Red Nose 5 Results 2014.

Mental Elf 5k – Sunday 21st December 2014

Astley Park, Chorley

Exercise is great for your Mental Elf, he really thrives on it… all those endorphins that exercise produce help to keep him, fit healthy and ready to take on everything that Christmas can throw at him… and just think…. Burning off all those calories means more mince pies and an extra SnowBall… Yum!

Well done Bryan Searby who was the sole club member to take part in this fundraising and promotion of the charity Lancashire Mind. He finished in 20th place with a time of 26:40. 250 runners took part.

Mental Elf 5k

Bryan Searby (L) at the Mental Elf 5k at Astley Park

Full Results

Stoop Fell Race – Sunday 21st December

5 miles – 800ft of ascent. Report from the Woodentops website

It was a typical Penistone Hill day driving rain and wind for the 26th annual Stoop race the snow from last week had disappeared which made the course very wet, lots of bogs to fall in. After a bit of track at the start the bog arrived quite quickly. There was lots of camaraderie as runners helped each other along and tried to avoid losing their Santa hats to the bog.

Festive fell running

Festive fell running at Stoop fell race. Pic courtesy of Debi Nicholson & Scott Leach

Lots of fast running too on slightly firmer ground, some challenging slippy descents where I think everyone fell over at least once, and a good battle in the ladies race. The juniors got the worst of the weather which made it more challenging as they charged round clad in their Santa hats.

Stoop Fell Race

David Bagot at the Stoop Fell Race. Pic courtesy of Debi Nicholson & Scott Leach

Position Name Category Time
46 David Bagot M 39:17
56 Tim Edward MV40 39:48
165 Chris Funnell MV40 45:49
214 Richard Briscoe M 48:21
256 Jon Sharples MV50 51:21
271 Colin Woolford M 51:54
295 Dawn Terry FV50 52:51
300 Linda Lord FV60 52:59
305 Katy Thompson FV60 53:20
326 Robert Hirst MV60 54:59
354 Stephen Fish MV60 56:56
412 Julie Toman FV40 66:21
422 John Francis MV70 71:25
423 Jack McGuire MV50 71:37

Congratulations to Julie Toman who was one of the fancy dress winners.

Well done Christopher Brown, our sole junior runner, who came 25th in the U10/U12 &U14 race in an excellent time of 8:16

Full Results

Parkrun roundup

Lots of club members donned a santa hat or other festive garb and took place in a range of christmas-themed parkruns.

Heaton parkrun – A total of 360 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
245 Ron HILL 00:29:20

Bolton parkrun – A total of 205 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
49 George THOMPSON 00:24:44
51 Julia RUSHTON 00:24:58
64 Katy THOMPSON 00:25:47

Burnley parkrun – A total of 117 runners took part

Position parkrunner Run Time
2 Jacob WATSON 00:18:56
3 Jonathan PYE 00:19:25
4 Richard STEVENSON 00:19:57
9 Susan BURNS 00:20:59
10 Stephen AINSWORTH 00:21:09
16 Andy QUINN 00:22:36
25 David Ian SCOTT 00:23:30
33 Dawn TERRY 00:24:12
40 Donna SCOTT 00:25:34
59 Robert HIRST 00:27:18
63 Stuart BARKER 00:27:37
66 Julie TOMAN 00:27:55
67 Ron CHAPPELL 00:27:59
70 Jack SKELLY 00:28:08
71 Natalie HARRISON 00:28:09
79 Annabel WILCOCK 00:29:02
80 John WILCOCK 00:29:05
84 Richard LAWSON 00:29:14

Pendle parkrun – A total of 76 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
2 Kevin DAVIES 00:21:13
4 John HARTLEY 00:22:02
35 Amelia DUGDALE 00:28:01
57 Christine Jennifer EGERTON 00:32:26
63 Christine LEATHLEY 00:34:53

Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – A total of 125 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
37 Martin BRADY 00:23:44
92 Eileen JONES 00:30:48

A run a day

On 20th December, club member Ron Hill, had run every day for fifty years. An amazing achievement from a running legend. Congratulations Ron and here’s to many, many more daily runs.


Ron Hill

Ron Hill who has run every day for 50 Years

And finally…

Why not get in the Christmas spirit by coming along to the Christmas Eve social run.  Meet at Barley Car Park for an 11.00am start.  We’ll be heading up or around Pendle Hill.  Juniors, seniors and walkers all welcome.

For the more competitive amongst you, there is a 10k in Worden Park, Leyland on Boxing Day at 10.00am.  Perfect for running off the excesses of your Christmas dinner. Or if you fancy a bit more off road, how about the Whinberry Naze at 11.30 at Marl Pits in Rawtenstall.

Whatever you do, have a great run and don’t forget to take lots of pictures and tell us all about it. We am also interested in any running resolutions you might have for the coming year?  Let us know and we will feature them in the New Year Roundup.

Have a Merry Christmas!


About the author

Adrienne Olszewska