There’s no such thing as bad weather…

ByAdrienne Olszewska

There’s no such thing as bad weather…

Only soft people! As tough as ever, a bit of weather can’t stop our hardy members getting out and about, competing in all kinds of events; day and night, sometimes sporting bin bags, sometimes braving it out in just a club vest and shorts.

Mr Sparkle’s Dark ‘Un – 20th February 2015

Three intrepid Clayton Harriers fired up their head torches and took part in this night-time race around Darwen Moors and Tockholes. 72 runners lined up for a couple of stiff climbs, open moorland, lots of mud and a dash down to the finish.

Night run

Colin Woolford, Julia Rushton and Nerina Gill at Mr Sparkle’s Dark ‘Un. Photo courtesy of Fellephant

Report by Nerina Gill

“ I seriously questioned my sanity heading out in sleet, dark and 3 degrees. In a tee-shirt and shorts. I was called “brave” at the start. That’s one word for it. But the start is sheltered, and there’s a long climb, so I was plenty warm enough by the time we reached the moors. Thoroughly enjoyed the mad, muddy dash through the boggy puddles, and then the helter skelter pelt down Stepback, which was half path, half streambed. I could hear Julia’s footsteps behind me on the run down to the finish, but I couldn’t see a thing ahead, except my head torch reflected back in the stinging hail. The chip butty and cider in front of the fire in the pub afterwards made the ten minutes changing into dry clothes in the car all worthwhile. Great night.”

Pos Name Time Cat
53 Colin Woolford 00:51:15 M
62 Nerina Gill 00:56:40 F40
63 Julia Rushton 00:56:55 F50

Full Results

English National Cross Country Championships – 21st February

There were records galore achieved at the  English National Cross Country Championships, held at Parliament Hill, London on Saturday 21st February. 5283 runners finished across the 10 Races. On a day that was very wet and muddy underfoot, the conditions were cool but dry with some sunshine but neither of these put the athletes off.

Well done to Sue Allen and Christine Leathley, who travelled down to London to represent the club.

Full Results

Standish Hall Trail Race – 21st February

The course is completely off road on bridle paths and woodland trail and is approximately 10K. Well done to Clayton Lady, Julie Toman who finished in 01:03:28, having survived what she described as a full body mudslide during the race, leaving her caked in mud and the muddiest finisher of the day.

Well done Julie, great grit and determination!

 Full Results

Bleasedale Circle Fell Race – 21st February

Report by Irene Roche

Clayton Ladies

Irene Roche and Vicky Heys rocking the windswept look after the Bleasdale Circle Fell Race

“On arrival at Bleasedale with Vicky Heys, who persuaded me to give the race a go, the weather was looking undecided. Was it going to rain, hail or hold on to fine for the time required? It was certainly cold though – evident as most of us “warmed up” prior to the race by drinking tea and coffee in the village hall. What a good atmosphere though, so laid back and no urgency to leave the hall and warm up before the race. Prepared for a cold and windy run, many kept to wearing running jackets, some with sleeves whilst the hardiest braved just their club vests. We definitely needed the wind proof jackets!

The race itself I thoroughly enjoyed, flagged all the way round so no worries about maps. After a good plunge through muddy fields, breathless climbing up hills and much needed practice to steer down the slopes I arrived at the finish. Clayton ladies won the team prize, counting in Vicky, me and Linda. It was good to see Pete Booth competing after around eighteen months of nursing an injury. Well done Pete!

I’m glad I did the race and intend to do more fell races this year.

Position Name Cat Time
41 Peter Booth MV60 00:48:42
60 Kieran Carr MV70 00:51:26
72 Rickard Moore MV50 00:54:02
75 Andrew Dugdale MV50 00:54:09
76 Vicky Heys FV40 00:54:17
94 Peter Dugdale MV50 00:59:02
96 Irene Roche FV50 00:59:23
97 Stephen Fish MV60 00:59:35
99 Mark Taylor M 00:59:46
101 Linda Lord FV60 00:59:53
113 George Thompson MV60 01:02:45
119 Robert Hirst MV60 01:05:10
120 Doug Munroe MV60 01:06:16
123 Karin Goss FV60 01:10:09

Full Results

Great North West Half Marathon – 22nd February 2015

Nine Clayton-le-Moors Harriers braved wild conditions to take part in the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool.

Lynsey Birtwistle reported; “One word brutal! It was quite nice running along the front sheltered and the wind behind you, but when you turned the corner to come back there was a slight incline and the wind was full pelt in your face and hail too! I felt like crying! It was a tough day weather-wise but well-organised and great to see some Clayton support at the finish line!

Clayton Ladies

Lynsey Birtwistle at the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool. Photo by Bryan Searby

Alex Cran reported; “Well myself Paul, grandad Kev and Russ managed to get our hands on some bin bags at the start. What a God-send. The weather as you headed south was foul, foul, foul. I thought at the start I’d take the bin bag off after a couple of miles but we all kept them on for the whole race!

Blackpool Half

Binbag running attire -it’s the future! Maybe we should get some tangerine ones.

It was a confusing first few miles as you ran past the first mile marker, then the third then the second. But I got my head around it and set off with Paul for a steady run. It was bearable along the lower prom but the upper was awful. I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold. The last couple of miles were the coldest I can remember in a race. But it’s done and the hot chocolate in Costa afterwards was nectar from the Gods!”

Andy Quinn reported; “It was pretty cold, but I think this actually made me run faster for the last 5k because I just wanted to get the race over with. Managed a PB too so well pleased.”

Andy Quinn

Andy Quinn at the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool. Photo by Bryan Searby

Pos Name Time Cat
46 Russell Clarke 01:26:29 M
70 Paul Hesketh 01:28:10 MV50
71 Alexander Cran 01:28:17 MV40
129 Michael Hogan 01:33:54 MV45
155 Alan Clarkson 01:36:04 MV55
307 Andy Quinn 01:43:41 MV40
502 Lynsey Birtwistle 01:51:30 FV35
719 Leanne Cottam 01:59:46 F
1094 Nicola Kay 02:24:11 F

Full Results

Loughrigg-Silver Howe Race  –  22nd February

Report by Andrew Firth

This is an early season classic fell race in the Lake District that starts from the back of Millans Park in Ambleside, climbs Loughrigg, down the back to cross the road, and up to Silver Howe which overlooks Grasmere. It then returns via the same route, climbing back to the summit of Loughrigg and back to the park via a sneaky checkpoint at Lily Tarn. The organiser (Jon Broxup of Kendal AC) clearly likes to keep the race low key since it isn’t usually advertised via FRA calender, or indeed Kendal AC’s website. People tend to find out via word of mouth, however this year the date was eventually revealed on the FRA forum which probably accounts for why there were probably double last years 40 or so that did the race.

I decided it would be a good idea to make a weekend of it and booked a B&B in Ambleside for Sat night. Myself and Dinah enjoyed an excellent walk on Saturday afternoon – up Loughrigg (a sneaky reccy of the early part of the race) down to Grasmere via the lakeside path returning to Ambleside via the “coffin route” to Rydal Hall. The weather on Saturday was excellent with brilliant sunshine but a cold breeze. 

The B&B did the best breakfast that I’ve had for a long time, although it was weighing heavily on my stomach when we lined up on the start line for the safety briefing. The pre-race kit was very important because the weather had changed dramatically from the previous day with sleet at town level and quite a strong wind. Amazingly, two runners were attempting to run  without waterproof leggings – both were immediately DSQ. No kit check was necessary for me since I was wearing all of it with my vest with number on the outside of my cag so the marshalls could see it easily.

I set off in my rightful place at the back and decided to pace myself to try to keep running up the early steep track. I managed to keep plodding away and for the first time ran all the way to the gate to the fell, although I cant say it was particularly fast. The only other Clayton runner was super vet, Jack Holt, although by this stage he was well out of sight up front. As we climbed it was clear the the sleety rain in Ambleside had changed to proper snow, and, with the strong wind, I was very glad I had opted to wear full cover from the off. Despite the fact that there were footprints in the snow to be followed, people were deviating from the optimum route on the way to Loughrigg summit and I managed to make up a few places with my route knowledge from previous races and the reccy the previous day.

I could have done with a pair of skis for the run down the back of Loughrigg to the road, but even so caught a few more runners on the descent. When we crossed the road there were several cars having difficulty in the 2/3 inches of snow – the road is a steep link between Langdale and Grasmere – but I would not have even thought of attempting it in the conditions.

The run out to Silver Howe is quite difficult terrain at the best of times – but now with heavy snow and mist the only option was to either get the compass out and navigate, or follow previous footsteps and hope that the snow didn’t cover them!! Again a few runners in front made the wrong choices (clearly runners were trying different lines) and I once again gained a few places by the time I reached the summit. At last we turned to return and I enjoyed the run back to the road – no runners in sight to aim at, but I could still follow the footsteps in the snow but also making sure it was what I considered to be the best line.

By the road crossing I had caught the runner in front and managed to pull away from him on the climb back to Loughrigg summit. The marshalls had sensibly descended approx 300 metres from the summit to to shelter next to a wall – but they insisted that we still climb to the summit, advising that it was in any event the quickest way to Lily tarn. At the summit I caught sight of another runner in front (everyone was very spread out by this stage) which proved a useful target to aim at on the descent, which was even more tricky since the snow was now deeper and covering up little rocks on the path. I managed to follow the right footprints back to Lily tarn – but the O punch for marking our numbers must have been covered in snow because I couldnt find it. The final descent was excellent and even though I felt I had run better that the previous year, I crossed the line in 2 hours 2 minutes, some 7 minutes down on previous years.

I have to say that running in these conditions, whilst challenging, is really rewarding and it’s races like this that stick in the memory because you have been battling the elements as well as the course. I’m really appreciative that the organiser was happy to go ahead in the conditions in these heath and safety conscious times. Indeed I made a special point of thanking all the marshals and the organiser at the end. I can throughly recommend this race – if anybody decides to do it next year then if you are struggling to find out when it is then contact Jon Broxap at Pete Blands. It’s highly unlikely that the results will be published anywhere on the web – I still cant find last years, but I estimate that I was about 10/12 place from the back in a field of maybe 80.

Sedburgh School Fell Race – 22nd February

Congratulations to junior member Briony Holt for her win at the Sedburgh School fell race on a very cold, sleety and dismal day.  She no doubt brightened up the field in her signature odd socks.  There’s just no stopping her.

Clayton Juniors

Briony Holt at the Sedburgh School Fell Race

Results not yet available

Ilkley Moor Fell Race – 22nd February

Four Senior Clayton-le-Moors Harriers  and one Junior took part in the Ilkley Moor Fell Race, which is described as a hard winter fell race with some steep, slippery, and rocky descents. 216 runners lined up at the start.

Ilkley Fell Race

Tim Edwards, first Clayton finisher at the Ilkley Moor Fell Race. Photo by woodentops

Junior member, Christopher Brown, had a great race finishing in 4th place in the U-10s race in a field of 58 runners. Well done Christopher!

Clayton Juniors

Clayton Junior, Christopher Brown, at the Ilkley Moor Fell Race. photo by Woodentops

Pos Name Time Cat
38 Tim Edwards 00:47:17 M40
97 Chris Funnell 00:54:57 M40
124 Richard Briscoe No time given M
137 Jean Brown No time given W40
179 Colin Woolford No time given W40

Full Results

 The Terry Nortley 10 Mile Multi Terrain Race – 22nd February

185 runners took part in this race. Well done to Stephen Biscomb, our sole representative in this race, for his 1st V60 result. He finished in 49th place overall in a time of 01:16:35

Full Results

Peeler’s Hike – 22nd February

Adrienne Olszewska took part in this low-key event organised by Bury District Scouts and one of the many LDWA challenge events.  The route is a choice of 23 or 15 miles from Bury District Scout HQ via Elton Reservoir, Affetside, Peel Tower,  Holcombe Moor, Helmshore, Irwell Vale, Summerseat and Burrs country park.  A great event to get those longer distance off-road miles in.  Not really a race, more of a personal challenge as you rarely see any published results for these events.  They remain popular with runners as they can be tough as well as interesting routes.  Didn’t spot any other Clayton folk on the day but a number of runners from Trawden AC club took part.

The weather took a definite turn for the worse and on reaching Peel Tower in a bit of blizzard I was tempted to opt for the short route and head back to base, however,  not wanting to cop out, I headed out across the moors into what amounted to a whiteout! I was glad of the company of some  friends from Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers and Parbold Pink Panthers as together we managed to cross the snowy, boggy moors relatively quickly, if a bit frozen by the time we made it down to Helmshore.

After that it’s a low-level trot back to Bury alongside the East Lancs Railway and the River Irwell on some of the muddiest footpaths in the universe! All in all a great route and highly recommended.

Trailblazer 12 Charity Challenge – 22nd February

Summarised report from John Lloyd

100 miles in 12 hours on a 5k trail circuit. With a good amount of sponsorship we were raring to go.  Various Club members from Clayton-le-Moors Harriers and Trawden AC had showed their support in the morning and early afternoon. When the weather turned into snow and horizontal winds the support was amazing. Whether its running a lap or standing on a bridge clapping nearby, every soul there was a huge boost to the team. At the half way point we were way in front of schedule. The course was in great condition and was running well. Then the weather took a change for the worse, I think it says so much about the team of people I was with that it actually galvanised them. There was no moaning, just suggestions of how we get through, what were the best tactics. The last few miles were tough, but I was lifted by the second wave of support we got.

Parkrun roundup

It’s been a great week for our junior parkrunners with 4 of them earning brand new PBs at the Burnley event. Well done to Sophie Ashworth, Lennon Jackson, Annabel Wilcock, and Rachel Stevenson. Not to be outdone by the youngsters V70 Val Lawson also pulled a new PB out of the bag at the Burnley parkrun. Must be something in the water! Jonathon Pye did a bit of parkrun tourism and came in third at the Penrith event. Paul Hesketh and John Hartley both finished in the top ten at Pendle. Running legend Ron Hill was parkrunning at Marple and fell running stalwart, Wendy Dodds was 6th lady finisher at Fell Foot. Well done to all of our parkrunners

Brueton parkrun – A total of 293 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
11 Paul SHACKLETON 00:19:07

 Marple parkrun – A total of 137 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
116 Ron HILL 00:32:18

Burnley parkrun – A total of 207 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
5 Jacob WATSON 00:18:13
7 Jordan MCDONALD 00:18:41
10 Matthew DUCKWORTH 00:19:33
14 Stephen AINSWORTH 00:20:40
20 Mark NUTTER 00:21:28
21 Alan CLARKSON 00:21:31
48 Sophie ASHWORTH 00:23:29 New PB!
49 Martin BRADY 00:23:31
56 Lennon JACKSON 00:24:00 New PB!
86 Annabel WILCOCK 00:26:30 New PB!
87 John WILCOCK 00:26:31
88 Adam STEVENSON 00:26:32
91 Ron CHAPPELL 00:26:37
94 Keira STEVENSON 00:26:45
96 Yvonne WICKHAM 00:26:53
100 Richard LAWSON 00:27:09
118 Jackie KERSHAW 00:28:08
130 Stuart BARKER 00:29:21
136 Heidi KEWIN 00:29:33
141 Lucy STEVENSON 00:30:15
143 Rachel STEVENSON 00:30:21 New PB!
144 Richard STEVENSON 00:30:22
153 Elouise Sylkie PEMBERTON 00:30:58
188 Valerie LAWSON 00:37:07 New PB!
194 Milly MACCABE 00:39:01

Dewsbury parkrun – A total of 95 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
93 Robin PRICE 00:37:10

 Penrith parkrun – A total of 122 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
3 Jonathan PYE 00:18:43

Pendle parkrun – A total of 56 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
3 Paul HESKETH 00:20:59
4 John HARTLEY 00:21:07
36 Christine Jennifer EGERTON 00:31:07
50 Molly HESKETH 00:38:16

Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – A total of 144 runners took part.

Position parkrunner Run Time
35 Wendy DODDS 00:24:19
99 Eileen JONES 00:30:56

Other News

Congratulations to David Scott who is the January Senior Runner of the Month for his three great category wins in the month.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for the Annual Presentation Evening.  Tickets are going fast and it’s shaping up to be a great night out! James Hickie will be at Tuesday Training this week so don’t forget your cash/cheque!

And finally…

Don’t forget it’s Tangerine Training Night on Tuesday 24th February.  The future’s bright at Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, and to celebrate the plan is to turn up wearing a tangerine hoodie or something similar in bright orange. It would also be a fantastic milestone to break the attendance record set at 60 people. Go on… you know you want to!



About the author

Adrienne Olszewska