It’s orange to the fore as the Autumn colours race in.

ByAlan Dorrington

It’s orange to the fore as the Autumn colours race in.

This week the Autumn action comes a variety of sources, from Lakeland mountains, Scottish Hills, the flatlands of Manchester and West Lancashire, and some Northern milltown hills thrown in the mix for good measure. You’ve all been out bagging podium positions, fast PBs or simply getting stuck in and having a right good time. Here’s how it went…


British Fell and Hill Running Relays – Luss, Scotland

Pic: Kath Brady

Pic: Some of the Clayton runners, post Fell and Hill Running Relays. Not sure what Carl Helliwell is thinking but it looks mischevious…

Held in the Luss Hills, on the Western shores of Loch Lomond, this traditional late season event always attracts a big entry and with its Scottish setting this year, also offered a post race ceilidh to entice runners. Clayton sent four teams, an A and B team, a Ladies Vets team and a Mens V50 team.

Leg 1 was a solo leg of 5.9 km with an ascent of 427m (navigational experience and skills  required). Leg 2 was a pairs’ leg of 13 km with 1096m of ascent (and a nice sting in the tail) (navigational experience and skills required). Leg 3 was the pairs’ navigation leg and  provided a stiff challenge as to expected from a competition championship nav leg, and Leg 4 was a solo leg of 8.3 km with 653 m of ascent.The event was won by a flying Dark Peak Grindslow team in 03:38:58, beating off stiff opposition from Shettleston Harriers.

First Clayton team back in 32nd overall and 2nd MV50 Team, was the team of Phil Hall, Gary Wilkinson, Paul Hesketh, Mike Wallis, Tim Edward and Mark Aspinall. They finished in a time of 04:49:44. Hot on their heels in 36th overall came the B Team of Kirt Livesey, Dave Walker, Carl Helliwell, Neil Hardiman, Chris Snell and Lee Smith in a time of 04:55:38. Just behind in 04:58:18 came the A Team of Danny Collinge, Dave Bagot, Andy Laycock, Dave Motley, Ryan Wilkinson and Matt Perry.

The Ladies Vets team came in in 07:02:49 to claim 1st LV50 Team and 3rd Ladies Vets overall  – the team comprised Kath Brady, Katy Thompson, Barbara Savage, Wendy Dodds, Kath Wallis and Anna Kelly.

Kath Brady reports for the Ladies team:

‘Fortunately Katy had been in Luss for 3 days and managed to recce the area along with Wendy and provide useful advice for the rest of the team. As forecast, the morning started wet and misty on the tops. Runners were encouraged to enter the holding pen to have kit checked and prepare to be lead to the start by a traditional Scottish piper.

Leg 1 – solo (4.2km 341m climb). I was on this leg, we were off across a couple of fields then up the steep climb into the mist. A good trog off the top down to a stream to a checkpoint, a traverse round the hill before getting a wonderful glimpse of Loch Lomond and decent to the finish. 43.49 4th Vets

Leg 2 – pairs(13km 1096 climb). Katy Thompson & Barbara Savage starting with long gradual climb to checkpoint 1 and returning very steeply as checkpoint 5. Both ladies battled wind and rain on the tops moving us up to 3rd in 2.06

Leg 3 Nav leg. With a wealth of experience between them, Wendy Dodds & Kath Wallis set out. Described by locals as long and difficult, the fast men were taking 1hr 20mins! Wendy & Kath were still out on leg 3 a time after the mass start on leg 4, so I walked down the course with Katy to watch for them coming in hoping they may finish together with Anna, but she came flying by us and we continued watching the hillside for our navigation ladies. The rain stopped and midges came out. They finished the navigation leg 2nd Vets in 3.06

Leg 4 solo (8.3km 653m climb) – A mass start was scheduled for 2.30 but at 2.15 they called runners to the line. Anna, (with a slight ankle injury she sustained whilst reccing Hodgson Relay) had to rush to kit check. This was an out and back route to Beinn Dubh, the first checkpoint on leg 2. Anna finishing 3rd Vets team in 1.06.

The rules for this event requires experience and completion of an A category Fell race. With the distance to travel and a 10 am Saturday start gave a smaller pool of ladies to select from. We need more ladies racing on the fells to get the experience to compete at this level.’

A great day of racing and great results for the Mens and Ladies Vets alike! No reports back from the Ceilidh but that’s probably a good thing…

Full Results

Wendy Dodds and Kath Wallis setting off on the testing navigation leg. Pic: Kath Brady

Wendy Dodds and Kath Wallis setting off on the testing navigation leg. Pic: Kath Brady


Red Rose Cross Country League Round 1

A lovely warm and dry autumnal day greeted the runners at the first Red Rose Cross Country fixture at Leigh Sports Village. An already flat and fast course was made even faster by the hard, dry conditions, leading many to use trail or fell shoes and producing some close racing, particularly in the Juniors, right up to the finish.

The Tent! Pic: Jason Pier.

The Tent! Pic: Jason Pier.


U11 Boys

There were 6 Clayton boys in the U11 race with Dexta Thompson continuing in his winning ways with a clear run at the head of field. Finley Stubbs put in a great sprint finish to come in 9th, with Robbie Smedley backing them up to help the Boys take 1st place in the Team event. Matthew Jackson was close behind with Jenson Bentham and Joshua McKay rounding out a great team effort overall. The Boys are now leading both the Mid Lancs and Red Rose team events – a cracking start to the season.

Pos Name Time
1 Dexta Thompson 7:26
9 Finley Stubbs 8:04
12 Robbie Smedley 8:08
15 Matthew Jackson 8:10
26 Jenson Bentham 8:26
59 Joshua Mckay 9:20


Dexta Thompson flying into the finish in 1st place at Leigh Sports Centre. Pic: George S Davies

Dexta Thompson flying into the finish in 1st place at Leigh Sports Village. Pic: George S Davies

U11 Girls

Pos Name Time
5 Helena White 8:38
15 Summer Hargreaves 8:59
38 Kady Thompson 9:39
60 Rachel Stevenson 10:26
71 Ellisia Smedley 11:17
77 Emily Nicholls 12:17

Helena White continued her great form after time out with 5th place, whilst Summer Hargreaves also had a great run in 15th. Kady Thompson in 38th helped the girls to 5th Team overall. Well done to Rachel Stevenson, Ellisia Smedley and Emily Nicholls working hard in backing up the rest of the girls in the team.

U13 Boys

Pos Name Time
4 Jackson McKay 9:16
24 Lennon Jackson 10:31
35 William Nicholls 11:34

Jackson McKay put in his usual gritty effort for a great 4th place with Lennon Jackson and William Nicholls the other counters to take the Boys to 6th Team.

U13 Girls looking relaxed at the start line. Pic: Alan Dorrington

U13 Girls looking relaxed at the start line. Hopefully Beth hadn’t forgotten something important…  Pic: Alan Dorrington

U13 Girls

Pos Name Time
10 Ella Dorrington 10:16
61 Keira Stevenson 12:23
65 Bethany Wheatcroft 12:38
68 Bronia Olszewska 12:57

Ella Dorrington led our U13 Girls home in 10th place overall, just behind a big group occupying 3rd to 9th place. Keira Stevenson and Bethany Wheatcroft (in only her second race) filled the team spots taking the Girls to10th Team with Bronia Olszweska completing the squad.

Ella Dorrington on her way to 10th place. Pic: Alan Dorrington

Ella Dorrington on her way to 10th place. Pic: Alan Dorrington

U15 Boys

Pos Name Time
14 Nicholas Henessey 14:51
19 Stanley Grewal 15:05
28 Jay Bowman 15:59
32 Adam Stevenson 16:25
39 Aaron Lundie 19:43

Our U15 Boys packed out the placings solidly, led home by Nicholas Hennessy in 14th and Stanley Grewal in 19th. Jay Bowman made up the 3rd counter for them to take 5th Team, coming home in 28th. Adam Stevenson and Aaron Lundie completed the squad.

Aaron, Adam and Jay before the start of the U15 Boys race. Pic: Deborah Stevenson

Aaron, Adam and Jay before the start of the U15 Boys race. Pic: Deborah Stevenson

U15 Girls

Pos Name Time
3 Briony Holt 15:26
9 Millie Stubbs 16:27
23 Eleanor Root 17:50
27 Natasha Olszewska 18:16

The all-smiling U15 Girls team had a great day, led home by Briony Holt in 3rd place, Millie Stubbs in 9th, Eleanor Root in 23rd and Natasha Olszewska in 27th. Overall they took 3rd Team to build on their 1st Team place in the recent Mid Lancs fixture.

Our flying U15 Girls team. Pic: Thomas Root

Our flying U15 Girls team. Pic: Thomas Root

U17 Men

Pos Name Time
10 Curtis Holt 21:26
13 Reece Lawrence 22:56
15 Simon Wilshaw 24:12

Just three U17 Men ran but Curtis Holt in 10th, Reece Lawrence in 13th and Simon Wilshaw in 15th still took 5th Team overall.

Men U20

Pos Name Time
4 Jordan McDonald 42:28
Clayton XC Dogs, little and large.

Clayton XC Dogs, little and large.

Senior Ladies Race

Pos Name Cat Time
32 Elizabeth Mullan L 24:12
62 Michelle Abbott L35 26:23
94 Jane Hylands L45 29:48
116 Deborah Greenwood L45 32:19
131 Christine Leathley L65 37:01

A Team – 13th  (Elizabeth Mullan | Michelle Abbot | Jane Hylands)

Vets Team –  11th (Michelle Abbott | Jane Hylands | Deborah Greenwood)

Andy Quinn and Mick Hughes. Pic: George S Davies

Andy Quinn and Mick Hughes. Pic: George S Davies

Senior Men’s Race

Pos Name Cat Time
45 Jordan McDonald U20 42:28
50 Matthew Duckworth M 42:46
73 Andrew Orr V45 44:23
80 Gareth Berry V40 44:54
81 Andrew Holt V40 44:59
85 Alan Dorrington V45 45:24
111 Alex Cran V45 47:02
121 Mark Wightman V55 47:38
128 John Wilcock V50 48:00
154 Andy Quinn V45 49:51
155 Jeffrey Pickup V65 49:52
163 Mick Hughes V40 50:41
183 James Hickie V55 52:09
193 Peter Browning V55 53:17
198 Martin Brady V50 53:42
203 Craig Nicholls V40 54:17
213 David Moynihan V45 56:02
220 Christopher Lawrence V50 56:41
229 Carl Carey V45 58:01

A Team  – 8th (Jordan MCDonald | Matthew Duckworth | Andrew Orr | Gareth Berry | Andrew Holt | Alan Dorrington)

Vets Team – 10th (Andrew Orr | Gareth Berry | Andrew Holt | Alan Dorrington)

Andrew Holt reports:

‘I arrived dreading today’s run if I’m honest, flat and fast, no mud/rain or wind. Having recce’d about an inch of the course I decided that spikes were too much but I hadn’t brought anything else so was kinda stuck with them. Got to the start line which I love ,the atmosphere and tension, and having watched everyone run away in a mad dash around the football field settled into a reasonable rhythm. Having passed Alan exiting the football field he sat on my shoulder(not that I realised until the start of the next lap) and we ran the pleasant route through the wood and around the golf course, slowly picking runners off along the way. (Strava later confirmed our lap splits had only 30seconds difference between them).

I felt strong after the first lap, started tiring on the second but had enough to hopefully to keep accelerating into the finish. For the second time this season I met Gareth Barry towards the end of the second lap,and he was able to run with us for some time increasing the cheers for Clayton and helping to keep my pace and intensity up. Not wanting the spectacle of a sprint finish between the three of us I opened up with maybe a mile to go,and judging from the shouts from people supporting think I was successful in creating a reasonable gap between myself and Gary and Alan. Entering the final straight,at more than full gas (Briony describes me as running like I need the toilet when I run like this) I saw Gareth screaming past me like I was treading water with Alan coming maybe 10-15 seconds later. I finished thinking what an enjoyable team run ,which was hopefully caught by someone with a camera. This bubble soon burst however when my children thanked the person who beat me and ridiculed me for a pathetic sprint!!’

As ever, a huge thanks on behalf of all the Clayton team to Jason Pier (TentMaster Extraordinaire) for getting things all set up and ship shape for racing.

Full Results

Round Rotherham 50

Martin Terry had a cracking run here to take 3rd overall in 07:43:56 in this 50 miler round, err, Rotherham on a fast flat course and with some of South Yorkshire’s ‘finest’ industrial areas on show.

Full Results


Manchester Half Marathon

A huge field of 12000 runners took in this fast flat course through the Stretford and Trafford areas of Manchester, with plenty of entertainment and fancy dress on show. Jacob Watson and Richard Stevenson led the Clayton charge both posting superfast times. Great new PBs were also achieved for James Boult, Rob Morrison and Donna Airey. Well done all!

Richard reports:

We were greeted with typical Manchester weather this morning cold, wet and windy for a well organised race with a course that is perfect for any PB chasers, very flat and fast. Great to see so many familiar faces today at such a large race and very pleased with my time, a new PB.

Pos Name Cat CatPos Time
82 Jacob WATSON SEN 35 01:17:33
116 Richard STEVENSON V40 13 01:19:50
161 Jon CLEAVER V35 36 01:21:58
667 James BOULT SEN 295 01:33:07
669 Robert MORRISON V40 90 01:33:09
985 Donna AIREY LV35 17 01:36:49
1276 Colin WHITE V40 183 01:39:16
1305 Amanda DUFFY LV35 27 01:39:31
4768 Lisa ELLIS LSEN 653 02:01:42

Full Results

Green Drive 5 mile

Another fast, flat PB inducing course, this event incorporated the Lancashire AA 5 mile Champs. A select group of experienced Clayton athletes were to the fore in their age categories, enjoying the autumnal colours and rural lanes near Lytham and Warton.

Pos Name Cat CatPos Time
20 Paul Brannon M55 (002/015) 00:30:26
27 Kevin Davies M50 (002/029) 00:30:50
75 Stephen Biscomb M60 (004/016) 00:34:48
108 David Scott M70 (001/007) 00:38:00
110 Brian Wildman M50 (017/029) 00:38:12
223 Kevin O’Brien M70 (004/007) 00:48:55

Full Results

Oldham ‘Milltown to Moors’ Half Marathon

One of the most grueling of races, this half marathon covers a 13.1 mile run through Oldham and its many miles of countryside, pushing challengers to their limits whilst offering some of the best scenery the borough has to offer.

With a very atmospheric start that includes a lap of the Oldham town Centre runners travel a hilly route that takes them to the lovely Saddleworth area of Oldham with spectacular views of the Saddleworth villages and the imposing moorland landscape of the Peak District National Park that lies beyond.

Martin Brady decided he hadn’t had enough racing this weekend and was up for more. He reports:

I entered the Oldham “Milltown To Moors” Half Marathon on the Sunday morning after having run a Parkrun and Leigh cross country the day before. I have a 10 mile trail race in Nottingham next weekend and I have been lacking any distance runs for a few months so I thought this would be a good test. This Half Marathon is claimed to be one of the toughest in the country with lots of long climbs and descents. It is tough but I think Hendon Brook is slightly harder (Lenches wins it for me with the Hendon Brook). I think I was the only Clayton runner at the event. The commentator said at both the start and finish “Here is the Clayton runner – they come down from altitude to do this you know!”. He must think Clayton-le-Moors is in the Himalayas. I did enjoy the race this time. I have done it several times during my running career, the first being in 2001 when there was the foot and mouth outbreak so there was no fell running – this was the nearest thing to a fell race I could find that year. I took it very steady at the start as it has 4 miles of climbing before the first long descent. This paid off as I started to pass quite a few runners later on. My finishing time was 1 hour 53 minutes 20 seconds which is about 25 minutes slower than 2001 but it was much more enjoyable. I think I might pencil this one in again for next year.

Results to follow

Four Lakeland Passes

Nick Olszewski and Adrienne Olszewska were the sole Clayton reps making the trip up the M6 for this event. Adrienne explains more:

‘Four Passes was originally put on by the warden of Borrowdale Youth Hostel and was run from there for many years. It fell into disuse until the LDWA took the route on as a challenge event, but it is no longer on their calendar and Ascend Events believe it is too good a route not to be used as an event.
There’s a choice of 2 start times so Nick and I opted for the earlier 8.30 slot with the walkers as he is still recovering from a recent operation on his toe and I’m a bit of a slow plodder. We thought it would make for a more enjoyable event if the pressure was off and we could just joggle along.
The course is a spectacular 19(ish) miles route taking in four of the Lake Districts most scenic valleys and their adjoining passes. It is a circular route which starts and finishes at Rosthwaite Village Hall in Borrowdale, at the southern end of Derwent Water.
The first pass takes you to Sty Head Tarn situated between the Scafell Massif and Great Gable before dropping to the beautiful but always dramatic Wasdale with Cumbria’s deepest lake. We set off nice and steady with a motley collection of fast and slow walkers and jogglers and trotters like ourselves. The first climb up to Sty Head tarn is nice and steady and we were blessed with good weather allowing us to drink in the spectacular views on the way down to Wasdale. A fairly good path meant we could trot all the way down to the checkpoint.
We were on familiar ground for the second pass which is Black Sail Pass & the third Scarth Gap, as this is part of the route of the Lakeland 100. It was the first time I’ve done it in daylight which didn’t make the slog up Black Sail and the horrid descent any easier really. But at least we got to enjoy the gorgeous views of Haystacks, Wainwrights resting place, on the way up Scarth Gap which is the easiest climb but with another tricky descent to Buttermere straight after.
From Buttermere, The fourth and final pass is an old miners’ path up and over to Honister Mines. It’s a long steady climb on a path made up of loose slate at times which passes an old miners building on the way to the top. When you reach the mines, it’s a good track all the way back down to Rosthwaite, a welcome relief after the previous two trickier descents. This one is much more runnable as you head to the finish.
This is a really excellent, low-key and friendly event that is aimed a wide range of abilities. You can tackle it like a fast fell race or amble round with the walkers. The choice and the challenge is yours to take. There are four checkpoints, two of them groaning with snacks and drinks. There is also a very good finisher’s meal with pudding! This was the first event organised by Ascend Events and I will definitely do another. In fact, I’ll probably head back to this one next year.’

Nick does his best 'Forced Perspective' aka Hagrid impression next to a deceptively diminutive Adrienne. Or is it real?

Nick does his best ‘Forced Perspective’ aka Hagrid impression next to a deceptively diminutive Adrienne. Or is it like that in reality?

Full Results

Parkrun Roundup

Burnley parkrun – A total of 281 runners took part.

Pos parkrunner Time Age Cat Note
5 Jonathan PYE 18:21 SM25-29
6 Laura HESKETH 18:29 SW30-34
17 Richard STEVENSON 20:05 VM40-44
20 Nick ROSCOE 20:34 VM45-49
38 Gordon BARRETT 22:07 VM50-54
52 Ian HARGREAVES 23:22 VM50-54 New PB!
56 Nina KEWIN 23:29 VW35-39
58 Colin WHITE 23:34 VM40-44
61 Robert MORRISON 23:39 VM40-44
64 Martin BRADY 23:45 VM50-54
69 Julie DAWES 23:59 VW45-49
71 Toby BIRTWISTLE 24:02 JM10
72 Daniel PLANT 24:04 SM30-34
78 Sophie ASHWORTH 24:26 JW11-14
85 Lisa JOHNSON 24:36 VW40-44 New PB!
92 John WILCOCK 24:52 VM50-54
94 Annabel WILCOCK 24:54 JW15-17
98 Jake ANFORTH 25:06 JM10
102 Andrew TAYLOR 25:32 VM55-59
111 Andy QUINN 25:45 VM45-49
133 Bianca BENNETT 26:41 SW25-29
160 Robert HIRST 28:12 VM65-69
161 Jack MCGUIRE 28:18 VM60-64 New PB!
181 Ron CHAPPELL 28:49 VM65-69
233 Stuart BARKER 31:38 VM50-54

Pendle parkrun – A total of 83 runners took part.

Pos parkrunner Time Age Cat Note
3 Paul BRANNON 20:04 VM55-59
4 John HARTLEY 20:14 VM55-59
12 Richard BRISCOE 22:09 VM35-39
60 Harry WALKER 34:22 VM65-69

Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – A total of 246 runners took part.

Pos parkrunner Time Age Cat
149 Eileen JONES 29:06 VW60-64

Lytham Hall parkrun – A total of 183 runners took part.

Pos parkrunner Time Age Cat
156 Philip NAYLOR 35:22 VM35-39


About the author

Alan Dorrington editor