Author Archive Jim Hickie

ByJim Hickie

Annual General Meeting – 30th September

Notice of Annual General Meeting

7.15pm Monday 30th September 2019
The Woodman Inn
129 Todmorden Road

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is your opportunity to influence how your club is run as well as ask questions or raise concerns.

At the AGM the committee post holders for the coming year are appointed together with the posts of President, Ladies’ Captain, Men’s Captain and Auditor.  Any member can stand for a post subject to them being proposed and seconded by another member at least 14 days before the meeting. If you are interested in standing for a post and would like more information about what’s involved, please contact me.

The AGM also allows members to put forward proposals for consideration and voting. Proposals for the AGM must be seconded by another member and submitted in writing to me at least 14 days before the meeting.

Peter Browning, Secretary.

AGM documents will be published at

ByJim Hickie

Asda Green Token £500 award

Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Juniors were recently presented with a cheque for £500 from the Asda Green Token Scheme. The scheme which runs quarterly in stores is to help local community groups, sees Asda customers choose from one of three causes, and give them their “green tokens”.

Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Juniors, who won the challenge in Asda Burnley for January to March this year are delighted to have been presented with a cheque for £500. The money will go towards tracksuits and other kit for the local running group which trains in Burnley, and competes all over the north of England in many different disciplines including road running, cross-country and fell running.

Annette McGowan-Doe, Asda Burnley’s Community Co-ordinator, presents the £500 cheque. Photo David Belshaw

Annette McGowan-Doe, Asda Burnley’s Community Co-ordinator, presents the £500 cheque. Photo David Belshaw

They were presented with their cheque at a training session at Barden track taken by lead coaches Marion Wilkinson and Jason Pier. Marion said “We are so pleased to receive this award from Asda. Their support for our club, and their commitment to community groups and projects is vital, and very much appreciated. The money will be well spent on our large number of Junior runners who train and show such dedication week-in, week-out”.

ByJim Hickie

Moorhouse’s sponsorship

Clayton-le-Moors Harriers are delighted to announce that Moorhouse’s Brewery are proud sponsors of our Pendle Fell Races and Club Fell Competitions for 2019.

Moorhouses Clayton BannerAll adult finishers in the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round, Pendle Fell Race, Pendle Cloughs Fell Race, Mearley Clough Fell Race and Pendleton Fell Race will receive a bottle of Moorhouse’s beer. And Clayton-le-Moors Blonde ABV 3.9% will provide much needed refreshment for tired runners in the local pub after each race.

Moorhouse’s prizes will be awarded to members successful in our 2018 and 2019 Club Fell Championship, Pendle Aggregrate Trophy Competitions, and John North Trophy competitions. Clayton-le-Moors Blonde ABV 3.9% will enhance the celebrations at our annual Awards Evening held on 22nd March at Turf Moor.

Clayton-le-Moors Harriers are not only passionate for fell running but also for the mystical landscape of Pendle Hill, famous for its long-told myths and legends. We look forward to sharing some of Pendle’s secrets with Moorhouse’s during 2019.

ByJim Hickie

Lancashire Sports Awards 2018

Clayton-le-Moors Harriers are proud to be Club of the Year at the Lancashire Sports Awards 2018!

Lancs Sports Awards Club of the Year

Also at these awards, Briony Holt was Highly Commended as Young Achiever of the Year, and Jason Pier, one of our Junior coaches, was Highly Commended as Volunteer of the Year. Well done Briony and Jason!

Lancs Sports Awards Jason Pier

The club, Briony Holt and Jason Pier were nominated for their awards by Burnley Council.


ByJim Hickie

Pendleton Fell Race Cancelled

I’m really sorry but the 2018 Pendleton race next week (25th August) is cancelled.

Road work on the nearby Clitheroe bypass has forced a diversion through Pendleton village and the traffic flow has increased substantially.

I had planned a shorter race route avoiding the main street but having spent some time in the village, speaking with local people, it is evident that the usual race day parking cannot be safely accommodated.

Please can you let as many people know about this. Apologies for the short notice and hope to see you all on August Bank Holiday Saturday 2019

Best wishes

Mike Eddleston
RO Pendleton

ByJim Hickie

Annual General Meeting – 24th September

Notice of Annual General Meeting

7.15pm Monday 24th September, 2018
The Woodman Inn
129 Todmorden Road

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is your opportunity to influence how your club is run as well as ask questions or raise concerns.

At the AGM the committee post holders for the coming year are appointed together with the posts of President, Ladies’ Captain, Men’s Captain and Auditor.  Any member can stand for a post subject to them being proposed and seconded by another member at least 14 days before the meeting. If you are interested in standing for a post and would like more information about what’s involved, please contact me.

The AGM also allows members to put forward proposals for consideration and voting. Proposals for the AGM must be seconded by another member and submitted in writing to me at least 14 days before the meeting.

Peter Browning, Secretary.

AGM documents are at

ByJim Hickie

Briony Holt interview

“Keep going. Sometimes you may feel as if you’re not improving or you may be injured, but if you keep going, you will get there.”

James Boult interviews Briony Holt, who represented England in the 2017 Mountain Running Junior Home Internationals held in Peebles, Scotland.

Briony, first of all congratulations on your call up. Tell us, how does it feel to represent your country?

Unbelievable. When I first started running in my red pe shorts and Adidas t-shirt, I never would have imagined getting an England vest. To think that I was 9 when I ran my first BOFRA race, running through knee deep rivers and coming towards the back of the pack, I knew I enjoyed it despite how much I said I didn’t! As it turns out, that race is now one of my favourites!

Briony on her way to 4th place at the U17F Junior Home International, Peebles, Scotland in September 2017. Photo Woodentops

Briony on her way to 4th place at the U17F Junior Home International, Peebles, Scotland in September 2017. Photo Woodentops

Describe the Junior Home Internationals and how it felt to come away with the Gold?

It was an incredible experience and the perfect way to end a long season of running. When I first got called up about the selection, I was over the moon and immediately started thinking about what it would be like; my assumptions were wrong! The place we stayed in was an adventure campsite ( not your typical premier inn ), the food was delicious and the course was pretty much a cross country! But this all added to the overall experience and really showed how much of a novice to international racing I was! For our team to get gold as well was just the cherry on top. With half of our team being the youngest of the age group, we were hoping for maybe a bronze, possibly a silver, but never a gold!

It’s a testament to your amazing form that you got selected. You’ve consistently been one of the most successful Juniors in your age group and you’re a former British Fell Champion. To what do you owe your success?

Many people over the past few years have helped me along the way, whether it’s my parents becoming the weekend taxi, to the coaches and Clayton, to my fellow competitors, I’ve been given advice and support with training and racing which I will be forever grateful for. I think that as long as you have a passion for the sport, you will continue to excel in many different ways from your own ability right up to your own confidence.

And following on from that what is your long-term ambition? What is your main goal for the future?

My main over-riding goal would be to represent Great Britain in the World Mountain Running Championships. After seeing this event two years ago in Wales, it really opened up my eyes as to how far you can go in the world of fell running and how much people appreciate the sport. However, this year I’m focusing on passing my GCSE’s in summer and just maintaining a good level of fitness ready for the summer ahead.

Briony on her way to 1st girl in the U17 BOFRA Farleton Knott race in August 2017. Photo Geoff Thompson

Briony on her way to 1st girl in the U17 BOFRA Farleton Knott race in August 2017. Photo Geoff Thompson

How has the influence and support of your parents helped with your success thus far?

As much as I try not to be soppy, my parents do deserve a mention. They have supported me massively throughout the years, from driving me three hours up the country to buying me £70 shoes for me to rip them on a rock or something similar. Every time I’ve raced, I’ve always managed to spot them shouting encouragement on the side of a cliff whilst I’m hurling myself down it. So thank you mum and dad for all of the support. As much as I’m a typical stroppy teenager, I do appreciate it!

What first got you into running?

Curtis had started running at our local track, Seedhill. As any younger sibling would, I wanted to do everything he did so me and my friend went down with him. Because we we’re only young, we weren’t allowed to compete, however we could train, so we went down there every Monday night to just try out all of the different activities that athletics brought. This brought me on to trying different branches of running such as fell running and cross country which is where I am today.

What is your favourite race and why?

My favourite race has to be Coniston Gullies hosted by the BOFRA organisers. It’s a classic BOFRA race which is steep to the top and then try to survive on the way down, and that’s what I love about fell running. Afterwards, everyone goes in the lake for a swim which always adds to the friendly atmosphere.

What is your favourite pre-race meal?

On the morning of a race, I always like to have poached egg on toast as it sets me up for the race ahead.

Briony at the Junior Inter Counties, Cowpe, Rossendale in June 2017.

Briony at the Junior Inter Counties, Cowpe, Rossendale in June 2017.

Speaking of pre-race; do you have any rituals or superstitions?

I always prefer to race in my more mile lilac socks because I bought them at the Inter Counties cross country and that was where I had my best race that season! Also, I have a fear of losing a shoe so my laces have to be wrapped around several times and tucked in!

What was the main reason for choosing Clayton as your preferred running club?

My friend first told me about Clayton Harriers when we were going to the Astley Park mile races. Marion Wilkinson was warming up the juniors and despite me running for a different club, she still acknowledged my family. This feeling of inclusivity was one of the main reasons why we moved and have remained at Clayton for six years.

What do you do to relax / how do you spend your downtime?

Usually, during the evening I relax by going on my phone and messaging friends. I’ve also been hooked recently on the latest dramas on TV; my personal favourite being the tunnel!

How do you find balancing school life and friends alongside training and racing?

Due to me being in year 11, exams and revision have been my priority. Finding time to train has been hard but I’ve managed by either going for a run around my area or going on the turbo trainer. Racing is more easier to fit in as it’s usually at the weekends so I have time to revise when I get home or another day.

What advice would you give to any aspiring junior athletes?

Just to basically keep going. It isn’t about being a fantastic junior (although that is a bonus), it’s about keeping going and progressing in to your senior years where all of the opportunities come about, such as representing your country. Sometimes you may feel as if you’re not improving or you may be injured, but if you keep going, you will get there.

Q: What is your biggest achievement so far?

Probably gaining my England Vest last season, however, my best race has to be English Schools Fell in 2014 as it was my first English Schools and managed to get 2nd place.

Any comments / final thoughts?

Good luck to anyone who has any future races and I hope to meet some more of the adult fell runners as I progress in to a senior!

ByJim Hickie

Navigation Workshop – 17th March

Are you new to fell running and unsure how to use a map and compass?
Do you usually simply ‘follow the guy in front’ at a race, hoping he knows where he’s going?
Have you ever wondered where you are on the hill?
Do you fear the mist and wonder how to find your way?
Do you worry about getting lost on the hill?
Would you like to increase your confidence in navigating your way round a fell race?

If you can answer ‘YES’ to ANY of these questions then this workshop is for YOU!

The club is holding a Navigation Workshop to help you increase your confidence on the hill. You will learn how to read a map, use a compass and gain new navigational skills and strategies to give yourself the edge over your competitors.

Boulsworth Fell Race

Colin Woolford at the Boulsworth Bog Fell Race. Photo by the Woodentops

Clayton members Colin Woolford and Mark Nutter will be your tutors for the day. Between them they have over 40 years racing experience over the fells in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, competing in many ‘AL’ races, Mountain Marathons, Adventure Races and Orienteering events where navigational skills are essential. They will be sharing their knowledge with you, to give you the edge on your next race!

Following the Workshop there will be a NAVIGATION THEMED RACE / EVENT to test your newly learnt skills!

The workshop is FREE and open to all members of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers over the age of 18.  Places are limited to 15 on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.


Workshop outline:

Mark Nutter at the David Staff Memorial Fell Race. Photo by Helen Jones

Mark Nutter at the David Staff Memorial Fell Race. Photo by Helen Jones

Saturday 17th March 2018 at Whitehough Outdoor Education Centre, Barley New Rd, Barley, Burnley BB12 9LF.

Arrival at 09.00, grab a coffee and meet your clubmates.

Indoor / outdoor workshop to understand the map and compass, including basic navigation strategies and route choice.

Lunch (a light lunch!). By all means bring your own snacks. We have use of the on-site kitchen so usual tea / coffee / refreshments are included.

Navigation Event – The Race – putting your skills to the test using map, and compass!

Review and close at 16.00.

Attendees will need to bring with them their own compass (as per FRA rules) and usual running gear including full ‘FRA kit’.

If you are interested and wish to book a place please contact: Ladies -Fell Team Manager Sarah Helliwell; Men – Mark Nutter.

If you want further information please contact either:
Colin Woolford: 07747 112346 or
Mark Nutter:  07899 995181 or

Remember, places are limited to 15 and on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

ByJim Hickie

Don Talbot 1931 – 2017

I first met Don in the mid 1950s when joining Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, writes Alistair Patten. Our winter Saturday afternoon runs were from working men’s clubs in the Accrington area near where Don lived on Avenue Parade. After the run whilst waiting for the mud to dry we were served tea in pint glasses. Summer runs on a Wednesday evening were from pubs in the local area and this is where we headed for the hills chasing after Stan Bradshaw followed by pints of beer. When Don and I worked in Blackburn we would often meet up at Witton Park for a run at lunchtime – a 5 mile run, quick shower then eat a sandwich whilst getting dressed.

Don TalbotDon took up orienteering and took part in the first event in England from Whitewell on the 24th November 1963 and was one of the 15 finishers. In 1964 South Ribble OC was formed and Don became a founder member of the first orienteering club in the country.

In 1965 Don took part in his first Three Peaks race and by 1995 had completed 22 races. Unknown to many Don also took part in the annual Three Peaks cyclo cross race and won the over 50s prize once. As Don favoured the tougher challenges he competed in the Fellsman Hike as a member of The Rucksack Club. When the Fell Runners Association was formed he became a keen member and from 1965 he finished in 25 of the annual Mountain Trials. After retiring from running Don volunteered for checkpoint duties.

He became a member of the BG club in 1971 with a time of 22 hours 17 minutes and became member number 7. Don was always a keen rover scout and took part in annual meets. For his services to scouting he was awarded King Scout.

Don became a munroist number 2692 in 2001 after completing the munros, tops and firths. I travelled to Ireland with him in 2001 along with a small group of his friends to polish off the last peaks. Don loved the Scottish mountains and in February each year we headed north with a group of hardy Clayton stalwarts. One year in Glencoe we were traversing a steep slope when there was a loud crack and an avalanche swept past us, we crept out of danger and decided to abort the climb. Arriving back at the YHA at midday we found an open door and due to the cold all got into our bunks. Don had acquired an ex RAF pilot’s survival suit which he was using as a sleeping bag but looked more like a Michelin man. Our laughter alerted the warden so we ere kicked out until the official 4 pm. As everybody knows Don could sleep for England.

My favourite memory of Don was in 1969 when we took part in the 2nd two day mountain marathon from Limefitt Park. On the first day I had a bad fall in some old quarry workings and gashed my hand. Don thought we should retire but at the overnight camp managed to get proper first aid. On the second day we made good progress and as we were approaching The Tongue Don dropped back on the climb. He was completely drained of energy and showing the whites of his eyes. After giving him glucose and sugary food he recovered and on the run in to the finish he left me behind. As we were lying 4th our kit had to be inspected but we could not light our stove as we had lost our matches. Frank Travis was about to disqualify us when Don flew into a violent rage complaining about Brasher’s kit which he thought was illegal. During this outburst from Don and amid all the confusion some kind person dropped a box of matches on the floor for us. Have never known Don to lose his temper like that – maybe he was on a sugar overdose.

Honorary member Donald Talbot died on Tuesday 21st November, aged 86. A Service of Thanksgiving took place on Thursday 30th November at 1 pm at Fullwood Methodist Church, Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8EA.

ByJim Hickie

Chris Holdsworth interview

“Stay humble, don’t get an ego and let your racing do the talking. Work hard but buy regular Dominos pizzas to make up for it.”

James Boult interviews Chris Holdsworth on his return from his Team GB debut at the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy.

World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships Italy 2017

World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships Italy 2017

Chris, so far 2017 has seen you reach some incredible achievements; your performances at the Howarth Hobble and the Yorkshire Three Peaks; Heptonstall Fell Race and Griezdale Trail Marathon course records and obviously your International call up. To what do you owe your success?

A lot of patience, consistent training and not expecting too much too soon, setting achievable goals and steadily working towards them – these then form the basis of working towards a big race or performance. I think it’s important to enjoy your training, if you do then the results will follow. For me it was all about seeing how fast I could run up hills (Strava CR addiction began here), or seeing how fast I could get round one of my favourite hilly routes. I wasn’t overly concerned with results or who I was or wasn’t beating at first, racing was just to enjoy the results of hard training. Enjoy the progress you can make on the things you do enjoy/are good at, and then focus on the things you think you’re not so good at later. Your training will then begin to show consistent progression and you’ll see rare plateaus and more success.

Taking it all back to the beginning then, what first made you start running and who, if any, was your inspiration?

Uncle Breton. I had just finished University and had been running more regularly (2 or 3 times a week) and had done my first parkrun in Leeds, finishing at about the 21 minute mark. He persuaded me to come out running with him and join him on a few of the Clayton fell sessions. The first one of which was up Boulsworth, where he, Neil Worswick and a few others well and truly beasted me! I was struggling to keep up and couldn’t run one step up Boulsworth, but enjoyed it nonetheless and knew fell running was for me!

Snowdon International Mountain Race 2017

Snowdon International Mountain Race 2017

At the beginning of this journey did you ever think you would be pulling on an England vest?

Not at all, I didn’t know it was even possible to run for your country. In fact, I didn’t really know much about anything up until a year or so ago! I try not to think about qualifying for England or GB vests, race wins or who I should or shouldn’t be beating as it can eat away at you and make you not even want to start the race due to nerves! I try to target things like getting certain times, or course records as it not too dissimilar to my training runs then. That way it’s just you racing against the clock and anything else you may achieve is a happy bonus at the end.

What does an average training week in the life of Chris Holdsworth look like?

When training for a big race, most of which are quite long distance these days, I aim to try get up to 70 miles for the week. If I’m struggling with niggles, ailments or fatigue I’ll drop it to 50-60. To break it down, my week would look like:

Monday: steady 8-10 hilly miles (1000ft or more) where I will be trying to push on up or down the hills if my body feels okay after the weekend.
Tuesday: ideally some sort of rep session. This will either be 0.5 or 1 mile sustained hard efforts.
Wednesday: midweek hilly miles – this will ideally be between 12-16 miles and 1200ft – 2000ft depending on the route. Effort will be steady – to hard
Thursday: tempo 8 mile run or hill rep session if I didn’t manage a session on Tuesday.
Friday: rest day – just as important as any other to let the week’s training settle in and muscles recover
Saturday: race day or tempo 13 miles, preferably quick hilly trails or roads.
Sunday: hilly steady long run between 15 – 24 miles depending on the distance I’m training for.

Do you have any rituals you go through before a big event?

Always two big bowls of Frosties cereal, but proper athletes usually go for porridge. Go for whatever suits you and makes you feel light and quick on the day.

Running wise I try to reduce the mileage and quicken my cadence and try to get my body race ready. I will often throw in a run over from Widdop res and push my legs round quickly back down to Gorple to get them firing.

How has your International call up affected your current training regime, and your life in general?

It’s been tough.. I’ve not eased off on my training since January. First I trained for the Hobble, next the Three Peaks, after that it was the call up for England with Sedbergh and Snowdon, and of course lastly Giir di Mont for Great Britain. It’s been a long hard slog to get here with constant training, and mostly it’s my friends or family that are most affected as I will ruin most occasions as I have to get a run in.

Going to a city for the weekend? I’ll have to get my run in first. Friends wanting to drink on Saturday? Sorry, I can’t.. Have to do a long run the next day or have a race.

My friends and family put up with my schedule all the time and I thank them a lot for it. Most of all my girlfriend Sophie, who has heard me moan about every niggle imaginable, put up with me being away for countless hours whilst I run, and me always telling her we can’t do something with friends or family because I have to stay fit and/or go for a long run. I couldn’t be the runner I am without someone supportive like her.

How has your coach, Chris Singleton, influenced your running?

He has helped push me out of my comfort zone and made sure I’ve kept on schedule to meet race goals. I pretty much used to just do tempo runs everyday, but he’s helped introduce a little structure that has benefited some of the aspects I was weaker at.

I have never been a descender, but at the recent Snowdon race I was one of the quickest back down. Evidence that the coaching is working and I’m moving in the right direction!

What is your biggest goal?

If I can compete regularly at the top end of the sport I’ll be very happy when I look back at what I have achieved. However, if I was to answer the question properly, I’d have to say a win at one of the UKs biggest mountain races would be up there. Another goal would be to finish in the top three of the English fell championships.

We all have favourite events, races we look forward to more than any each year; what is your favourite race and why?

Has to be the Three Peaks for me. There is no other race like it and the atmosphere is brilliant. It will be a race I will hopefully come back each year to and see if I can chip away at my personal best time.

Three Peaks 2017

Three Peaks 2017

What is your best race to date, and what is your best running achievement so far?

A running theme here, but possibly this year’s Three Peaks race! I wanted to break the sub 3 hour mark, so to finish sub 2:55 and in 3rd was very unexpected. I’m also pretty proud of breaking Morgan Donnelly’s record at Lowther Trail last year and Marcus Scottney’s CR at Greendale marathon this year.

I think a question we all want an answer to is; do you still get nervous when you line up waiting for the start?

Absolutely.. If you’re not nervous on the start line then I don’t think you’re taking the race seriously! Anyone and everyone can be beaten on the day, so you have to be focused and mentally prepared for the race ahead – the nerves are a by-product of this!

Is there any member, past or present, that you look up to in the club, and speaking of clubs, what made you pick Clayton-le-Moors Harriers as your club?

We are blessed with a lot of legends at our club thanks to its long and illustrious history. When I first joined the club it was clear we had a very successful period with a lot of these members now competing as successful veterans in their respective categories. The one most relevant in influencing myself and how I progress through attempting to try and seek similar success would be Garry Wilkinson. He has been there and done it all, competing in the same fell and mountain races as I’m currently doing, many for the first time. I’ve still a lot of work to do if I want to achieve the same level of success as he did!

As I mentioned above, there are so many club legends at Vet level in Clayton to look up to, from the likes of Garry, John Roche, Martin Brady, Dave Scott, Kieran Carr, Geoff Gough, Jean Brown, Wendy Dodds and many others, but I admire any of our current senior and junior members looking to push and better themselves.

In terms of why did I join the club? For me it was due to a family member running for the club, as well as another family member (my sister) previously running for the club, it meant it was the only club I’d heard of at the time! I think we all just fall into the clubs we are at, but the important part for me is why do we stay at the club. Personally, I am at Clayton-le-Moors due to our history of being a club that predominantly focuses on fell running competitions. Many of our members have won some of the biggest Fell and Mountain races in the country, but this hasn’t happened in some time. I would like to help put Clayton’s name back up there in the results and help Clayton compete regularly at the top end of these races again.

Inter Counties Fell Championships Moel Eilio 2016

Inter Counties Fell Championships Moel Eilio 2016

The right gear is essential; what is your choice of gear for the big race?

The right gear is very important. Wearing something that even slightly irritates you or feels wrong whilst racing can massively affect your result… I can think of manly occasions where I’ve worn the wrong shoes (or even the wrong shorts!) and felt it’s added minutes to my time at the end of the race. However, we are all different and one man’s holy grail pair of shoes are another man’s idea of hell.

Here’s my kit:
1× Salomon S-Labs 6 (for me they are the best all-rounders at taking on all conditions)
1× shortest of short shorts (let those thighs free!)
1× buff cut in half for head (keep my mane out my eyes and protect my ears from wind damage and tinnitus)
1× buff (when cold to protect wind pipe)
1× pair of long socks (I damaged my shin a few years ago and gave myself shin tendonitis and can no longer run without)
1x ladies small fit Clayton vest (I like it snug and close fit to avoid wind blowing it about)
1× Karrimor bum bag (they’re cheap and have a good fit – if I break them shoving too much in I can easily pick up another)
1× Mountain Fuel gel (for long distances, not available yet but are a brilliant product – look out for it soon!)
1x Mountain Fuel soft flask filled with Mountain Fuel Blackberry flavour (for long distances, easy to carry and can keep supping all the way round – easy to shove back in bum bag after)
1× OMM jacket. (Haven’t been able to try all brands as they can be quite expensive. This jacket is a great fit and works well.)
1× small ladies cheapest of cheap water proof pants. (It’s rare you’ll need to wear them, so as long as you can fit them on in case of emergencies, make sure you have a pair that fold away small so that they don’t take up too much space.)

What is your favourite discipline and distance and why?

My favourite distance is around 10-15 miles over undulating runnable trails between 1000-2000 ft of climb. This is due to what I have on my doorstep running around the likes of Boulsworth, Widdop and Hurstwood. I am now more interested in becoming adept at more technical longer distance mountain running, so I have to leave the comforts of gorple road and try push myself on harsher, steeper fells.

Hopefully if asked the same question is a year or so, I’ll be answering 20+ miles of nasty technical mountain running!

Do you have any regrets so far?

I often think ‘should I have tried getting into running sooner?’. If I had though, I don’t think I’d have achieved all that I did before I began running. I started at 22, I’m now at 26. I’ve had to work very hard to get where I am but I have plenty years left to achieve more yet too.

The one thing I do regret is not looking after myself properly. Battering myself everyday has led to many niggles over the years. Not wanting to see any decline in my progress, I often trained through these injuries, often making them worse and now I live with many long lasting issues.

The worst came last year when I first injured my hamstring. Firstly I gave myself hamstring tendonitis, which moved up into my hamstring, which then moved up into my glute/hip and injured my piriformis. This all happened whilst training for a marathon and the three peaks. Afterwards, it all calmed down, only to get redamaged two months later at the start if August. I carried on racing and training, but kept getting intense pain on certain terrains on my lower back/hip area.

One day after a speed session, I got up from my chair after sitting down for a couple of hours at work and I couldn’t walk or stand up straight. Nothing particularly went, my body just packed in and I had severe sciatic pain constantly. It turned out I had damaged my SI joint, which is the bit between your hip and spine. This is the joint that takes all your impact when running, so when this goes the impact now goes through your glute, piriformis, groin and hamstring. I had intense pain for months and had to take 3-4 months off racing whilst I healed.

I now live with chronic sciatic pain that I have to manage everyday through strengthening and conditioning it, as well as regularly self-massaging to relieve the pain and regular sessions with Garry.

I regret not putting in the time to strengthen my core and punishing my body each day without letting injuries heal up properly. It’s no excuse, but after running 15 miles in the dark and rain, the last thing you want to do is come home and do some stretches and strength moves for half an hour..

Nonetheless, it’s very important and should be apart of your training!

Do you have any advice or training tips for new runners or other members of the club?

For new members, don’t worry about PBs, speed work, hill climbs or anything like that. Just get out and enjoy your running for 20-30 miles a week. Learn what terrains you like running on, what times of day you like to run, what distances you like/don’t like and build yourself a solid base of fitness. After 6 months to a year, once the habit of running regularly has become your natural state, and then start to think about how you can begin to improve yourself. This way, your body will be conditioned to run regularly and can the manage increases of demand in your training.

For current members my advice is this. No one is naturally talented at running. Yes, some of us start at better levels of fitness. Some of us are just naturally better at hill climbs/descending on technical climbs – but when it comes to plain running, talent is not the reason someone can run a 16-17 minute 5k. It’s because they have put in the time and effort to be that fit and quick. If you’re in a 10k and someone wins it in 31.00 minutes, or 35.00 for ladies, just know that if they can do it, so can you. You just need to put in the right training and the same level of dedication as the winner of that race. Over time, you’ll be exactly where you never thought you could be. It’ll hurt the same, but you’ll be quicker!

How do you like to train?

During the week I try to train straight after work, especially in winter! Rather than come home and potentially talk myself out of going for a run, I’ll do it before I even get back in the comforts of my warm home.

I often train alone, but hopefully in the coming months I’ll be training with a few more of my Clayton teammates now that I’m able to change up my training a little with the summer of international racing coming to an end.

What do you do to relax / how do you spend your downtime?

Not a right lot! By the time I’ve worked, ran, come home and eaten, it’s usually around 8.30pm so there’s not a lot of time left to do anything. I’ll have to tidy the house, do the washing, prepare tomorrow’s dinner and by the time that’s done it’s time to go to bed! At the weekends I’ll have a few (many) beers if I’ve raced on the Saturday, ready to run hungover on the Sunday.

Outside of running, who is Chris Holdsworth?

In my day job I am a Graphic Designer for a Horticulture company based in Trawden. Before this I studied Fine Art at Leeds College of Art and gained a first class degree. I had a particular interest in sculpture – even winning a national award and prize money for one! Sadly I can only seem to focus on one thing at once – so art is out, running is in…

Harrier over Pendle 51kbTell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I designed the most recent incarnation of the Clayton-le-Moors Harriers badge and also designed the pattern on the orange buffs for the FRA Relays held at Pendle two years ago. For the newer members who possibly won’t remember, I was also the Weekly Round Up writer before Adrienne!

What are your lifetime PB’s?

Current PBs are:
5K: 16:24
10k: 32:31
10 Mile: N/A
Half Marathon: N/A
Marathon: 2:37:11

I haven’t raced a 5k since 2014 and a 10k since early 2016 as I have been focussing on fell and trails, but I will have to give a few road races ago to see how I fare!

Any comments / final thoughts?

The biggest tip I can give is to stay humble, don’t get an ego and let your racing do the talking. You’ll only have egg on your face if it all doesn’t go to plan.

On a similar note, don’t reveal your goals (unless asked nicely in an interview by James Boult). Things can go wrong and plans can change. Keep your cards close to your chest and the pressure is lessened.

If you begin to say I WILL achieve this or that, or I WILL do this or that time, then you are putting unnecessary pressure on yourself trying to meet everyone’s expectations.

Lastly, reward yourself and reward yourself often.. Don’t overdo it with a slab of cake every three mile dog jog you do, but if you restrict yourself too much with diet and social events, then it’ll just get on top of you and will become unenjoyable. It’s just a hobby for us all at the end of the day, so work hard but buy regular Dominos pizzas to make up for it.

Finally, Hendon Brook course record?

Haha, I don’t know about that. Tom Cornthwaite has set a phenomenal record on that course, and many other top runners have come and had a go and fallen very short. It’s one of my favourite races and a course I do regularly in training, so every year I can race it I’ll be racing my hardest. That being said, I’m still the fastest man ever up Lenches (Strava official, nothing else counts) and I’ll take pride in that!