In my second year of organising this fell race (the very first fell race I ran way back in 1984) I was pleased that it had again been chosen as the Lancashire Championships. I was pleased that the farmer had allowed me to retain the same route as last year, which involves cutting up through his fields to Buttock farm – a favourite of all runners as it takes out 1 mile of tarmac but only reduces the overall race route by ¼ of a mile. I was pleased the sun was shining and conditions underfoot were dry, making my flagging of the initial route through the farmer’s fields a breeze. I was pleased that Moorhouse’s Brewery was sponsoring the race, with bottles of beer for all finishers. I was pleased that 233 runners turned up too (50 more than last year), despite there being an English championship race being held on the same day, and clashing with other popular races. I was also pleased the Pete Bland’s van was on the car park. You can guess it, yes I was pleased!
So, on to the race. Conditions were ideal and times were going to be fast. Chris Holdsworth from Ribble Valley Harriers led the field from the whistle and maintained his clear lead to the finish, winning by nearly 2 minutes in a new course record time of 30.19. U23 Matthew Knowles from Lancaster & Morecambe AC was in 4th place on the first main climb, but his descending skills paid off and rewarded him with 2nd place overall in 32.04. The winner’s clubmate Thomas Corrigan finished in a creditable 3rd position.
In the ladies race it was last year’s winner Catlin Rice from Ribble Valley Harriers who took the win again, this year in 22nd place overall in a time of 37.18, with half a minute to spare over Nik Tarrega from York Knavesmire Harriers in 2nd place. Victoria Mousley enjoyed a fast run too, finishing just over a minute behind.
The vets categories produced some great competition too, with winners in every category up to V70 for both men and women – a creditable feat to the longevity of our sport. Full results.
Prizegiving was held in the village hall, with all category winners receiving Pete Bland vouchers, a presentation pack from Moorhouse’s Brewery, T-Shirts and bottle openers. And that’s in addition to the free bottle of Moorhouse’s beer for all finishers!
The marshals and timekeepers all did a great job, as did John Schofield’s team on the results and the ladies in the village hall for putting on soup, tea and cakes. Many enjoyed their ‘post race debrief’ in the Pendle Inn where more Moorhouse’s beer was available in the form of Clayton-le-Moors Blonde.
The race has historically been held on the first Saturday in April, so next years’ race will follow suit on the 4th April.
Get the date in your diaries for more FREE MOORHOUSE’S BEER – oh, and a good blast up Lancashire’s greatest hill!