2011 was another successful year for the club, with old and new runners picking up accolades, as well as increasing numbers competing on the fells and joining the cross country teams.
In the Championship, Joe Swarbrick retained his title, holding off strong competition from Ken Addison, with Phil Butler securing 3rd place, just edging out Shane Cliffe by 6 seconds in the last race of the series. Debbie Kirkman took the women’s prize in her first year with the club, with Paula Plowman and Carolyn Douglass completing the top 3.
New club chairman Phil Butler had a strong year, picking up 4 awards, including becoming men’s Grand Prix champion. Dave Earnshaw was Grand Prix runner-up and Barry Wheeler improved throughout the year to finish third. Carolyn Douglass won the women’s Grand Prix title, ahead of Debbie Kirkman and Yvonne Johnson.
It was also a good year for the Red Rose couples, with Chris and Karen Clarke collecting the men’s and women’s Vet 50 Championship honours. Bernard Elkington was the Championship Vet 70 winner, while Evelyn took the Inter Club Vet 70 road prize again.
Although picking up an injury mid year, Glenda Dobie narrowly beat Alison John-Haslam to the women’s Fell Champion trophy. John Shepherd became the men’s champion, seeing off last years winner Fred Lynch, who finished as runner-up. New fell runner John Rogerson took the Vet 50 prize, while Phil Butler and George Fletcher won the Vet 40 and Vet 60 titles again. Paula Plowman also added the Vet 40 prize to her Championship award.
There is was both team and individual honours in the Inter Club competitions. Red Rose again showed superiority on the fells, winning 7 accolades in total, retaining the Open, Vet and Vet 50 team prizes, but road honours were harder to come by. Glenda Dobie and Phil Butler retained their Vet and Vet 40 fell awards, with Joe Swarbrick winning the Vet 55 road title. Ken Addision claimed another two awards, winning the Vet 50 fell title, and finishing second, behind Joe, in the Vet 55 road category.
Further success was had in cross country, with the ladies Vet 45 team finishing third and Joan Gouldthorpe taking third place in the Vet 55 category. Although there were no winners for the men, they consolidated there place in division 3, having been promoted season before.
With existing runners returning from injury, and new members such as Stuart Roberts, Claire Bunce, Ben Donoghue and Jose Pinon Shaw all showing promise towards the end of the year, let hope that 2012 is as successful and as competitive as 2011.