‘Through the Villages’ was the last Red Rose Championship race of the year. Chilly but bright conditions met the 300 runners in the 30th anniversary of this 8.45 miles race which takes in the villages of Wheelton, Heapey and Brinscall. The first mile is a relentless uphill test for the runners but becomes a final charge for the line at the end. In between, there are plenty of ascents and descents to make this a classic road race.

At the one mile mark Joe Swarbrick had Phil Darwen and Stuart Cann for company as they battled for the final points in the Club Championship. As the race developed the gaps began to open up and Swarbrick eventually reached the line first in 27th place with Phil Darwen finishing in 57.07 in 38th place. Stuart Cann came in next in 42nd place in 57.47. Mark Billington was only a minute behind in 47th place. Anthony Murphy ran 60.40 on his first attempt at the race. Mark D Billington had to do battle with a group of good runners from other local clubs and finished in 61.30.

In 85th place was Simon Houghton followed closely by a chase to the line between Debbie Kirkman (63.11) and Phil Davidson (63.21). Next in, was a tight finish between Jill Jefferson and Dave Hooton. Jill ran an excellent 63.43 to take the F55 prize with Dave taking 4th M60 in 63.45. Another prize winner was Janine Needham F35 in 65.11. Shane Cliffe ran 66.12 in the middle of his long training run. Cliff Utting ran 66.55. Barry Wheeler and Margaret Lupton finished in a large group in times of 69.51 and 69.55. Wendy Ward finished the course 9 minutes faster than her previous attempt in a time of 90.58.

Other results: John Wiseman 70.55, Anne Wallworth 72.45, CarolDouglass 74.57, George Fletcher 75.18, Paula Plowman 75.56, John Plowman 76.34, Keith Burrows 76.47, Debbie Porter 79.50, Yvonne Johnson 80.17, David Wilkinson 80.54, Martin Simpson 83.26.

PB’s were recorded at the Preston Parkrun. Helen Rutherford 26.28 and Keith O’Brien 33.29 and at Cuerden Valley Anthony Murphy 22.00 and Paula Plowman 26.59.