The latest Red Rose Championship race was the Great Eccleston Scouts Flat 4 miler. On a short distance race with 32 of the 114 finishers being Red Rose runners, there was bound to be plenty of close competition.

Ben Donoghue had no competition from his club team mates but ran hard to take 7th place overall in 23.10. Ken Addison finished 11th to win the V55 prize in 24.19. Joe Swarbrick could make no impression on Ken’s 50 metre gap and was almost caught in the closing stages by a strong finish from Dave Maudsley who finished in a new PB time of 24.35. Phil Darwen played a waiting game as he tracked Stuart Cann for most of the race before sensing the home straight and pulling ahead to run 25.23, nine seconds ahead of Stuart. Vet 40 Mark Billington crossed the line in 25.56 and within the next 3 minutes another eleven ‘Rosers’ followed. Barry Wheeler ran 26.18 followed by close finishes between Anthony Murphy 26.41, and Doug Bryden 26.45; and V45 Mark Billington 27.03 and Philip Davidson 27.13. Geoff Haworth got the better of Dave Hooton by 8 seconds in a time of 27.24. Tony Thorley’s 7 minute mile pace saw him finish in 28.17 and Cliff Utting was third V60 in 28.20.

The Red Rose ladies outshone the men in the prize winning stakes with Debbie Kirkman leading the club home in 27.41. Paula Plowman won the F45 prize in 30.02, Jill Jefferson took the F50 position in28.51, Ann Wallworth finished first F55 in 30.25 and Evelyn Elkington took the prize for F75 in 41.10. It was also an encouraging day for personal bests with Luke Bosman and John Plowman setting times of 31.09 and 32.01.

Other times: Julie Thorley 31.27, George Fletcher 33.33, Allan Howard 34.58, Janice Johnstone 36.23, Karen Clark 37.11, Chris Clark 37.12, Keith O’Brien 45.08, Judith Cook 45.15.

Further afield Shane Cliffe and Sal Cape tackled the gruesome Buxton Half marathon. Shane’s time of 1.41.54 was matched by an equally impressive 2.16.41 by Sal.

Five runners joined the masses at the Manchester 10k, Steve Bladon finished in the top 1000 in 42:37 and was followed in by Simon Houghton 45:45, Jamie Jardine 50:16, Colin Manning 1:07:23 and Lisa Hyde 1:08:51.

At the Ilkley Harriers Trail Race over a distance of 6.9 miles and 700 feet of ascent Debbie Kirkman, Cliff Utting and Mark Billington formed a tight group finishing together in 59.56.

Personal Bests were achieved the Preston Parkrun 5k by Joe Donoghue (21.02) and Mark D. Billington (21.24).