At the start of a busy week, a large contingent of Red Rose took on the 5 mile Clougha Pike Fell race. Results: Jon Laney 44.05, Dan Hughes 47.55, Stephen Woodruffe 51.44, Barry Wheeler 54.25, Frank Nightingale 55.17, Phil Butler 57.16, Chris Charnley 57.38, Jon Royle 60.10, John Naylor 64.55, Nicola Hughes 65.34, Sarah Maltby 68.40, Paula Plowman 74.23, Sue Tonge 77.02(1st F60)

The Witton Park Trail Relay race comprises of 3 x legs of 3.65k (2.27M), 150m ascent, to the top of Billinge Woods and back to the park. Red Rose entered 5 teams with little to choose between the first two. Red Rose Positively Vetted comprised of Phil Davidson (20.05) Mike Hall (18.48) John Allen (19.39) 58.32 in total. The second team of John Naylor (18.17) Manolo Mendoza (19.05) and Gary Corcoran (21.12) finished 2 seconds behind in 58.34. 3rd Team, Barry Wheeler 18.26, Paula Plowman 23.23, Richard Field 22.19. 4th Team,(Joe Sucks) Joe Donoghue 19.18, Reece Thomas 25.52, Ethan Hodgkinson 19.58. 5th Team (JMS) Margaret Worbey 25.48, Simon Worby 22.10 James Hughes 23.07.

We had 2 runners at the Preesall Fire Service 10k. Sandra Rolston and Jill Jefferson who gained third place in the womens’ race. At the Summer 5K in Lancaster, Pete Smith finished in 21.47, and Lauren Hatton ran 32.28.

Scott Jackson has just completed an amazing feat of dedication. He has completed his challenge of running every day for the past 1000 days.

The latest Inter Club race was hosted by Thornton and Cleveleys. The 5 mile course, starting at Norbreck Hotel provided less taxing weather conditions than previous races but the competition was still hot!. Just under 100 Red Rose ran the race with most of our teams gaining 4th position. The Vet 40 Ladies were third and the Vet 60’s were second. The Men’s team comprised of Simon Croft, Matt Holme , Jon Laney, Phil Marsden, Dan Hughes, Stuart Smith, Stephen Woodruffe, Barry Wheeler, Joe Swarbrick and Gary Corcoran. The Ladies team were headed by Sophie Pilkington supported by Vicky Ardern, Janette Rayton, Natalie Croft and Gail Bristo. Our first F40 was Vicky Ardern, our first Male Vet was Phil Marsden, first V50 Steve Woodruffe and first V60 Joe Swarbrick. Other runners were pleased with improving on previous years’ times. Full results spreadsheet is availaible on the Inter Club facebook page.

Jenny Fairclough and Sue Austin took part in the Barrathon Half Marathon. This stunningly scenic race follows a clockwise circuit of the island, following an undulating course, the lowest point being near sea level and the highest point being just under 350 ft. Sue finished in 2.40.33 and Jenny in 2.47.16.

Jon Royle completed the Lairig Ghru Race in Scotland on Sunday. 27 mile race off road Scottish hill race from Braemar to Aviemore over the infamous Lairig Ghru mountain pass – height 846m. He finished in a brilliant time of 4hrs 50.22 aiming for under 5 hours. He also did Aviemore parkrun on Saturday.

Three Red Rosers toured to the lovely Hyndburn parkrun. It included a couple of “mounds of opportunity” as they called them but basically a flatish 2 lap course on trail paths through woodland. Pauline Moorcroft, Katy Cleece and Louise Withnell finished in 34.18.

A large group visited the Halifax parkrun at Shroggs Park.

PB’s were posted at Preston parkrun by Andrew Doublett 21.50, Neil Healy 25.44, Laura Renke 27.03 and Joydip Majumder 28.55.

Well done to our 3 juniors at Southport mile fun run – Daniel Hands-Field first in 7:53, Abigail Cleece PB 8:55, Jack Cleece 11:52.

Plenty of our runners competed in the Southport Half with some impressive times. Michael Oddie 1.30.55, Paul Mounsey 1.32.26, Stuart Smith 1.34.52, David Park 1.41.04, Richard Field 1.46.32, Craig Goldsworthy 1.52.09, Gail Bristo 1.52.22, Pauline Moorcroft 2.04.20, Louise Witnell 2.08.18, Andrea Jenkins 2.13.03, Allan Howard 2.16.15, Cat Holden 2.18.15, Joydip Majumder 2.17.41.

There was also 10k with Laura Renke being our first finisher in 55.53. Other competitors: Stephen Murphy58.04, Natalie Barber 58.04, Jo Worswick 58.59, Matt Ashton 59.42, Rachel Cook 61.05, Lorna Cragg 67.59.

The Trawden 7 mile race is part of the Burnley and Pendle Grand Prix. We had 5 finishers in this testing short distance(see below!) race. Andrew Christie 51.15, Phil Davidson 54.00, Doug Bryden 62.11, Austin Trelfa 75.11, David Watson 91.28.

The Lakeland Trail series continued with distances of 14K, 23K, 55K and 100K.Starting and finishing in Rothay Park, Ambleside, 30 Red Rose Runners took part in the event. On the hottest weekend of the year, runners were tested to their absolute limits. Completing the 14K race was a major achievement on unfamiliar terrain. John Wiseman 1.36.06, Ben Smithers 1.43.40, Austin Trelfa 1.55.18, Davina Bowling 1.55.43, Helen Ormerod-Pateman 2.15.43, David Watson 2.16.34,Fiona Gutteridge 2.17.00, Amanda Berry 2.22.17, Hannah Clayton 2.25.22, Chris Hall 2.25.22, Karen Bishop 2.35.02, Jennifer Szedler 2.35.03, Sarah Eccles 2.35.06, Ruth Watkinson 2.54.57. Going even further, Olivia Wiggans led our runners home in the 23K race in 27th place in a time of 2.37.55. Times for these races bear no relation to road race times and the achievement is as much a mental battle as a physical one. Our other 23K finishers were Iain Mitchell 3.13.17, Lisa Bolton 3.20.13, Margaret Lupton 3.25.01, John Wiggans 3.29.39, Sarah Haslam 4.53.35, Claire Shaw 5.07.57, Angela Dallinger 5.19.46, Nina Colquhoun 5.29.00. The finish line must have been the most welcome sight for everyone of these runners.

The official description on the ‘Trails’ website states, The 55K Lakeland Trails Ultra is a testing 55K ultra marathon course through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the Lake District. The tough, challenging course can claim to be the most picturesque ultra marathon in the UK. The 55K route also includes 3 mountain passes, with 7,000 ft ascent/descent along with 5 memorable feed stations. The real stories are on the Red Rose facebook pages. When Red Rose enter these events they rely on each other for motivation and support. Those of us who only do short distances up to marathons can only be amazed at the guts and grit of our brave runners. On this occasion the heat was the constant enemy, other times it could so easily be snow and rain. There are many occasions in these events that competitors must question their sanity. The glory of finishing, therefore must be all the greater when they can say ‘We did it’! Our magnificent eight were Richard Ward, Michelle Griffiths, Scott Jackson, Chris Patterson 10.27.08. Martin Simpson, Wendy Ward, Lynn Melvin 11.28.18 and Helen Greenhalgh 12.49.24. Thanks must go to the fantastic support from Sharon and Andy Birkbeck out on the course who encouraged everyone during a very long day.

Wendy Ward has kindly provided this report so that we can all bask in the glory of being part of RED ROSE ROAD RUNNERS!

On the hottest day of the year so far 8 Red Rosers set off on the Lakeland Trails 55k! Leaving Rothay Park (thank you to On all the other RR who turned up to cheer us off!) in Ambleside at 10 am the route leads you straight through Ambleside and up towards the kirkstone Pass for the first check point – A tough climb up the last section of the struggle. From there you descend running past Brothers Water – things were seriously getting hot and a lot runners we’re dunking their hats to cool down!!! At Patterdale some runners grabbed the opportunity of a much needed ice lolly before the second checkpoint at Glenridding. From there you had the BIG climb up to Grizedale Haus followed by a steep rocky descent heading towards Grasmere. This checkpoint was proving too much for some runners with the heat and a few dropped out but the Red Rosers used the time to eat, rest and drink before pushing on – at this point we were half way! Leaving Grasmere (second opportunity for an ice lolly was utilised by some serious athletes!) heading up towards Silver How but now it was mid afternoon and the heat was more than starting to effect the runners! The path again was technical with some drops to the left – luckily we had a Marshall at this point to warn us of what was up ahead! From here you descend into great Langdale running around the bottom of Lingmell Fell. Running around Little Langdale Tarn, over Fell Foot Bridge taking in a small section of the Wrynose Pass you turn right to run across Blea Moss. This section was very boggy and the weather looked like it might start to rain which would’ve been very welcoming to us! But it didn’t! We descended from Blea Tarn finally joining the Cumbrian Way, leading us back to Great Langdale. From here we knew the end was in sight and just plodded on to the final checkpoint at Langdale School feeling relieved we’d all met the final cut off time! From there we knew there was just one last climb up Loughrigg Fell! Around now the heavens opened finally cooling us all down and refreshing our aching limbs! At last we descended Miller Brow – the end was in sight!!! Crossing a bridge we were then greeted with cheers for the last 100metres in Rothay Park! What we didn’t realise that thousands of midges were also waiting to greet us home!! Thankfully everyone finished safely from Red Rose! Some amazing times were achieved and I’m sure we can add time on because of the heat!!! It was an amazing day but very hot and mentally tough. However, we had the amazing support of Sharon, Andy and Casey Birbeck! They kept popping up in several places! We all waited for each other at the finish until our last runner was home – this really sums up Red Rose, we always look out for each other! Andy even headed up over Loughrigg to support Helen on her journey home. An incredible day with incredible people! There were many ‘never again’s’ mentioned but I’m sure it won’t be long before our minds are changed!!! Afterall, we are now ULTRA marathoners

Jenny Fairclough, our Scottish correspondent writes, ‘Heading for one of their favourite holiday destinations in the Outer Hebrides, Sue Austin and Jenny Fairclough participated in the 20th Anniversary ‘Barrathon’. The half marathon distance circumnavigates the road around the island of Barra and the challenging and undulating route takes in breathtaking views of the white sandy beaches, bays and lochans. With a limit of 300 runners and a sell out time of less than 3 minutes this year, Sue and Jemny felt privileged to have taken part in such a stunning location, in an event that appears to be supported by the entire island community. On a very hot day, which included pausing to drink and drench at each of the 7 water/feed stations, Sue and Jenny were pleased with their respective times of 2:40:33 and 2:47:16. Back on the Scottish mainland, Jon Royle competed in the scenic and challenging Lairig Ghru 27 mile race from Braemar to Aviemore, via the infamous Lairog Ghru mountain pass (864m). The five mile boulder/rock gardens are just Jon’s kind of terrain and he surpassed his 5 hour target with an excellent time of 4:50:22, with excellent support from his brother Nigel.

[Weekly Roundup 1 July 2019]