Evening all. It has been a while since I did a race report so whether you like it or not you are getting one.

Whilst large numbers of you ran at the Green Drive 5 championship race a select group of red roses headed to Rivington for the inaugural Winter Hill Mast Blast 10k trail race. Having already dragged myself over the pike for a 5 mile warm up I then made the mistake of trying to mix it up with the front runners on the first climb up from the pigeon tower car park and soon remembered that after a 6 month layoff I am definitely not race fit!

The race was organised by Bolton Mountain Rescue as a fundraiser supported by time to run events and the endurance store. They did a great job of squeezing as much climbing into the route as they possibly could; any 10k with almost 1400 feet of elevation is going to be a tough one. We visited Rivington Pike summit not once but twice, along with two lad’s cairn, and the winter hill masts themselves.

The route starts with the technical climb up to the pigeon tower, a slight bit of respite before venturing up again to the pike and the first mile ticked off, from there we headed towards two lads but taking a detour down a lush bouncy field meant we could finally get the legs ticking over. From there we started the 2 mile of continuous climbing up through Wilderswood, then onwards to two lads cairn and then a short tarmac section up to the masts on Winter Hill. Then came the fun bit; a downhill mile of bogs trying their best to steal your shoes (got mine twice) and slow you down as we headed back over the moorland to the pike. A short sharp pull back upwards and then it was pretty much all downhill with the final half a mile allowing for a fast finish if you are confident on slippy old cobbles and rocks.

For £20 entry we got a very well organised, fully flagged and marshalled route, chip timing, goodie bag, medal, t-shirt, a brew at the end and as much cake as you could eat. The start finish area had some family fun events going on, we had AC/DC thunderstruck at the start line, and of course Marc Laithwaite dressed as a unicorn with a cowbell at the pike summit. The rain even held off until most had finished the race. Fingers crossed this event is on again next year, it has red rose grand prix finale all over it.

123 runners completed the race that was won overall in a time of 47:15. Well done to our very own Liv Wiggy taking the prize for first lady finisher in a time of 01:00:54.

Official Red rose results: (based on overall position & chip time)
Ian Croft, 24th in 58:59
Olivia Wiggans, 32nd in 01:00:54 (1st lady)
Ryan Beardsworth, 47th in 01:05:25

John Wiggans, 48th in 01:05:40
Gareth Bell, 57th in 01:08:24
Alicia Croft, 75th in 01:11:34
Ruth Travis, 99th in 01:24:35
Nina Colquhoun, 117th in 01:40:37

Well done all 🌹