A baker’s dozen of Horwich senior runners toed the start line on Saturday’s opening Mid Lancs fixture, overlooking the main Skipton to Windermere road at the Westmoreland Showground, a few miles south of Kendal. The weather was perfect and the course dry making it ideal for fast running with trail shoes probably the ideal choice of footwear.
Nine Horwich men competed with Gary Priestley and Neil Pendlebury battling it out for 5th and 6th place in 32:34 and 34:45, both less than a minute behind the winner, Blackburn’s Karl Billington. Denis Mason, as always, put in a solid performance for 59th in 37:38 before the more mature element came charging in, led by Doug Fleming (91st and 10th V50) in 39:44, Gary Chadderton, 105th (32nd V50) in 40:17, Tony Hesketh 146th (3rd V60) in 42:26, Paul Murray, just overhauling Pete Bland for 182nd and 183rd (6th and 7th V60) in 44:48 and 44:51 and Gordon Stone, 208th (45th V50) in 47:44. Team wise that gave us 8th overall, 13th V40, 6th V50 and the leading V60 team.
Looking at the team results and comparing them with the divisional structures, it appears that our men’s team gained maximum points in Div 3 following last year’s promotion. However, the V40 team were the lowest placed V40 Div 2 team (again after last year’s promotion). As V50 and V60 have no divisional structure we are 7th and top respectively. The ladies, by being the top placed club outside the top two divisions, top division 3. Unusually the ladies failed to complete any veteran teams so will have to wait until Liverpool to open their account in those categories.
Four Horwich ladies turned out at Kendal to secure us 7th team out of 14 teams so far. At this opening fixture, Horwich is now only 3 points behind sixth placed Accrington Road Runners. As there are 48 days countdown until our next fixture in the Mid-Lancs league on Saturday 28th November , Sefton Park Liverpool – this allows enough time for recovery from the latest batch of ailments that hit the ladies this week – and also alerts any team-players who are lurking out there to come on board and make a difference!
The 6k course involved one small lap and two large laps of some fields in calm, dry conditions with over 100 athletes competing. Emma Perrin boldly took up the challenge at the front of the field and ran confidently to achieve a superb 9th position in 25.08. Lesley Fisher was awarded first V50, leading over the next V50 by over 3 minutes, securing us another top-of-the-field position (23rd). Rachel Metcalfe was originally due to compete in the Langdale fell race and zoomed in literally at the last minute to support us getting a top-third placing of 38th in 28.35. Sarah Norgate who had not yet clocked up 4miles in training and on final stages of recovery from Achilles injury did her first race since April and made a consistent pace and managed 75th place in 31.51 enabling Horwich to have the four required counters to make a team listing.