Red Rose Cross Country League – Chorley
With torrential downpours greeting the world on Saturday morning, this could mean only one thing; cross country. Runners gathered at Astley Park in Chorley for the second of the Red Rose Cross Country League races. The rain stopped by the afternoon but the sticky, muddy conditions made for some great racing. Todmorden Harriers produced some excellent performances, certainly justifying prioritising cross country as the season winds down for the winter months.
The ladies went first over a 5km course, ably represented by Mel Blackhurst, Mel Siddal, Kath Brierley and evergreen Moyra Parfitt. Blackhurst led home Todmorden Ladies in 26th position with Brierley not too far behind in 37th. With Siddal and Parfitt also having strong runs, the ladies team now stand in 4th position in the Vets category with two races to go in the series.
Todmorden’s men had a particularly bountiful trip to Chorley, coming first Vets team and third overall. It certainly was a quality field, making the men’s team performance particularly impressive. Near the front Nick Barber and Jon Wright vied to be first Harrier home with Barber coming in 19th with Wright not far behind in 24th. Robin Tuddenham had an excellent run in 30th position whilst Paul Hobbs, Dwain Dixon, Craig Stansfield and Ben Crowther came home in a tight bunch completing a strong overall performance for the team, who will now look forward to their next fixture at Bolton in two weeks’ time.
On Sunday, back nearer home Calder Valley’s excellent Half Trog Fell Race took place in perfect running conditions. Boggy as ever, the Half Trog is indeed a local classic. First Todmorden runner home in a very creditable 7th position was local cartographer Chris Goddard. He was followed in by John Allen and Dave Collins, who had to make up a few minutes after missing the start whilst warming up. Having been out of racing for a while, Derek Donohue and Mick Craven, enjoyed their own tour of the moor. Lucy Hobbs led the Todmorden ladies’ home, finishing 6th lady, followed closely by Melanie Blackhurst, in action the second day running.
Other Todmorden results;
Fiona Armer – 80th
Paul Cruthers – 81st
Elise Milnes – 90th
Reg Czudek – 102nd