Red Rose XC League – Bolton
Saturday saw Todmorden Harriers ladies’ and men’s cross country teams out in force again at the third race in the Red Rose Cross County series. This time Bolton’s Leverhulme Park was the venue, providing an undulating course with a bit of everything; paths, grass, short, sharp and slippery climbs and of course mud (lots of it). Many runners opt for either cross country spikes or fell shoes. Attempting to race around any of these courses in a pair of road shoes would be a foolish choice. Even the grippiest fell shoes struggle to bite at times, so deep and slippy is the mud.
It was success again for Todmorden Men’s Vet team. Their second team victory close the gap on Blackburn with one race left. The Red Rose League title is achievable if they perform as well in the final race in 2 weeks time.
There was a touch of Groundhog Day near the font with Nick Barber and Jon Wright again battling it out to come finish 19th and 26th places. Another tussle formed a minute behind with Paul Hobbs edging out Craig Stansfield. Other Harriers to complete the course were Ivan Gee, Paul Brannigan, Dan Taylor, Dave Garner, Jackson Cowie and Michael Harper.
In the first race of the day Todmorden junior category was Jack Crummet finishing 14th in just over 21 minutes.
Todmorden ladies’ team consisted of Melanie Blackhurst, Catherine Elvin, Mel Siddal, Bev Wright and Mandy Goth. The ladies put in some strong performances, coming 14th team on the day with Blackhurst slicing through the mud to earn a very creditable 28th place. Catherine Elvin produced a fine run to come 51st lady.