Weather forecast was for a wet start to the day then for a brighter afternoon/evening and thankfully the weather people got it right although it brightened up a little later than they predicted. In past races there had been a number of runners straying from the course and so this year we had extra marshals, runners signs and we flagged key points on the course with stakes and tape. I went round the 2 Lads and Mast sections marking out with stakes/tape then went to the registration area where the crew were setting up. It was like a well oiled machine – John, Gill, Christine, Allan were busy setting the finish funnel and registration tent up just like they have done most years, everyone knowing exactly what to do.
Soon enough runners started arriving and it was great to see some familiar faces from Bolton United, Horwich and St Helens. We had plenty of marshals from Lostock and a few volunteers from Chorley – Dave Kershaw and Julian Goudge, we had covered all of the 16 marshal points and had placed marshals at intermediate points as well. The only thing missing was a tail runner. There was a great atmosphere at the registration area where runners were signing in and chatting, there were as usual runners i had not seen for a while, and was eager to catch up on things, i was also busy explaining the course to several runners and could quite easily have continued to chat all night but someone woke me from the social meeting and reminded me we had to set the marshals up for the lower level marshal points. Easy job really, marshals were given their 1st positions for the outward leg and secondary positions for the return to the finish, all the marshals were brilliant they just got on with the job all keen and eager. Time was moving on and before i knew it we were at the start with all the runners lined up. The conditions were almost ideal, dry, bright but not too warm, i wished i was racing too. John set them off and we all marched back to the finish to be tormented by the midges and await news of the runners going through various points on the race. News came through that the 1st man was past the Pidgin, Pidgeon or Pigdin Tower and almost home. Chris Farrell came home 1st in 44:49 followed by Nick Leigh in 46:27. Our own Tom Smith was 8th – Toms favourite quote is that he is no good going up hills. At the finish we were being systematically eaten alive by the midges, I kept on the move pacing up and down to keep them at bay but when runners came in I stood still to take numbers and thats when they would attack. When 3 or 4 runners came in at once I was caught between writin the number down and swattin ’em. Next year i’m getting a hair net like Johns. All 86 runners were counted in with Mike tail running from the Trig to the finish. Thanks to all Mark Smiths marshals, Lostock AC & Tri marshals and Dave and Julian from Chorley for ensuring the race went smoothly. Thanks also to Walsh sports who kindly donated the winning men and lady prizes and provided the race numbers. Thanks also to Bolton Mountain Rescue who were on station to provide the safety cover for the race.
1 Chis Farrell M Horwich RMI
2 Nick Leigh M Horwich RMI
3 David Jackson M40 Horwich RMI
Male V40 winner Dominic Raby M40 Chorley Male
V50 winner Gary Chadderton M50 Horwich Male
V60 winner Graham Schofield M60Chorley Male
V70 winner John Parker M70 Horwich RMI
1 Lindsey Brindle F Horwich RMI
2 Josie Greenhalgh F35 Horwich RMI
3 Alison Drasdo F45 Trafford AC Female
V35 winner Chery Collinson F35 Horwich RMI Female
V45 winner Sandra Kelly F45 Horwich RMI Female
V55 winner Mary White F55 Horwich RMI