Race Report 03/02/2020
Radcliffe AC’s Olivia Whittaker represented Bury at the Greater Manchester Primary Schools Cross Country Championships at Heaton Park.
She battled through the pain barrier to finish 90th out of around 200 competitors in the under-11 girls race, clocking 8:36 in poor conditions on the tough course.
Whittaker earned her spot in the team after finishing in the top ten at the Bury Schools Cross Country Trials in December – rounding off a great first cross country season.
Just a day after Heaton Park, the impressive youngster was back in action when she was third overall and the first woman in the Great Run Local 2k race at Burrs Country Park in 9:51, just a second off her personal best.
She was among the Radcliffe runners who helped to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the free weekly event which has 5k and 2k options.
Helen Andrew described the conditions as “wild” when she was the winning woman in the 30-mile Pendle Way in a Day winter ultra in 6:57:18.
She had to contend with strong winds and hail on the course, a circular route on the trails and moorland of the South Pennines with around 4,500ft of climbing.
Lisa Carter also battled windy and boggy conditions when she took on 3,642ft of ascent in the Wadsworth Trog Fell Race.
The challenging course on moorland above Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire was made even tougher when a marshall directed some of the runners the wrong may, adding an extra mile to the 19-mile route.
Carter, who finished in 4:42:14, said strong headwinds made progress hard, even downhill..
She added: “It was horrendous on the tops with high winds and it was cold.
“After an error coming off one check point with a number of others, I lost about 20 minutes and had to re-find the route. Still, it was a good day out and with an extra mile it was great value for money!”
Three members joined a field of 730 at the popular Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k.
Dave Rushton was the first Radcliffe runner home in 46:15 on a tough, undulating course which includes the steep Buncer Lane. Sheila Jones was second Vet-60 in 50:18 and Sarah Rushton ran 1:04:41.
In the popular parkruns, Robert Short was 3rd at Bolton in 19:58 and Tracy Wroe ran a personal best of 34:22.
At Heaton parkrun Mark Garner ran 21:42; Mark Enright 22:11; Katie Davies bagged a huge new personal best of 27:38; junior Megan Peterkin ran 41:41 ahead of mum Sharon Peterkin in 41:44.
Elaine Bailey and Sheila McNulty took on one of the country’s hardest parkruns, Watergrove near Rochdale, clocking 33:46 and 35:13 respectively.
Vince Ashton notched up his 89th location, finishing in 27:46 at Rotherham parkrun. Nick Barnes ran 25:03 at Buckingham, Bev Quinton clocked 34:36 at Alexandra Park in Oldham, Tony Holt ran 22:23 at Wilmslow and Craig Ward 25:00 at Worsley Woods.
On the start line. Olivia Whittaker (left) in the red and white of Bury.
Winter fell classic for Lisa Carter.
Olivia Whittaker running to victory at Burrs.
Dave Rushton, Sarah Rushton (centre) and Sheila Jones keeping warm in Blackburn.