Race Report 14/07/2019


Radcliffe AC’s Scott Baxter combined his running and climbing skills when he took on what is billed as England’s most extreme race.

He finished 20th man in the inaugural Pinnacle Ridge Extreme in the Lake District – approximately 17 miles and 8,860ft of ascent of technically hard running and scrambling.

The loop from Patterdale Hall had five graded scrambles, scree-ridden descents and knife-edge ridge lines, including Helvellyn’s Striding and Swirral Edges.

Only those with significant mountain and rock climbing skills could enter and Baxter – who suffered broken ribs and other injuries in a fall when he went to the aid of a stricken walker on Helvellyn last year – finished in 7:17:34.

He said: “It has to be the hardest race I have ever done. It is the most technical course imaginable”.

More than 120 runners took part in Radcliffe AC’s Bull Hill Fell Race.

The popular event had to be cancelled last year after the Ministry of Defence changed access restrictions at its firing range, leaving the club with too little time to change the route.

The course was altered this year due to the restrictions, resulting in a longer route with extra climbs.

That did not affect Phil Marsden from Horwich RMI Harriers who repeated his first place from 2017. He ran the new seven-mile course with 1,100ft of ascent in 44:37.

Joe Johnston from Rossendale Harriers was second in 46:08 and Matt Driver from Holcombe Harriers took third place in 49:01.

First woman home was Amy Freeman from Darwen Dashers in 59:03 followed by Rossendale Harrier Lynne Berbatiotis in 01:00:25 and Katherine Klunder from Chorley AC and Tri Club in 01:02:01.

It was Fiona Lynch’s last event after four years as race director for Radcliffe. She is joining the club’s coaching team and said: “It was a bit of an emotional night stepping down as race director. It’s been a lot of fun, challenging and a great opportunity to give back to the club.

“The best bits were helping create the 13 Arches Half Marathon and not breaking the foundations of the races already established on the calendar.

“Thanks to everyone who helped, volunteered, stood in the freezing cold marshalling and gave up weekends to support the races.”

Eight took part in the inaugural Bolton Night Run 5k, part of the Ironman UK weekend. The event was untimed with the emphasis on fun.

Natalie Hitchen, Sarah Oxley, Sarah Ruston, Sarah and Lee Turner, Craig Ward, Andy Wheeler and junior Grace Williams set off from Le Mans Crescent and made their way through Queens Park before finishing in a packed Victoria Square. Juniors Rory and Maria Mannion took part in the Ironkids race.

Lee Turner and Wheeler were also at the midweek Ian Terry memorial 5k at Cowm Reservoir, Whitworth. Steven Fawcett was first home for the club, and 58th out of 276 competitors, in 21:41. Turner ran 21:53 and Wheeler clocked 30:06.

Caroline Malone was a superb seventh in her age group at the women-only Deva Diva’s Triathlon in Chester. She completed the 750m swim in the River Dee, a 25k bike ride and a 5k run in 1:40:15.

There were belated birthday celebrations for Deborah Cliff when she ran 31:29 at Haigh Woodland parkrun, Wigan, while Mike Scott ran a personal best of 31:36 at Newbiggin-by-the Sea parkrun in Northumberland.

Junior Ben Darbyshire notched up his 50th parkrun, clocking 32:10 at Fell Foot in the Lake District, and Vince Ashton visited his 76th parkrun location with a time of 26:36 at Morecambe.

At Bolton parkrun, Mark Williams ran 24:08; Ken Smith 24:29; Elaine Bailey 33:40, and Lisa Donnelly 35:16.

Club captains Katie Percival and Christopher Whittaker are joining Radcliffe’s coaching team after completing the run leaders course.

Meanwhile Emily was the first person to receive the new Radcliffe AC junior of the week award. She was given a medal for getting stuck into throwing and catching, and her hard work.

The start of the Bull Hill Fell Race.

Scott Baxter at the inaugural Pinnacle Ridge Extreme Race.

Radcliffe runners at Bolton Night Run.

Photo finish for (from left) Natalie Hitchen, Sarah Oxley and Sarah Rushton at Bolton Night Run.

Andy Wheeler at Cowm Reservoir.

Junior of the week Emily.

Grace Williams with her night run medal.

Craig Ward celebrates with a pint after finishing Bolton Night Run.

Parkrun pb for Mike Scott.

Ironkids Rory and Maria Mannion.

Ben Darbyshire at his 50th Parkrun.

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