Race report – 21/01/20

Fiona Lynch conquered one of the world’s most brutal endurance races – the 268-mile Spine Race along the entire length of the Pennine Way.

The superhuman Radcliffe AC athlete battled Storm Brendan, freezing temperatures, snow, strong winds and deep mud when she completed the Spine Race.

The epic challenge crosses some of the most beautiful and difficult terrain in England, including the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland National Park, Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviots.

Lynch left Edale in the Peak District at 8am on January 12 and reached the finish line in Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border at 3:50am on January 19.

The non-stop race attracts some of the world’s best ultra runners and Lynch ran with friend and Rossendale Harriers athlete David Ward.

Family, friends and clubmates followed the pair every step of the way on the Spine Race tracking app.

It’s the latest achievement for Lynch who has completed the iconic Bob Graham Round, a 66-mile route covering 42 Lake District peaks which has to be completed in 24 hours.

She has also run the legendary Dragon’s Back Race, a 196-mile route with more than 50,000 feet of ascent along the mountainous spine of Wales. And, showing her versatility, she was the winning woman at the 2019 Bury 10k.

Several members took part in the penultimate South East Lancashire Cross Country fixture, which was switched from Tandle Hill to Heaton Park because of poor conditions.

Alex Pullan was fourth in the under-17 men’s race in 30:47.

In the ladies race, Katie Davies clocked 41:31; Louise Shield 42:33; Gail Champion 42:40; Karen Doherty 47:03 and Tracy Wroe 53:24.

Three took part in the men’s race with Mark Enright first home for the club in 50:27, while Nick Barnes ran 53:31 and Mark Wolfenden 55:03.

The club had a strong turnout at The Hebden in Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. Billed as a challenge rather than a race, walkers and runners took on tough routes of either 15 or 22 miles which both started from Mytholmroyd on Saturday morning.

Ian Warrington, Katie Percival, Robert Short, Chris Whittaker, Chris Paxton, Kris Lee, Hayley Winder, Mike Cooke, Robert Andrew and Helen Andrew did the 22-mile route while Sheila McNulty, Kath Davies, Steve Hamer and Paul Swyers did the 15-mile route.

Mark Garner finished a superb 28th out of 218 runners at the multi-terrain Winter Mast Race 10k in Bolton. He completed the 5k uphill to the Winter Hill mast, and 5k back down in 50:23.

At the Alderley Park 5-Mile Winter Trail Race, Caroline Malone ran 43:19 and Amanda Darbyshire 1:02:39.

Lee Cooper ran the Twin Piers 10k from Llandudno Pier to Old Colwyn Bay Pier in Wales in 46:11.

In the popular 5k parkruns, Mark Williams ran 25:58 at Bolton; Ken Smith 26:36; Deborah Barrington 34:19; Elaine Bailey 35:10; Sarah Rushton 39:12 and Lucy Dewhurst 39:13.

Sheila Jones clocked 23:50 at Heaton parkrun; Sarah Oxley 34:26; junior Lily Darbyshire 38:12 and mum Amanda Darbyshire 38:14.

Parkrun tourist Vince Ashton notched up his 88th different venue with a time of 32:04 at Sutton Manor in St Helens and Craig Ward ran 25:45 at Worsley Woods.

Superhuman Fiona Lynch and David Ward on the Spine Race

The women’s cross country team at Heaton Park.

The men’s cross country trio.

Alex Pullen in cross country action.

Some of the Hebden runners and walkers

Mast race for Mark Garner

Ready for the off…Amanda Darbyshire at Alderley Park.

Junior parkrunner Lily Darbyshire.

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